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May 2018

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Thank you, Latitude 38 for shining light on my long battle with BCDC to build a world-class marina in San Francisco Bay, and the abusive actions of BCDC staff, which have caused so many false allegations and exorbitant fines against Westpoint Harbor. I have reviewed your editorial and Mr. Goldzband's response. Unfortunately Mr. Goldzband is economical with the truth, and more light is needed.

Recreational boating is an essential way for people to enjoy the water, and most boaters are vigorous in their advocacy for the Bay. BCDC's attitude toward recreational boating is well known, and BCDC staff blocked my permit for 10 years (1993-2003) declaring it "incomplete." Numerous rewrites were rejected by an entrenched staff while all other agencies approved the same permit. "We don't need another marina in the South Bay," and "if people want to boat they can come to San Francisco," was the opinion of one staffer. Sadly, many South Bay marinas have closed and only a handful remain. My single-minded mission is to advance and sustain boating in the Bay, creating a full-service harbor with fuel docks, a boatyard (none remain where once there were twelve), a 1,000-ft guest dock, and more.

Mr. marina's statement, "Sanders materially benefited from the private gains of the marina while ignoring permit obligations," is especially insulting in view of the difficult technical challenges and long bureaucratic nightmare this has been. The truth is I invested everything into Westpoint Harbor (WPH) and have not taken a penny in salary or personal benefit. It was my way to give back as I reinvest everything into my still-unfinished mission to complete Westpoint Harbor. Today, these funds are squandered defending against the very agency charged with promoting recreational boating in the Bay.

The WPH Statement of Defense addresses the false BCDC allegations and I will not repeat it here. I urge readers to visit the Westpoint or BCDC websites and see for themselves. The allegations are false, unsupported by evidence, and in many cases impractical or even impossible — and obvious to knowledgeable mariners.

Mr. Goldzband claims I "declined every opportunity" to amend and correct errors in the BCDC permit. Nothing could be further from the truth! With counsel and architects, we spent hundreds of hours rewriting their badly crafted permit in meetings from 2011 to 2015. Irrefutable evidence (recordings and transcripts) show we labored in good faith to craft a consistent, practical permit (Amendment 5), correcting 44 material errors and conflicts. Other agencies (Department of Boating and Waterways, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Coast Guard and NOAA) pitched in to convince staff many conditions were impractical and unenforceable. This was resolved a decade before, but with few records at BCDC it fell to me to provide proof of compliance.

Mr. Goldzband describes me as "a recalcitrant permit holder who has thumbed his nose at the public," bemoaning my "stubborn refusal to comply with staff demands." Demands I refused to follow include installing "a row of buoys down the middle to delineate the center of the channel." I instead placed standard red and green channel markers per Coast Guard requirements; I refused to prohibit personal watercraft and public agency boats in the harbor (Police, Coast Guard and Fire boats); I refused to allow swimming in the marina (ESD or electric shock drowning is a leading cause of marina deaths). These are a just a few of the arbitrary and unworkable mandates from the enforcement staff with which I cannot comply. Would you? BCDC has a history of such uninformed policies, once even outlawing automatic bilge pumps (it took the RBOC to convince BCDC that Coast Guard rules and potentially sunk vessels make this new condition a bad idea).

In the end, BCDC staff scuttled Amendment 5, which would have resolved most issues by adding new unacceptable conditions. This included "complying with the (legal) requirements of other agencies does not relieve the permittee from the obligation to comply with BCDC demands" (like federal rules for navigational markers), and, "Sanders is still responsible for accumulated fines from the time each allegation was made until it was proven invalid and corrected in the permit." No sane person would agree to such terms or yield their right to seek justice in a court. This earned me the label "uncooperative" by BCDC.

BCDC has 170 entities on their hit list, a third of all permittees, ranked by the severity of alleged "illegal actions." Westpoint Harbor is a paltry 46 on this list, which includes eight marinas, a dozen cities, major ports, restaurants, boatyards and even state and federal agencies. BCDC brags it has enforceable violations in every permit, and reports the number of cases and the income collected from fines annually. Staff admits it has no formal compliance program and uses "seat of the pants" methods. This leads to creativity in maximizing fines, even parsing one allegation into many to increase revenue. Other permittees are victims of such parsing, often contriving seven claims from one, and more. It's nothing less than a shakedown.

No other agency has cited a single infraction against Westpoint Harbor. I cannot implement BCDC measures that are illegal, conflict with other agencies with jurisdiction, endanger boaters and visitors, or undo measures meant to protect the environment and insure safe public access. By law, enforcement fines go to the Bay Fill Abatement Fund, and Mr. Goldzband admits (from enforcement committee minutes) funds have been diverted to its enforcement group. In its zeal to maximize income and become a "for-profit" agency, BCDC is currently recruiting two more attorneys for its enforcement team. One wonders why BCDC doesn't invest in competent inspectors like other agencies. Trained and knowledgeable inspectors ensure compliance and help avoid acrimonious conflicts and staggering costs which result from a "ready, fire, aim" approach. And it would open a door to beneficial cooperation and communication with permittees, the foundation of an effective and just agency with inspectors who are not the beneficiaries of fines.

This prejudicial enforcement and vindictive behavior is pervasive in BCDC's enforcement staff, and the same people make the rules, interpret the rules, allege violations, act as judge and jury, assess fines, and even control the appeals process. It's the antithesis of a democratic process, and for an agency to do such harm is tragic considering its past accomplishments and admirable mission.

