December 2017 - Marina eNewsletter
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Blue Moon Yacht Services

Sun Harbor Marina
5000 N. Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92106



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From the Sun Harbor Marina
Seasons Greetings, and welcome to the December edition of the Sun Harbor Marina newsletter! In this month's issue, we have interesting articles about the California Boater Card, Dock Safety, Mastering the Pivot Turn, What you need to know about your DSC-VHF radio when buying or selling a boat, and Situational Awareness.

We also continue our series on sail care and maintenance; present some options for Captains whose licences are up for renewal; point out the potential hazards of leaving hatches open; a reminder of the importance of filing a Float Plan; a fun boating quiz; and Mark's latest "Fish 'n Tips".

Office Holiday Hours
Closed Dec. 25th for the holiday

Special Dates in December
December 3rd - Make a Gift Day
December 6th - St. Nicholas Day
December 7th - Pearl Harbor Day

December 10th & 17th - San Diego 46th Annual Parade of Lights
December 12th
- Hanukkah
December 15th - Ugly Sweater & Free Shipping Day – come up to the office for a photo Op

December 17th - Maple Syrup Day
December 25th - Christmas
December 30th - Bacon Day – because everything is good with Bacon.

Special Events
One last 2017 Marina Event - Coffee & Cookie Exchange
Join us on the Sun Harbor Marina Upper Deck, Sunday Dec. 17th at 5:00pm prior to the start of the Parade of Lights for our marina annual Coffee & Cookie Exchange. The Upped Deck offers a great viewing location for the Parade.

So bring your favorite holiday cookies and enjoy coffee/tea with us as we watch the 46th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, a time-honored holiday tradition brought to San Diego by the boating community. Please sign up in the office, and if you are participating in the parade this year, let us know so we can cheer you on!

2017 San Diego Parade of Lights
The 46th annual parade will take place the evenings of Sunday, December 10th and 17th. The 2017 parade is expected to once again feature up to 100 boats, cleverly decorated according to this year's theme, "Arrrgh! A Pirates Christmas". More than 150,000 San Diegans and visitors are expected to view the processions. Whether you plan to be a spectator or a participant it is a fun evening for all.

Operation Santa Paws
This holiday was organized by Justin Rudd in 2001, this holiday was originally put together in Long Beach, California to help support their local shelters and rescues. While anyone can choose to participate by donating new toys, treats, food or money to help keep these dedicated servants of the animal public going. Justin has spread his campaign far and wide, getting stores nationwide to participate in this humanitarian effort. If you would like to donate or read more about this event follow this link

November 15th,
a crew from HGTV came to film OEX Point Loma for its new show, "How Close Can I Beach", which will air in January. They contacted Eric Disque at OEX to film people enjoying SUP and kayak activities in San Diego. Congratulations, Eric!

October 28th - Annual Chili Cook-Off & Pumpkin Carving Contest
Our thanks to Mark Chrisman from the YMCA, and to the volunteer judges: Jennifer Muratore from Elegant Truffle, Gus & Monica Giobbi from BlueSkyNews Publishing, Eddie Liehr and Gary Holstein from Cameo Paper, Scott Mielke.

1st place chili winner: Brian and Chelsea Ortiz. Peoples' Choice chili winner: Todd Conant. Pumpkin carving winner: Bill Reany.
Great job, everyone!

Clean Marina Minute - Storm Water Awareness
What is storm water pollution? Storm drains are intended to take rainwater straight to the ocean to avoid area flooding. Rainwater or even runoff from sprinklers or hoses carries contaminants such as litter, animal waste, automobile fluids, fertilizers and pesticides into the storm drains and pollutes the County's neighborhoods and waters, creating health risks for children, killing marine life and contributing to localized flooding and beach closures.

Facts about storm water pollution.
The impervious surface of a city block can generate five times more runoff than a wooded area of the same size.

Annually, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredges 83 million cubic yards of sediment linked to pollution sources at a cost of $180 million. Save your tax dollars!

In 2008, the Gulf of Mexico dead zone was estimated to be the same size as New Jersey.

More than one-third of the threatened and endangered species in the US live only in wetlands (one of the most highly impacted areas of poor storm water management).

Ten ways to do your part by reducing storm water runoff.
Read More

California Boater Card
The California Boater Card will show that its holder has successfully taken and passed a NASBLA state-approved boater safety education examination. The new requirement will begin on Jan. 1, 2018 for all persons 20 years of age and younger who operate any motorized vessel on state waterways, including powered sailboats and paddlecraft. On that date, these boaters will be required to carry a boater card issued by DBW.

