Shelter Cove Marina - October 2009 Newsletter
May 2014 - Marina eNewsletter
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Selling Your Boat? The Top 10 Things to Do Before You Show
- By Bob Sherman
Selling a used boat is not unlike selling a home. Presentation is everything. Here are some recommendations to follow to get the maximum return.

1. Have your boat professionally detailed inside and out; don't forget the engine room and the bilges. Dollars spent here are well spent.

2. If it smells; it won't sell! After you do step one, spray all compartments with a natural liquid enzyme spray. This actually breaks apart the molecular bonds of odor causing compounds.

3. If the carpeting is worn or has that 1970's "Harvest Gold" shag carpet look, have it replaced. At the very minimum, have your carpet shampooed.

4. Replace any canvas and eisenglass in poor condition.

5. Service the engines and generator if needed and change fluids if overdue. Ask your maintenance company to also inspect hoses and change zincs if necessary.

6. Remove excess clutter from the boat - Of course, also remove anything you don't intend to sell with the boat.

7. Do a pre-sea trial if your boat has been sitting for a while. Make sure it can pass a sea trial - being towed back in by Vessel Assist will not impress a potential buyer.

8. Repair known and obvious deficiencies if practical or be prepared to make survey allowances for them.

9. Keep the boat clean and fresh inside and out during the sales cycle.

10.  Last, but not least, interview brokers to discuss their experience, general knowledge and marketing plan. A professional Broker can offer opinions as to what other improvements would be cost effective. The more things on the list that you do, the faster the boat will sell, and the better the price.

While the above items require some investment, remember you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!

Editor's Note: Bob Sherman has over 20 years of Yacht sales experience and is the owner of Yacht-Source. 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

What's That Smell?
- By Richard Benscoter
You arrive at the marina and open your boat for a long anticipated weekend of fun and relaxation, and you're greeted by an unpleasant fragrance.

It's not coming from the usual suspects like the holding tank, yet there it is.

Other than a few days in Winter, the water your boat sits in is colder than the outside air temperature all year long. Recalling our grade school science, we remember that different temperatures from the outside and inside of a vessel induces condensation, which depending on the length of your water line can produce a quart or more of water during a single 24 hour period. That can add up to a lot of water in a week .

Since rough surfaces make up a lot of the inside of most hulls, a lot of the condensation never makes it all the way down to the bilge; instead it collects on anything in its path - life jackets, paper packaging from stored items, basically everything in contact with the inside hull. Add darkness and mold and you have that unwanted fragrance.

Solution? Remove, clean and dry everything in contact with the inner hull below the water line. Scrub the surface with non toxic biodegradable soap that will not harm the environment. Leave the access to the areas open until they are completely dry. If you must store items in these areas, ensure they are not in contact with the hull, or store them in a water tight container or bag. Lastly, leave access to these areas open when you leave your boat, so air can circulate.

Footnote: Another often overlooked source of unpleasant odor is the result of sea water leaking from shaft packings. Sea water contains microscopic animals that when removed from their environment will die, decay, and cause that rotten egg smell. Solution? Install dripless packing. I've been using GFO fiber packing on my boat for years with exceptional results and dry bilges.

Richard BenscoterEditor's Note: Richard Benscoter is a long time avid sailor. He and his wife Debbie are both avid sailors and members of the Silver Gate Yacht Club and owner of the Mariners Woodshop. If you have a sailing question for Richard, send e-mail to

Why You Shouldn't Use Automotive Engine Parts On Your Gas Boat
- By Bob Simons
You no doubt have noticed the big difference in the cost of "marine engine parts" as opposed to "automotive parts". You may have also thought that since the engines are the same; why not?

The answer is, there is a huge difference! The main difference is that autos are designed so that the engine is sitting over the ground, so if there is an occasional little drip of gas it just falls on the ground and evaporates.

Boats, on the other hand, have enclosed bilges so those little drops of gas may evaporate, but they leave a residue of vapors that can become a very powerful ticking time bomb just waiting for an ignition source.

Here are some other major differences:

  • Marine alternators have contacts that are not exposed.

  • Marine distributors have ignition protection and flame arrestors.

  • Marine starters and generators are completely sealed.

  • Marine starter solenoids do not have the vent that auto solenoids do.

Marine carburetors vent any overflow back to the carburetor throat so the engine burns it vs. venting it to the outside as all automotive carburetors do.

Marine fuel pumps will not allow fuel out of the diaphragm area if there is a leak vs. into a vent hole to the outside as automotive fuel pumps do.

