Ventura Harbor Marina and Yacht Yard moving forward with expansion plans

VENTURA — The air quality standards required during the construction phase of the Ventura Harbor Marina and Yacht Yard’s expansion plans was adopted by the Ventura Board of Port Commissioners on Nov. 18. The vote will allow the planned expansion to move forward.

“With this approval we can get the designs completed, go through the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) process for approval, then move forward with the Coastal Commission,” said Mark Cunniffe, director of development for Ventura Harbor Marina and Yacht Yard. “It’s at least a one-year process to get the approvals, permits in order to begin construction.”

Air quality requirements are part of the Mitigated Negative Declaration and Mitigation Monitoring program.

Expansion plans include doubling the current boat slip dock structures from 40 to 80 slips including all new construction of berths, relocation of the fuel dock, addition of an ADA ramp and a two-story marine building with restrooms and showers for public and boater use. Onshore parking improvements will be determined by the city of Ventura.

Currently the 15-acre site consists of 40 slips, a chandlery, a yacht services yard and a dry storage, a new 35-ton extra tall lift, dry storage yard with room for 120-boats, Rumbline restaurant, gas and diesel fuel dock, and several tenants including Ventura Sports Fishing, Vessel Assist Ventura, a property management company and Clean Seas oil spill vessels.

Ventura Harbor Marina and Yacht Yard owner Sam Sadove has made several changes to the business since purchasing the lease in 2011. He has cleaned up the marine services area, removed derelict vessels, improved the dry storage area, cleaned up the docks and has installed better filtering systems to collect run-off. 

“We have updated drains to collect and filter debris, we employ dustless sanders and clean the yard daily,” Sadove said. “The new design also includes upgrading onsite storm drain inlets with sand filters to reduce trash and debris that might otherwise enter harbor water.”

Cunniffe said expansion plans are three years into the process. When completed there will be more commercial dock space for seiners, who will be able to refuel without moving their vessels.

“We will install extended hose length on retractable rollers to enable docked commercial boats to be fueled at their slips. The new design also includes separating the commercial vessels from recreational boats. And, new digital fuel pumps with a higher pump capacity will make it more efficient to re-fuel all recreational and commercial boats,” he said.

In addition to expanding private boat slip capacity there will be an additional 60 feet of transient dock space. There is the potential for adding dockage to support multi-haul vessels.
The new marina design will be more user friendly for boaters going in and out of their berths to mitigate the effects of surge in the harbor. 

“To ease the effects of harbor surge, the new docks will extend out like arms, making it easier and safer for slip holders to exit and return,” Cunniffe said. “We are raising piling heights an additional 5 feet over the existing height for improved tsunami protection.”

Cunniffe hopes they will have the expansion complete within two years, assuming a smooth CEQA process, Coastal Commission approval, permitting, and timely construction.

“When we moved here, we made a sizeable and long-term commitment. It was a cash deal and our plans for renovation will total about $7 million,” Sadove said. “My vision includes concierge service where we make sure your boat has ice or other services that can be done before you arrive to your yacht. We plan to be here a long time and believe it’s a good investment.”

In other news, Ventura Harbor Marina and Yacht Yard recently announced the acquisition of a new Marine Travelift.
The new boat hoist boasts a 35-ton capacity and has a height of 26 feet. According to the marina and yacht yard, the new hoist is a significant improvement from the yard’s 25-ton Travelift, which was fine for most applications, but only had a height of 18 feet. The shorter Travelift made it time consuming to hoist some of the larger sailboats, requiring the crew to relax or remove either the forestay or backstay so they did not come into contact with the cross beam at the top of the Travelift as the vessel is hoisted higher.
The extra 8 feet clearance provided by the new unit solves this problem and saves the staff time, extra work and customer cost.
The new lift also expands the yard’s range and size of vessels hauled and launched.

“After our marina expansion is complete,” said Sam Sadove, owner of Ventura harbor Marina and Yacht Yard, “we intend to purchase an even larger Travelift that has the capacity to haul and launch multi hulled vessels from our wider slip ways.”

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