Mark L. Sanders
Westpoint Harbor
Redwood City

Why didn't you include the BCDC response to your editorial in the magazine before the hearing?

We in the South Bay call it the "Google Marina," and steer clear; nature lovers, daysailors and cruisers alike, due to the signs, barriers, and hostility mentioned in the BCDC response.

Paul Dixon
Stella, Nordic Folkboat
Redwood City


Just wanted to thank the staff of Latitude 38 for reporting on and raising awareness of the various issues that endanger our mutually loved sport of sailing. I do not support anything the BCDC is doing.

Shannon Amerman
Agave, Catalina 375
Westpoint Harbor

I followed with interest your coverage of the dispute between BCDC and Westpoint Harbor. Your article in the March issue made it appear that BCDC was simply being ridiculously petty, and maybe they did nitpick. But you totally missed the main point: From BCDC's telling, it certainly seems that Westpoint's owner, Mark Sanders, has been a scofflaw for a number of years. And it's not over some minor detail; it's over the general public's right to access to the waterfront. Maybe as advocates of sailboating you don't care about non-sailors, but I think that's an extremely selfish position.

Then I read your "response" to the BCDC letter. It wasn't a response at all as you completely glossed over the main point of their explanation.
I have to say, I think this approach is in keeping with the long-held politics of Latitude 38, which is opposition to any sort of government regulation. It's exactly that position that led the previous producer of Latitude to deny the fact of human-caused global warming after it was well established, and even after a shadow of doubt was eliminated he was still casting doubt on it.

I still wonder what he, and you, will say to the next generation, who will have to suffer from your shortsightedness. And as for the BCDC/Westpoint issue: Your coverage is simply poor journalism. I know that not all government regulation is fair or reasonable, but consider the alternative: global warming, death of ocean coral and elimination of public access to such treasures as our Bay shoreline and coast. Is that really what you want?

John Reimann
Why Knot? Catalina 36

John — Regarding our reporting on the Westpoint/BCDC dispute, we feel like our coverage has been mostly limited to our editorial in the March issue, the gist of which stated that "while we take issue with the current state of affairs, we still think the BCDC and other public agencies have made a great contribution to improving the Bay Area over the past few decades." We also said that we think Westpoint Harbor is the very model of an environmentally friendly marina that's done an excellent job of providing access to the Bay. The editorial was meant to be a jumping-off point for all of the stakeholders to offer their opinions in their own words, and to help all of us have a better understanding of the issue. We share our perspective based on the knowledge we have at the time, but continue to learn from our readers and through our reporting.

We don't feel that we glossed over the BCDC's explanation. They contend that "Mr. Sanders has broken his contract by refusing to provide over a quarter-million square feet of public access areas and specified public access improvements that he promised to provide when he signed his permits." But this is just one perspective in a decade-long, multimillion-dollar negotiation. After the BCDC wrote their response to our editorial, the Friends of Westpoint Harbor — an advocacy group that "seeks to promote the common mission of the BCDC and Westpoint Harbor — shared the following response to the section just quoted by BCDC Executive Director Larry Goldzband: "Mr. Goldzband suggests that Mark Sanders had six years to get it right but failed to provide over 250,000 square feet of public assess area and improvements. Mr. Sanders did provide public access for each portion of the marina as it was completed. What Mr. Goldzband didn't say is public access for subsequent phases of the project were completed as physically possible."

We don't think we have a 'selfish position' on behalf of sailors. The BCDC mission isn't to provide access to the waterfront, but to help provide access to the Bay itself. As we've said many times before, this doesn't just mean paths near the water, it means infrastructure to get into the water. This is why we support Westpoint, which has brought much needed access to the South Bay. You're right in calling us strong advocates of sailing, though our zeal doesn't prejudice us against non-sailors. But yes, we vehemently oppose developers who tear down marinas and Bay access facilities and replace them with public paths along the water, then say, "Look! Access!" Maybe for bicycles, but not for boats.

And we certainly don't take a blanket 'no government regulation' approach. Generally speaking, there has probably never been a government regulation written in anticipation of a problem; regulations are responses to problems. The BCDC was created because the Bay was a cesspool getting filled with garbage, and the BCDC — along with the efforts of many groups and individuals — has been integral to the vastly improved ecosystem. Typically, if big government agencies tasked with regulation are successful, over time the problems become much smaller. What we often end up with is big agencies handling small problems like the shape and color of tables at waterfront restaurants.

You many or may not find some similarities with our perspective to that of Latitude 38's founder, but you'll probably find some differences as well. Some of us have worked here for 30 years, and you'd be right to guess we've enthusiastically supported the Wanderer's mission, style, entertainment, information and inspiration provided over the decades. But, like at any family Thanksgiving gathering, there has always been a wide diversity of opinions around the Latitude table. You may or may not have noticed that we've done more environmental reporting over the last year. Off the top of our heads: We recently covered sailors' efforts to collect trash from the Bay, 'Balloon Fishing' in Southern California, and the Ocean Cleanup — an ambitious project attempting to rid the ocean of plastic. We've written about coral bleaching, and did a story about marine pollution in the eastern Caribbean, and pieces about Jim Holm, who has helped invent a plastic-waste to diesel machine, and Liz Clark, one of the original sailors advocating for the environment. We also wrote an editorial titled "Live Like a Sailor," following last year's horrendous hurricane season, and actively support the green nature of sailing. Environmental sustainability is an important component of our beliefs, though, at our core, we're just a sailing mag. — ja/th


Latitude 38 and the members of the Pacific Inter-Club Yachting Association (PICYA) should organize members of those clubs and voters to sponsor a bill in the California legislature that will completely terminate the BCDC, and give any enforcement duties it may still have to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and other worthy agencies.

