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January E Newsletter 2022

January 2022
 
Save the Date 50th Anniversary Conference
 
Save the Date
CBW Feb 2022 Commission Mtg and Workshop
 
Flawed Science Could Doom California’s Passenger Sportfishing Fleet  
 
by Jamie Diamond, Owner, Stardust Sportfishing, Santa Barbara
 
Imagine if the state ruled that your hot water heater is no longer environmentally compliant and it must be removed. When the new water heater does not fit, the state then mandates that you tear down your entire home and build a new one so that it can. Too expensive, you say? Oh well. Crazy as this sounds, something like this is happening to commercial sportfishing boats.
 
The California Air Resource Board (CARB) has proposed engine emission regulations that mandate new diesel engines and technology that are too large and heavy for existing commercial passenger sportfishing boats, requiring that they be removed from service. CARB tells boat owners that vessel replacement is economically feasible; just pass on the cost of vessel replacement to customers. New boats can cost over $5 million, which would triple the cost of the most affordable way to access the ocean for the day. CARB fails to recognize that, by tripling prices, customers won’t be able to afford to participate at the same level and many won’t be able to participate at all, meaning boat owners will go out of business.
 
While the sportfishing community embraces the need to lower engine emissions, many wonder aloud how could CARB reach the conclusion that a small fleet of some 200 vessels that operate offshore poses such a substantial public health risk, that they need to be scrapped and replaced at a cost of nearly $1 billion to California’s sportfishing fleet? The answer can be found in CARB’s emission data.
 
From the very beginning and throughout a recent CARB workshop last week, boat owners have vigorously challenged CARB’s use of emission data that grossly overstates the size of California’s fleet, the amount of time boats spend in regulated waters, and their poor understanding of how boats operate. Boats operate many miles from shore and population bases, anchoring or drifting at sea as they fish. CARB’s data also projects that as the state’s population grows so will the number of boats, an assumption that may apply to automobiles. However, the number of commercial sportfishing boats has been somewhat stagnant since the early 1970s, when the state’s population was half the size and there were nearly 1 million more licensed anglers.
 
These are some reasons why CARB’s public health assessment became grossly exaggerated and with it, came draconian proposed regulations. At the CARB workshop on Jan. 12, these concerns fell on deaf ears, once again. Staff told boat owners that they were not directed by their board to reevaluate and update the data and their flawed modeling, so they will not. Maybe they consider flawed data rounding errors, but within these margins come economic consequences for people who make their living at sea and the coastal communities that depend on tourism.
 
So, there you have it. Staff will continue to use flawed data, even if it marks the end of California’s commercial sportfishing industry and with it, quality jobs and support of coastal economies. However, these regulations are not a done deal and with your help, we will not go down without a fight. California anglers made their voice heard at the November Board meeting and can continue to help by joining a petition (www.savefishing.com) that urges Governor Newsom to Save our Boats and participate at CARB’s virtual hearing that will likely be held in late March. The future of offshore sportfishing depends on keeping access to the sea accessible and affordable for all families and not just for the wealthy and elite.
 
Construction Corner
 
Safe Harbor Ventura Isle Marina Project Update
 
Ventura Harbor is the heart of Southern California’s finest boating area, and within Ventura Harbor is Safe Harbor Ventura Isle Marina, the largest pleasure boat marina in Ventura Harbor. Bellingham Marine recently turned over the first phase of a project to renovate Ventura Isle Marina, including replacing a couple concrete docks from the 1970’s, and improving access. 
 
The main marina access was reconfigured to provide an 80-foot ADA access gangway, with all existing utilities re-routed through it. The new security gates are sliding tempered glass doors at the main entrance, and swing doors at the secondary access points. A public access point for personal watercraft was also created for use of kayaks and paddleboards, an amenity for boaters and non-boaters alike.
 
Bellingham Marine is currently well into the final phase of the project, which will include reconfiguring portions of the marina to create a more viable slip mix. To cater to the larger vessels the marina sees in the marketplace, G and H docks will be combined to create more slips for larger boats. F dock will have a number of slips for boats under 36 feet long taken out, in order to add more slips that are designed to accommodate 40 to 50-foot-long boats. 
 
This final phase will also include the addition of a large floating structure featuring a textured colored concrete surface, which will serve as a gathering area. The match-cast structure is post-tensioned, allowing each dock section to act as one solid unit, providing added stability and durability, ideal for a designated gathering space.
 
Bellingham Marine is well-versed in working with marina operators to minimize disruption by creating phased project plans to keep a minimum number of slips available to tenants and visitors. The final phase of this project is expected to be complete by the end of February 2022. 
 
