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Long Beach Marinas Leave Good Impression

We recently bought a 1989 Sabre 38 MkII from Steve Curran at California Yacht Company in Long Beach, with the help of our friend and broker Jim Tull of Passage Nautical. The boat has been on Steve’s sales docks at Shoreline Marina in Long Beach. With the arrival of Thanksgiving, my wife and our two daughters decided to take our pod south for the weekend to get to know the boat and the Long Beach area. It was a treat.

Sailing in Long Beach
Pleasant breezes and a level boat, even with an ‘oversized’ jib.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Though we’ve lived in California since the early ’80s, we haven’t spent a lot of time in the L.A. area. We did attend some of the last, large Long Beach boat shows in the convention center when Costa Mesa was still pumping out thousands of racer/cruisers annually, but we don’t know the area well. Given the family travel schedule, getting to know the boat, and the fact that ‘it’s all new to us’, we didn’t go far. We daysailed out of Shoreline Marina, then sailed to Alamitos Bay to tie up at the COVID-quiet, empty guest docks of the Long Beach Yacht Club, where we ordered our delicious ‘takeout’ Thanksgiving dinner, and then sailed back to Shoreline. The good news is the boat worked great. The weather was fine (except for a blustery Santa Ana wind Thanksgiving night) and we loved sailing the boat.

The Arndt family smiles
The Arndt family was all smiles sailing aboard Alicante in comfortable SoCal breezes.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Bay Area sailors may remember the boat, which was owned and sailed by Randy Pauling and family for years. After that she was bought by Matt Humphries, who sailed her in the 2017 Transpac with Paul Kamen navigating. The current plan is to keep her in SoCal for a couple of months before finding a weather window to bring her back north to the Bay.

Long Beach Yacht Club docks
Because of the lockdown, all was quiet at the Long Beach Yacht Club. Except for us as we jumped in for a brisk, short swim. The man-overboard pole was ready on the foredeck.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

We had a quiet sail down the Alamitos Bay channel and ghosted right up to the spacious LBYC guest docks. In normal times it would be bustling and we’d love to be there to see all those Sabots off the racks and in the water. While things were generally quiet, the waterway was filled with SUPs, Duffy electric boats, kayaks, paddleboards, pedal cat bikes, and swimmers. All fun.

Long Beach guest dock
What we wish there were more of in the Bay: large, free, three-hour guest docks.

Of the many things we could describe, one of them is how impressed we were with the Long Beach municipal marinas. According to Kimarie Vestre, marina supervisor at the Alamitos location, the Long Beach marinas are the largest municipal marina in the country, with 3400 slips split between the Shoreline and Alamitos Bay facilities. Despite Long Beach being a busy industrial port, the cityfront and Alamitos Bay marinas were immaculate, with clean grounds, restrooms/showers and laundry. A credit to both the city and the Long Beach Marina’s crew.

Alamitos Bay Marina
We were happy to meet Alamitos Bay Marina supervisor Kimarie Vestre, who said that because their offices are closed by the pandemic, they’ve moved their magazine rack outside for our readers. That’s nice of them.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

All in all it was a great, brief shakedown cruise. We got the stove working and became familiar with the chartplotter, the autopilot worked — put simply, the boat is an immense pleasure to sail. While we reveled in pleasant breezes for our three daysails, we didn’t find much traffic from the 3400 boats in the Long Beach Marina slips nearby.

We also had the boat hauled at Marina Shipyard for bottom painting, and they disassembled and greased all those thru-hulls we’d mentioned in our last post. They’re looking good.

Long Beach Yacht Club
Sunset at the Long Beach Yacht Club docks after a Thanksgiving daysail — just before the Santa Ana winds kicked into high gear.

We’ll be doing the passage north and south on I-5 a few times before we finally take the offshore route north sometime in the months ahead.



  1. Kim Paternoster 4 years ago

    HAHA John. We looked at this boat a couple of months ago because Alison mentioned it to us. Had considered buying it ourselves, especially due to the connection with the Paulings. I’m so glad you ended up with it!

  2. Rich 4 years ago

    Congratulations, John! She’s a beauty! Glad the shakedown cruise was such a success. Being so close to Mexico, might you be tempted to leave her in Ensenada for awhile?? Commuter cruising is pretty fun!

  3. Merle Asper 4 years ago

    Awesome! It sounds like a great boat. Ruth Pauling is a member at ABYC as you exit Alamitos Bay. Tom Pauling was a member and participant for many years as well.

    Kimery is a nice person and good at her job.

    I am glad you guys had a nice time down here!

  4. Mike Mellon 4 years ago

    No one deserves a nice beautiful boat more than you and your family. You have contributed much. Congratulations.

  5. Randy Gridley 4 years ago

    SoCal sailing is sometimes way underrated. Glad you’re loving the boat and looking forward to seeing you up North on the Bay!

  6. Greg Clausen 4 years ago

    awesome boat!! Congrats to you and the family. I spent a week in Long Beach getting ready for the transpac, had a good time at the LBYC other nearby places. I would like to spend time down there again. Those oil islands are sure wacky thou.

  7. Bill Nork 4 years ago

    Beautiful boat John. Congratulations!

  8. Rick Barrionuevo 4 years ago

    Nice boat. I didn’t realize the connection until I read this article.

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