What purpose does the BCDC serve any longer? As far as I can see they just suck off tax dollars providing careers for the indolent, who make a nuisance of themselves to the boating community. BCDC's mission to "save the Bay," is today much better served by the work of all these governmental and civic-minded volunteer organizations that have banded together since 2000 to create the California Dockwalker program.

When the BCDC started in the last century, there was a real need to stop the greedy coastal municipalities from stealing new land out of the Bay; cities regularly built dikes and drained the Bay. The BCDC was created by concerned boaters and environmentalists and given the clout to stop such schemes and actually "save" the Bay. But now the San Francisco Bay has been granted "eternal life" through California and federal legislation — it no longer needs to be "saved." Further, the original reason for creating the BCDC no longer exists. Consequently, it is now time to disband this purposeless commission.

The "Save the Bay" mission has now shifted to "protect the marine environment," and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary has joined in partnership with the Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission's Boating Clean & Green Program, the Bay Foundation (DBW's Clean Vessel Act program), US Power Squadrons and Save Our Shores. These organizations train their members as dock-walkers to go out and reach the public, visit boaters at their berths, and hand out free boater kits to help promote clean and safe boating, while also improving the recreation experience and helping to preserve the Bay and its precious wildlife habitat and water quality. This isn't something that's even on the BCDC's to-do list.

Currently, there are over 700 trained Dockwalkers statewide who have distributed more than 90,000 boater kits since 2000. To get a free boater kit, each boatowner has to fill out a questionnaire on clean and safe boating. These organizations have a direct effect on over 90,000 boaters and have done it for free, instead of wasting taxpayer dollars while sitting in an office choosing what table decor Scott's restaurant should or should not have. It's time to cut such unneeded, useless bureaucracy out of California's government.

Capt. Alan Hugenot
Naval Architect & Marine Surveyor
Schooner Sea Raven
San Francisco Bay

G'day John, old mate! I just wanted you to know how great it was to see the photo in your ad on page 78 of Issue #488. That photo was taken on a hot and windless day during the Tasar Worlds in Darwin many years ago. That's my boat and that's me you can just see second from the left in the red Ronstan rashie with my hand in the air. I trust ownership is treating you well and you are enjoying your life to the fullest.

Alistair Murray
Tasar Sailor
Chairman, Ronstan International Pty Ltd.
Braeside, Australia

Alistair — Hey, great to hear from you and to know you're still reading Latitude way Down Under in Melbourne, the home of Ronstan and the bay with the second-best sailors in the world. It's been a while since you were sailing your 11:Metre Ronstan on San Francisco Bay, but the competition is still as fierce as ever and your former classmates continue to show everyone how it's done.
What we love about your picture for our Crew List Party ad and sailing in general is the 'more the merrier' idea. While everyone loves the challenge of sailing, so often it's the community and people that surround you in your one-design class, yacht club or wherever that make sailing such a lifelong pleasure. In contrast we wonder why so many of the images we see of today's modern, big boats show acres of deck space with just one or two people aboard. We're guessing a 15-ft Tasar wth 20 kids aboard is much more fun. We hold our Crew List parties to help people find more friends to bring sailing, and to help others find a way to crew. You clearly have done a masterful job with your Tasar, and we hope others will find room on their more spacious boats as well. — ja

I saw a letter in Latitude 38 about the 60-ft sailing vessel Jonathan Swift. We used to have that boat; she was donated to the Boy Scouts many years ago. I don't remember all the particulars, but she was a William Fife design, and, if memory serves me correctly, was built by De Vries Lentsch in Holland. She had rolled steel plates and an absolutely beautiful hull. Of course she did, she was a Fife design. If I remember, there was also some story about her being sunk in a bay or lake during the war to keep her from the Nazis.

I don't remember how Swift got to the US, but she ended up in San Diego and I believe Hawaii for a while. At one point, the steel was deteriorating and it was fiberglassed in San Diego (I believe at Kettenburg). Normally, that would be a very unorthodox way of repairing and temporary at best, but years later it was still holding up well. If you didn't know it was done, it was hard to tell. They did a beautiful job and probably prolonged the hull for many years.
When we got the boat, she was at Pier 39 in San Francisco. She needed a lot of work — mostly the deck, cabin and interior, which leaked a lot. The boat was very wet inside during rain. The hull was mostly fine. My wife and I lived on the boat for quite a few months at Arques. It was very basic at best; the interior was partly stripped, like a half-built boat. I guess someone had started a refit but didn't finish.

A few years before she was donated, the boat was dismasted, (if I remember the boat hit a bridge . . . in Napa?) so the insurance company put a new rig in her.

I sold her to a charming guy who wanted to do charters with the boat, but he ran out of money. I lost track after that but saw her a few years later with no mast in a covered shed at Napa Valley Marina. It looked like someone was doing a lot of work on her. That's the last time I saw her.