From here down set up a read more for details. Each year after January 2018, a new age group will be added to those who are required to possess a valid card. By 2025, all persons who operate on California waters will be required to have one. Once issued, the card remains valid for a boat operator's lifetime. California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 678.11(b) contains the following phase-in schedule based on operator age:
Read More

Dock Safety
Watch your and your guests safety. Here is a true event that occurred with lucky ending.

The end of November at 3:15am in San Diego was cold, windy and with a slight drizzle. Water temperature was a chilly 55 degrees.

Nancy had decided to make a head call. She exited the boat and descended the dock stairs but missed the last step. Stumbling, she fell headlong onto the dock finger and into the water on the other side. Fortunately she did not hit her head and therefore was fully conscious when she went into the water.

The captain of the vessel, a light sleeper, heard Nancy get off the boat, fall and then her cries for help. He immediately shook his wife, a heavy sleeper, awake, put on his jeans and raced to the dock. On the way he pounded the bulkhead where Nancy's husband, also a heavy sleeper, was sleeping, yelling "Nancy is in the water."
Read More

Mastering the Pivot Turn
Making a pivot turn with a single engine is easy and will get you out of tight spaces by turning your boat around in place.

You've just cruised into a marina and turned down a fairway when you realize it's the wrong one. Space is tight, and the bulkhead is looming in front of you. What do you do? A pivot turn will help get you out of the situation easily. You can read the full article in BoatUS Magazine

What You Need to Know About Your DCS-VHF Radio When Buying or Selling a Boat
If a boater has an emergency on the water, there's no better way than to call for help than with a Digital Selective Calling (DSC) VHF radio which can give rescuers critical GPS location information. But that doesn't mean these technologies come without a few quirks, especially when buying or selling a boat with DSC-VHF radios aboard. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has some practical advice to ensure that when you do need help, it arrives as quickly as possible.

The MMSI issue: DSC-VHF radio-equipped vessels must be registered and issued a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number that is then entered into the radio. Unlike a phone number that stays with you when you move across town, a boat's MMSI always stays with the boat, so any subsequent owner must update the MMSI number with his or her new contact information. To make this easier, print a copy of your MMSI certificate, write down your registration login name and password and keep it in a safe place. This will make managing your boat's MMSI easier if any registration details change or when it is sold to a new owner.

Situational Awareness
Advancements in technology have forever changed the way we boat from automation at our helms to boating apps in our smartphones and tablets. Recent studies, however, are finding that instead of increasing our safety and enjoyment, these technologies are negatively impacting our time on the water in myriad ways, and subtly affecting our behavior at the helm.

A study at Cornell University found people navigating by GPS become more immersed in the virtual-technological environment than the physical environment around them. There are numerous instances of boaters running aground while following a route in the GPS, and people driving their cars right off the ferry terminal pier while following the directions in the auto's GPS.

When faithfully following a device's directions, we tend to fall into tunnel vision, losing our awareness of what is happening around us. Technology has become so good at communicating with us, it is lulling us into a belief that we don't have to pay close attention to our surroundings. As a result, we're losing, or giving up, what is referred to as situational awareness.

Situational awareness, a familiar term to professional captains and crew, is defined as having a keen sense of the events and conditions around us, and the ability to apply our awareness of those events to our situation. Simply put, it's knowing what is going on around you.
Read More     
Perception is Reality or is This a Funny Superstition?
Sailor's lore: Egg shells had to be broken into tiny pieces after an egg was cracked open, to stop witches coming aboard the ship to sail in the pieces of shell. As a young sailor myself, I remember breakfast at sea aboard a Navy ship meant ancient boxes of powdered egg, mixed up into a mash they insisted was an omelet. Of course the crew grumbled, so the clever mess cooks broke up a few fresh eggs, making sure the shells went into the mix. Sailors believed the eggs must be fresh and the grumbling stopped. Perception is reality.

What the World Needs Now
- By Laura Brownwood
There is SO much good going on in the world today. Really . . . REALLY . . . but if you are just watching/listening to the regular news stations, be it TV, print or online stories, crime and other violent acts get more attention. Editors typically give them more prominent play than other more benign stories, or even upbeat positive ones.

