It’s the end of the year, which means it’s the time that everyone starts talking about New Year’s Resolutions.  Are you going to join a gym? Are you going to start going to the gym you joined last year but never went to? Are you going to de-clutter that shelf on the top of your closet? Are you finally going to bag up those clothes you never wear and donate them to a thrift shop?  Do you resolve to not yell at the next car that cuts you off, even if it was kind of your fault?  Not that we’re saying any of you are bad drivers, but …well, you know what we mean.  ;)

Regardless of what your resolutions are – or aren’t – we ask (very nicely) that you add the following mantra to your list:

“I will make sure the marina has all my current info on file, I will make sure the marina has all my current info on file, I will make sure the marina has all my current info on file.”  (Here’s a visual example of what paperwork we want.)

Here’s another one: “It’s your boat – it’s your responsibility!”  Sound familiar?  Good.

You can do it!  We know you can.  With more than six hundred of you, it is a daunting and never-ending task to make sure everything is current.  Our owners are doing what all good owners do: making sure that we have as much information as possible about our tenants.  With the end of the year fast-approaching, they’re making lists and checking them at least twice.  Then they’re calling us here in the office to make sure we’re on top of it.  (We are.)

So… here is what information you need to make sure we have:

YOUR CONTACT INFO
This includes the current owner’s name, phone number, email, mailing address, and emergency contact person/emergency contact person’s phone number.  We don’t want to bombard you with advertisements, we don’t want to call you and bug you about late fees (because you’ve paid on time, right?)  We want to be able to call you if your boat is sinking.  Trust us, we’re professionals.

YOUR BOAT’S CURRENT INSURANCE
All we need is the declarations page showing effective dates (non-expired), general watercraft liability ($500,000 minimum), and additional insured (Marina Village Marina).  We don’t need the whole policy.  We don’t need (or want) the receipt showing that you’ve paid.  We just need the page showing how much you’ve got, that we’re listed, and the valid policy term.

Generally the insurance company will mail a copy of the policy to whomever is the additional insured, but THAT DOES NOT GUARANTEE it will be mailed.  Take the responsibility – make sure you get us a copy of your info.  It helps us stay in contact, and since you are trusting us with your boat, it’s probably a good idea that we can both get in touch with each other.

sample insurance declarations page

Sample insurance declarations page – click for larger image


YOUR BOAT’S CURRENT REGISTRATION OR DOCUMENTATION
Did you register your boat with the DMV?  If you got stickers and a CF number, then that’s what you did. We need a copy of the current boat registration. Not a picture of your sticker on your boat.
Did you document your boat with a documentation service or directly with the US Coast Guard?  Then you’ll get a Certificate of Documentation.
If your boat was not registered in California and was not registered with the USCG, but has paperwork from another state or country, show us what you’ve got so we can determine if it meets requirements.

sample USCG certificate of documentation

Sample USCG certificate of documentation – click for larger image

See? That wasn’t hard.  If you think we already have your info, call us or email us to find out.  Better safe than sorry, and it means we get to say hello as well.

Thanks for your cooperation – see you soon!

Some videos of recently tested sportscruisers…

Med Used Sportscruiser Footage

…and some shots of beautiful Menorca to start your day.

Menorca by RIB

It’s almost the weekend, will you be out taking photos from your own boat?

If you own a boat and want to lease a slip (even temporarily), you can be sure that you will need one thing above all: paperwork.

There are a surprising number of current – and potential – boat owners who are unsure of what certain documents look like. While you should ALWAYS have a copy of your boat’s insurance and registration/documentation on board, paperwork does occasionally get lost in the shuffle of things.

We just added this to our Marina F.A.Q., but wanted to share it here as well.

This visual reference should assist you in making sure you have the items our marina requires prior to docking (registration [or documentation] and insurance).

Note to permanent/long-term tenants: When you renew your registration (or documentation) and insurance, it is your responsibility to make sure we have a current copy each year on file here in the office. The best way to do that is bring in your renewal (when you receive it) and we can make a copy. It also helps us to make sure we always have current owner information.

BOAT REGISTRATION

Sample boat DMV registration

Sample DMV registration

This looks very similar to a vehicle registration. Some people have this instead of a USCG certificate of documentation. Your boat registration must be non-expired, and must be in the name of the registered owner(s) of the boat. You can find more information on boat registration at the CA DMV’s website. After you have submitted your title (or “pink slip”) to the DMV and paid the appropriate fees to them, you will receive a current registration along with stickers/CF numbers. You must provide a copy of your registration to us as soon as you receive it, and are responsible to make sure that we always have a copy of your renewal.  Side note – we have HUNDREDS of tenants here, and it isn’t always easy to keep track of who has updated stickers on their boat.  Please give us a copy of your registration!

