From the Marina Office!
Greeting Marina Village Mariners - Here is your July 2018 newsletter.
We would like to pause and reflect on the courage, foresight and wisdom our Founding Fathers had in declaring America free from British rule. Our beloved democracy was born with this freedom, and it is with so much pride that we say happy birthday, America!
And it’s almost time to celebrate! Whether you plan on anchoring in La Playa Cove, going for a Fourth of July bay cruise or sail, or taking your friends and family out to view the Big Bay Boom firework display from the water, we truly hope your Fourth of July plans include a visit to your boat.
And for your visit on the Fourth, you will need to have a flyer, which allows you access to Shelter Island. As a reminder, simply having the Island pass does not guarantee you parking. Instead, it allows you to travel past Anchorage Lane, and get onto Shelter Island on Wednesday, July 4th.
We have been asked to hand these passes out, as opposed to sending them digitally. Thus, our usual Fourth of July email blast will not include them. Again, please stop by the office any time prior to the Fourth, and we’ll give you a pass.
Do You Really Want to Do the Dishes on the 4th?
If you would like to be free from cooking on the Fourth, why not check out the Blue Wave Bar and Grill? Our chef and his team are firing up the grills, and will have one of the biggest steaks around!
His 18 ounce “cowboy cut” bone-in ribeye steak will satisfy just about any appetite. There will be more specials, and breakfast will be served until noon. Come check it out!
If you are planning on anchoring out, please note that La Playa opens at 8am on Tuesday, July 3rd. More information on anchoring in La Playa can be found at this address: If you would like more information on the firework display, visit Bigbayboom.com.
Please note that there will not be any office closures during the holiday. We will be open our usual hours, and cannot wait to see you on the docks.
Until then, we thank you for being the most important part of SIM’s success, and hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Joe Ravitch - Dockmaster
Hoooray! - It's the 4th of July!
There's no shortage of fun, celebrations, and excitement on the 4th of July weekend in San Diego. Here's what's happening!
Downtown San Diego Big Bay Boom!: July 4th, Fireworks begin at 9:00 PM. The fireworks score is simulcast live on Walrus 105.7 FM.
Click Here for complete details including where to watch, parking, and shuttle info.
Seaworld's 'Sea to Shining Sea' 4th of July Fireworks: Starts at 9:40 PM - Click Here for more details.
Ocean Beach Pier Fireworks: Starts at 9:00 PM - Spend the day picnicking, swimming in the ocean, walking and playing in the sand and shopping along Newport Ave.
Then bundle up as the sun sets and pull up a blanket for a really spectacular fireworks show launched from the OB Pier. Click Here for details.
Old Town Historic Park 4th of July Parade: Time: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Parade, crafts and activities of early San Diego recreate an old fashioned Independence Day celebrated on the frontier. (No fireworks). Click Here for more details.
Coronado 4th of July Celebration: Various Locations on Coronado from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Celebrate the 4th of July in the Crown City with a parade down Orange Avenue at 10:00 AM, a concert in Spreckels Park at 4:00 PM and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9:00 PM. Click Here for more details.
San Diego County Fair 4th of July Celebration: Del Mar Fairgrounds - Fireworks at 9:00 PM. What better place is there to spend Independence Day than at the San Diego County Fair?
Highlighting the day will be the traditional fireworks display, which will happen at approximately 9:00 PM.
The fireworks display is visible throughout the Fairgrounds, so as long as you're outside, there's no better place to watch! Click Here for more details.
San Diego's Big Bay Boom Boaters Safety Zone is 1000 Feet This Year
When it comes to watching fireworks, adventurous boaters can have the best view seat in the nation - on the water! The United States Coast Guard has just redefined the safety zone around the 4 fireworks barges as 1,000 feet.
All boaters interested in viewing the event on the water are asked to be extra cautious and pay special attention to the Coast Guard Auxiliary patrol boats with flashing yellow lights.
They will be ensuring boaters do not get within the 1,000 feet perimeter safety zones around the four fireworks barges. Click on the image below to download a map of the viewing areas.
The Coast Guard, Harbor Police and special patrol vessels will assist in providing safety on the water along with the Harbor Police. Plan to get there early, before dark.
Boaters Remember - SAFETY FIRST!
- Observe the 1,000 feet safety zones around the barges.
- Keep a lookout for boats around you.
- Have a life jacket for each person on board.
- Use the proper signals and navigation lights.
- Arrive before dark.
