||From the Marina Office!
Greetings Mariners - Welcome to your June 2018 marina newsletter. The first day of summer and the summer solstice happens on June 21st, so in this issue we profile some outrageous boating toys that will be sure to impress your friends and slip neighbors. We match that with letting you know about some great Summer events happening in June that you may want to participate in.
In other articles, we have an updated view of the Southern California yacht brokerage market and San Diego's Maritime Museum plus some safety recommendations having to do with engine switches and medical aids to have on board. Lastly, we bring the latest boat buying scam to your attention that you may not have heard about.
Happy Boating! We hope you have a great boating Summer!
Adam Veves and the Marina Staff
Southern California Yacht Brokerage Update
- By Bob Sherman
Back in March of 2015, I wrote that Yacht Brokers in Southern California were "experiencing the greatest shortage of listing inventory that I have seen in my many years as a Broker". This trend is even more apparent today.
Historically, boats have always been a depreciating asset, just like a car. The value gets a little lower every year. But with relatively few listings for sale, some boats are holding their values quite well from year to year. It's not uncommon to see certain models selling for more this year than a year or two ago. Often boats are selling fairly close to full price, and occasionally... depending upon the situation... even full asking price. Why is this happening?
The simple answer is supply and demand. The economy is strong, and listing inventory is at an all-time low. The low listing inventory is the result of a few factors.
The cost of new yachts has shot up dramatically in recent years, so more people are holding onto their boats. The new designs are dazzling, but the jump in price is huge.
Late-model brokerage boats (1 to 5 years old) typically offer a huge savings. They are in great demand and sell quickly.
There is an even greater shortage in the 5-to-10 year old range. The "Great Recession" may have ended 5 years ago, but it is still affecting the boat market today! Consider that hardly any new boats were built from 2008 to 2012. So predictably, there are very few 5 to 10 year-old boats in circulation today. With a shortage of 10 year old boats, those buyers are snatching up whatever they can... pulling up values for older models, 2000 or newer.
As Brokers, this makes our jobs more challenging. Potential buyers who heard of people "getting a deal" on a boat years ago, will find it sobering that it has not been a "buyer's market" for several years! Nice clean listings are not on the market for long, and will sell for a fair price. We regularly see multiple-offer situations! Depending upon the model, current sales prices may be at or above last year's comps. A Broker might determine the perfect boat for a particular client, but there are none for sale locally. Or perhaps the closest one is in another state.
So what does this mean to potential sellers? If you have been waiting for the right time to put your boat on the market, perhaps it's time to contact your favorite Yacht Broker! He or she can show you the comps, and help you determine what to expect in the current market. You really couldn't pick a better time to do it. There may be people out there looking for a boat, just like yours... and are willing to give you a fair price.
If you are a buyer, don't despair. An ethical Broker will show you the comps and help you make an educated decision as to what is a fair market price for a particular boat. If you have your heart set on holding out for that "deal", it's possible that your Broker might find you one somewhere... if you are willing to travel. Coordinating the transport of the yacht is part of the service that we Brokers provide as part of our services... at no additional cost to the buyer. The transport cost will need to pencil out in order for the deal to make sense.
Editor's Note: Bob Sherman has over 28 years of Yacht sales experience and is the owner of YachtSource. 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 bobsherman@BlueSkyNews.com
Engine Neutral Safety Switches - Do Your Engines Have Them?
- By Kells Christian
The basic idea of a neutral safety switch is to prevent starting a boat's engine when its transmission is "in gear". This prevents the boat from moving suddenly and unexpectedly when an engine is started and is a good safety feature. An unexpected sudden movement of a boat can be catastrophic.
Recently a 90' motor vessel's engine started in gear and damaged the dock to which it was secured. Fortunately there were no injuries. There were several contributing causes, including a new operator unfamiliar with the systems and either no neutral safety switch or one that didn't work.
I polled a few mechanics and inquired if they test the neutral safety switch function during mechanical surveys. Most do not.
The mechanics all mentioned that many boats don't have these devices. One mechanic/surveyor said that most sailboats don't have them. A Detroit Diesel specialist said that Jimmys usually don't have them, but I was on a 118' Hatteras at the moment that did have them on all three 12V92's.