Guess what? There are actually positive new sites that are filled with stories of ALL the good that's happening in your neighborhood and around the world. Every morning I get an email from "GoodNewsNetwork". Everyday it has stories that touch my heart and even bring tears of joy. In doing some research for this article I found there are many others!! Oh happy day!! If you "Google Positive News Online" you will find 15+ sites dedicated to the good in the world. One of them that comes up is "Happy News." It's a team of, citizen journalists, who report on positive, but compelling, stories from around the world. Part of their credo: "We believe virtue, goodwill and heroism are hot news. That's why we bring you up-to-the-minute news, geared to lift spirits and inspire lives."

The choice is yours, would you rather tune into news that constantly is dramatizing things that happen that are sad and troubling, OR check in to really good feeling stories?
Read More    

That's all from us. We hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Your Sun Harbor Marina Staff

The Perils of Open Hatches
- By Kells Christian
People often get hurt around hatches but most of the time it's avoidable. There are many hatch topics worth reviewing, water and weather tightness, ventilation vs. safety, fire escape, material, installation and design but this article is about avoiding injuries.

Don't leave a hatch open and then leave the area. Whether on the exterior deck or interior sole, an open hatch is a hazard.

Falling through an open hatch often leads to serious injuries. Professional mariners often utilize a hatch watch to prevent falls; recreational mariners don't.

A false sense of security is part of the problem, nobody else is aboard or in this area and the open hatch is easy to see, what are the chances?

Shut the hatch, open it when you return, it's safer and you get a bit of exercise. I once handled an insurance claim where a crew member, carrying a tray of drinks, didn't see the open hatch and walked right in. Funny on a cartoon, not so funny for her.

I almost fell through a hatch I thought was closed while inspecting a Sea Ray that had been deposited in a large bush by a hurricane. The foredeck hatch had a canvas cover, but only a canvas cover, no lens. I stepped on the cover, my foot went through the hatch and I luckily recovered, a near miss. (Pro tip - don't go on boats in bushes and if you do, don't assume anything will support you.

Hatches can also fall! I advocate for means to secure hinged hatches and not propping up loose hatches where they can fall and do damage, i.e. don't lift the engine hatch and set it on edge beside the open hole. Latches, lines, bungee cords and struts are easy to obtain, design and install and inexpensive (especially compared to an emergency room visit). Boats rock, what you thought was a safely raised hatch is now a guillotine. Lay loose hatches flat where they can't slide or fall.

I once failed to secure a hinged hatch, it was small and I figured it couldn't hurt me. A wave came, the hatch fell and hit the back of my head. It didn't hurt the back of my head, but I flinched forward, hit the edge of the locker, and was off to urgent care to stitch the "boxers cut" above my eye. I try to always secure hatches, tying them up, putting my tool bag against it, using a boat hook, or asking for someone to hold it, but of course it is easier and more secure if there is already a device on the hatch to use.

Boating has inherent dangers and a boat owner's exposure to personal injury suits arises from negligence, failure to act with reasonable care. Let this article be a reminder of what you already know, maybe inspire a new, safer way to do things and a motivator to check those hatches.

Kells Christian has been an accredited Marine Surveyor since 1990. His expertise extends to both recreational and commercial vessels. You can e-mail your marine surveyor questions to or Click Here to visit his web site.

Mark's "Fish n' Tips" - Fishing Line
- By Captain Mark Moffat
There are a myriad of types of fishing lines to choose from. It's important to choose the right type of line, and line combinations, for the type of fishing you're doing.

The three most common types are monofilament, fluorocarbon, and Spectra.

Monofilament is most commonly used in near coastal waters. A major difference is that monofilament stretches whereas Spectra and fluorocarbon have minimal to no stretch.

Under pressure when pulling on a fish, anglers feel that having some monofilament in the line is beneficial to reduce hook pulling. As the boat goes up on a swell there is less jerking on the hook because the stretch of the monofilament.

It is always important to keep fresh monofilament on the reel. After use of the line, monofilament that has caught multiple fish will lose this stretch characteristic and eventually will break. I have seen situations where monofilament will break just by setting a hook when getting a bite, so it is very important to keep fresh line on your reel.

Another factor to think about is that when an angler is Calico Bass fishing and gets the line caught in the kelp, it is difficult to get the hook free at times due to the stretch of the line. Eventually, after multiple times getting caught in the kelp, the stretch ability of the monofilament goes away, and the angler hooks a fish and the fish breaks off. Monofilament also reflects light which could affect fishing.