John 'Woody' Skoriak
Point Richmond/Sausalito

Readers — Last month, Dave Reed told us he had a friend who had just bought a 69-ft steel sloop built in Holland in 1939. "My friend would very much like to learn anything about his boat's time in the Bay Area." Thanks, Woody, for filling in some details. Oh yeah, and here's a response from Dave. — th

That's fascinating stuff. You might like to pass along to Mr. Skoriak that the boat is currently in a boatyard in Puerto Vallarta, undergoing a pretty thorough restoration, and should be back in the water within a few weeks. She will call La Cruz her homeport for a while and probably do a few charters. She is currently owned by an Icelandic man who makes his home in Mexico. I was on the boat in January, and while she still needed quite a bit of work, she is quite intact — no sign of any fiberglass that I could see. Please assure Mr. Skoriak that the boat seems to be in good (though a bit overwhelmed at times) hands.

Dave Reed
Pender Island, BC

The March 14 'Lectronic Latitude ['The Hills Are Alive"] about the San Rafael hills made me wonder about possible other boat-in and hike locations around the Bay. We really enjoy doing that in the Caribbean, and imagine there are probably many cool hikes in the Bay Area. Thanks for a great mag.

Phil Hodgson
Planet Earth

Phil — Great question. The first and most obvious answer is Angel Island, which offers some of the most spectacular hiking in the entire Bay Area, with Mt. Livermore's peak as the grand prize. Angel is one of the true gems of the San Francisco Bay, and, hands down, one of our favorite spots to visit.
But Angel Island is very much on the beaten path, so that its trails on a summer weekend feel like a Bay Area freeway at rush hour. There are also issues with depth in Ayala Cove, which has a $15 day use fee for slips (which must be vacated by sunset) and $30 overnight fee for the moorings. If you're ever able to make a pilgrimage to Angel on a weekday or certain holidays (like Christmas), then you're in for a treat.

As we mentioned, San Rafael has some spectacular hiking that's not far from the water. If you're able to dock at Loch Lomond, there are trailheads within about a mile of the marina, tucked away in the neighborhoods (just keep walking toward the peaks and you'll find them). And if we're talking about San Rafael, don't forget about China Camp, which has plenty of nooks and crannies to explore from the anchorage.

Of course there's good city exploring from the San Francisco marinas, as well as an awesome hike under the Golden Gate Bridge and up to the Marin headlands from Travis Marina (there's also a fun little bar above Presidio YC for an after-hike cold one). And don't forget Brickyard Cove, which gives you walkable access to the hills of Point Richmond, as well as the charming downtown. — th


My sailing buddies (Mike, Mike and Brad) and I went for a pre-St. Patrick's Day on the Bay, and we had a great time. We felt a few sprinkles in the morning, saw a grand rainbow, and enjoyed afternoon westerlies in the mid- to high teens. In short, lots of fun!

I'm wondering, however, if any other readers have shared the problem we found in Ayala Cove. Excuse the bad pun, but the dock was 'sealed off'! We pulled into a slip near the far end of the dock so that one of the Mikes could cook lunch for us. Along with the other Mike, I started to walk to the dock ramp so that we could pay the State Park fee for day use. We saw a sea lion 'harem' of moms and youngsters that had hauled out to sun themselves (and crap) on one of the slip fingers. Despite our slow pace and calming voices, many of them slipped back into the water to avoid our approach. It's bad form and against federal law to annoy marine mammals, so we were trying to do the right thing. But a much larger sea lion, probably the harem's alpha-male protector, stretched across the dock's main walkway. Our slow approach caused him to swivel his neck and glare at us. Another two steps closer and he opened his mouth to show his sharp teeth. A further step on our part resulted in an audible low grumble on his part. He didn't move a bit, so we retreated (trying to avoid the stinky crap on the dock), and just went back to the boat. We'd all read your earlier coverage of the sea lion bites in Aquatic Park Cove.

Sailing requires decisions that include making trade-offs. Last Friday, our personal safety seemed more important than paying the $15 use fee. Sorry, State Parks . . .

Remember when the sea lions took over Pier 39's west basin? Are they now laying claim to the Ayala Cove docks? Has anyone else had this experience?

Peter Detwiler
Toba Leah II, Catalina 42
Tradewinds Sailing Center
Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, Richmond

Peter — We go out to Angel Island with some regularity and do see the seals start to crowd the docks — usually at the end of the day as the slips clear out and the last ferry boat leaves — but we've never been blocked from passing. They're usually fairly shy and skittish (some distinction between seals and sea lions is important here) and abandon the docks without any real encouragement as people approach. Maybe it was some kind of presidential seal that just didn't want to give an inch. We're pretty sure he'll eventually change his mind. — ja

I liked your 'Lectronic Latitude [March 19's "Weekend Report: St. Patrick's Day"] about sailing on San Pablo Bay on a spectacular rainy spring day. Shows how not staying on the dock results in some of the best days sailing.

Steve Katzman
Dianne, Express 27
South Lake Tahoe

Steve — During a San Francisco summer, you can set your watch by the wind (and rely on a lack of rain), so it's easy to get a little spoiled here on the West Coast. But if you're deterred by a little rain or lack of wind, think of all the days and sights you might miss.

