Shelter Cove Marina - October 2009 Newsletter
March 2016 - Marine eNewsletter
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Shelter Cove Marina
2240 Shelter Island Dr.
San Diego, Ca. 92106



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"If We See Something; They Want Us to Say Something!" O.K. - But Who Do We Say It To?
- By Bob Simons
Helping to combat terrorism is now everybody's job in America. The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard are encouraging us all that if we see something we know shouldn't be there - or someone's behavior that doesn't seem quite right - say something. (See

The answer from Homeland Security as to who to call is - "Call your local law enforcement".

This of course makes imminent common sense because local law enforcement agencies are best equipped to be first responders to a local situation. It may be the Fire Department; the Highway Patrol; City Police; or of course; Calling 9-1-1.

But this job of "if you see something; say something" is even bigger for boaters, because not only do we know what's supposed to look right in our everyday life at home, we also have a special knowledge of what looks out of place on the water.

O.K. - So what if you do "see something" out of the ordinary on the waterways? A boat anchoring under a bridge; a stranger on a boat you know doesn't belong there; etc. - Who do you call?

The answer is - Call the National Response Center at 877-24WATCH.

This is part of the U.S. Coast Guard's America's Waterway Watch Program, and it is the right place to report suspicious activity. (Note: If there is immediate danger to life or property, call 911 or the U.S. Coast Guard on Channel 16).

We encourage every boater to remember this number and visit the America's Waterway Watch website and familiarize yourself with what to be on the lookout for. The site contains much useful information on the subject including what "suspicious" activity is and where to look for it.

Thank you for helping to keep America safe.

Bob Simons ImageBob Simons has been in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for over thirty years and owns a sailboat as well as a powerboat. He teaches classes in Boating Safety & Seamanship as well as Basic and Advanced Coastal Navigation. Bob is also the co-developer of the Sirius Signal S-O-S light and co-owner of Seabreeze Books and Charts

Mark's "Fish 'n Tips" - Baiting the Hook
- By Mark Moffat
Last month we published some tips on how to select the best live bait (in particular, sardines) for your next fishing trip.

This month, we have some insider tips from the pros on how and when they set that bait for the best results.

So we're going to talk here about the best way to set your bait in three different situations:

  • A long soak,
  • A short soak, and
  • Using a weight

A long soak situation is where the potential catch is some distance from the boat. In this case, you want a longer lasting action from the bait which might need to last up to 15 minutes.

For the long soak, the recommended hook of the bait is through the back of the neck.

A short soak situation is where the fish are close in on the boat and the water is perhaps boiling with fish. In this case, you want a fast streaking action from the bait which might need to last only from 1 - 3 minutes.

For the short soak, the recommended hook of the bait is through the butt.

The third case is when you are using a weight to get the bait down to deeper fish - say 20 - 30 fathoms for example, the recommended bait set in this case is through the nose which will give you the longest use of the bait and the best lure aspect for the fish.

The key is to have a fresh, lively bait on at all times. By changing bait regularly and always being able to feel your bait swimming will give you the best chance of getting a fish. You have to fish hard and always be in the water. Conditions change regularly, from no wind to wind, and no current to current.

By being aware of this and fishing long, short, or with a weight, this will improve your chances, and make you a better angler too.

In any case, always remember to keep a tight line. The old rule always applies - "If you can't feel the bait, reel it in"

Mark Moffat is a fire-fighter by trade, a member of the San Diego Yacht Club and is a life-long fisherman by avocation. He started working the half-day boats as a pinhead at age 10; migrating to the full day Albacore boats at age 14.

Today , Mark is the Charter Master of an annual two week long range trip on the Red Rooster 3. Click Here to learn more about the Red Rooster 3 and Mark's annual trip.

Do I trust my broker? - Part Two
- By Kells Christian
A client who had a bad selling experience said, "The only power a boat seller has in the transaction is the right of refusal."

While this is ultimately true, and in my opinion California law does protect buyers more than sellers, there are ways to prevent many of the problems my client experienced.

He was unfamiliar with the selling process and made himself and the boat available to a potential buyer many times, got underway three times, and then had an 11th hour offer reduction of one third of the agreed purchase price. The deal fell through and he came to me to discuss various survey findings and the apparent sales practice that he found distasteful.