Most small boats with outboards, outdrives and gasoline inboards have a neutral safety switch in the engine control handle. Some transmissions have the switch mounted on the shift lever. Hydraulic and pneumatic controls (like the one in the 90' MY) can have them, but many do not. Most new electronically controlled engines do have them as part of the control system.
What this means to us as boaters is we can not assume our boat has a neutral safety switch and we should know so we can take proper actions to prevent an accident. There is a way to safely test the neutral safety switch. The basic idea is to find the switch's wires, check for continuity in neutral and make sure continuity is broken when the transmission control is not in neutral. For those interested in a bit more technical specifics see the following from Ricky at Advanced Marine Power:
"Safely checking the switch would entail using a voltmeter/multimeter with the ability to read resistance/ohms. Place the two leads of the meter on each wire/terminal of the neural safety switch. Set the meter to read ohms; this will check for electrical continuity. Turn the ignition key on, but do not start the engine. There should be a resistance value on the meter, signifying that the electrical circuit has continuity. With the key still on, engine not running, shift the transmission into forward. Check the meter. There now should be no resistance value, or 'OL'. This signifies that the electrical circuit does not have continuity, and thus will not allow the engine to start. Repeat the process by shifting into reverse."
Then there is the layman's method, put the transmission control in gear and try to start the engine. If you are ready for it, you should be able to control throttle and dock lines so that if it does start, you don't hurt anything. You can also just bump the starter, versus starting the engine.
Either method will give you crucial information as to the function of your engine starting system and reduce the potential for surprises, boat or dock damage or worse.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Click Here to visit his web site.
What's in Your First Aid Kit?
- By Commodore Vincent Pica
About 35 years ago, while trying to sail out of Hurricane Alberto's way in the North Atlantic, a rogue wave hit us and I went air-borne. Catching the side of my head on a brass runner, I managed not to be thrown below at a high rate of speed. Of course, it didn't do wonders for the side of my head.
I was crewing with a new captain for the first time and, when the Chief Medical Officer Marty Boorstein grabbed the scotch because there was no alcohol in the medical kit, I started to worry that maybe more was awry here than Hurricane Alberto.
The point is, as a responsible skipper, you should of course have a first aid kit aboard your boat, but you should augment it with some items you might need out there on the water that go beyond the contents of the over-the-counter medical kit. Also, you should take your skippering skills and medical knowledge to the next level.
In this article, I will recommend some of these items and skills.
It's just a Band-Aid - When someone wants to say that something hasn't really been fixed, they often say, "just put a Band-Aid on it." Band-Aid, which is a brand name, realized that they could do better themselves, and the new water-proof Band-Aids on the market now for a few years are dramatically better than the old version.
These have a semi-permeable membrane over sterile gauze. This makes them waterproof and breathable. Wounds need that in order to stay clean and yet be warm and moist enough to promote circulation and healing.
These new Band-Aids and 3M's "NexCare" are roughly 2x as expensive, but worth every penny in healing and prevention from infection.
These are fine for cuts and punctures but, if you have blistering on your hands from a burn of some type, you'll need something that has medical product directly integrated into the dressing, and still breathes too.
Such a product would be Band-Aid's Advanced Healing Blister Cushion. Not all burns come from fire think about putting your hand on a hot exhaust pipe or having a line run through your ungloved hand at a high rate of speed! Allevyn and Duoderm have similar products and all can last for several days in place if need be.
Liquid Dressings? - Many of us have heard of the use of SuperGlue as a liquid dressing/ersatz stitching. That would be clever if it weren't for the fact that SuperGlue itself comes with a warning that says that it is toxic. NewSkin and Dermabond are liquid bandage products that are designed for the same purpose but don't sport a warning label that says "toxic!"
I have no experience with these products under maritime conditions but I have heard some skippers note that, under harsh conditions, "the stitches come out".
Pain Killers? - If you are going to keep anything aboard stronger than Tylenol, you'll need a doctor's prescription to buy it and training how to administer it. Daunting! With that said, many Search And Rescue teams both at the ski patrol level and on-the-water are opting for something called "fentanyl".
it is sprayed in the victim's nose where it is fast acting but short-duration. You'll still need medical training and prescription processing but, in lieu of giving someone a needle injection with morphine for a crushed leg from a shark bite, this might be something for the right skipper with the right profile to look into.
