January 2018 - Marine eNewsletter
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From the Helm

Sunroad's Boat Show Outpaces the Competition
- By Gus Giobbi - BlueSkyNews
Ten years ago, the National Marine Merchants Association (NMMA) decided to skip a year of its long running San Diego winter boat show.

There were many reasons for that decision at the time. The NMMA show was split between two venues - the San Diego Convention Center, and the San Diego Marriott Marina. The trailerable boats and marine services exhibits were at the Convention Center and the bigger in-water boats and yachts were at the Marriott, a considerable stroll away.

Add in the economic downturn at the time; the fact that the Marriott was less than enthusiastic about disrupting their boating tenants once a year; and decreasing traffic through the on land exhibits at the Convention Center due to a preference for show visitors to just see the boats at the Marriott, the decision to reevaluate the show was understandable.

At that time, enter Jim Behun, who saw an opportunity. Previously with the NMMA Show, Jim became the new Marina Manager at the Sunroad Resort Marina on San Diego's Harbor Drive. He saw in Sunroad the ideal location for a boat show - a large marina; space for on-land exhibits immediately adjacent to the gangways to the boats; easy access through ample low cost parking and shuttle opportunities; on-site restaurants; and one of the best views of the San Diego skyline and the bay in town.

The rest, as they say, is history. Jim convinced the Sunroad Group to sponsor the show, and now in its ninth year, it is rated as the top Southern California Boat Show by many brokers and marine services companies.

Behun says the secret to the success of the show is its goal to be a "boat show for boaters and boat people". The show welcomes the general public that would like to know more about boats, but the real focus is to highlight vessels, products, and services for boat people.

In-water boats in this year's show range from 25' to 90'; most of the in-water boats are new; Jim is seeing an increase in interest this year in center console boats such as Sun Country and the Boston Whaler and Wellcraft from South Coast Yachts.

The San Diego Sunroad Boat Show runs from Thursday, January 25th through Sunday, January 28th. For tickets and complete information visit their website at

Christian Marine Surveyors

Mark's "Fish 'n Tips" - "Holy Cow!"
- By Captain Mark Moffat
For a fisherman It's always a thrill when it happens - and it happened again for me in December. I caught my new personal best. A 327 pound Yellowfin tuna, also known as a Supercow in long range fishing.

Once a year the day after Thanksgiving, I have the privilege of being the Charter Master for a 16 day trip aboard the Red Rooster III. We returned on December 10th.

Andy Cates was the captain, and we took out 22 passengers and 7 crew. We fished the Hurricane Bank and the lower banks of Cabo San Lucas. It was a great trip - among the catch were five Yellowfin tuna over 200 pounds and two over 300 pounds.

O.K., the Charter Master is not supposed to outshine the guests, but first place jackpot was my 327 pound Yellowfin tuna. (I'll take it anyway!). At 10:00 in the morning on day one of fishing, I put on a small Yellowfin tuna (about 10 pounds) and sent it out on a Shimano Tiagra 50W loaded with 130 pound Jerry Brown Line One Spectra, Izorline topshot and paired with a Calstar glass blank.

The bait went out and was picked up almost instantly. After about a minute of letting the giant Yellowfin run with the bait and swallowing it, I put the reel in gear allowing the line to come tight and set the hook, a 9/0 Mustad 7698.

The Spectra started peeling off the reel as the giant ran. Putting the reel in low gear I walked the fish up to the bow. After about a 45 minute battle and three gaffs later, the boarding gate opened to pull the fish on to the boat. It took four guys plus myself to get it on board.

The second place jackpot was another 300 pound Yellowfin tuna. It was caught on our last day and this was the last fish on the trip. An angler from Florida pinned on a Mackerel with an Owner 7/0 Super Mutu, Okuma Makaira 30 with 130 pound Vicious Fluorocarbon. He was fly lining and the fish was hooked around 6:00 PM and was on the deck by 8:00 PM. This was his personal best too and weighed 304 pounds.

Our third place jackpot went to a 284 pounder, and that was caught on a Caballito using an Owner 7/0 Super Mutu, Accurate ATD 30 and used 130 pound Vicious Fluorocarbon. The fish was caught on the balloon rig. A balloon rig is simply a 3 foot helium-filled balloon and attached about 20 feet from the hooked bait. It is another strategy that can be used in place of the kite. The angler puts the balloon in the desired location put the reel in gear halfway between freespool and strike, and then waits for a bite. The indicator on this is the balloon going down once the fish takes the bait. The reel does not need to be in freespool in this application.

The takeaway on the trip is the advantages of fishing big baits for big fish and Vicious Fluorocarbon. I had heard about Vicious Fluorocarbon several years ago and tried it; I could not be happier and satisfied with the results. I gave a spool of line away to each passenger and the feedback was very positive. As I said in the beginning, "holy cow!" - what a trip!

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.


Urgent U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert
- By Bob Simons
The Kidde Corporation has issued a recall of 134 different models of Kidde brand fire extinguishers manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, including models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015.

The extinguishers were sold nationwide online and at brick and mortar outlets in red, white and silver cylinder colors and are rated as either ABC or BC.