For those unfamiliar with the boat buying process, it begins with an offer, then a counter, then an agreement with time constraints for a marine survey and a sea trial, and then another time constraint to close the deal.

In my research with several local brokers, I found that the average time from contract inception to survey and sea trial was 14 days, and another 7 to 10 days to close. The contract includes purchase price, refundable deposit amount and other terms.

The marine survey and sea trial are performed for the buyer to gain knowledge of the condition and value of the boat. After the survey and sea trial many boat deals are re-negotiated. The seller is not obligated to have repairs done or allow any concession in price, but they often do so if they justified by the findings.

Our client's problems were twofold; he gave more time and energy than most sellers during the sales process, and then faced a significant reduction in the offer price after marine survey and sea trial. The reduction in the offer was based on findings during the survey and sea trial, per the buyer's broker.

Several of the findings, including blisters on the hull bottom were known to the seller prior to the survey.

To avoid last minute re-negotiations for known conditions, I suggest full disclosure in advance of survey and sea trial. I don't recommend putting all the boat's warts on the published listing, but I do suggest disclosing them prior to survey, especially things like blisters. Older boats come with blemishes, and they are of course cheaper than new boats.

Price the boat fairly, disclose the significant known issues, and many of the psychologically challenging aspects of the sales process will be removed.

Some sellers make it clear that they will be not reduce the price after survey, often because they feel the offer is less than the actual value of the boat. Some sellers offer a maximum survey allowance in advance. These tactics may prevent a low ball last minute offer reduction by an unscrupulous buyer by deterring them at the onset of the deal.

An English article on this tactic calls it "chipping" or "gazundering". We can't know if this tactic was consciously deployed in this instance or if the buyer just had a change of opinion of value, but the results for our client were the same - negative.

Kells Christian has been an accredited Marine Surveyor since 1990. His expertise extends to both recreational and commercial vessels. Kells was Regional Director of Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) for 2 years and a prominent member of numerous other industry organizations. You can e-mail your marine surveyor questions to or Click Here to visit his web site.

Top 10 Marina Manager Complaints About Their Boaters
As hard as it is to believe, BlueSkyNews has over the years detected that boaters occasionally complain about their marinas.

But what about the other side of the coin? Also as hard as it is to believe, we have heard that marina managers occasionally have a complaint or two of their own about their boaters.

Here then, are the Top 10 marina manager complaints we have heard over the years at BlueSkyNews:

# 1 - "Ugly Boats" - Like an unemployed brother-in-law drinking beer on your living room couch in a wife-beater t-shirt and no shoes, an ugly boat can ruin a prospective slip renter's first impression of the marina.

# 2 - "Busted" - When a surprise Coast Guard inspection finds a gas can; a bunch of flares; and a propane tank in B-15's dock box, the fine, shall we say, reflects "unfavorably" on the marina manager; but worse yet, on the marina owner's mood.

Number 3 - "Doggy Doo" - The marina manager's "pet peeve" is the surprise deposit Fido's owner leaves on the marina's manicured landscaping. Marina managers don't take crap from anybody - except Fido when nobody's sees whodunit.

# 4 - "What's Up Dock?" - Not the dock carts - that's for sure. There's three way out on I-Dock; four in the parking lot; one filled with trash on B-dock; and one in the laundry room. "Why aren't boaters more courteous and return them to the head of the docks for the next person?"

# 5 - "What's Up Doc?" - We're talking "Documents" here - current Insurance information; updated lease agreements; Address; Phone Numbers; email address; emergency contact; etc. - It's like pulling teeth to get them!

# 6 - "Loose Slips Sink Ships" - "Hello!!! McFly! News Flash! The weather changes! - One day it's perfect; the next it's gale force winds! Where did you learn how to tie down a boat?"

# 7 - "Gate Crashers" - "You let who come in the gate?"

# 8 - "Dinghy-Birds" - "Your dinghy has been in the water for six months. It has a two foot long green slimy living beard of barnacles, crustaceans and worms. When you take it out semi-annually to try to scrub and save it, the smell asphyxiates everybody from the docks to the marina deli.