Fluorocarbon is used as a leader material for abrasion resistance and also to reduce visibility. Anglers can tie on a piece of fluorocarbon to their monofilament or Spectra and then connect their hook to that.

Fluorocarbon reduces the chance for fish to chew through the line. It is especially useful in the long range application when the fish become much larger.

Spectra looks like rope and becomes more commonly seen for longer trips, say 5-plus day range. In the old days, anglers would fish giant Penn reels because they needed the line capacity before Spectra was around. Once Spectra was introduced it became a game changer in the industry. The reels were reduced on size and Spectra was added.

Spectra has a much smaller diameter over monofilament when looking at pound test for pound test. Spectra can be on a reel for years before having to replace it as long as it is properly maintained. Spectra cuts through the water and is much more sensitive.

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 Mark's annual trip.


Two Sailboats Approaching in Sight of Each Other? Better Know Rule 12!
If you operate a boat, you are subject to comply with the U.S. Coast Guard's "Navigation Rules of the Road".

There are a total of 38 rules in total, and they are applied differently in many cases depending on whether you are in Inland or International waterways, but they are all basically Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

In this month's issue, we review Rule #12 - Which is for "Conduct of Sailing Vessels in Sight of One Another", and is one of those "Steering and Sailing" rules which is the same for both Inland and International waterways.

The rule applies to two sailboats approaching that are in sight of each other.

Here is the wording of Rule 12:
(a) When two sailing vessels are approaching one another, so as to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way of the other as follows:

(i) when each has the wind on a different side, the vessel which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the other;

(ii) when both have the wind on the same side, the vessel which is to windward shall keep out of the way of the vessel which is to leeward; and

(iii) if a vessel with the wind on the port side sees a vessel to windward and cannot determine with certainty whether the other vessel has the wind on the port or on the starboard side, she shall keep out of the way of the other.

(b) For the purpose of this Rule the windward side shall be deemed to be the side opposite to that on which the mainsail is carried or, in the case of a square-rigged vessel, the side opposite to that on which the largest fore-and-aft sail is carried."

Editor's Note: Information published here regarding the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules is provided in the interest of encouraging better boater education and is not endorsed by the U.S. Coast Guard - For the official source please visit the U.S. Coast Guard's "Navigation Rules of the Road".

How to Measure for New Sails
- By Brad Poulos
When it's time to order new sails, using your old sails' measurements is of little use. Think of that approach as similar to asking a tailor to make you a new suit just from looking at an old suit. Even if your boat is a "standard production boat", builders and/or owners may have modified the rig, making database information doubtful.

It's only by on-site measurement can you obtain reliable measurements. The following rig dimensions designated by "I", "J" "P", and "E" are needed to produce an accurate price quote and sail construction. They are convenient names to use because they are short and are understood throughout the sailmaking industry

"P" is the luff length of the main-sail, measured along the aft face of the mast from the top of the boom to the highest point that the mainsail can be hoisted.

"E" is the foot length of the main-sail, measured along the boom from the after face of the mast to the outermost point on the boom to which the main can be pulled.

"I" is measured along the front of mast from the highest halyard to the main deck. The main deck is where the deck would be if there were no deckhouse.

"J" is the base of the foretriangle measured along the deck from the headstay to the mast.

"JC" is the greater of the following three dimensions: "J", the length of the spinnaker pole, or the maxi-mum width of the spinnaker divided by 1.8. Under most measurement rules, "JC" is used, along with "I", to determine the size of a spinnaker.

"PY" and "EY" are, respectively the luff length and foot length of the mizzen of a yawl or ketch measured in the same manner as for the mainsail.

"IY" is the "I" measurement for the staysail halyard.

"JY" is the base of the staysail foretriangle measured along the deck from the staysail stay to the mast.

If your boat is near your sailmaker, they will want to do the measurements themselves. If you're in a remote area, most sailmakers can send you a measurement form and work with you to fill it out. When you see this form, you will quickly appreciate how "customized" every sail actually is.

Christian Marine Surveyors

Float Plans - Nothing But Upside
- By Commodore Vincent Pica
As we often pine to be afloat with a deck beneath our feet, we might feel compelled to venture out with proper planning. If so, the Float Plan, oft spoken of and more often ignored, can be key for you and those closest to you. That's what this column is about.

