||From the Marina Office
Hooray! Hooray! It's the month of May! Here's your May marina newsletter today!
In this month's issue we have some "getting your boat ready for Summer" maintenance tips; some new interesting boating products; and a special safety article reminding you to check your lifelines.
In the "fun and human interest" category, you'll enjoy Kells Christian's fascinating article about his recent trip to Cuba; Mark's May "Fish 'n Tip" for landing barracuda; and recommendations for some great boating "staycations" right here in Southern California. Enjoy!
The Staff at Shelter Cove Marina
Are Your Boat's Zincs Disappearing Too Fast? It Might Be Your Neighbor's Fault!
In seawater, the hardware on a boat (prop, shaft, through hulls, etc.) serves as a conductive medium. The AC grounding wire provides a direct electrical connection between the underwater hardware on boats that are plugged into shore power.
If your next door neighbor's boat has no zincs, then your boat's zincs will be eaten away next.
Once the zincs are gone, both boats are then subject to corrosive damage on the underwater hardware. The boat with the least noble metal among the different boats will always protect the other boats (zinc; aluminum; brass; stainless steel).
How far can galvanic corrosion travel between boats? Depending on water temperature, current, salinity, condition of zincs, proximity of boats, relative surface areas of the respective anodic (i.e. zinc) and cathodic (i.e. boat prop) metals, the voltage produced by galvanic activity (normally less than 1.0 volt) can affect boats two or three slips away before the current begins to dissipate through the water.
You can protect yourself by installing a galvanic isolator, but as always, there is a catch. You must regularly monitor whether the isolator is working properly or the likelihood of electrical shock hazard increases significantly.
Be a good neighbor - replace your zincs regularly; verify your ground fault circuit breaker is set at the proper level, and if there has been arcing across the pins on the cord or the receptacles on the pedestal, notify the marina office.
Mark's "Fish 'n Tips" - Fishing for Barracuda
- By Mark Moffat
Barracuda typically swim on the upper columns of the water, and so they often will push bait to the surface. This attracts bird life and the birds will dive for the bait.
So when fishing for barracuda, seasoned anglers keep an eye out for schools of birds during May and June to spot surface fish.
Barracuda can be found along the kelp line off La Jolla down to South of Point Loma as far down as Imperial Beach. They swim from the line of the kelp to several hundred yards off the kelp line.
And of course, they can also be found near the Coronado Islands.
When you're out there, if you see birds flocking on the water it usually means the barracuda are near the surface. Similar to fishing for yellowtail, when fishing for barracuda, I recommend using 25-30 pound test fishing line and a surface plug (one that can swim); cast out as far as you can; then give it 5 seconds or so and start retrieving.
Once you hook up to a barracuda, get it to the boat as quickly as you can because California Sea Lions are probably also swimming around and will more than likely try to eat your fish on the line.
You do not want to lose your fish OR your iron.
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.
Tommy's Favorites - The Recovery Ladder/Supine Hoist
- By Tom Jarvis
I came across this unique device for retrieving a person from the water in a Man Over-Board (MOB) situation. A friend of mine, Phil Thompson of Just Marine in Newport Beach, imports this product, the Recovery Ladder, from SOS Marine in Australia. I believe it is a product worth looking at for safety at sea.
The Recovery Ladder/Supine Hoist is dual purpose MOB recovery device that allows the victim to climb aboard the vessel on their own mobility with the ladder function or to be hoisted aboard in a supine position utilizing their unique hoisting system.
The material is a day-glow polyester mesh, fabricated to withstand the harshest environments. The ladder function has rigid yet soft rungs that allow for an easy exit from the water to the vessel and the mesh material is strong and soft enough to remove a victim from the water in a supine position with the assistance of a halyard or a davit with a block and tackle set up.
There are three points of connection to the vessel. Two at the base of the device that would be secured to cleats, toe-rail, through hawse pipes to cleats and the third at the apex of the Recovery Ladder to hoist the victim in via block and tackle attached to a halyard or davit.
Phil Thompson recently had a bag manufactured that holds this Recovery Ladder inside of the bag and the bag is designed to be attached on the outside of the boats stanchions and lifeline system for easy deployment.