Info on boat registration can be found on the Dept. of Boating & Waterways site and also the ABC’s of California Boating Law.  You can calculate your registration fees here.  Here are some consequences of operating an unregistered boat in California (hint: don’t do it!).

USCG CERTIFICATE OF DOCUMENTATION

Sample of a USCG certificate of documentation for a boat

Sample USCG documentation

This is a certificate of documentation, provided by the US Coast Guard. Some people have this instead of a DMV registration. You can find more information on how/why to document your vessel at the USCG’s website. The process to document a boat is sometimes quite lengthy, so in the interim we will accept letters from a documentation service showing the progress that has been made. You must provide a copy of your certificate as soon as you receive it, and are responsible to make sure that we always have a copy of your renewal. We recommend Dona Jenkins Maritime Document Service if you do choose to use a third party.


INSURANCE

Sample declarations page of insurance

Sample declarations page of insurance

This is an example of an insurance declarations page – this is the only thing we need, we do not require a copy of your entire policy. The appearance of declaration pages can vary from one company to another, however we are only concerned with four items:
1) Insured: This should match the registered or documented owner, and also should be the person who will be leasing a slip.
2) Policy period: This shows the effective dates of your policy. It must be current.
3) Liability coverages: The wording on this can vary, however we require a minimum of $500,000.
4) Additional Insured: Permanent/long-term tenants must list Marina Village Marina as additional insured.  Guest/short-term tenants are not required to do this.

There are many insurance companies, we recommend you research the best one for your personal situation. We suggest talking to an agent at a company you’re already familiar with, such as whomever insures your car or home.  While insurance companies mail us the renewal if we are listed as additional insured, YOU are responsible to make sure that the copy we have on file for you is current each time you renew.

You’ll need to have your boat surveyed before getting insurance – check out Christian & Co. Marine Surveyors for some good general information and sample surveys.

Here is some information on understanding boat insurance terms. While the Department of Boating & Waterways states “you do not have to have boater’s insurance in California“, you ARE required to have current insurance to dock at our marina for ANY length of time.

TITLE / PINK SLIP – NOT ACCEPTED OR REQUIRED

Sample title/pink slip for a boat

Sample title/pink slip

This is not your DMV registration, this is one of the items you submit to them when you are purchasing a boat. Boat owners receive this when they own the boat outright, the way you do when you pay off a vehicle.  The title is not an acceptable document in place of registration or documentation.

The appearances of these documents can vary, please contact the marina office if you have any questions.

As you may know, we’re going to start remodeling our restrooms (at the Deli building) soon. The project is taking longer than anticipated to get started, and also will take about 9 weeks to complete, so we are going to try to postpone the start date until after Labor Day. This way our main restroom isn’t closed for the summer.

We’re still working on getting our mixer set up, so as soon as a date is chosen, it’ll be posted here.  Please come on over to the Dockside Room and say hi – it’s where our first one will be held.  We’ll have snacks, drinks, prizes… perhaps some vouchers toward rent discounts… come on by and see!  ;)

In boating news:

- a local windfarm is causing an overage of distress calls

- alleged insurance fraud is never a good thing

and

- the very lovely two-masted Zen superyacht is looking good as it is readied for July competitions. The exterior is breathtaking, and they’ve got some great shots of the super-swanky interior as well.

two masted zen superyacht

Two-masted schooner Zen, image courtesy of SuperYachtWorld.com

For those of you who have been part of our marina for more than ten years, you may remember back when the Marina office was located above the deli; days of a more social presence that involved the boater’s lounge and evenings of just hanging out on your boat.

We’ve been toying with the idea of what to do to bring back some of the good times, and get everyone more involved with the marina.

With the help of the Ranch Catering staff, we are going to try something new: Saturday Summer Socials. We’re thinking one Saturday each in June, July and August we will get together at the Dockside Room between 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. There will be snacks and beverages on hand and perhaps some door prizes. As we get things more solidified, keep an eye out around the marina for flyers – our Facebook is a good place to go as well.

See you soon!

16 Littoral Combat Ships may be homeported here in San Diego – it’s estimated that the ships will bring 3,600 people to the region: 1,700 sailors plus 1,900 family members. The report provided by the Navy assumes that all would get housing outside the 32nd Street base.
More info here…

Atargis Energy Corp. in Colorado Springs is looking to harness the power of the sea. For owners Siegel and Fredell, taking an idea from theory to commercialization is a new experience, but the opportunity to create something that could change the world was tantalizing. Research, Siegel said, is a sheltered environment.
“I honestly enjoy it,” Siegel said of starting a business. “I felt the need to develop something that has use beyond publishing articles. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also very rewarding.”
Read more on their R&D here…

And this is why you keep an eye on people that are drinking – not quite so easy on a cruise ship, but still. Passenger faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to one count of attempting to damage a maritime facility.
Read more info on what happened here…

