Summarized from Harbormaster Kurt Borsting’s report to the Harbor Commission on Aug. 14.
Department Patrol Vessel Procurement
The Harbor Department may soon see a new set of vessels in their fleet, as staff works to replace the rented catamarans they use for patrolling the harbor with two new vessels.
The city sent out a request for proposals in July for procurement of two new patrol vessels.
Through the process, staff selected to purchase two maritime patriot 210 patrol boats. These vessels are each 20’9” in length, with center console design and are equipped with 115 horse powered outboard engines.
The new boats will also feature a higher capacity water pump that the sea lions will “probably like a little less,” Borsting joked.
An approximate 20-week lead time is expected for the fabrication and delivery of the vessels.
“(The vessels) will be a nice end of the year present for the department,” Borsting said Wednesday.
The new vessels will be a nice asset to support the harbor, he added.
Total cost is about $60,000 per vessel, Borsting confirmed.
Answering a question from the Commission, Borsting noted that adding rub rails would have been an approximate $10,000 upcharge per vessel, a cost they considered a “budget buster.”
A staff recommendation will now advance to City Council for final approval. As proposed, these vessels would replace the two catamaran patrol vessels currently used by the Harbor Department, which are rented by the city through an agreement with a local nonprofit organization.
July 4th Harbor Activities
Boating and beach activity were heavy in Newport Harbor on Independence Day, Borsting reported.
July 4th festivities began at 12:30 p.m. with the American Legion Yacht Club’s Old Glory Boat Parade, with high use of the bay continuing throughout the day. Heavy use of the waterways wrapped up with the evening’s fireworks display.
The Harbor Department scheduled additional resources for the holiday, staffing on-water patrols until 9:30 p.m. Harbor Department services were well utilized, and the day’s activities were largely free of incident.
“It was a very celebratory day on the harbor,” Borsting said. “A lot of good, clean fun.”
Harbor Awareness in Lifesaving Techniques (HALT)
On July 14 and 22, Brandon Hodding from the city’s lifeguard team organized awareness and lifesaving techniques training sessions for Harbor Department service workers and leads.
“It was very well received by our staff,” Borsting noted.
The two-hour program provided classroom instruction and field experiences with on-water lifesaving techniques. They learned “very practical, life-saving techniques,” Borsting said.
The program’s emphasis was on strategies staff could deploy to assist those in distress without putting themselves at risk of injury.
As a result of the training, the department has made some internal operational changes, he added.
Online Reservation Requests for Guest Slips and Short Term Mooring Rentals
On July 17, the Harbor Department staff met with Avery Maglinti, Jackie Luengas-Alwafai and Micheal Wojciechowski from the city’s IT team, where they demonstrated an online reservation request system they developed for harbor customers interested in renting guest slips at Marina Park or booking short term mooring rentals.
System updates based on feedback received from the department at our meeting and final testing efforts are currently underway.
Staff hopes to go live within the next few days or by the end of the month at the latest, Borsting said.
The new online functionality will be available both on the Harbor Department’s website and the mobile “My Newport Beach” app.
Once launched, this online reservations functionality will represent a significant ‘after business hours’ customer service to harbor users, Borsting commented.
Code Enforcement Activity
During July, code enforcement staff opened 114 new cases and successfully resolved/closed 74 existing files.