I believe this is worth your time checking it out. Go to their website marine.the-justgroup.com and take a look at their products they offer. As summer is approaching enjoy your time on the water and always stay safe.
Editor's Note: Tom Jarvis is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of the SuperYacht Association and he also performs outside Marketing and Sales for the San Diego Marine Exchange. Click Here to email your boating product questions to Tom.
Your Lifelines - Are They in Shape to do Their Job?
- By "Ask The Rigger" from Rigworks
We are always a bit surprised when we visit a boat and, although the rig is well maintained, the lifelines are clearly neglected.
Lifelines are essential to the safety of your crew and may be all that stands between you and a trip overboard. Lifelines should be inspected regularly to ensure that they will withstand stress under sudden loads.
At Rigworks, Inc. we regularly inspect and replace lifelines. Let us walk you through how to do a visual inspection on your boat:
First inspect your bow and stern pulpits and each of your stanchions, the upright posts through which your lifelines run. Stanchions are much more likely to buckle and fail than the lifelines themselves. The point where a stanchion is bolted to the deck is particularly susceptible to stress and damage.
Visually check the deck for fractures, delamination, and signs of wear. Does each stanchion feel solid and adequately reinforced? Are there backing pads in the deck that evenly distribute the load?
Next inspect your various gate fittings. Do they need to be replaced? A gate fitting that pops open under load is useless. Please do NOT economize on lifeline hardware. Buy well-rated pelican hooks, gate eyes and adjusters, and make sure that they are properly locked before you leave the dock.
Finally, inspect the lifelines themselves. Look for rust, kinks, frays, bad joints and weak terminal fittings. If your lifelines have a vinyl coating, look for discoloration which may indicate underlying rust. Is the wire thick enough for the job at hand?
Boat owners often scrimp to reduce weight and save money - bad idea!
When you have finished your inspection, ask yourself - Would it be easier to replace these worn lifelines or recover a crew member from the ocean in heavy seas?
Rigworks is a San Diego-based full yacht rigging and chandlery specializing in rig Inspection; re-rigging and tuning; deck layouts; custom splicing and machining; winch service and installation; and furling gear spec. and Installation.
New Public Boating Education Products Released By U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
- Bob Simons
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has released two new Public Boating Education products.
They include Basic Boat Handling, an enhanced eBook that is a simple guide to boat operation and handling for the novice boater.
This Enhanced eBook includes explanatory video segments explaining and demonstrating the techniques discussed in these chapters:
- Engines and How They Affect Steering
- Starting the Engine
- Leaving the Dock
- Steering a Straight Course
- Various Speeds & How They Affect Steering
- Trimming the Boat
- Turning the Boat
- Man Overboard
- Backing the Boat
- Docking the Boat
- Entering a Slip
The eBook is sold through the Kalcomey Bookstore for $9.99.
Another new product is an on-line course called Modern Marine Navigation (MMN). MMN is an in-depth course covering traditional and electronic navigation, including coastal navigation, plotting positions, dead reckoning, visual fixes, ATONS, charts, GPS, chart plotters and trip planning.
The course covers navigation techniques as well as safe behaviors such as voyage planning techniques and use of float plans. The MMN course is sold through the Boat US Foundation for $40.00.
(Editor's note: If you would are interested in any of the other USCG Auxiliary or Power Squadron classes please contact Bob Simons directly at email@example.com).
Bob 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
"Slip-ping Away" For a Boating "Staycation"
When it comes to getting away from it all, we boaters have the best of all worlds - can literally go "on vacation" any time we want without ever leaving the neighborhood.
Depending on your preferences, these impromptu local getaways can range from dropping the hook from your dinghy with a fishing pole and a 6-pack, to a five star stay at a hotel marina with room service on your boat and use of the hotel amenities.
Hotel Marina Boating Getaways:
Hotels with marinas often have guest slips available for an upscale mini getaway - you just need to call to see if a slip is available. (You may have to have proof of insurance or other documentation handy when you call).