All boaters are also encouraged to review the ABCs of California Boating . A new law requires children under the age of 13 to wear a lifejacket on a vessel of any length.
Why Wait? Get Your California Boater's Card Now!
- By Bob Simons
By now everyone has heard that in just a few years, California boaters under the age of 21 will be required to have a valid California Boaters Card
But you don't have to wait until the last minute to get one. The Coast Guard Auxiliary Class "About Boating Safely" meets the requirements for the California Boater Card and it being offered this summer and fall in many San Diego locations.
The eight hour course starts with basic boating terminology and introduces boaters to safety and legal requirements; the basics of rules of the road, trailering and more.
The class fee is only $35 and includes the text book. Course topics include:
Which Boat Is For You? Boater's language; types of boats; outboard motors and stern drives; hull design; uses of boats; other power plants; materials for constructing boats; your intended use; the Coast Guard Customer Infoline; marine surveyors; buying a boat.
Equipment For Your Boat: Requirements for your boat; your boat's equipment; legal considerations; substance abuse; boating accident reports; Courtesy Marine Examinations.
Trailering Your Boat: Legal considerations; practical considerations; the towing vehicle; balancing the load; handling your trailer; pre-departure checks; preparing to launch; launching; retrieving; storing your boat and trailer; theft prevention; Zebra mussels; float plan.
Handling Your Boat: Leave with a full tank; fueling your boat; your boat's propeller; cars and boats; twin screws; jet drives; loading your boat; getting started; leaving a pier; "man" overboard; docking; mooring to a permanent anchor; anchoring; towing a skier; heavy weather; small boat safety.
Your "Highway" Signs: Protection of ATONs; buoyage systems; waterway marks; how waterways are marked; light characteristics; chart symbols; light structures; lights on bridges; electronic aids to navigation; a word to the wise; navigation publications.
The Rules You Must Follow: Two sets of rules; to whom do the rules apply; what is a vessel; the general responsibility rule; general considerations; conduct in narrow channels; traffic separation schemes; vessel traffic services; stand-on or give-way; rules for special vessels; risk of collision; bend signals; restricted visibility; vessel lights and shapes; vessels at anchor; diving operations; distress signals; drawbridge signals; penalties.
Inland Boating: Types of inland waters; inland navigation; inland seamanship; river currents; maintaining inland waterways; dams; locks; river charts; commercial traffic; before you go. (This lesson typically will not be taught in coastal courses)
The Rest Of Our Story: Small boat safety; personal watercraft; hypothermia; motorboats and sailboats; carbon monoxide poisoning; float plan; U.S. Coast Guard District Offices; instructions for using a course plotter; metric conversion system.
Introduction To Navigation: Piloting tools; maps and charts; chart features; your chart's general information block; other charted information; your magnetic compass; position on the earth's surface; locating a point on a chart; distance on the earth's surface; measuring distance; course plotting; sources of compass error; correcting a compass reading; positioning; speed-time-distance; dead reckoning; practice your art.
Powering Your Boat: Types of marine engines; marine engines; selecting a propeller; induction systems; ignition systems; flame arresters; cooling systems; gasoline considerations; batteries; maintenance; winterizing your boat; spring fitting-out; troubleshooting.
Lines & Knots: Line or rope; rope materials; kinds of rope; measuring rope; selecting your ropes; care of rope; making up line; knots, bends, and hitches; splices; securing lines; dipping the eye.
Weather & Boating: Sources of weather information; wind and boating; wind and waves; understanding weather; weather and heat; fog; non-frontal weather.
Your Boat's Radio: Radios used on boats; functions of radios; licenses; selecting your VHF-FM radio; installation; operating your VHF-FM; maintain a radio watch; channels have special purposes; some "no no's"; copies of the rules; calling another station; procedure words; phonetic alphabet; routine radio check; distress, urgency, and safety calls; crew training.
The USCGAux contact to find out course locations and times in San Diego is Bill Andersen. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 619-922-0231. Many of the courses are available on weekends for convenience. For course availability in other locations, Click Here.
Why wait! Beat the crowd and at the same time get some great boating tips and resources in an informal and enjoyable environment.
Bob 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
Your Hailing Port Name - Is It Valid?
- By Kells Christian
There are two ways to prove ownership of a US flagged vessel.
Coast Guard documentation and state registration.
All vessels over 5 net tons are eligible for Coast Guard documentation and the form of ownership record or title is an owner's choice. Lenders generally insist on vessels being documented so they may be the subject of a Preferred Ship Mortgage.