# 9 - "Guano With the Wind" - "Your grandchildren were on your boat for the weekend. They thought it was fun to feed liver pate to the seagulls and the starlings. Now your boat canvas looks like something from the Peruvian Guano Islands."

# 10 - "Holiday Weekends" - "Everybody's having a party but me!"

From the Marina Office
Greetings Shelter Cove Mariners - Here is your March 2016 marina newsletter.

Just want to say thanks to everyone at the marina for keeping your dock area spic-n-span and free of Non-Environmental hazardous items in and around your slips. The Port of San Diego recently performed their annual Stormwater Inspection Site Evaluation and Shelter Cove Marina passed with flying colors. Not 1 violator discovered!

As always, it's important to be concerned about the environment and do our best to preserve our beautiful waterway. Thanks Again for a great Job.

In this month's newsletter, we have some expert opinions on the dos and don'ts of buying a boat, and for those of you selling your boat, a checklist for how to prepare for that all important sea trial.

For you avid anglers, we have a brand new monthly article featuring some useful fishing tips.

In the "know before you go" department, we talk about how to be sure that "all systems are also go". Lastly, since it's Winter and we're all trying to stay warm and cozy aboard our boats, some reminders of how to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning.

In this month's issue, we have some information you'll want to have from the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard about what you can do as a boater to help keep America safe from terrorism.

In the getting along on the water department, we have some helpful information to frustrated power boaters who don't understand why sailboats do what they do.

For fishermen, we share some insider tips from the pros on how and when they set their bait for the best results; an announcement of a new San Diego dealer for Yacht Watchman; some advice on what to put in your ditch bag; and how to avoid some of the common pitfalls in selling your boat.

In the "just for fun" department, we list the top 10 complaints that marina managers have about their boaters.

We hope you have some great Spring boating in March.

The Staff at Shelter Cove Marina

A Powerboater's Guide to Understanding Sailboats!
- By Bob Sherman
There are numerous exceptions in the USGC "Navigation Rules", on this subject which you should read, but generally speaking, sailboats underway have the right-of-way over powerboats underway.

Power vessels under 20 meters are obligated to keep clear, unless the sailboat is under power. So if you find if frustrating to stay clear of sailboats, it would be helpful to understand some basic sailing theory, and why sailboats do what they do. With some basic understanding, you may be able to anticipate traffic conflicts before they happen, and have a more pleasant boating experience. Let's start with some of the differences.

Modern sailboats are very maneuverable, but there are no brakes, no throttle, and they cannot be steered unless they are moving through the water. Every move must be planned with constant adjustment and compensation for the wind. Sailing requires far greater skill than driving a powerboat. It is an art that requires patience and a long time to master. The biggest limiting factor is that a boat cannot sail directly into the wind. Much of the time, sailboats cannot sail directly where they want to go, in order to avoid you.

A sailboat pointed dead into the wind is said to be "in irons", and will come to a complete stop, if not stopped already. Once stopped, the rudder is no longer effective, and the boat is essentially out of control. So, if you see a boat stopped with sails flogging, stay well clear! (Some of these sailors leave their fenders out, as a warning to other boaters to stay away!)

The closest sailing angle is 45 degrees off the wind, to the left or right. That means, if you face the wind, you can sail 45 degrees to the right, or 45 to the left. There is a full 90-degree "dead area" that you cannot sail in to! If your destination is directly "upwind", you must "tack" up the bay in a zig-zag pattern. You sail at the 45-degree angle for as long as you can, then "tack" or "come about", turning through the 90-degree "dead zone", and set sail again on a perpendicular course.

So, the reason that pesky sailboat is zig-zagging across the channel is not because he is an idiot, it is because the wind is blowing straight down the channel, and he is forced to sail at the 45-degree angle! When he runs out of sea-room close to shore, he will have to make a 90-degree turn, through the eye of the wind, onto the 45-degree angle on the other side. The jib is released from one side and pulled in on the other, in a coordinated effort by skipper and crew. Tacking is a routine maneuver, but is a fair amount of work; so sailors never do it unless they have to.