Assists? - Need some help out there? Don't forget some low-tech devices such an otoscope (the thing the doctor sticks in your ear during an exam.) "Dr. Mom" offers a cheap, lightweight and stainless steel model with LED light. Great for fine print, finding splinters and a bit of barnacle that embedded itself in your finger.
What do you do if someone needs artificial respiration? - First, I hope you're up to date on your Red Cross First Aid training. If not, "Google" it and get into a class. In addition to getting good solid training on medical "tech", you'll be properly trained in CPR, including artificial respiration. And when you train for that, one of the key items is something between your mouth and the victim's.
On that subject, only when "in extremis" do we bypass modern day sanitation and body-fluid control and one device you might want to have aboard is the NuMask. It fits inside the victim's mouth like a snorkel rather than over the face like a mask.
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.
Boat Buying Scams on the Uptick
Today, anyone with half a brain and an internet connection knows not to wire money to a relative or acquaintance who has sent an email saying something like they are "stranded or in jail in a foreign country, and just need $500 to get back home".
But now, some recreational boaters are falling for a similar scam from "buyers" who have seen their boat for sale and want to buy it sight unseen - often for more than the asking price.
There are many variations on this new scam, but in general, the "buyer" is working somewhere offshore, perhaps on an oil rig or island, who wants to buy your boat to use for recreational purposes when he is on holiday.
There usually is a preliminary email or even a telephone call asking about the general details and condition of the boat, which then is followed by a written offer, again, often for more than the asking price.
The "scam" part takes some ingenious forms. One of the more devious forms is that the buyer asks for your PayPal (or equivalent) account information. You think to yourself, "what could be the harm in that? The only thing a scammer could do with that information is to deposit some money in my bank account!".
Aha! - But soon after you give out that information, you get a fake email from PayPal saying the buyer has deposited the full amount for the purchase of your boat plus more than enough money for shipping.
The "buyer" then sends you instructions where to send back the excess money. That "extra money" then is the scam, and the amount you lose.
In other cases, the scam involves the use of counterfit checks; counterfit money orders; fake escrows; and fake websites.
As always, the old adage applies - "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". One funny note - the biggest giveaway that something is a scam is the use of poor grammar or spelling errors by the scammer.
This Summer's Most Outrageous Boat Toys
Remember when the most exciting boat toy was your dinghy? Today, the watchword is "You ain't seen nuthin' yet, Martha!"
Get out your wallet! - Here's just a few of this summer's most outrageous offerings.
6-person Floating Island
Enjoy lazily relaxing tethered to your boat at a raft-up with the Blue Caribbean Island.
This durable Island is over 10 ft long and can easily seat 6 people; it features 5 seats with built-in back and arm rests, and a lounge seat for laying out in the sun. The 2 built-in coolers keep your drinks cold throughout the day, 6 built-in cup holders keep your drinks at arm's length, and the mesh bottom keeps your feet cool on those hot summer days! Buy at Costco.com $99.99
Inflatable Sun Deck
This 15-foot-long inflatable, floating deck has enough room for the entire family (pets included) to kick back with some relaxing beach chairs, tan, or try your hand at any number of water activities.
Kids will love jumping in the water off the deck, and the Sun Deck can be used as a launch point for your SUP, kayak, or boat! Buy at Costco.com $399.99
Swimline Floating Wireless Speakers
No need to leave your speaker on the boat to protect it from the water when you want to listen to music while you swim.
This floating speaker is able to be dunked right into the water as it's completely waterproof. Throw the speaker in the water and tie it to your float so it follows you around. $49.99 on Amazon
Inflatable Pong Raft with Freezable Ice Cup Racks
Why not play beer pong in the water by your boat instead of some dark caverness room in a frat house. The inflatable floating beer pong table has slots for 10 cups on each side, along with a slot for a water cup and a drink cup on each side. The table measures 6 feet long x 2 feet wide. $45.99 on Amazon
Inflatable Pool For Yachts Makes It Safe To Go Back In the Water Again
Last but not least, this swim step extension designed by a naval engineer to provide a jellyfish and other dangerous sea life-free place to swim while out boating, the Magic Swim is essentially nothing more than an inflatable pool like you may have enjoyed as a kid.
