Boats and Grants Available in the Coming Week

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Summer is closing in on the radar screen, and this is when boaters pick up the last-minute items like a dingy, kayak, Lido, or an inflatable tender.

Well, you are in luck as the Newport Beach Harbor Resources Division will have another abandoned vessel auction next Friday, April 29.

The auction will be held at the Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Department at 1901 Bayside Drive at 9 a.m., with the preview of the items beginning at 8 a.m.  However, fill your pockets as only hard, cold cash will be accepted from the winning bidder.  The vessels are sold as is and you must remove any boat that you buy by 5 p.m. that day unless the boat has a California registration.  All CF’d boats will have a 10-day redemption period, after which the vessel will be released to the new owner.  You can find out more information about the auction at

On another note, the deadline is also closing in on the radar for West Marine’s Annual Marine Conservation Grants.  There is $30,000 available for recreational fishing and conservation groups and it will be awarded on World Oceans Day, June 8.

In support of its ongoing efforts to improve and protect the marine environment, the grants will be awarded to groups that offer conservation projects that are beneficial to recreational fishing and sustainable commercial fishing, while preserving marine resources. There will be five to 10 grants awarded in amounts ranging from $500  to $5,000. The applications are available online at, with a May 1 deadline for submissions.

“West Marine is pleased to encourage the efforts of anglers and conservation groups who are both working towards plentiful fish stocks for everyone,” said Randy Repass, chairman and founder of West Marine.  “We support a ‘Resource First’ approach so that future generations will be able to enjoy fishing as we have.”

All applications will be reviewed by the Marine Conservation Action Team, and those applying must show sound financial policies and management with a key focus in marine conservation, habitat restoration and sustainable fisheries. These activities may cover ocean science and conservation projects that relate to key marine species, water quality, sustainable ocean use, etc.

West Marine has donated more than $4,650,000 to non-profit organizations that support youth boating, boating safety and the marine environment.

Tip of the week is now is the time to inspect your boat before summer and a great time to complete those repairs deferred from last year.  Many boat repair shops and mechanics are not hard pressed this time of year, unlike in the summer season when customers are demanding their repairs be finished for next weekend’s cruise. This means the mechanics may have more time to spend on your boat than when other customers are breathing down their necks.

So, spring is when you want to prepare your boat for summer and make those repairs you have been thinking about since last fall.  I am constantly asked where to begin when getting a boat ready for the season, and I always say, start with the hull and make the boat sparkle in the sunshine.  This will help give you a little more motivation than starting in the bilge.

The hull should be cleaned above and below the waterline, with the topside being given a good coat of wax.  Below the waterline, you may need to apply fresh bottom paint, change the zincs and double-check all the through-hull fittings and the corresponding seacock valves.  When you check the thru-hull fittings, be sure to test the valves, look for any corrosion, use double band clamps, and make sure the hose is in excellent condition.  The thru-hulls, especially below the waterline, are your last defense to keep your boat afloat.

Next, move inside to the mechanical, electrical, waste and water systems. You may want to have a mechanic help you in this. Then, depending on your boat size and accommodations, check all the creature comforts, such as the satellite TV, microwave, Jacuzzi and air conditioning units.

Always remember to check the required Coast Guard equipment before you leave the dock. You can do a virtual check at

And don’t forget: Tune in to the No. 1 boating radio talk show in the nation, Capt. Mike Whitehead’s Boathouse Radio Show, broadcasting coast-to-coast on the CRN Digital Talk Radio syndicated network every Saturday at noon, Pacific Time and replayed on Sunday at 10 am Pacific.  Join Chandler Bell and me as we talk about “all things boating.”  You can find the station listings, cable TV channels, live streaming on the Internet, and now available are apps to listen to the show for your iPhone, Blackberry, iTouch, Android, Palm, and Windows Mobile at or

Until next week, Safe Voyages!


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