This last St. Patrick's Day was a true diamond in the rough. When the rain did come, it was just a light drizzle, and it was actually fun to heave to, retreat to the cozy confines of my cabin, pour a whiskey, and watch the boat drift gently on San Pablo Bay. And once the rain passed, the sky was spectacular, and of a caliber that we don't often experience in the Bay Area (there was even enough wind to make things interesting). It was one of our favorite sails of all time. We can't imagine missing it over a little bit of rain. — th

"J/24 the largest production one-design class?" How does it compare to the Lightning one-design class, which has been around since the mid-1940s and is still going strong, with new boats in still in production?

H. Arthur
As the Wind Blows, Lightning
Orcas, WA

Readers — Arthur is referring to a 'Lectronic Latitude post on March 23 titled 'Spring Has Sprung Loos!' The author, J/24 fleet member Robin Van Vliet, claimed that the J/24 is the largest production one-design class in the world. We later added the qualifier "keelboat" to that statement. Read on to find out why.
We looked up some stats on According to that very useful website, there have been 5,400 J/24s built since the boat was designed by Rod Johnstone in 1977.

The Lightning is a 19-ft centerboard dinghy designed in 1938 by Sparkman & Stephens. Sailboatdata tells us that 15,550 have been built, but not how many of those were wood and how many fiberglass. It's not unusual to see a wooden Lightning sitting in a garage in some state of restoration. There was an active fleet in the San Francisco Bay Area not too long ago, but they have been quiescent in recent years.

Our first guess for which design had the most production (not custom or wooden) boats built, was the Laser. Sailboatdata says that 150,000 have been built since they were designed by Bruce Kirby in 1970. The local Laser fleet is very active. But wait — don't forget the Alcort Sunfish! Since 1952, more than 300,000 Sunfish have been built. OK, Sunfish, you win.

We wondered about Hobie Cat 16s, which were designed around the same time as Lasers by the late great surf-shop owner, Hobie Alter. We find that 135,000 of those were built.

Enduring designs, all of them. — cw

Have you seen one of these before? It's a wrench that we use to disassemble our two-speed winches. You insert it into the top of the winch, just like a regular winch handle, and the hole in the center allows you to access the Allen screw to remove the top. It's been on our boat for decades and none of us know where it came from. We'd like to get a spare, but I've checked with several chandleries and searched online but no one has heard of it. Any help in finding another, or even knowing what to call it, would be appreciated.

Bob Adams
Escape, Ericson 35
Richmond Yacht Club

That tool — used to strip the winch — can be found under another guise as a key to open the water or diesel inlet, or deck fitting.

David S. Wheatley
Surabaya Girl
Portsmouth Harbour, UK

Readers — David included a link for Sheridan Marine (, listing the "Stainless Steel Octagonal Star Deck Filler Key," a stainless steel eight-point star deck-filler key with a long reach neck and keychain eyelet that is useful for star-shaped deck fillers.

That looks like a deck-fill wrench from Amiot ( out of Jacksonville, FL. They come in cast stainless steel or hardened plastic. You might need to drill your own hole for the set-screw access.

Randy Tice
Planet Earth

I had one aboard when our boat sank in Hurricane Irma. I made it by using a used water-fill deck-plate wrench I found at Minney's Yacht Surplus in Costa Mesa. I drilled out the center and used it quarterly to clean and lube my primary winches. We always had a dog and cat aboard; it's surprising how little animal hair it takes to affect a winch.

Michael Staudt
Planet Latitude

I did a little online searching and found this. It's a Line Lifter Key, according to Bruno at Australian Yacht Winch Co. They apparently have plenty of them for winches 25+ years old.

John Gulliford
Planet Ocean

That tool is a Barient/Barlow Winch Disassembly tool. I have one, and I need it to maintain my winches, but you can make one. You need a piece of square stock 5/8-in to 11/16-in hardwood, plastic or metal (a 1x1-in maple can be shaved to fit). Drill a hole large enough for the hex key to access the Allen screw. Put a wrench on the square stock, and you should be fine. (My quick research didn't produce any, but they're probably in the junk drawer of many good old boats.

Harold Beer
Planet DIY

Readers — Thanks for your responses, which were plentiful and too numerous to include all of them here. The spirit of chipping in your two cents to help sailors with a question is always delightful to see. There were numerous solutions and countless names for the tool in question, many of which were disparate, but all of which were correct. Because sailing is so old and multinational, there seem to be a bazillion names for everything, and a bazillion and one jury rigs and DIY fixes to create the right tool needed for the job. — th

I read the article in the February edition of Latitude about the December rescue of a French trimaran sailor off Cape Horn. We already had reservations for a March trip aboard the Stella Australis, which participated in that rescue, so I grabbed the remaining copies of the February Latitude (from Portland Yacht Club) and packed them to travel. z

I gave them to the captain and crew in the Stella Australis's wheelhouse in mid-March. With this message, I'm passing along their appreciation for your kind words about them in the article. (PS: The Stella is a great vessel; I would recommend a Patagonia/Cape Horn trip aboard her to any sailor interested in seeing this sailing icon).

Tom Stringfield
Vixen, Cascade 36
Rose City Yacht Club, Portland, OR

Tom — Thanks for your note and for carrying Latitudes all the way to Patagonia. Somehow it just feels cooler to know they have a magazine in hand rather than just another link in the digital universe.