Bob Simons has been in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for 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-owner of Seabreeze Books and Charts .

Nielsen Beaumont

Blue Moon Yacht Services


Mariners Woodshop

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Shelter Cove Marina
2240 Shelter Island Dr.
San Diego, Ca. 92106



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From the Marina Office!
Greetings mariners and welcome to the May 2014 Shelter Cove Marina eNewsletter.

May is one of those months when people think about buying or selling a boat, so In this month's issue we have some great tips on what anyone who is thinking about that should do.

May is also a great sailing month, so we've also included some tips on how to make those expensive sails stay in good shape and last longer.

Last but not least, we have some tips for keeping that dark bilge of your smelling like a rose; and a caution for anyone tempted to use automotive parts on your marine gas engine.

We hope you all have a great month of May and that you'll be able to spend some relaxing time at the marina.

Happy boating,
The Staff at Shelter Cove Marina

Christian Marine Surveyors

A Quick Note About Cruising to Catalina
With Summer approaching, you're probably already thinking it. "Let's cruise to Catalina!"

Before you go, be sure to visit Catalina Island's Official Web Site, There you'll find important information about mooring at Avalon, Two Harbors, and the other 16 coves on the island.

The site also has contact phone numbers you'll want to have, information about services, mooring prices, and much more.

For Two Harbors, we also recommend the Two Harbors Boating Guide, which among other great information has some really good diagrams and instructions for how to pick up that infamous mooring ball.

Last, but not least, be sure to have a good NOAA Chart of the island.

Proper Care for Your Sails Starts With Your Boat
The cost of sails is a major part of the total investment in owning and operating a sailboat. Experience has also shown that the way your sails are treated can greatly extend or shorten their useful life.

Here are some tips on how to properly prepare your boat and the rigging for longer lasting sails:

  • Tape all cotter pins, sharp corners and other points that can tear or chafe sails. Give particular attention to the pulpit area. Make sure you tape off the turnbuckles where the lifelines attach.

  • Place boots or tubes over turnbuckles, both to prevent chafe and to keep grease and oil off sails.

  • Be sure the lifelines are clean and free of meat hooks. Give particular attention to the stanchion tops. Acetone is a good cleaner for vinyl-coated lifelines.

  • Install rollers or padded boots on spreader tips.

  • Be sure wire halyards have no meat hooks or open wire on the shackles which might chafe or snag the sails.

  • Position guards to close off any "V's" in the rigging that may catch the sails when they are being hoisted or lowered.

  • Wash the deck before each weekend of sailing, and polish the spars periodically so that sails don't pick up any of the aluminum oxidation.

  • Dry out your sails before leaving them on the boat for any period of time. One way of doing this is to simply spread the sails around the main cabin and forepeak so that the air can circulate and dry them between outings.

  • Avoid the practice of drying sails by hoisting them to flog in the breeze.

  • Finally, minimize exposure to direct sunlight when drying your sails.

Taking these steps will ensure and extend the life and strength of your sails allowing you to get the most out of them in terms of speed and appearance.

San Diego's "False Bay"
In 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into what he thought was San Diego Bay only to find an empty shallow tidal marsh instead. Today we know it as Mission Bay, but back then Cabrillo named it "False Bay" because of the experience.

Back then, the San Diego River had historically shifted its terminus from the current San Diego Bay to "False Bay" to the North until 1852 when the United States Army constructed the first dike along the south side of the river to prevent it from shifting back to San Diego Bay.

This made "False Bay" an estuaries outlet for San Diego River drainage. Unfortunately the dike failed shortly after its construction was finished, but fortunately, that paved the way for the current San Diego River flood control channel.

During the late 1800's some recreational development began in "False Bay" including the building of hunting and fishing facilities. These facilities were destroyed by flooding that took place years later.

In 1944, a Chamber of Commerce committee recommended development of Mission Bay into a tourist and recreational center to help diversify the City's economy, which was largely military. In the late 1940's, dredging and filling operations began converting the marsh into the jewel that is today Mission Bay Park.

Book of the Month - Bareboat Charter
Chartering a Bareboat for a Sailing Vacation this summer?

This book has some checklist items for the prospective skipper that he/she may not have thought of including:

  • What to take from home

  • What to inspect on the boat that the charter company won't point out

  • Things that you'd just assume are done are sometimes not

  • How to lead a group of people who are your friends and get them to listen to you without being the ogre of the sea

  • How to manage the fridge and freezer

  • How to fix things on the boat that might go wrong

  • What to train your crew on, and more.

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