On San Diego Bay, there are several excellent hotels with attached marinas:
- San Diego Marriott Marquis Marina (619-230-8955)
- Sheraton Harbor Island Marina (619-692-2249))
- Bay Club Marina (619-222-0314)
- Loews Coronado Resort Marina (619-424-4455)
- Kona Kai Resort Marina (619-224-7547)
- Shelter Island Marina (223-0301)
- Half Moon Marina (619-224-3401)
On Mission Bay, the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Marina is also a fun getaway (619-221-4858).
For just plain fun and relaxation, another favorite getaway is to anchor out for the weekend at a favorite anchorage like La Playa or Glorietta Bay - either by yourself or with some other boating friends in a raft-up.
There are five anchorages within San Diego Bay and one in Mission Bay that are popularly used. Permits are required for most areas. Contact the Harbor Police Mooring Office, on VHF Ch-16 or (619) 686-6227 for permits in the San Diego Bay and the San Diego Lifeguard Services for Mission Bay at 619-221-8899.
Shelter Island Basin
La Playa Cove (A-1) is between the Southwestern and San Diego Yacht Clubs, in the Shelter Island Basin. This is a weekend anchorage only, from 9:00 am Friday to 9:00 am Monday and requires a permit. Vessels anchoring here must have holding tanks.
Cruiser Anchorage (A-9) is an anchorage for 'out of town' boats only. It is south of the Coast Guard Station, east of Harbor Island. Contact the mooring office for an inspection by a Bay Control Officer prior to the issuance of a permit. The A-9 permit is good for 30 days, and is renewable for up to 90 days total.
Glorietta Bay (A-5) east of golf course, is one of the big favorites here in San Diego. Located at Coronado Island, it is in view of the Hotel Del Coronado, an old and well known hotel. Anchor here for the 4th of July and have the best seats in San Diego for the fireworks displays!
Glorietta Bay (A-5) south of golf course, this anchorage sweeps along what is almost a peninsula that forms Glorietta Bay. There are some very shallow areas within the anchorage in the vicinity of the Coronado Bridge, on the order of 4 to 6 feet.
Mission Bay: Bonita Cove is another great anchorage. It is located to port as you exit the channel that forms the entrance to Mission Bay. A permit is now required for the anchorage.
Bon Voyage! For more information about San Diego boating "staycations", Click Here.
An Interesting Trip to Cuba
- By Kells Christian
My wife and I, two bilingual (Spanish) children and a non-Spanish speaking adult couple took a 10-day trip to Cuba in April. I thought boaters would be interested to hear about this due to their sense of adventure, travel inclination, island lore and some boating trivia and activities.
We arranged our trip ourselves, but encourage the use of Canadian travel agents. We flew out of Tijuana through Mexico City to Havana. In Mexico City we wrote our own official permission slip. The U.S. still allows visits for one of twelve purposes. We traveled under education / people to people, and will keep our itinerary for five years in case the State Department asks for it.
We visited Havana, Varadero and Vinales. The other couple visited Guardalavaca. They flew Cubana Avacion to Holguin, including a flight on a Russian built jet. This is in the area of Guantanamo Bay. Besides a 7-hour delay, their flight was normal.
We stayed mostly in houses or rooms rented through AirBnB. We found the Cuban people to be extremely friendly. There has a slight rise in petty theft recently, but we felt very safe. The Cubans were willing to speak openly about all subjects, including politics. Chinese we encountered in a previous trip to China were reluctant to speak so openly, though we speak much more Spanish than Mandarin and the language barrier was certainly a factor.
Interestingly no Cuban that we met had ever been off the island. An average to high-end job pays $25 a month. It's hard to pay for a trip off the island at that pay rate even if one could navigate through the complexities and time consuming paperwork. The average Cuban works to pay for the food.
The food was mostly poor. Prices were fairly standard, but only in the occasional private restaurants (Paladares) could we find good food and to find them you had to dig deeper than just asking the taxi cab driver or taking the advice of a restaurant hawker on the street. Most buildings are in a state of disrepair. And the cars are a mind-boggling time travel experience.
Cuba has three eras of cars, the American era of the 1950s, the Russian era of the 1970s and the current era of the Chinese cars and busses. Every imaginable American car from the 1950s is operating on the streets of Cuba, some with original engines and many with German and Japanese diesel engines.