For the Marina Bulletin Board
 
10 Ways To Prevent Fuel Spills
We all share the same water, so being a responsible boater is everyone’s job.
BoatU.S. explains how to do your part. 
By Mark Corke, BoatU.S. Magazine Contributing Editor
It’s easier than you think to accidentally turn what should be a routine chore at the fuel dock into a first-class mess. Part of being a sensible, responsible boater is ensuring that fuel tanks are filled correctly and no fuel is spilled into the water, which can have significant consequences for aquatic life. Here are 10 simple ways to avoid this issue.
Filling fuel tanks requires careful procedures. Even if a fuel-fill nozzle has a lock-off device, don't use it. By the time the nozzle catch has tripped and stopped the flow of fuel, you may have already sent a fair amount of fuel onto the deck and into the water. This malady is most often caused by "burping," which is the result of air trapped in the tank or the boat's fill hose. It escapes through the fuel fill, bringing fuel with it.
 
The Clean Way Fuel Fill [https://cleanwayfuelfill.shop] is an example of a product that helps avoid fuel spills at the pump. In the event of fuel burping back through the filler, excess fuel is directed upward into the device, where downward sloping baffles lead overflowing fuel back into the tank.
 
Another method is to wrap an oil absorbent pad or heavy absorbent sock around the fuel fill nozzle to catch any blowback or errant spills. And always keep ample oil-absorbent pads within quick reach should something go wrong. An internet search will reveal various products to help prevent spills, but always look for testing reviews and do some testing yourself to be sure that any product does as advertised in your situation.
 
Fuel in the bilge
Not all oil pollution occurs while filling the boat with fuel. Bilge water often
contains oil, grease, and fuel. To prevent this oily water from being pumped out of the boat by the bilge pump, consider placing oil-absorbent sheets under inboard engines. A couple of oil absorbent bilge socks or sausages in the lowest part of the bilge close to the bilge pump pickup (but not interfering with the pickup or switch) will go a long way to preventing dirty bilge water from polluting waterways.
 
At least once a year, check all fuel hoses for cracks and loose connections that may cause leaks, replacing any that may be suspect. ABYC standards stipulate that all fuel fill hoses should be double-clamped, so ensure that all hose clamps are in place and well tightened.
In sum, preventing spills is up to all of us. Using a little common sense and some basic preventive measures, we can keep our waterways clean for all. But no matter which “devices” or techniques you use, “CAUTION” is always in order. With fuel, oil or grease, it doesn’t take much on a boat for something to go wrong causing a sheen on the surface.
 
10 ways to prevent fuel spills
1. Make sure that you’re putting fuel into the correct tank. GEICO | BoatU.S. receives claims each year from someone pumping fuel into a rod holder or water tank. 
2. Fill tanks only to about 95% capacity to allow for expansion and sloshing as the boat moves.
3. Do not top off the tank. The boat’s movement may cause fuel to leak from the tank vent, causing pollution.
4. Use absorbent sheets or pads around the fuel pump nozzle while transferring it from the dock to the boat and while filling to prevent splashes marking boat decks and leaking into the water.
5. Listen carefully. It’s often possible to hear when the fuel is getting closer to the top of the tank.
6. Hold (or have someone else hold) a highly absorbent rag or fuel absorbent pad at the fuel tank’s air vent to absorb any spillage from the vent. Or consider purchasing a fuel-vent collection device that sticks on the outside of the boat with suction cups and will hopefully collect any fuel that happens to find its way out of the vent. But if there is ANY question of this type of device adhering to the hull, have someone hold it in place.
7. Consider installing a whistle in the fuel-vent line, designed to make noise as long as fuel is flowing. As soon as the tank is full, the whistle stops, and you know it’s full.
8. Don’t let the higher pump speed catch you unaware. Many pumps at fuel docks fill at a much quicker rate than those at the local gas station to allow boats that often have large fuel tanks to fill faster. Also, even if a fuel-fill nozzle has a lock-off device, don’t use it. By the time the nozzle catch has tripped and stopped the flow of fuel, you may have already sent a fair amount of fuel onto the deck and into the water.
9. Regularly check your fuel system for leaks. Not only is this a fire and explosion hazard, but if fuel leaks into the bilge, it may be pumped over the side by the bilge pump.
10. Replace the gas cap after fueling, and maintain the gasketing around the cap.
 
Fuel In The Bilge
Not all oil pollution occurs while filling the boat with fuel. Bilge water often contains oil, grease, and fuel. To prevent this oily water from being pumped out of the boat by the bilge pump, consider placing oil-absorbent sheets under inboard engines. A couple of oil absorbent bilge socks or sausages in the lowest part of the bilge close to the bilge pump pickup (but not interfering with the pickup or switch) will go a long way to preventing dirty bilge water from polluting waterways.
 
BoatU.S. recommends, at least once a year, check all fuel hoses for cracks and loose connections that may cause leaks, replacing any that may be suspect. ABYC standards stipulate that all fuel fill hoses should be double-clamped, so ensure that all hose clamps are in place and well tightened.
 
What To Do If It Happens
By law, any oil or fuel spill that leaves a sheen on the water must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center by calling (800) 424-8802. If it happens, do not (as some have erroneously done) try to use detergents of any kind to disperse spilled fuel. This does more harm than good. It only breaks down the fuel floating on the water into smaller particles, making it much harder to clean up and more toxic to marine life. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one pint of fuel spilled into the sea or lake creates a toxic oil slick that can cover 1 acre, larger than a football field.
 
