From the Marina Office!
Greetings Mariners - Here is your March 2018 Marina eNewsletter.
In this month's issue, we remind young boaters (and their parents) that California's new Boating Card law has now gone into effect.
In other articles, Kells recommends taking a "trust but verify" approach with your engine hour meters because you may need it some day; next we relay some "good news" / "bad news" from the Port District; and a "stretch the imagination" sea story.
Then, for a good book to curl up with during those rainy spring days, we suggest Clive Cussler's new thriller, The Rising Sea".
Lastly, as we dream of the warm Summer boating days ahead, we profile a kayak that you'll have to "see" to believe.
All of us in the marina office wish you a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Adam Veves and the Marina Staff
California's Boater Card - Do You or Someone in Your Family Now Have to Have One?
A short reminder that it's started. As of January 1st, California's mandatory boating safety education law went into effect for persons 20 years older or younger.
So now if you are 20 or younger and operate any type of motorized vessel on California waterways (including powered sailboats/paddlecraft), you are required to pass an approved boating safety examination and carry a lifetime California Boater Card.
There are a few exceptions, but since there is a potential fine for the boater not complying (and his/her parents or guardian), we highly recommend visiting the California Boater Card official website to review the specific requirements if you are in this age group.
Starting January 1st 2019, the age requirement will apply to boaters 25 years old or younger, and will increase yearly after that until 2025 when everyone will have to have the card regardless of age.
Engine Hour Meters - How Much Do They Count?
- By Kells Christian
I feel the significance of the number of hours on a boat's engines are over emphasized by the majority of boat buyers.
My opinion doesn't change the fact that engine hours are considered important by many boat buyers. In fact I witnessed a boat deal fall apart recently due to a question about engine hours, and was the motivation for writing this article.
The potential buyer rejected the vessel with his primary concern being the reported versus the actual engine hours. The current owner had replaced the original tachometers, equipped with digital hour meters, when one failed. The hours on the original hour meters were reported at 850; the new hour meters registered 300. The owner had replaced both tachometers as he could not buy a matching new one.
When this condition was discovered, we explained our opinion regarding engine hours and hour meters.
The only certain information provided by an engine hour meter are the hours displayed on the meter; this is not necessarily the actual engine operating hours.
There is no legal requirement for engine hour meters on boats. They are not odometers on automobiles or Hobbs meters on planes, both of which are regulated. The only way to know that an hour meter is accurate is to have had a relationship with that meter from the beginning, logging hours and comparing those to the hour meter or otherwise monitoring its accuracy continuously through the life of the vessel. Computerized engines provide operating hours with greater dependability, but the electronic control modules (computers) can be changed, just like analog or digital hour meters.
We emphasize engine condition versus operating hours. Many engines with far more operating hours are in much better condition than lesser used engines which have been neglected. Dependability, actual service life remaining and performance are much more important than the number on the meter.
During the normal course of our marine surveys, we find a significant percentage of hour meters to be inoperative and most of the time the owners were unaware (or at least acted that way :>).
Still, the boat buying public cares about engine hours. As a boat owner, and eventually a boat seller, maintain the engine hour meters so the operating hours can be accurately recorded and provided to potential buyers.
As to how long engines last, that is a different subject, and is addressed in a prior article which you can Read Here.
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 email@example.com or Click Here to visit his web site.
Are You Someone Who Would "See Your Way Clear" to Buy One of These?
A number of companies are now producing "see through" canoes and kayaks that add a new thrill to the sport.
The cost for a tandem one of these fun new floaters and a pair of paddles will run you generally from $900.00 to $1,500.00 plus accessories.
What kind of accessories you say? Well, there are pillows for your back support, waterproof storage pouches for your iPhone etc.; a roof rack holder for your car or truck; a kayak trolley to transport it to the beach or dockside; for night time, a battery powered search light to see what's below; hanging straps to hang it on a wall or the side of your boat.