Float Plan: The Float Plan is nominally known as a mechanism for ensuring that missing vessels are indeed missed in time for action to be taken that might otherwise lead to the rescue of the crew rather than the recovery of their bodies. "Boat-A is supposed to be at Payne's Marina in the Great Salt Pond on Block Island at this time and date. Is it there?" If you need a printable Float Plan template, you can download one from the U.S. Coast Guard's website.

So, in a nutshell, float plans are all about SOLAS - Safety Of Life At Sea. However, as the title infers, the development of a float plan delivers nothing but upside to the boat's master and thus to the crew who are fully the master's responsibility.

Charting: The ideal float plan involves the detailed analysis of getting to your destination and returning safely. The float plan provides the opportunity for the skipper to sit with his or her charts, in the calm of a kitchen, den or study, and literally walk through the passage with parallel rulers and dividers.

What is the goal of such detailed analysis? The net effect is to create your own Pilot Guide for the entire passage and to be able to assign predicted times to each leg. Deviation from predicted times is an early warning to the skipper that something is up – working against (or with!) a current, cross winds creating additional work effort for the engines to hold course, etc. All of this translates into fuel consumption "deltas" which ultimately leads directly to SOLAS issues – Safety Of Life At Sea ...

If you have made an error in the development of your pilot guide, the rest of the guide is likely to be suspect and you'll have to do what every skipper has done for centuries untold –- improvise carefully! If the chart is generally consistent but winds and tides have done the inevitable, then the overall pilot guide is likely to still have integrity but, once again, you'll have to do what every skipper has done for centuries untold – improvise carefully...

Weather: With respect to predicting the weather, I use the - and the reason I do is because I can get weather prediction by the hour. If the chance of precipitation for a particular day is 50%, but it is 10% in the morning and 90% in the afternoon, I want to know that. Put in your zip code or city name and click go ... Click on "More Details" and see how the hourly details add to the weather analysis...

Tides: Nothing is more likely to surprise you and more potentially perilous to happen than running aground, –and understanding the tide is all about that. There are several good services to use but there is something very subtle about tide analysis that no chart gives you. Tides change at different rates at different places (watch for a column here soon where we'll talk Time and Tides.)

Knowing the tides at an inlet while spending the next 6 hours transiting from cove to bay "on the inside" could require major mental gymnastics in order to keep pace with the pace of the tide as it works its way through that inlet and across the bays and into the coves ...

Why do that if the internet can do it for you? See Local Notice to Mariners:
As of April 1, 2004, the United States Coast Guard stopped mailing the Local Notice to Mariners. Instead, it is accessible on the Internet, and they will even email you a link to the updates each week as they "go to press."

The electronic versions of LNM appear on the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center's website. Why go out upon the briny deep with less information than there is available to you? What's the upside in that? Go on their web site, click around until you find the area for you to put your email address in –and from then on get, direct from the United States Coast Guard forevermore, the latest they know about what is happening "out there" ... For free!

Battening Down the Hatches:
So, in summary, a complete float plan left with someone responsible and capable of checking on you over the course of your passageway encompasses all of these components... And a prayer!

Dear Lord,
Your Sea is so wide,
And my boat is so small,
Protect me.

Commodore Pica is District Directorate Chief; Strategy & Innovation; First Coast Guard District, Southern Region USCGAux. He is also a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Master Captain.


Time to Renew Your Captain's License But Don't Have the Sea Time?
- By Captain H. G. "Rags" Laragione
The U.S. Coast Guard requires that you must renew your Captain's License every five years.

But what if it's time to renew your USCG license, and you don't have the required 360 days of sea service to renew. (Has it been five years already??)

What do I do then? Well, if you have an OUPV or Masters license that is less than 200 gross tons, there are two easy options to renew your license - without sea time!

The best way is (I wouldn't be a good salesman if I didn't say this) is to take a one day U.S.C.G. approved renewal class with our Maritime Institute. The course curriculum topics include reviews of the Rules of the Road, Navigation techniques, Firefighting Techniques, Conducting Drills and Handling Emergencies.

Successfully completing this class will earn you a certificate that you submit to the USCG, with appropriate documentation, (renewal checklist is available at Maritime Institute or on the National Maritime Center NMC) website,

The second way is to request an open book exam with your application. NMC will provide you with an open book exam that you complete and return to NMC.

Either method, when completed properly, will result in your license being renewed for another five years. Give us a call if you have any questions about this or if you'd like to register to attend.

Either way, don't let your valuable USCG license expire for lack of sea time!

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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