Pro Tip
If you have a gasoline inboard engine, run the blower for at least 4 minutes — more is better — after filling the tank to disperse explosive vapors before attempting to start the engine. The blower and its switch should be ignition-protected and designed for the purpose.
 
BoatU.S. Foundation
The BoatU.S. Foundation for Safety & Clean Water is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping boating safe and clean. It is independently funded by donations from BoatU.S. members and grants. Visit BoatUS.org to learn more. [http://www.boatus.org]
 
This article was reprinted with permission from BoatU.S. Magazine, flagship publication of the membership organization Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.). For more expert articles and videos to make your boating, sailing, or fishing better, visit BoatUS.com.
 
Trade Member Highlight
 
Elkhart Plastics Adds Connect-A-Port XL5 to Connect-A-Dock Line
Elkhart Plastics LLC,Myers Industries, Inc. company (NYSE: MYE), expands its floating dock product line with the new Connect-A-Port XL5 Personal Watercraft port.
 
The Connect-A-Port XL5 is a 5-foot wide Personal Watercraft (PWC) floating dock that allows PWC users to easily roll off to launch and drive on to park. The new dock offers a universal hull designed with adjustable rollers that can be moved to better match the size and style of the user's PWC. Additionally, the new design allows two jet ski docks to fit inside the conventional 10' wide boat slip, a solution for rental locations where space is limited.
 
The XL5 is available in five colors and can be attached to floating and stationary docks. PWC Docking adds a safe harbor for one, two, or three-place personal watercrafts.
 
The new XL5 joins Elkhart 'Plastics' Connect-A-Dock product line, which includes a Connect-A-Port XL6 model. The Company also offers two series of rotomolded docks and the YAKport Kayak Launch under the Connect-A-Dock brand.
 
"Elkhart Plastics is happy to serve customers' docking needs with the new PWC XL5 model. After the XL6 launch in early 2021, this was a clear next step to continue product line expansion based on customer requests", says Jack Welter, Business Vice President, Rotational Molding Platform at Myers Industries, Inc.
 
The Connect-A-Port XL5 and other Connect-A-Dock products are available from dealers across the US. and international distributors around the globe. To find a dealer and to learn more about Connect-A-Port XL5, visit connectadock.com.
 
About Elkhart Plastics
Elkhart Plastics is a 33-year-old company that creates rotationally molded products in an almost endless variety of shapes, lengths, and thicknesses out of its six facilities. The Company provides custom designs for clients in industries including recreational vehicles, marine, agriculture, commercial construction equipment, heavy truck equipment, material handling, and more. Elkhart Plastics also manufactures Tuff Series Intermediate Bulk Containers, Connect-A-Dock, and KONG Coolers®.
 
About Myers Industries
Myers Industries, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of a wide range of polymer products for industrial, agricultural, automotive, commercial and consumer markets. The Company is also the largest distributor of tools, equipment and supplies for the tire, wheel, and under- vehicle service industry in the United States. Visit www.myersindustries.com to learn more.
The Last Word
 
To all of our MRA Members and Future Members
 
Happy New Year! We have started working on events for this year.
 
The 6th Annual California Boating Congress will be held on April 19, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. This year’s event will be a hybrid event with the anticipation that most of our attendees will be able to meet in person and those who can’t, will be able to join virtually. If you are able to join this event in person, there will be a cocktail reception the evening before the event on April 18, 2022. The CBC committee has been working along with our co-hosts on the schedule of events. Stay tuned!
 
Save the Date for the 50th Annual MRA Educational Conference and Trade Show in partnership with CAHMPC on October 18 – 20, 2022 at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. This year’s theme is Creating a Sustainable Future. Information will be available on the website in early Spring.
 
To our members, the website now requires an additional step when signing in. You will be prompted to provide confidential answers to questions before performing any other actions on the website. This will involve choosing four of nine possible questions to provide answers to. Once the questions and answers are set, you will then be able to proceed on the website as normal.
 
Our FREE Educational Series webinars are still available for viewing and can be accessed at: https://www.marina.org/cpages/mra-educational-series-seminars
 
Also, if you were unable to attend last year’s 5th Annual California Boating Congress, the video is available to watch at: https://www.marina.org/events/5th-annual-california-boating-congress-2.
 
To our trade members, please send me your press releases on new products or services you might have. The Trade Member Highlight section is a free opportunity to advertise them! I am reaching out to all of you and asking you to send me a press release when you have a new product or service that you would like for us to highlight. There will be one each month and will be placed according to submission date. This is one more way for us to promote your support and dedication to the association. We would also like to be included in your list of press release recipients.
 
Many times the contact name for membership changes during the year and unless it is around renewal time, we may not be aware of the change. Please take a look at your profile and make sure to let us know if there are any changes in contact names, addresses, phone and fax numbers or email addresses so we can have the most up-to-date information for you. Also, if you do not have at least 1 logo and 1 photo (of your marina or product) please email them to mra@marina.org so they can be uploaded. You can now also add a YouTube video if you have one.
 
Thank you and stay safe! 
Mariann Timms
Operations Administrator