For those who don't remember, when Bay Area sailor Don Payan and his wife went to tour Patagonia and Cape Horn on the small cruise ship Stella Australis, their trip was interrupted by the Cape Horn rescue of the attempted 'wrong-way' record effort by French singlehander Yves Le Blevec aboard his 102-ft trimaran Actual Ultim (formerly Sodebo). You can read the whole story in the Sightings section of our February issue. — ja

I'm still totally mystified as to why this one guy anchored out is such a big deal. There are more than 50 similar boats anchored out in Richardson Bay. Efforts have been made to get them to use holding tanks, but I doubt there is any real progress. They still use Richardson Bay as their toilet. The eelgrass that used to proliferate in Richardson is gone, and it is a dead zone for fish.

Every winter, two or three anchor-outs break off their moorings and have to be salvaged at an average cost of $10,000 per boat. The BCDC and Richardson's Bay Regional Agency have proven to be ineffective bureaucracy as far as doing anything about this, although they certainly pay close attention to the permits that they can charge for. Their continued failure to address this issue and then duck it have made them seem to be examples of poor and ineffective government in many people's minds.

So why is one guy such a big deal when an important arm of San Francisco Bay is being totally fouled by 50 or so similar guys and nobody does anything about it? Does anyone at the BCDC, or any of the other government agencies charged with guarding the health of San Francisco Bay, have an explanation?

Larry Moraes
E Cruz, Maxum

I wonder if this is where the expression"getting to the bottom of it" comes from. I mean did the boat really come adrift or was it sabotaged? It starts me thinking about the long history of boats going adrift, wondering what the laws are, if any. Not just the US laws (boring), but the laws worldwide and across history.

Brad Smith
Hobie 18
Santa Cruz

This guy in Aquatic Park appears to be a complete idiot/ jerk. There are simple and generous requirements for mooring in Aquatic Park, and he is unwilling to abide by them. Behavior like this can and often does ruin a good deal for more responsible boaters and citizens.

Not only is he exceeding the maximum duration rules, but he inexplicably refuses to anchor in a suitable area out of the swimming lanes. Does he secretly loathe the sport of swimming? Why his boat was not towed and impounded long ago is a mystery. It seems to me once someone has stayed twice as long as the rules allow, action by controlling authorities (non-controlling authorities in this case) would be completely justified and even expected by responsible citizens.

Mark Bidgood
Planet Latitude

I really don't understand why boats are abandoned here in Sausalito and the Bay. Raw sewage dumping, trash and then the boat sinks and we tax payers have to pay for some narcissistic 'boat person' who does not follow any of the rules and regulations for the Bay; 95% of the anchor-outs are illegal in Richardson Bay. I have never seen such unsightly neglect, and no action has really taken place. Yes, I am seeing fewer boats; however, there are so many abandoned, non-registered vessels out here that something has to be done. I'm not talking about removing people and families who live on their boats who have been there forever, I'm talking about trash boats that are abandoned and people who bring their boats in and illegally drop anchor and feel they have the right to.

Hey, get a slip and pay for slip fees like everyone else. This is the only harbor/bay/seaport where I see such horrible neglect and management. I see raw sewage and trash constantly floating around my floating home. It's gross, and something has to be done. Did I say US taxpayers pay for the illegal anchor-outs whose boats sink and have to be salvaged? We could be spending that money better.

Charlotte Hampton

Is the Matthew Turner [reported in the March 14 'Lectronic Latitude] a brigantine or a topsail schooner? Looks like she's got a fore-and-aft sail on the forward mast as well as square-rigged ones above. That, according to definitions I've seen, makes her a topsail schooner, not a brigantine as claimed in the article. Brigantines are totally square-rigged on the foremast, no fore-and-aft sail. Regardless, a beautiful ship and thanks for the photos.

Lu Abel
US Power Squadrons 2016 Educator of the Year

Lu — The Matthew Turner is a Brigantine, according to her designers and builders. We weren't able to get the technical, spar-for-spar explanation as to why as of this writing, but here's the bottom of her sail plan — th

I just got an email solicitation from 'Latitude 38', which turned out to be from a skiing site in Telluride. Thought you might want to seek protective disclosure on your copyright — certainly, I was confused.

Stan Wieg
Planet Earth

Stan — This is an interesting and apparently prevalent phenomenon that we've heard about over the years. There are of course two latitude 38s — one in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern Hemisphere — and they both go all the way around the world (we're guessing Magellan was the first to sail across both Latitude 38s. Many of our readers have since matched the feat). Given that, it's not surprising others have picked up on the name.

We've heard of restaurants, bars and numerous other businesses that have tapped into the latitude attitude. But it does make us wonder how many other business are named after their respective latitudes. Are there a bunch of businesses along the equator rocking Latitude 0 logos?

When we went to claim our URL,, in the late '90s, someone already had it. Dang! We got in touch and it turned out it was a former Bay Area sailor living in the Rockies who was using it as his personal blog. We said, ahem, but would you mind letting us take over the address for the business? Being a sailor he was kind enough to oblige.

Other conflicts have included Latitude 38 Entertainment in Napa, which puts on the annual Bottlerock concert. We've had the occasional confused caller, but otherwise it hasn't been a problem.

Way back when, a Pacific Northwest sailing magazine started under the name Latitude 48, but a call to a fellow sailor saying that it didn't sit quite right got them to change their name to 48° North. It was a much-appreciated gesture, and decades later, they're still doing a fine job in Seattle.

