Shelter Cove Marina - October 2009 Newsletter
September 2014 - Marine eNewsletter
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Shelter Cove Marina
2240 Shelter Island Dr.
San Diego, Ca. 92106



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From the Marina Office!
August brought a flurry of new tenants to the marina, bringing our vacancy rate to under 4%... We expect to be at full capacity for the Labor Day weekend, and possibly through the end of October with pre- Baja Ha Ha (October 26th - November 8th) boaters. Our tenants are enjoying the newly renovated BBQ/picnic area at the marina, and we expect it will get a lot of use over the holiday weekend!

We are having a challenge with several large sea lions on D dock, despite the tips provided in last month's article, Paintballs and Pinnipeds - Legal Deterrence Methods for the Terrorists of the Sea. Those willful bulls seem determined to try our patience and persistence. Does anyone know where we can purchase some fake "Jaws" mouths??? We'll try anything (legal) at this point.

Although the weather remains typically (and at times, unbearably) hot for this time of year, kids are back in school, the tourist crowds are diminishing and a general feeling of calmness is settling over the island. Boat, Bed and Breakfast continues to flourish and our flagship, Slipaway, continues to receive weekly bookings even as we ease into Fall. Life is good at Shelter Cove!

Enjoy your last holiday weekend of the summer, but please don't drink and drive - boats or land vehicles!

Stay safe,
The Staff at Shelter Cove Marina

A Quiz About Fog - Do You Know What To Do If You Get Caught In It?
-- By Bob Sherman
If you get caught in heavy fog, do you know what signals to use, and how often?

Test your knowledge of the USCG "Navigation Rules" with this short quiz. Answers are below. (Note: A short blast of the horn is about 1 second - A prolonged blast is 4-6 seconds).

Question #1: You are underway, (under power if a sailboat) and the fog closes in. You slow down so that you can stop within half the range of your visibility, or slower.

You immediately start fog signals, either manually with your horn, or with an automatic loudhailer. You post a bow & radar watch with qualified crew, and turn on your navigation lights. You double check your radar and GPS settings. What horn signal do you give every TWO minutes?

a. 1 short
b. 1 prolonged
c. 2 short
d. 2 prolonged

Question #2: You detect another vessel's fog signal forward of your beam, but you cannot see it or spot it on your radar. You should:

a. Maintain course and speed
b. Slowly circle around
c. Slow to bare steerageway
d. Stop, look and listen
e. Either C or D

Question #3: A mile from the harbor entrance, the fog becomes so thick that you can barely see past the bow. You shift to neutral, but hold your position. Now what signal do you give every TWO minutes?

a. 1 short
b. 1 prolonged
c. 2 short
d. 2 prolonged

Question #4: You hear "prolonged-short-short" off in the distance. What type of vessel could this be?

a. Sailboat underway
b. Vessel with restricted maneuverability
c. Vessel towing another
d. Vessel engaged in fishing
e. All of the above

Question #5: You decide to anchor until conditions improve. The signal you give is:

a. Prolonged-short-short
b. Short-prolonged-short
c. Rapid ringing of bell for 5 seconds
d. Three strokes of the bell
e. Either B or C.

ANSWERS: 1: b / 2: e / 3: d / 4: e / 5: e

Note: It's a good idea to practice a slow harbor approach using your radar and GPS in clear daylight conditions before you find yourself having to do it in reduced visibility. Warning: This is tricky with boat traffic - you need qualified crew to keep watch and you must obey all right-of-way rules during your simulation!

Make sure you know how to 'tune" your radar, and bear in mind that small vessels may not show up except at very short range, but lives are still at stake.

Editor's Note: While we believe the information in this short quiz is accurate, you should have a copy of the USCG Navigation Rules on board your vessel at all times, and refer to it for all current official rules.

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

Tommy J's Favorites - Awlgrip Awlwood MA Varnish
- By Tom Jarvis
Awlgrip has recently released a new product for finishing wood that is formulated to be used for exterior or interior bright work.

Awlwood MA is made up of a Primer and Clear Finish, which is available in stain or gloss finish. The Primer is designed to go onto bare wood providing deep penetration of the wood grain for a strong chemical link with the finish coat.

The system has an outstanding depth of image appearance and retains that appearance for months just like when you put on the first coat of finish. The products can be sprayed, rolled and tip, and brushed onto the substrate.