Made from durable PVC it weighs about 66 pounds when empty and can be setup with the assistance of a standard air compressor in about 5 minutes.
Mesh covered holes allow the Magic Swim to fill with water once it's deployed, but also keep unwanted visitors out, and a semi-rigid floating platform in the center of the pool allows you to stand once it's completely filled with water. Price: $2,250. Click Here to learn more.
Mark Your Calander
Rock 'n' Roll San Diego
Sunday, June 3rd 6:15 AM 2:30 PM
It all began in San Diego in 1998 and for over 20 years, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series has made running fun by infusing each course with live bands, cheer teams and more. Follow this link to view the course map and race route information, including the elevation profile of the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego.
2018 San Diego International Boat Show
Thrusday, June 7th - 10th
More than 150 boats for sale, as well as the latest nautical gear, gadgets and accessories.Adult tickets are $15 and Kids under 12 free. More info is available at SanDiegoInternationalBoatShow.com
Maritime Museum's Father's Day Sail aboard Californian or San Salvador
Saturday, June 16th or Sunday, June 17th
The museum's experienced crew will make Father's Day a special one-of-a-kind adventure while working the lines and handling the sails; as you sail around the beautiful calm waters of San Diego Bay.
Enjoy an full afternoon with a 3 hour sailing trip, a lunch of delicious bratwurst and cold beer (for adults) prior to sailing. Hot dogs and soft drinks are available for the kids. Guests are welcome to enjoy the museum before and after the sail. Check out SDMaritime.org for more info including ticket prices.
Bayside Summer Nights 2018
Starting, June 29th - September 2nd
This is where music lovers gather to enjoy a picnic on the lawn, share a bottle of champagne at reserved tables, or sit in the grandstand taking in the beauty of San Diego Bay. The shimmering skyline and spectacular fireworks provide the perfect backdrop for enjoying great music.
San Diego's Maritime Museum Steps Up Its Game
- By Gus Giobbi - BlueSkyNews
If you are one of those "old timers" like myself who remember San Diego's Maritime Museum from years long ago (I won't tell you how many years), you probably have a ho-hum memory of yeah, there's an old ferry from San Francisco, and the Star of India, and a small book store, and not much else.
The Embarcadero itself was mostly deserted then, with practically nothing else from the Coast Guard Station at Laurel Street to Seaport Village except for Anthony's Restaurant, the Navy buildings and the Coronado Ferry.
But San Diego's Embarcadero of today is a far cry from those old days, what with the Midway Museum; the Cruise Ship Terminal; the B-Street Pier; the Hornblower Tours; and the widening of the promenade and even, are you ready for this, a lively bar when you can actually have a glass of wine or a beer as you enjoy the view!
And Anthony's? It has been demolished getting ready for the Brigantine's new restaurant.
What would Alonzo Horton have thought?
But amidst all these changes, people wondered what would happen to the Maritime Museum? Would the Midway Museum and all the other new attractions eat their lunch? Would the will be there to do what it takes to keep up with the times?
Well - The answer appears to be not only yes, but "hell yes!".
Today's Maritime Museum fleet includes not only the Star of India and the Berkeley ferry boat, but also the Californian, the America replica, the steam yacht Medea, the 1914 harbor Pilot boat; the HMS Surprise; a Soviet Foxtrot class submarine; the USS Dolphin submarine; the PCF-816 Patrol Craft; and of course, the replica of the San Salvador (formerly C24 or P24), 1968 Patrol Craft; and of course, the replica of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo's galleon San Salvador, which discovered San Diego in 1542.
But that's not all. The Maritime Museum now boasts many family oriented events that rival the big leagues. For example, in June, check out their "Father's Day Cruise" on the San Salvador.
Throughout the year the Museum offers colorful events with names like Sea Glass Festival and Mermaid; Ball Rum Runner Night; Swift Boat tours; Man of War Cruises; Music Night Overnight aboard the Star of India; Family Overnight and Pirate Parties, San Diego Weddings, Corporate Events, Sailing Charters, and Team Building Events,