The way we see it, there are too many great sailing stories to cover to be bothered with lawyers or trying to prevent feared future conflicts (but only time will tell if that's the right approach). We'd like to give everyone as much, ha, latitude as possible. — ja

I am interested to hear from local Bay Area sailors as to what extent it is true that the Delta is silting up. It is 10 years since I last went there, and I am considering another cruise up there (e.g.: to Whiskey Slough near Tinsley Island). We have a Catalina 42, which draws 6-ft, 8-in.

Related to this I have heard that the weed and grass (water hyacinth?) is making anchoring very difficult these days. I would much appreciate hearing from others about this.

Thanks for the great magazine — my favorite read every month!

Tony Sowry
Bantham, Catalina 42

Tony — We race and cruise our own keelboat on the Delta every year from June to August. We've been racing there on various boats since 1997 and cruising there on our Laser 28 since 2005. The main rivers and shipping channels are plenty deep and free of silt. We do find some silting around points of land, especially where sloughs get curvy. We take them wide.

The good news is that the silt is soft, peaty mud. Unless you have a bulb at the bottom of your keel, it's easy to get off the mud without assistance. Your Catalina 42 no doubt has a robust inboard engine with forward and reverse, so it should be no biggie if you do need to correct your course.

You might have trouble getting in and out of certain places, so check ahead. For example, there's a berm at the entrance to the guest dock at Korth's Pirate's Lair that's right at 5 feet during low tide. We've had to rev up our outboard to get over (through) it. The entrance to their restaurant dock is deeper.

You asked specifically about Whiskey Slough. We've circumnavigated Tinsley Island but haven't been down Whiskey Slough. Maybe we'll check it out in early June. Our paper chart for the initial stretch of Whiskey Slough off the San Joaquin River shows a depth of 10-23 feet at mean lower low water on both sides of a large tule. Have any of our readers cruised to Whiskey Slough in recent years? If so, please email us at .

Presumably you have some modern electronic navigation device. We don't have a chartplotter but like to use iNavX on an iPad. Previous to that, we relied on paper charts and a depthsounder to tell us where we were, and that worked almost as well.

The water hyacinth went nuts during the drought, peaking in 2015, clogging docks, sloughs, rivers and even shipping channels to such a great extent that it not only impeded recreational boating and civic events like boat parades, but even impacted commercial shipping. Perhaps it was the latter, aided by outcry from locals, that led to more aggressive tactics on the part of the Division of Boating and Waterways. The rain we've had the last couple of winters has lent a huge assist. You don't mention what month you are planning your trip; the later in the season you go, the more the invasive weeds will have a chance to grow.

We encourage you to not only sail to the Delta but also to sign up for the Delta Doo Dah (it's free) and be part of our Delta cruising community. You'll find the registration form and all the details at ­— doodette cw

The Homeport Regatta is the brainchild of organizers Larry Golkin and Gareth Jones. Larry and Gareth are dock neighbors. Both have cruising boats: Larry has Tazzy, a Taswell 43, and Gareth has Moomba, a Hans Christian 38. Gareth and his family live aboard. One afternoon in February, Gareth asked Larry, "When is Anacapa to Port?" (a race hosted by a local yacht club). Larry responded, "Are you going to enter Jedi?" (Gareth is also a part owner of a J/24). He said,"No, I'm going to enter Moomba." Larry said, "Sounds like a throw-down to me."

Larry and Gareth got to discussing the possibilities: What if the two of them raced each other around Anacapa Island? Then, they thought, what if they asked a couple other friends if they wanted to race, too? Then, they pondered what might happen if they approached the marina management and asked if they might be interested in hosting an event — a race around Anacapa Island for tenants of Vintage and Channel Islands Marinas who have cruising boats or live aboard. Things quickly got out of hand.

Larry and Gareth got to work preparing a prospectus of the event and met with Michelle Lapointe and Dan Ward of Vintage Marina Partners. They liked the idea and presented it to their boss in Dana Point. Not only was the idea well received, it was accepted with overwhelming enthusiasm. We couldn't wish for a more agreeable host and sponsor. A subsequent meeting was attended by Larry, Gareth, Michelle, Dan Ward and Dan Alpern, who agreed to head the race committee. A new organization was formed, and the event has been evolving ever since. The rest, as they say, is history.

Homeport Regatta Sailing is a California unincorporated association partnering with Vintage Marina Partners to produce the Homeport Regatta. The Homeport Regatta is a sailboat race presently open exclusively to the tenants in good standing of Vintage Marina and Channel Islands Marina, both situated in Channel Islands Harbor, California. Our race committee has set a course that is as challenging as it is interesting: Sailors shall race from a line outside Channel Islands Harbor, round Anacapa Island, and finish just inside the harbor. The race will follow a pursuit format whereby slower boats will start earlier than faster boats, ensuring that all the boats will finish at or about the same time. The first boat to finish will be declared the winner.

Powerboats are also invited to participate as observation and photography platforms. Following the race, there will be a private awards gala featuring food and entertainment supplied by local vendors. There will be prizes for the sailors and a raffle for skippers and crew.

Our event aims to positively impact and unite our local community in and around Channel Islands Harbor, for both residents and businesses alike. We have numerous sponsors and donors helping us make this event a success through gifts or paid sponsorships. All proceeds raised and all prizes donated will benefit the event and the participants and their families. Any proceeds remaining after all costs and expenses have been accounted for will be donated to the Channel Islands Marine Wildlife Institute, a 501(c)(3) entity dedicated to research and education, and to the rescue and treatment of sick and injured marine mammals.