Laura Dekker becomes the youngest unrecognized solo world sailor – her 11.5m Jeanneau Gin Fizz ketch, Guppy, took the young sailor across 43,500 miles of ocean, as Laura tried to keep up with her schoolwork while enduring storms and the threat of piracy.
Read about Laura’s adventure here…

On this day in naval history:
1800 – USS Essex becomes the first U.S. Navy vessel to cross the equator.
1815 – The Board of Naval Commissioners, a group of senior officers, is established to oversee the operation and maintenance of the Navy under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy.
1955 – Ships from the 7th Fleet begin the evacuation of Chinese nationalists from the Tachen Islands.
1965 – In response to a Viet Cong attack on a U.S. barracks area in Pleiku, South Vietnam, aircraft from carriers USS Coral Sea (CV 43), USS Hancock (CV 19) and USS Ranger (CV 61) attack a North Vietnamese area near Donghoi.
1991 – Using her remotely piloted vehicle for spotting, USS Wisconsin (BB 64) pounds Iraqi artillery, electronic warfare and naval sites with her 16-inch guns. Fifty rounds sink or severely damage 15 boats, and destroy piers at Khawr al-Mufattah Marina.

Got some interesting boating news? Leave us a comment!

A fishing boat was left abandoned in 2008 when its two-man crew was washed overboard by a wave near Nantucket …and has washed ashore in Spain.
Full story at NBC Miami…

Would you own a boat that launched itself? French designers have come up with a new self-launching motorboat. The Iguana 29 incorporates a retractable caterpillar system within its hull, which deploys to allow the boat to crawl in or out of the water on its own tracks and under its own power.
Full story here…

YET ANOTHER reason to be a responsible boater: a 25 year old man was sentenced to two years in prison in a Bracebridge courtroom last week. The young man was convicted in the drinking and boating death of his best friend, 22-year-old Matt Ludlow, on Lake of Bays last summer.
Full story at CottageCountryNow…

On a lighter note, have you ever tried log jumping with a boat? Check out the video over at MotorBoatsMonthly.

A recent marine computer specifically designed to cooperate with water journeys has been introduced for consumers. It consists of lightweight materials including aluminum chassis and plywood casing, can withstand temperatures from -15 to +55, and has an average life cycle of 5-7 years from the point of introduction
Read more about it over at SeaDiscovery.

Congress will soon begin holding meetings on cruise ship safety (primarily in light of the recent tragedy). Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica says: “The cruise industry has grown dramatically over the past 25 years, providing not only enjoyable, affordable opportunities for travelers, but also a huge economic boost for parts of the U.S. and throughout the world. We must ensure that vessel safety and operating standards and crew training requirements are adequate and adequately enforced and that the millions of Americans who board these ships are kept safe.”
Read more over here.

In local news, the California Boating and Waterways Commission this week approved $1.25 million in grants for improvements to boating facilities (Coronado and Riverside). (Courtesy TradeOnlyToday).

It’s that time of year again – time to bundle up, get yourself a hot cocoa (or a hot toddy), and watch the festivities! The annual Light Parades in Mission Bay (and San Diego Bay) are right around the corner – do you have your boat decked out?

Here are links and information that we’ve found around the web about local light parades. Check them out, take photos, and have a safe weekend.

Dates & Times: Saturday 12/10/11 at 7pm, Sunday 12/11/11 and 12/18/11, 530pm

http://www.sandiegocoastlife.com/events/mission-bay/mission-bay-christmas-parade.html

http://viewsoflajolla.com/tis-the-season-dont-miss-the-light-parades-on-san-diego-bay-and-mission-bay-this-holiday-season.htm

http://www.sdparadeoflights.org/event_schedule.shtml

http://www.sandiego.org/event/Visitors/89

SD Bay Route: http://www.sdparadeoflights.org/parade_route.shtml

That’s right. We said it. This is how you can steal a boat… legally.

The newsletter from Christian & Company came in and this caught our eye, so we’re sharing. If you’re interested, why not head over and sign up for their newsletter as well?

This article will give you some tips on how to steal a boat…legally. Legalized theft, or buying boats for pennies (okay maybe dimes) on the dollar, is happening, so how is it done?

Let’s begin with a nod to our hard working friends in the boat sales industry. Few of the “deals” come without serious concessions on the part of the buyer, possibly including: title issues, time delays, significant deficiencies and questionable to poor customer service.

Wikipedia defines fair market value as follows:

Fair market value (FMV) is an estimate of the market value of a property, based on what a knowledgeable, willing, and unpressured buyer would probably pay to a knowledgeable, willing, and unpressured seller in the market

To steal a boat, a normal factor in the sales process has to be different. The seller has to be motivated and the buyer has to find the seller. The most common factor that allows one to steal a boat is financial distress on the part of the seller. There are a myriad of reasons for financial distress, particularly in the past few years! There are many other factors that result in low sales prices as well and there are a few companies specializing in selling boats in “distressed situations”.