This product was designed to be high building, with multiple coats of application in one day, applicable over a variety of temperatures; it remains flexible and abrasion resistant. This system can go over existing varnish that has been cured for a couple of months or more.

If the previous varnish is too fresh the Finish Coat of Awlwood will act more like a paint stripper. You do not want to use the Primer Coat over existing varnish. The existing varnish system should not be more than two years old, (if it is, remove the existing varnish system, sand and prep for the Primer Coat and Finish Coat), sand it with 180 to 240 grit sandpaper and wipe clean with MA reducers. Be sure not to break through the existing varnish system.

The recommended coats of the Awlgrip Awlwood System for fresh wood is one coat of Primer and eight coats of Finish. Going over an existing system of varnish that is in good condition, apply four coats of Finish and zero coats of Primer. If the substrate has patches of worn out varnish it is better to take it all back down to bare wood rather than trying to repair a spot with the Awlwood System.

Awlgrip is part of the AkzoNobel Company as is Interlux. You can find out more about the Awlgrip Awlwood MA System by going to their website and you can learn more about the Interlux line of products by going to .

Stay "cool" out there and have a great September!

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.

When Does a Week Last for a Month and a Half?
When it's San Diego's Fleet Week - That's when!

San Diego's annual tribute to the men and women of the military starts with the Military Family Tailgate Party at the San Diego State University vs. Northern Arizona game at Qualcomm Stadium on August 30th, and culminates with the Fleet Week "Big Bay Bash" on the Broadway Pier on October 18th.

Here are some of the Fleet Week main events:

Miramar Air Show - October 3 - 5: The grand-daddy of Fleet Week events is of course the Miramar Air Show. Free to the public, the show was grounded by the federal shutdown last year, but it is back for 2014.

The Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration will be the centerpiece of the show which features military and civilian performers and aircraft displays from around the world.

Three jet teams are also slated to perform: the Navy Blue Angels; The Canadian Air Force Snowbirds; and civilian aviators with the Patriots Jet Team.

The Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival - September 20 - 24: is Fleet Week San Diego's
marquee event. The event features fast-paced, thrilling auto racing and exhibitions for car enthusiasts of all ages at one of the most distinctive race track locations — Naval Air Station North Island.

Fleet Week "Big Bay Bash'" Festival - October 18th: New this year, the "Fleet Week Big Bay Bash," has been added this year as the final splash of Fleet Week.

The event will include live music, food, a beer garden, admission to the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, military static displays, and a family fun zone featuring a rock climbing wall, rides and photo booth -- will take place October 18th at the Broadway Pier.

There are many other events that make up San Diego's exciting Fleet Week - For the complete schedule of all of Fleet Week's events, Click Here.

A Good Reason for a Survey
-- By Kells Christian
A lot of the jobs a surveyor does are to satisfy requirements placed on boat owners. It might be the need for an insurance policy, for a loan, a divorce settlement, a slip, etc.

This story springs from a marina's request for a survey of a boat seeking a slip.

The boat was a 40-year old 26' fiberglass sailboat, and transfer of ownership triggered the marina's requirement for a marine survey.

During the survey, we discovered a badly corroded through hull and valve assembly and brought it to the attention of the owner. She asked if this would cause the boat to fail the survey (marine surveyor's generally don't give pass / fail grades). We responded that it was the marina who would decide whether the boat passed, but we would suggest determining the condition of the through hull and replacing it if necessary.

The intelligent, savvy owner asked how its condition should be determined. "Start by cleaning it" I responded.

Shortly thereafter the discussion led to the methods for cleaning and possible outcomes. I gave her advice based on my experience, which she later described as a premonition.

"Be careful with your cleaning - you may create a problem". She said she had emergency dowel plugs to which I responded, "sometimes the holes are smaller than the dowels".

Within minutes a small leak turned into a trickle as the valve stem fitting detached from the valve. While a friend of hers whittled a wooden dowel plug down to the size of a small hole, we tried numerous other implements to stop the leak. A pencil, a chopstick, a rubber glove wrapped around a pen, another pen, and finally the pointy end of a tube of caulk did the trick.

I left the boat with the client on watch and the friend dispatched to find a suitably sized cap for the now open threaded hole.