We have a significant presence on Facebook at

Larry Golkin
Homeport Regatta Sailing
Tazzy, Taswell 43

Larry — Sounds like a lot of fun; we invite you to send a short report and some photos to .

Readers — The regatta will be held on May 5. — cw

I was in the back room today once or twice and saw some familiar faces, mostly female. Richmond YC is in the middle of a 'major' regatta, yet every club during a 'major' has a similar back room gang.

The fun in yachting is not all on the water. The back room folks crank out results from saltwater-stained papers with blurred writing, grimy digitals emailed in, varying interpretations of handwriting, actually incredibly efficient writing with engineered penmanship, and other sources.

I can't really create a metric, but is there some way to measure at what point the back room gang feels like they did a job everyone appreciated?

John Dukat
Richmond YC

Readers — The next time you see a bleary-eyed volunteer slip out from the back room, be sure to say thanks — and consider signing up to help out during the next big event. — cw

Good coverage on the Harbor Cup ['Lectronic Latitude, March 14]. My son Haydon is trimming in the photo for UC Santa Barbara. This is the first time UCSB has participated in the Harbour Cup. They do not have a big-boat program at UCSB. They put together their application, thinking it would be a fun lark for the seniors on the team.

They were really surprised by how well they did. The hope going in was to beat Hawaii and USC from their conference. (I guess the old adage that sailing dinghies makes for better big-boat sailors is true.)

Haydon said it was the best regatta he has ever participated in and LAYC were amazing hosts. You should have seen the picture of the prime rib dinner Saturday night. All competitors also got to stay on boats at the club, which was very much appreciated by the starving college kids.

Now, back to the books; finals start Saturday!

Tim Stapleton
PK, J/80
Richmond YC

Tim — Betsy Crowfoot gets the credit for that story, and Bronny Daniels of Joysailing deserves the thanks for sharing the photos with us.
Hope the finals went smoothly! — cw

I just saw your article on Buttercup. Thank you so much for the wonderful job you did in editing and cleaning up my contribution to the story. I could not be more pleased. I loved the photos that accompanied your article!

Vann Wilson
Long Beach

Readers — Buttercup is a pretty yellow wooden El Toro that Vann sailed in his youth. She is undergoing a restoration and was the subject of a Sightings piece in the April issue of Latitude 38. — cw

If you wrote the Women's Day/Coast Guard story the March 9 'Lectronic, I'll be surprised if I'm the first to remind you. but from your story: "Station Golden Gate is the one at the base of the North Tower of said bridge, in Sausalito's Horseshoe Cove."

I believe the "Golden Gate" is the channel (or opening) into San Francisco Bay, and that the Golden Gate Bridge is a bridge over — and named for ­­— that channel. (Never having been a resident, maybe I have that wrong.)
Love the 'Lectronic updates and the magazine!

Paul Brogger
Not from the Bay Area

Paul — The 'Golden Gate' was indeed so-named before the famous bridge spanned it. USCG Station Golden Gate dates back into the 19th century, before the bridge was constructed in 1933-37. But locals often refer to the bridge as just 'the Golden Gate'. — cw

I got what I think is a scam response to my classified: "Good to hear back from you, i work with Baker Hughes Process and Pipeline Services (offshore oil and gas platforms) at this moment i am presently working offshore i wont be able to check the boat am buying this for my dad as a surprise gift so am willing to offer you the amount you requested, sometimes access to regular emails and phone calls are very poor in offshore due to inefficiency of phone and internet connections, more so we are often constrain from accessing the internet or making phone calls, i insisted on PayPal because i don't have access to my bank account online and i don't have internet banking too, but i can pay from my PayPal account, you don't need to bother yourself about the shipment because i have a pick-up agent that will come for the pick-up and they will also determine and secure the shipment, get back to me with your PayPal email address so that i can make the payment, i will also need your full name and phone number."

His e-mail was . I told him sorry.

Gary Scheier
San Rafael

Gary — John Shulthess of Wind Toys in Santa Rosa received the exact same email from a Nicholas Hernandez with the same email address. He replied: "Sorry Nicholas. Cash in person only."

If you suspect a scam or have been victimized, contact your local Secret Service field office and/or the FTC toll-free at (877)FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or use the complaint form at, or call the Canadian PhoneBusters hotline toll-free at (888) 495-8501. — cw

I am writing relative to your spread on Zamazaan in the March issue. Much of what was transcribed there, including material attributed to me, is accurate and factual. The vessel does have a long and distinguished history; I did very much enjoy my time in her; she is and has been a 'happy ship'. When launched she was the largest yet of Bruce Farr's designs. We experienced much racing and cruising success with her.

However, some important cog slipped between my comments and the printed page! When we were sailing down to the finish of the Around the State Race, we were in sight of Windward Passage. Never at any time did we finish ahead of her as stated, or even very close. Windward Passage alumni and others who cherish facts must be rolling their eyes!

In the interest of veracity, in this age of Fake News, please see that this error is corrected, and bring it to the attention of those involved and responsible.
Warwick 'Commodore' Tompkins

Flashgirl, Wylie 38+
Mill Valley

Commodore — The author of the Sightings story about Zam's past, present and future checked the audio he recorded of his interview with you and Nancy. "He's right. He said: 'We finished in sight of Windward Passage.' I have it written down as: 'We finished inside of Windward Passage.' I need a better recorder."
Our apologies, and thanks for the correction. — cw



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