Registered vessels must display the registration number and a current registration decal on both sides of the bow, while documented vessels must display the name and the hailing port on the transom or on both hull sides.
Naming a vessel can be a difficult decision, often reflecting a family member's name or referencing the business of the owner in some clever way. Less thought is put into the hailing port, but the hailing port is a choice. It does not have to be the place where the boat is stored, where you live nor does it have to have any actual significance or relevance to your life.
What do you think are the parameters for choosing a valid hailing port?
Recently I have seen hailing ports including Huntington Harbor, Mission Bay and Surf City. To my surprise Huntington Harbor and Mission Bay were both the hailing ports actually on the document.
The owner of the vessel with hailing port Surf City liked Huntington Beach's "official" nickname, but he was not in compliance with federal regulations as the hailing port on the document did not match the hailing port on the transom. As a result of these unusual haling ports, we researched the rules for hailing ports.
Throughout my career it had been my understanding that the hailing port had to be an actual city in the United States or a US territory. Some had told me that a hailing port had to have a post office, but I had never researched the actual rule, and I wondered what made a location a "city"?
My thanks (and a belated Happy Birthday) to Bernadine Trusso of Dona Jenkins Maritime Document Service, Inc. Bernadine discussed this issue with an officer in the Coast Guard and they confirmed that this website is used by documentation personnel to determine if a hailing port name is legitimate.
To determine if a location is a valid hailing port, click the "Query" tab, fill in the "feature name" and the "state" and then hit the "Send Query" tab. If the feature name comes up as written, such as Point Loma, the location is a valid hailing port.
In the case of Point Loma the class is cape. In the case of Mission Bay the class is bay, and in the case of Leucadia the class is populated place. The class of the location is irrelevant according to our source, as long as the feature name comes up as you have searched it, without additional words.
The name and the hailing port must be displayed externally on the vessel, either on both sides of the hull or on the transom. The hailing port must include the place and a state, territory, or possession of the United States. The state may be abbreviated.
We often find hailing ports without the necessary state, territory or possession included. We often find names and hailing ports from prior documents, legally requiring modifications to the current documented name and hailing port.
We occasionally find registration numbers on documented boats (a no no), documentation numbers on the exterior of boats (unnecessary) or no identifying numbers, name or hailing port (begging to be boarded by the authorities).
Registered boats may have names and hailing ports, but these boat names are decoration, an expression of individuality, and can be changed at any time as they are not legally significant. Based on my newly found resources, Huntington Harbor and Mission Bay are in fact valid hailing ports, but not Surf City and now you have the ability to be as creative with your hailing port as with your vessel's name.
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.
I Have GPS - So Why Do I Need a Compass?
- By Commodore Vincent Pica
We've written about GPS, the wonder of the 21st (really 20th!) century, many times. It is truly one of the simplest yet most powerful aids to navigation ever invented. And it just keeps getting better and better. So, who needs a compass? You do. This column is all about that.
A Candle Held Where? What if I told you that the signal from the GPS satellites reaches your boat with the intensity of a candle held in Los Angeles while you are in New York? Yes, that's how it is designed.
So, what happens if the weather really becomes foul? You can lose your GPS signal, that's what!
It takes a lot because of the redundancies built in, but it can happen. I know it, first-hand. And if you have to leave your boat due to emergency conditions, are you going to rip your GPS out of your dashboard and take it with you into the raft? No.
As a matter of fact and of safety, right next to my compass, which sits above my in-dashboard GPS system, is a handheld, old fashioned compass. If I leave that boat, the handheld compass comes with me.
Where Is The Magnetic North Pole? Most of us have seen diagrams or pictures of magnetic waves, just like those that come out of household magnets, coming out of the North and South Poles, encircling the Earth. The iron core of the Earth spins at high speed and creates this magnetic field.
Of interest, the magnetic forces don't emanate from the top of the world, i.e, the true North Pole. Right now, the "Magnetic North Pole" is just north of Hudson Bay. When George Washington was leading the United States, Magnetic North was near Norway.
If you look on any paper chart for the "compass rose", it shows in the very center what is called "Variation", i.e., from the area that the chart covers, what is the angular difference, i.e., Variation, from True North to Magnetic North.
Where I am, it is 14-degrees west, i.e., your compass points 14-degrees too far west at Magnetic North versus where True North lies.
This means that when your compass is pointing to Magnetic North, you would turn the boat 14-degrees to the east (014-degrees) to be pointing to True North!