On the maintenance and safety side, there are flotation pouches; a hull clarity restoration kit; and you should have a micro-fiber cleaning and water bailing system.
Lastly, after spending all this, you'll certainly want to dole out a bit more for fancy logo branded life-vests.
There are more manufacturer's and sales outlets for these than you may think, so just Google for the best buy.
A Man and a Cat "Use Their Noodles" to Survive at Sea
A Polish man and his pet cat were recently rescued after they were allegedly lost at sea for seven months.
Zbigniew Reket, 54, told reporters that he was adrift in the Indian Ocean after eventually washing up on shore on the French Island Réunion on Christmas Day.
Reket claimed that he was trying to sail from the Comoros Islands to South Africa in a lifeboat that he built himself equipped with a rudder, an engine, and a mast back in May, reported the Times of Israel.
Reket claimed that his engine broke down and a storm destroyed his radio leaving him stranded at sea, with only a month's supply of noodles to survive on. The sailor also caught fish which he and his pet cat Samira ate for survival.
"We drifted towards the Somali coast, then towards the Maldives, and then Indonesia," said Recket, adding, "I sighted land several times but I never managed to steer towards it. I spotted several ships but the battery on my radio was dead".
Authorities are not sure if Reket's story is a fish story or just a noodle story, so it is impossible to verify his claims. Doctors said that he was undernourished but otherwise healthy.
Shelter Island Boat Launch Ramp Project Moving Along
The Port of San Diego is working frantically to try to complete the new Shelter Island boat launch ramp before the Summer months get here.
The old ramp was completely demolished as of the end of January, and they are now at the pile driving stage which they anticipate will be completed by the end of March.
During the excavation of the old ramp jetties, a lot of underground concrete and other pre-existing construction debris was discovered. This did lead to some delays, but workers are hoping to make up the time to be ready for the Summer boating season.
Click Here to see further announcements on the project.
Meter, Meter, On the Wall - Where are the Most Expensive Parking Spots of All?
Answer - Apparently anywhere in lands controlled by the Port District of San Diego. And it's getting more expensive by the day as the San Diego Tidelands redevelopment plan progresses.
In September, the Port quietly raised the rate to park at North Embarcadero, Ruocco Park and Tuna Harbor from $1.25 per hour to $1.75 per hour.
Parking meter enforcement hours also shifted to 10 a.m. through 8 p.m. every day, including Sundays. Previously, meters were enforced from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and were free on Sundays.
All this was probably predictable as developments like new hotels, tourist attractions, condos and new parks are putting new demands on San Diego's dwindling remote waterfront areas.
This month, things just got tougher at one of the last places on San Diego Bay where San Diego residents can moor a boat where parking has been free for decades and can have moorings at prices far less than they would pay at a marina.
The Port of San Diego is installing meters at 54 formerly free parking spots along Harbor Drive next to the Laurel Street Mooring, where about 150 people keep their boats.
Coming in March -The Rising Sea
If you own a boat, you don't know how lucky you are - that is if the plot in Clive Cussler's latest fictional novel, The Rising Sea, were to come true.
Everywhere, waters are rising and that is just the beginning of the world's peril, unless the NUMA crew can beat the clock in this thriller novel.
But don't think you have a whole lot of time to thing about it, because this alarming rise in the world's sea levels is not due to anything as mundane as global warming or glaciers melting - it's much more sinister.
In this novel, the NUMA scientific crew finds a diabolical plan to upset the Pacific balance of power at the bottom of the East China Sea and in the process displace as many as a billion people.
A rare alloy unlike anything else on earth, a pair of five-hundred-year-old Japanese talismans, an assassin so violent even the Yakuza has disowned him have hatched an audacious technological breakthrough that will become a very personal nightmare for Kurt Austin from the shark-filled waters of Asia to the high-tech streets of Tokyo to a forbidden secret island.
The Rising Sea is being released on March 13th.