May 2, 2008

Time to Get Out on the Water

These spirited sailors weren’t about to miss out on the joys of Bay sailing. They recently rented a daysail boat from Cass’ Marina in Sausalito.

© 2008 Cass Marina

With hundreds of sailboats taking to Bay waters last Sunday for ‘Opening Day’, and nearly 300 boats expected to head across the North Bay this Saturday in the annual Vallejo Race, it should be obvious to all local sailors that 2008’s peak sailing season has begun. So we urge you to get out there and enjoy the sunny, breezy days of spring before the notorious summer fog sets in.

If you’re new to Bay waters, check out the Perfect Daysail article In the May edition of Latitude 38 — which just hit the streets yesterday — for tips on planning an ideal Bay cruise around wind and tides.

With content fresher than a spring bouquet — well, almost — the May Latitude is now on the streets.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

And if you don’t have your own boat, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of ways to get out on the water, including: renting a boat with a group of friends from any of the Greater Bay Area’s sailing schools or community sailing programs; showing up at a Beer Can Race and announcing that you’re available (see listings in Latitude‘s Calendar); or perhaps paying for a spot on a scheduled sunset sail aboard a crewed charter yacht (see comprehensive listings in the April Latitude and at

So what are you waiting for. Get out there and catch the breeze, will ya?

Market Forces Win Out at Banderas Bay

Hopefully, it’s not too late for the new marina to attract some summer-long clients. Seen here is the approach to the entrance, with the new La Cruz waterfront in the background.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After a winter of what cruisers took to be unreasonably high slip rates at the new Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz, a paucity of tenants, plus the input of marina manager Christian Mancebo, have combined to convince the board of directors to reduce slip fees.

According to Mancebo, the summer rate will be 35 cents a foot per day for stays of one month or more. Check our math, but we think that works out to $420 a month for a 40 footer. Shorter stays will be 50 cents/foot per day. This is a gigantic reduction in slip fees, but we wonder if it’s not going to be a case of ‘too late’ for this summer, as most all of the boats are either in their summer homes or have otherwise moved on.
The folks at Marina Nayarit Marina don’t need our advice, of course, but we’re going to give it to them anyway. Don’t make the same mistake with rates for next winter. Price the slips competitively so you’ll get lots of takers. Once the marina has plenty of tenants, then you can start to slowly raise prices if you like. That’s how Marina Costa Baja in La Paz managed to go from an empty marina to a packed house in just a matter of two years. Well, that and excellent service and staffing.
Market forces are good for the consumer and over the long term, the seller, too. Now, if we could only convince Singlar of the logic, maybe they’d reduce prices and fill their marinas, too.

Congressional Cup Semis Decided Today

Counting 12 wins on his scorecard, Kiwi Gavin Brady leads Long Beach YC’s Congressional Cup with four races remaining in the second round robin. The top four finishers from the round robins will advance to this weekend’s semifinals and Brady only has to win one race in today’s final four to ensure a spot for his crew which includes San Francisco’s Jim Swartz, the East Bay’s Rodney Daniel, and Santa Barbara’s John Ziskind. The battle for the other three spots will be heated though, with Kiwi ex-pat and longtime Long Beach resident Scott Dickson sitting in second with a 10-4 record and Southern Californians Mark Ivey, Tony Stuart and Chuck Stevens in his crew. Swede and last year’s runner-up Johnie Berntsson is in third at 9-5 and Kiwi ‘young gun’ Simon Minoprio at 8-6 is holding on to the fourth spot. Behind them are two teams at 7-7 and two at 6-8 with a an outside chance. The Congressional Cup is the only ISAF Grade 1 open match racing event in the U.S. and with the $41,000 in prize money at stake comes with a little extra incentive — the winnner gets a crimson blazer. For more visit the Long Beach YC’s website.

Change of Venue for SSS Seminar Monday

Two singlehanders vie for an early lead at the breezy start of the 2004 SSS TransPac.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We don’t often address Calendar items here in ‘Lectronic, but in order to prevent a lot of frustration among local singlehanders, we’ve made an exception:

Due to unexplained circumstances, the Singlehanded TransPac Seminar next Monday, May 5 (Cinco do Mayo), has been moved to South Beach YC. (See for details.

This may turn out to be a good thing, as we hear the margaritas are much better at the Club than at the previously scheduled venue.

Ah, yeah, we know. You’re getting barraged by emails announcing this new posting.
A yet-to-be-identified 24-year-old surfer from San Francisco died from a loss of blood after he was attacked by a shark Monday, while surfing at Troncones, a popular surf break for cruisers whose boats are anchored at Zihuatanejo, Mexico.