The beaches were nice as one would expect on a Caribbean Island. We swam in a fresh water fed cave. We boated in an underground river and we experienced spectacular views overlooking cigar tobacco farming valleys. We watched a farmer roll a cigar and we smoked plenty of them.
We took a Hobie Cat on a snorkeling excursion to a coral reef. On that day diving visibility was moderate, the reef was average but fish were plentiful. The guides were throwing bread into the water and laughing at the tourists' reactions to the boil of fish around them. I couldn't help myself and joined in, throwing more fish food about the unsuspecting tourists, contributing to the fish mischief. Our guide tickled a lobster out of a hole to bring home.
I visited a marina in Varadero. The marina was new but empty. A handful of private yachts were scattered in the outer portions of the marina and a dozen 100-foot Fountaine Pajot passenger carrying catamarans in the front row. The government runs most of the tours. The rum, the cigars, the restaurants, hotels, rental cars and taxis are all predominately operated by the government and most prices on these commodities are fixed throughout the country.
The yate "Granma" holds a special place in Cuban history. Eighty two rebels embarked on a miserable 1,200 mile journey from Mexico to Cuba aboard the 43' boat. The rebels included Fidel and Raul Castro, Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos. The Batista government knew they were coming and tried to find and stop the "Granma" but it landed in Cuba, discharged its passengers and gained entrance into the Revolutionary Museum in Havana. A lot more impactful than the local smuggling pangas.
The private economy is beginning to develop but in this regard Cuba is far behind China.
There were only a few street hawkers. They generally were selling black market cigars, rum and promoting restaurants. I encountered nobody selling any drugs or prostitution, as is common in many Countries. I was told prostitution is active, but it is illegal and not publicly promoted.
There are two currencies in Cuba, one is the national currency (Moneda Nacional or CUP) and the tourist currency (CUC). Tourists trade their money only for CUC and U.S. dollars are hit with a 10% exchange fee in addition to the normal money change fee of 3%. Bring Mexican Pesos or Canadian Dollars, they only get charged the 3% fee. Money changing is a government service and the rate is the same at the airport, banks or hotels. Use of American credit cards is very limited and also subject to a financial penalty.
The official U. S. Government position for bringing products back from Cuba is a $400 limit with only $100 of cigars or liquor. My buddy is enjoying his $100 box of Cohibas.
I decided that if I was Cuban, I would be a diving guide. I would get to boat, dive and interface with people regularly. I would get a little extra money from tips and eat lobster for dinner.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Click Here to visit his web site.
What's That Smell?
For months on end your boat smells like the sweet rose of Summer, until one day a noxious green cloud of odor makes the seagulls pass out and strips the gelcoat off your neighbor's boat!
What's the problem? Here's a list of possibilities:
- The tank is over capacity and the contents have started to flow into the vent line
- The vent line or filter is clogged
- The vent filter has gotten wet and no longer functions
- The vent filter just needs to be replaced
- The vent line has been damaged or bent
- The boat has been sitting for a long time with waste in the tank (especially in hot weather). Keep the tank pumped out and treated if it's going to sit for a while.
- The waste hose is old and it has become permeated with odor
- Tank Implosion (Bet you never thought of this one!) Too much pump-out suction can be a bad thing, especially if your vent line is clogged
Smart Phone "App" Will Get You Home When Your Boat Won't
If your boat breaks down on the water or runs out of gas, calling for an on-the-water tow is easy, but the hard part often is being able to tell someone precisely where to find you.
To solve that problem, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers a free smart phone "App" that helps you call for a tow in a hurry, and also adds helpful location and tracking features just for boaters, sailors and anglers.
And you don't have to be a BoatUS or BoatUS Angler member to download the free App.
"The BoatUS App can greatly improve towboat response times due to the accuracy of the GPS latitude and longitude technology built into these high tech phones," said BoatUS Vice President of Towing Services, Jerry Cardarelli. "The moment you hit the App's "Call Now for a Tow" button, it automatically provides us with critical information before our crew even answers the phone."
Available for iPhones and Android phones, the App is available by going to www.BoatUS.com/app.