So, the next time you see a sailboat ahead of you that is sailing diagonally from the traffic pattern, it is likely that he is tacking upwind.

If you see that he is about to run out of sea-room, you can anticipate that the sailboat is going to "tack" very soon - so don't be surprised and be forced to make drastic moves. Slow down or alter course early to minimize any course conflicts. Or at the least, be on your guard. That sailboat that is going diagonally toward the rocks is going to make a 90 degree turn sooner or later - which may be right across your intended path.

As a sailor, be considerate and give powerboats plenty of time to stay clear. Try to avoid suddenly tacking in front of an unsuspecting powerboat and expect them to dodge out of your way. If time permits, waving or hailing the other boat in advance may help in some cases.

Often potential conflicts can be resolved by simply tacking a little earlier or later than you would prefer, or sailing a little above or below your proper course, allowing the other boat to pass. Put yourself in the other guy's shoes. Even though you may have the right-of-way, do what you can to be courteous. And don't forget a friendly "thank you" wave to skippers that yield to you. Remember that we all have the same right to share the waterways. Courtesy and goodwill can go a long way toward making everyone have a great day on the water.

Bob Sherman has over 28 years of Yacht sales experience and is the owner of YachtSource. He is also qualified to instruct on all vessel types, and has held 100-ton Captain's license since 1982. He is an avid sailor, and scuba diver. You can send an e-mail to Bob at

Christian Marine Surveyors

Yacht Watchman Opens First West Coast Dealership in San Diego
Florida based YachtWatchman has announced the opening of J. Hughes Boat Works, its first West Coast dealer.

The company sells and installs around the clock remote vessel monitoring systems while the owner is away.

Depending on the boat owner's individual needs, the system can monitor and report the status of the vessel's batteries, high water, bilge pumps, hatch entry, cabin motion or intrusion, frost, high temperature, GPS Location, and GeoFence.

For more information, call J. Hughes Boat Works at 781-307-7917 or visit

What's In Your Ditch Bag?
- By Captain H. R. "Rags" Laragione
This is one of those things we mariners don't like to think about, but really should.

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to abandon your sinking boat, you'll have plenty of time to go below to find all of the essential items you'll need to survive on the life raft until help arrives. Right?

Wrong - of course! That's why it's smart insurance is to have a Ditch Bag aboard located where you can easily grab it in case of such an emergency.

The idea is simple. A Ditch Bag is a waterproof container with an easy to grab handle which has all the things you'd want to have once adrift. I use a Dry Tube, but there are many other brands available depending on your needs.

At all of our Captain's courses at the Maritime Institute, the Ditch Bag is stressed as a vital safety item, and over the years we have compiled a recommended list of items it should contain.

Here's the list below. It includes not only rescue related items but also items that you would hate to lose. You may not need everything in the list, but you can use the list as a guide in creating your own Ditch Bag to suit your personal cruising needs:

  • Personal EPIRB
  • Handheld VHF Radio
  • Handheld GPS
  • Spare Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Mirror
  • Light jacket
  • Foul weather clothes
  • Hat
  • Bandana
  • Space blanket
  • Laser light
  • Flashlight on lanyard
  • Chemical Lights
  • Headlamp
  • Strobe light
  • Line, different sizes
  • Bungees
  • Fishing Kit
  • Dive mask
  • Pole spear gun
  • Fire starter
  • Compass
  • Watch
  • Sun glasses

  • Reading glasses
  • Sunscreen nose guard
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Toothbrush
  • Small First aid Kit
  • Duct tape
  • Rescue tape
  • Large survival knife
  • Leatherman
  • Swiss army knife
  • Knife sharpener
  • Permanent marker pen
  • Waterproof paper / pen
  • Copy of passport
  • HandiWipes
  • Personal medication
  • Zip ties
  • Zip lock bags
  • Money
  • Food
  • Power bars
  • Water
  • Water Bag
  • Hand pump water maker

Captain Laragione is the President of The Maritime Institute which offers USCG approved courses for mariners. Curriculum ranges from the maritime rules of the road to the 1600 Ton Captain's License.

Captain Laragione is well known for his motto - "The key to safe boating is education; so let's get educated!". I Like
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