The hazards associated with the recalled fire extinguishers are that they can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency.

In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard.

All persons owning fire extinguishers are urged to read the Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert for additional information on the recall and how to obtain a free replacement.

All are also encouraged to check the fire extinguishers aboard your vessels, and in your vehicles and homes to determine whether they are subject to this recall.

Additional information is available on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

Bob Simons ImageBob Simons has been in the Coast Guard Auxiliary for over thirty years. 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

Gus Giobbi              Monica Giobbi
Happy New Year Mariners, welcome to 2018!

In this our first newsletter issue of the year we remind you to attend the San Diego Sunroad Boat Show - That new boat awaits your arrival!

In other articles, our famous fisherman Mark takes bragging rights on catching his new personal best; Kells and Captain "Rags" give us some reminders about navigation lights; Bob reminds us to check your fire extinguishers for possible recall; and Commodore Vince gives us something to do about the weather instead of just talking about it.

We hope you all are enjoying our fabulous Southern California winter boating weather, and we look forward to many more great boating days in 2018.

San Diego's Parade of Lights (and Lack Thereof)
- By Kells Christian
On one spectacular Southern California evening in December during sunset I was on my way to watch the San Diego Parade of lights on a motor vessel.

I always enjoy the view of the San Diego skyline as the sun goes down and the lights come up. The view from the Shelter Island and Harbor Island areas always makes me grateful for where I live.

The parade of lights is an interesting event, allowing boaters to show creativity and holiday spirit. The subject for this year's parade was "Arrrgh! - A Pirate's Christmas".

The bay was full of spectator boats and we took a lap around the bay after the last participant in the parade of lights passed us by. That's when the motivation for this article came to me

I saw dozens of boats with improper navigational lights displayed. Some were missing a light, some displayed their anchor lights along with their running lights, but several others had no lights on whatsoever.

I suppose it's a matter of numbers, a certain percentage of boaters will fail to illuminate their lights, but the percentage seemed extra ordinarily high that evening.

Many commercial vessels are now using LED lights which are illuminated whenever the vessel is operating, day or night. The electrical draw is negligible compared to the certainty of displaying the proper lights and additional safety. Remember - lights need to be displayed in times of limited visibility, sun down, fog, or smoke.

I thought about driving a car without lights. That environment reminds you not to do that because you can't see the road. Other cars also flash their lights as a reminder. But navigational lights are not head lights. And another boat blinking at you is unlikely to cause you to think about your own lights. I certainly have been guilty of forgetting to turn on my own lights.

So I wrote this short reminder to you and to me. When I see another boat with their lights on, I will check my lights, make sure they are properly functional and the proper lights are illuminated.

So if you're operating your vessel and you see any lights, on the shore, on a buoy or on other boats, check and make sure your lights are functional and illuminated. The moral of my story is therefore - "See the lights; Check the lights."

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.

Navigation Lights and Shapes - Do You Know the Requirements?
- By Captain H. R. "Rags" Laragione
In his article this month, Kells Christian observes that many spectator boaters at the San Diego Parade of Lights either displayed no navigation lights or displayed incorrect navigation lights.

The rules for required navigation lights at night depend on different factors such as the length of your boat; whether it is a power driven boat or sailboat; the function of the boat; or even a rowboat or jet-ski.

Power-driven vessels underway for example have to exhibit:

  • A masthead light forward;

  • A second masthead light abaft of and higher than the forward one if the vessel is more than 50 meters in length;

  • Sidelights; and

  • A stern light.

But what if you're at anchor or drifting? Fishing? Towing? etc.

f 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 Inalnd or International waterways, but they are all basically Regulations for Preventing Collisions.

Check it out - Visit the U.S. Coast Guard's "Navigation Rules of the Road" website and become familiar with the requirements for your particular boat.

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!"

Drill, Baby, Drill – Reading Weather Reports!
- By Commodore Vincent Pica
Clearly, the world is awash with sources that can tell you the weather. But how many of these provide you with all of the information that you could have used to your benefit – and an appreciation of the forecaster.

Well, you may be surprised to know that all of these sources likely get their weather data from the same source – the US' National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA is part of the Commerce Department, which says a lot about what government thinks effects business the most! If NOAA's website has any fault at all, it is how much information you can get from it!

But, as NOAA says, "NOAA's weather programs touch the lives of every American. Every day, decisions are made based on NOAA weather information – from the mundane "should I pack an umbrella today?" to the most critical and potentially life-saving. So, "more" is putting safety first. And that is where safety must be.

So - If all the services get their basic data from NOAA, why not just go there and get weather info? The real answer, going back to the intro of this column, is that you want to be able to drill down and not every weather service gives you that ability.

On any given day, you can get a weather report what tells you that the chance of rain is 80%, but if you are planning to do something like go fishing, you might wait for another day. But the 80% covers the whole day, i.e.., there is an 80% chance that it will rain sometime today... When?

NOAA gives you the answer. Simply drill down to the hour by hour forecast and get a graph like this. "Wow! Looks like I could go fishing any time before 2 with little chance of rain!" Drill-Baby-Drill!

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. I Like
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