The through hull was relatively difficult to inspect and access, but once inspected, the poor condition was obvious. It certainly did not take a marine surveyor to find the deficiency, but in this case a marina's request for a survey may have averted a minor catastrophe. The vessel had no bilge pump and the owner's choice of cleaning implements was a paper towel, the fitting had not been far from failure.

Many times marine surveyors find expired flares and aged extinguishers though sometimes they find something important. It doesn't take a marine surveyor to find obvious problems like this one, but it does take a decision to look. How long since you have taken a look?

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.

Would You Know What To Do If You Found Yourself "Suddenly in Command"?
- By Bob Simons
Being on the water is a wonderful experience, but on rare occasions, things can suddenly go very wrong.

When they do, all too often a passenger or spouse who does not know how to start the engine or operate the radio watches in horror as a strong wind blows the boat away faster than a captain who has fallen overboard can swim.

A skipper can also sometimes become disabled from a fall or other medical condition.

If you are a frequent guest aboard, and you fall into that category, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary has prepared a free class (well, $10.00; almost free) you should consider attending.

The 4-hour boating safety primer is designed for those not generally at the helm, and will help you to "be prepared" with the basics in case of an emergency.

You will learn about the vessel, including nomenclature and operating principles including starting the engine. Also included are descriptions of what causes boating mishaps and how to minimize them; basic boat handling; and what equipment should be on board.

"Suddenly in Command" will be presented on Sept. 6, 2014, at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island. Click Here for details and to RSVP and for other locations where you can take the class.

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-owner of Seabreeze Books and Charts .

Christian Marine Surveyors

Taking the Grandchildren Out for a Cruise
- By Richard Benscoter
Chloe is our oldest grandchild, and soon to reach age 10, so almost reaching double digits and being able to swim like a fish means she is old enough to go to Catalina with us — her grandparents — without parents.

But we know it's also nice to have someone close in age to share these new experiences, so Tyler, her brother (age 8) joined us on a week long boat adventure to Catalina.

Having a sister and brother who are very close , traveling together proved a charm for warding off any homesickness. Chloe has always been independent and adventurous, so no worries there. As for Tyler, we were concerned but he also was no problem. Both were way too busy loving their new adventure to become homesick.

The idea of taking the grandchildren to Catalina on the boat sounds so simple, right? It's the perfect no-brainer vacation: Once you get everybody settled on the boat you're home free. No hassles.

True - But we also learned that there's no substitute for well thought-out preparation. For what we hope was our first of many "grandchildren to Catalina" tradition took months of long-distance planning, researching, and coordinating.

First we were concerned about motion sickness, so we planned our trip from San Diego to Oceanside, and then to Catalina with the condition if anyone got sick we would turn around. No one got sick and the break off the boat in Oceanside was great to burn off part of the never ending energy. So here's some of what we learned:

Get the kids involved: We started with the meal planning of what and where we were going to eat. Then off to the grocery store to provision up. Then back home to cook up , marinate, and prepare what we were going to eat for the week. The amount of food they can consume is amazing!

Bring along a buddy: Invite a sibling — as we did — or a friend.

Establish the ground rules immediately: As grandparents in charge, we were very cautious. Especially while underway. Life jackets on deck a must. A "one hand for yourself" rule when you move, use the handholds.

Be attentive: It was important that the grandkids experience a good cross section of Catalina's natural wonders. Of the excursions we planned, none were disappointing: from miniature golf to a golf car trip around the town to feeding the garibaldi in lovers cove it all was an adventure.

Have a notarized letter and medical cards authorizing you as there guardian to make decisions for any emergency: Hospitals require it.

Structured vs. Unstructured: Chloe and Tyler were inseparable, and we had to make them go ashore daily or they would have been in the water all day and into the night. We planned the daily ashore activities the night before with the grandkids so they knew what the day entailed. Be spontaneous if there is something that catches their interest go with it.

Chloe's and Tyler's Tips for Grandkids:
Pack warm clothes: - Even if the forecast for Catalina is nice.

Bring along some quiet-time projects: Games, journal, kindle, and of course PS2. There's so much going on all the time, it's nice to chill out every once in a while.

Order something different off the menu: When you go out to eat try crab legs. They rock!

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 I Like
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