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The Harbor Report: Observations about Newport Harbor

January 10, 2012|By Len Bose

As I carefully tucked away my prized collection of 27 Christmas Reyn Spooner shirts and thanked the Man Above that the holiday commercials have stopped, I thought it was a good time to head down to the harbor and take a look around.

When I started out on the afternoon of Jan. 2, I expected that Newport Harbor would be quiet at this time of the year.

At my first stop on the Lido Peninsula, I was surprised to see how many big boats were still in town. In years past a number of owners would do their best not to be around on Jan. 1 in an effort to avoid property taxes.

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With this in mind, I going to leave out the names of the boats and just describe them as best I can. Two of my favorite race boats were receiving new bottom paint and rudder repairs at the Newport Shipyard, along with one of my favorite performance cruising boats.

It's always fun to imagine which type of boat you would buy if you won the lottery but discouraging to find out that winning the state lottery would not be enough to purchase the megayacht in front of the shipyard.

On my way off the peninsula, I stopped at the Lido Bridge and counted 16 large charter boats. That's one more than last year, and my mind wandered to the Christmas Boat Parade. I had heard reports that as many as 10 large charter boats sailed into town to load and unload passengers.

According to my simple calculation, that equaled 25 large charter boats, and almost half of them were guests. Did our guests receive their Marine Activates permits? Did they use their holding tanks, etc.?

I placed a couple of calls to find out the answers to these questions, and have not received a return call at the time of writing.

I then drove down Mariner's Mile — no simple task this last month. It's taken me over a half-hour to drive the mile, plus blend in holiday stress and bicycle riders.

It's become a lot easier to notice my car in town with the boat fenders hanging down the side.

There was not much to report at the repo yard or at the Larsen and Basin shipyards. But I did notice people working on their boats by themselves and had to laugh at one person who had been working on a fiberglass project.

This poor guy came up from his aft lazarette completely covered in fiberglass dust with no shirt on. I am talking Casper! Ya think he is still inching?

I wrote my column a week early because I am helping my good friends Carole and Bill Craig deliver their Grand Banks-Europa 42 La Sirena to Mazatlan, Mexico. This boat is perfect.

This will be my 30th time past the cape first-time power. The weather looks good and I just checked the boat for bananas; it's all good! Note: It's bad luck to have bananas onboard a boat.

Sea ya!

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

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