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November 4, 2013

Last Call for Boats at Nelson’s Marine

Pass the word far and wide that there are still boats waiting to be claimed by their owners at Nelson’s.

© 2013 John Tuma

The City of Alameda is nearing the end of its efforts to find the registered owners of property that was stored at Nelson’s Marine at the time Nelson’s was shut down in May, according to Kevin Montee, an attorney with Horner and Singer, the outside counsel for the city. Registered owners can still claim their property, but not for much longer. Property that is not claimed will be sold at auction, and any property not sold will be demolished.

No date has been set, and an auction will only be held if there is enough unclaimed property to warrant the effort. But Montee notes that the City of Alameda has done its best to contact owners, and that any property still unclaimed is likely to remain unclaimed.

If an auction is warranted, the City of Alameda is required to publish notice for at least two weeks in at least one local publication. However, the city has done more than it is legally required to do throughout the process, and will most likely want to get the word out about any auction through multiple publications.

We talked to one sailor whose boat is still trapped behind razor wire because the city’s attorney doesn’t believe he bought his trailer from Carl Nelson with cash.

© 2013 John Tuma

For those who still have property at the Nelson’s Marine site, more information is available at (925) 943-6570. 

The Reviews Are In

Well, shucks. Hollywood has the chance to really represent sailing accurately — relatively speaking, of course — and it appears they dropped the ball . . . yet again. The debacle that was The Perfect Storm or even the ridiculous ‘rescue’ scene in Dead Calm were painful enough but now we have another epic fail to add to the list. We have yet to watch the film for ourselves, but reports from sailors are flooding in about Robert Redford’s ‘tour de force’ performance in All is Lost and the reviews aren’t favorable.


The one-man show that boast a grand total of approximately three words follows the harrowing trials of a sailor whose boat sinks out from under him in the Indian Ocean. The trailers looked exciting and passably accurate but we’re told the rest of the film is a disappointment. "From the moment his boat gets rammed by the free-floating container to the last scene where he decides it would be a good idea to start a bonfire in his WWII-vintage rubber liferaft to create a signal fire," writes Corte Madera’s Linda Muñoz, "anyone who has ever gone on a Bay cruise on pretty much any type of vessel would agree that you don’t want to go sailing with this guy. He’s only adrift for eight days and barely has any food, almost no water, no PFD or lifesaving suit, no GPS or radio, and no flare gun. Redford does his best but unfortunately, the massive number of inaccuracies and unbelievable situations ruins the movie for anyone who has sailed."

The tether attached to the boat’s lifeline is as good an example as any of some of the filmmakers’ faux pas in All Is Lost.

© All Is Lost

Hugo Landecker, who sails his Westsail 32 Alexander out of San Rafael, agrees with Linda. "There were so many mistakes in this film but I didn’t have a pencil and paper to record the countless errors. He made navigating with a sextant look so easy! Just wave it at the horizon and voila! You have a plot fix on the chart! There were so many inaccuracies that this serious ‘thriller’ turned into a comedy for me. My poor wife’s arm was bruised by the time the movie was over for all the times I nudged her when there was a mistake. I’m sure non-boaters would enjoy the drama, but after seeing this film, they’ll never get on anything resembling a watercraft."

We’d been looking forward to seeing All is Lost on the big screen but after hearing these dismal reviews, we’ll just add it to our Netflix queue and pop Captain Ron into the DVD player. It may not be that much more accurate but at least it was meant to make us laugh

Lennon Sails on BBC Tonight

Only months before his life was tragically taken in front of The Dakota apartments in Manhattan in 1980, John Lennon had been enjoying a remarkable time with his son, Sean, in idyllic Bermuda. Writing songs for the first time in years, plying the tiny nation’s pink sand beaches and sailing in her remarkable waters impacted Lennon greatly.

Tyler Coney and John Lennon sailed together to Bermuda shortly before Lennon’s tragic murder.

© Tyler Coney

Lennon sailed to Bermuda aboard the 43-ft sloop Megan Jaye with Sean, his friend and sailing instructor Tyler Coney, Coney’s cousin, and Captain Hank Halsted. Although the notion of Lennon as a yachtsman might not square with your memory of him, be sure to listen to tonight’s BBC interview as author John McCarthy explores what turned out to be a harrowing 700-mile journey from Newport, RI to Bermuda. Halsted and Coneys describe how they sailed into a Force 8 gale, which laid all but an inexperienced Lennon and Captain Halsted seasick. The interview airs on BBC Radio 4 today at 3 p.m. PST. Listen live online at the link above.

Interestingly, a new app will be released tomorrow featuring interviews with Lennon about the journey and the songs he wrote during the voyage. Read more about John Lennon: The Bermuda Tapes here.


If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember that multiple Oscar winning actor Dustin Hoffman became famous for his role in the 1967 film The Graduate. He played Benjamin Braddock, a confused and disillusioned young man who, after being seduced by the wife (Anne Bancroft) of his father’s business partner, falls in love with her beautiful young daughter (Katherine Ross).

“I want to say just one word to you, Mrs. Robinson…”

© 2013 MGM

Mr. McGuire, a well-intentioned family friend, tried to give Benjamin some career guidance in the following exchange:

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?

Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

Believe it or not, that’s #42 in the American Film Instiitute’s list of the Top 100 movie quotations. Perhaps you had to see the movie in 1967 for that to make any sense.

We were reminded of plastics earlier this year when both of the 17-year-old fuel tanks in Profligate developed slight leaks while in Mexico. Often times you can get metal work done for less money in Mexico than in the States, so we were a little surprised to get a quote of, if we remember correctly, almost $3,000 for two tanks. Ouch! So as a temporary solution we just had the holes in the tanks patched.

When we got back to the States, we started looking into standard size stainless tanks, aluminum tanks, bladders, anything that might not be so dear. Then we wondered about plastic tanks.

A Google search took us to a cruising forum where an ‘expert’ declared that the only thing wrong with permanent plastic tanks is that they would never be approved by the Coast Guard. You know, fire dangers and such. We did a little bit more research and discovered that facts declared on cruising forums are not necessarily true. Shocking, we know.

Doña de Mallorca has invested heavily in plastics for Profligate.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

In fact, plastic — more specifically cross-linked polyethylene plastic tanks — are indeed approved for diesel by the United States Coast Guard, the NMMA and ABYC. What’s more, the 50-gallon tanks by Moeller Marine Products we bought cost — sit down for this one — just $269 each. A pleasant surprise.

At the annual Turtle Bay baseball game, seven-year-old Beto Eichen off the Sausalito-based Farr 44 Compañera had one of the narrowest strike zones in the fleet, but he got several powerful hits.
With the Summer of Sailing now behind us, it’s time to grab a copy of the November issue of Latitude 38 at your favorite yacht club or chandlery.