BTW, this is interesting but largely meaningless since all compasses sold above the Equator point to Magnetic North. But it is important to be aware of Variation.
What is Deviation? Frankly, more important than Variation to the average boater is Deviation. Deviation is the sum of all the forces within your boat that keeps your compass from pointing to Magnetic North. What?
Case in point: a number of years ago, I was doing USCGAux vessel exams at a local marina when one skipper came up to me and asked me if I could look at his compass because it wasn't working probably.
Now fixing an errant compass is a relatively complicated process that requires specialized hardware.
But away I went with this skipper to see if I could at least isolate the problem. We stepped on his boat and, just before taking his seat at the helm, he removed his wallet from his hip pocket (which held his police badge within) and placed it next to his compass.
While he was fumbling with the boat keys, I literally watched his compass clock around and point at his wallet/police badge! I asked him, "Skipper, why do you put your wallet there?" He said, "It kills my sacroiliac if I sit on my wallet!" I said, "Keep your eye on your compass while I move your wallet."
As I lifted it away from the compass, the compass clocked back and pointed to Magnetic North. "You fixed my compass!" No, I simply removed a source of Deviation. Metallic objects (or magnetic objects like radio speakers) near your compass will "fool" your compass into thinking that that object is Magnetic North.
How can you tell what the Deviation is of your compass? Well, if you have a GPS, it will be easy. All you need is mile or so of calm water and you can run down the rhumb lines of the four cardinal points and record the differences between what the physical compass is reading from the GPS course you are running.
Of interest, Deviation "deviates" differently at a given compass course so you need to check at least the four cardinal courses (when we develop our deviation tables for new boats, we measure at least 16 compass headings.) You need to know what your boat's compass Deviation is so that, if you do have to use your compass in lieu of your GPS, you can compensate appropriately.
Over enough distance, even a degree or two can add up to significant differences. If you don't have a GPS, it is a bit more complicated but it still can be done.
Get your paper charts out, mark a rhumb line between two points that lie at a given magnetic course between each other. Run down that line and record what your compass is reading versus what your paper chart told you the compass should be registering. The difference is Deviation.
What if my GPS has failed and in spite of reading this column, I don't have a compass? Well, happily for this sorry skipper, there is a way to create a crude compass with a watch if you find yourself in such a state. Simply point the hour hand at the sun. Halfway between the hour hand (the sun) and 12 on your watch lies South. If you know where South is, you know where North, East and West are
Don't have an old fashioned watch? Draw one and line it up as it were on your wrist. It works!
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.
Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Your Boat This Summer
- By Bob Sherman
Sooner or later this persistent marine layer is going to go away for good, then summer boating will be in full swing!
Here are some ideas for your summer "bucket list"!
1) Take a sunset cruise in your dinghy, kayak or standup-paddle board around the marina or cove.
2) Have a pot-luck with fellow boaters on the dock.
3) Go for an evening cruise or sunset sail. Dock at the Bali Hai for your favorite tropical drink. Try some dock 'n dine options.
4) Go for a cruise or a day sail. Anchor at Glorietta Bay for lunch, or anchor at La Playa for dinner. Jump in for a refreshing swim!
5) Reserve a guest slip at another favorite marina for the weekend.
6) Plan a weekend raft-up at La Playa with your marina friends. Don't forget to reserve permits online in advance. Bring kayaks, SUPs, small sailboats, or other water toys.
7) Take an overnight trip to Mission Bay. Anchor at Bonita Cove or get a slip at one of the marinas. Go body surfing at Mission Beach. Dinghy over to Sea World, for a close-up view of the fireworks. (Check schedule first!)
8) Go to Catalina! If you've never picked up a mooring, have a qualified person explain it to you, perhaps drawing you a picture. It's a little tricky, but really not that difficult. Pick up a cruising guide.
9) Take a trip to the Coronado Islands. Anchor in the lee of South Island. You'll feel like you are way down in remote Mexico. (Be aware of the current when swimming.) FYI, the law requires that you clear US customs when returning, however, even if you don't set foot on land.
10) Take a trip to Ensenada. Stay at the beautiful Hotel Coral or Cruiseport Marina. The marina staff will handle your customs clearance for a nominal fee. (Reservations recommended; contact marina ahead of time to assure proper documents on board!)
Or, just hang out at the slip and sip your favorite beverage.
Editor's Note: Bob Sherman has over 30 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 email@example.com