Some boats are deals because few people know they are for sale. There are owners who refuse to pay brokers’ fees and thus they do not get adequate exposure. Some sellers create their own web sites or use lesser known listing sites. Google/Yahoo/Bing searching and internet “farming” will lead the diligent buyer to some of these sites.

Tip: Use a skilled broker to acquire the fair market value for a boat you are trying to sell.

Some boats are on the more popular listing sites, such as Yachtworld, but have incorrect information, reducing the size of the potential buying market. Wrong or lesser known manufacturer, wrong year, length, and even the wrong price are sometimes listed. Think about the wide range of names use for many boats, including the builder, importer, designer, model or common nick name. While these listing errors are “rookie” mistakes, there are a few rookies out there and a veteran shopper may be able to capitalize on these situations.

Deals are often possible before boats make it to a listing site or are listed by a broker and some deals are made after the boat has been listed for an inordinate amount of time and the seller has tired of the process and the burdens of ownership. “Low ball” offers on boats that have been for sale for a long period of time are occasionally accepted.

Life changes often result in boats available at a discount. An abandoned dream of sailing around the world, a divorce, the dissolution of a partnership and death are all great tragedies for some and opportunities for others. Boats for sale as a result of these types of events will often be sold to individuals who become aware of the circumstance soon after it occurs and are able to act quickly. A wide network helps locate these boats, so if you are looking for a deal, don’t keep it a secret. The more people that know you are looking the more likely a deal will be revealed to you.

Donated boats for sale are possible deals. Though laws changed a few years ago reducing the number of these opportunities, some remain. Boats of lower value or ones that the donor actually is giving the boat away (versus those who give as a better financial option to selling) can be had at a bargain. Some of these deals require a two year lease with an option to buy, and are appropriate for buyers who desire a particular boat and plan to keep it for several years. This is no longer a viable option for “flippers”, or those who want to buy and sell quickly for profit.

There are deals to be had on damaged boats, often for sale by insurance companies after a constructive total loss. There are numerous individual boats sold by countless insurance companies and marine surveyors (including Christian & Company), to find them one needs to network extensively and be patient. Then there are a few large companies specializing in this type of sale, they include Copart, Certified Sales and Cooper Capital. All are easily found online.

Tip: A stolen and recovered boat often has very little damage but still can be purchased at a significant discount due to the circumstances. Damaged boats present challenges best undertaken by people experienced in the repair industry or people who are “handy” and like to fiddle with projects.

Many boats are being sold on Craig’s List and other online markets such as Ebay. Some boats are sold by marinas and various marine companies as lien sales. There are various governmental auctions and Marshall’s sales, most are publicized on the internet. Don’t forget your due diligence (not so subtle plug for a good marine surveyor) and these sites can lead to a bargain.

And finally the most voluminous source of deals in today’s market: repossessed boats. There are many banks that sell only a few boats and utilize a wide variety of outlets to sell them. These boats can be found in all the nooks and crannies of boat selling websites and brokerages. Then there are a few companies that specialize in selling “repos”. Among these businesses are several with a Southern California presence, including: Long Beach Yacht Sales, Grande Yachts, National Liquidators and Brokaw Yacht Sales.

To utilize these companies effectively one should understand some of the underlying factors. Many of the boats are sold quickly, so be ready to act. Know what you want, a specific type of boat or a smoking hot deal. Have your budget or funding source established and if you see a boat that interests you, don’t take long to make your offer. Realize that some of these businesses are deluged with interest (phone calls, emails and walk-ins) and thus customer service is not what it might be at a more traditional brokerage. If you are seriously in the market, let the contact person at the business know in no uncertain terms. Some businesses give better service than others, but boats for sale by these companies may be available only through the listing broker (i.e. no commission available for your broker).

The discount doesn’t come without a catch. You don’t get the benefit of disclosure of problems, events of significance (submersions, collisions, etc…) or maintenance history. Many repo boats were not well maintained prior to being repossessed.

Bob Brokaw of Brokaw Yacht Sales is active in selling repo boats and he advises that a buyer utilize a broker familiar with the process. He also suggests that any potential buyer, who is remote from the boat, hire a qualified representative, local to the boat, to perform a “walk through” inspection prior to incurring any significant expense in the buying process. The sheer volume of repo boats handled by some companies precludes them from getting to know the boats well. Thus if you have an agree price on a boat that is a plane flight away, paying for a quick inspection (to let you know if there is an easily detected significant deficiency) can save you the airfare (and valuable time) or let you modify your offer before incurring the expense of travel and/or a detailed marine survey.

So how do you steal a boat?

-Broaden your network
-Prepare and act quickly
-Use due diligence

How do you avoid the pitfalls of this type of deal?

Hire a full service agent/broker and pay a fair price.

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