Re: Human powered vessel users continue tango dance with boaters (March 10-23 issue)
Everyone needs to take responsibility
The ocean and harbors are multi-use arenas that are utilized by many different types of people and craft. Any multi use area needs rules/laws to make sure people using the area are safe. Boating law, including human powered vessels, is well established and has been around for decades.
The trick is getting everyone to learn, know and follow the rules, including the boaters. There are always instances when someone “gets in the way,” including, but not limited to SUPs, kayaks, canoes, power vessels (big and small), sailboats, crew teams and their escort boats, ferries, swimmers, PWCs, outriggers, rental boats, electric boats, etc.
The article is focused on SUPs and I think everyone would agree that stand up paddling has become extremely popular over the last few years and thus the number of people participating in the sport has increased dramatically. SUP rentals are a big factor, but they are not the only part of the equation.
Many boaters do not know the rules or think they are exempt due to the size and expense of their yachts and sometimes have the misconception that “this is my harbor” because they live on the water or belong to the this and that yacht club. The most dangerous (truly dangerous) situations I have seen on the water almost always includes a motor vessel that has a prop. Add some alcohol and we are talking real danger. You can put 10,000 human powered vessels out on the water by themselves and if all 10,000 people wear PFDs, there would be little “true” danger. Take all those human powered vessels away and replace them with 10,000 motor vessels and sailboats and let the mayhem begin. Now, mix in all of the above and what are we going to do?
I am not on one side or the other, but would rather advocate for a safe multi use experience. Education (and then following the law) is the key to safety on the water. Go ahead and make up some new rules. Or, you can follow the rules that are already in place. Make up some laminated cards and pass them out. Just make sure to pass them out to everybody that uses the harbor. Have fun out there and be safe!
Re: Los Angeles Waterfront: $1 Billion Boondoggle or Benefit? (March 24-April 6 issue)
Cheers to the city’s efforts
In relation to the current article about the LA Waterfront being a boondoggle or not– I will tell you my family has returned to the La Harbor area from Long Beach harbor for boating-Now there are visiting boater docks at the Downtown Marina… we stop, get out and visit the USS Iowa, the local restaurants and shops, even walk down to West Marine for supplies–We can’t wait for the revitalization of Ports O Call.
We have communicated the new enhancements to our friends in our boating organization and take friends and family out who are surprised to find there is so much to do in what every considers a commercial harbor. The local marinas all offer daily, weekend or weekly slip rentals for a quick get away without the cost of the gas and hotels as well as the two hour open ocean trek across the channel to Catalina.
Lately I hear there is even consideration being given to another launch ramp in the LA Harbor area to augment the Cabrillo ramp!
Everyone I have spoken with in the boating community support the City and their efforts in the port to enhance the private boaters’ experience– keep the improvements coming.