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 Dana Point Boaters Association
Boater Blast Topics:
Tall Ships Festival
Labor Holiday Weekend Parking
Human Powered Watercraft
A Few Words About Nordhavn
New Boater Survey
New DPH Station Commander
Major Change At Coastal Commission
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Tall Ships
DPBA will have a booth at Baby Beach on Saturday, September 10th during the Richard Henry Dana Regatta & Tall Ships Festival.

Learn more about the Tall Ships Festival


Learn more about the Regatta Henry Dana Regatta 

TopSeptember 9, 2011



Dear ,

Well, we're now entering into that wonderful time of the year we lucky Southern Californians call our Endless Summer.  Yup, it's starting to frost the pumpkins in the upper Midwest (Michigan anyway) and boaters there are taking up their docks for winter storage.  But here we're just getting started!  Indeed, this weekend is one of the busiest and fun filled weekends of the year at Dana Point Harbor, starting with the annual Parade of The Tall Ships earlier this evening.
We're got quite a few topics to cover below and want to get at it.  First though, if you want to have a boatload of family fun then bring the family and come to the Tall Ships Festival tomorrow or Sunday.   While you're at it, drop by and say hi at the Dana Point Boaters Association booth.  Event information and directions are in the left margin.  See you there! 


Rodger Beard, President  

For the Board of Directors and Advisors
The Dana Point Boaters Association



From all reports, boater parking was a complete non-issue this past Labor Day holiday weekend.  If you had other expereince we need to hear from you.  Please email us by clicking here.


As we have reported in detail within past Boater Blasts, there was a significant change in the parking management plan:  For the first time ever, every space and every boater parking lot was dedicated entirely to boaters and their guests.


This was the latest in a series of holiday weekend planning improvements made over the past 4 years by the stakeholders who have been working together to the benefit of all harbor users.  The working group behind most of the heavy lifting is known as the PARKING TASK FORCE.  This group was formed and is co-chaired by OC Dana Point Harbor Department and The Dana Point Boaters Association (yes, that's us) and all stakeholders within the harbor are represented.


On non-holiday weekends, the Catalina Express will continue to have about 43 spaces allocated to them within the otherwise dedicated boater parking lots throughout the harbor.  This is a legal requirement of the Catalina Express contract with the County of Orange which dates back to approximately 1983.  A total of 120 spaces must be provided. We are continuing to work on this, although in fairness and candor, two comments should be made to set proper expectations:

1. Many boaters report (let us know if you disagree) that 43 spaces won't be too much of a problem most weekends, except during peak periods. (See the article about Nordhavn below to find out where the other 77 spaces needed are now coming from.) 


It's wrong for sure to be using boater parking for a non-recreational boating purposes, but legal matters take time to resolve. Regardless, the parking management plan has paid dividends here.  Given of course that parking plan execution is good going forward, as we anticipate it will be.


There were many other parking management improvements which are collectively paying off too.  One good example: peak-period offsite parking at Dana Hills High School, championed by the Dana Point Boaters Association. (Yes, that's us again.)


2. When the commercial core is rebuilt, there will be an additional 125 spaces available beyond what was originally planned.  The reason is that the Dana Point Boaters Association sponsored, and was successful in getting an interesting parking structure change approved within the LCP approved by Coastal Commission. This change was in the design of the proposed auto parking structure and the result was an increase of 125 parking spaces.  (Yes, that's us again.


We think it is rather obvious as well as entirely reasonable to expect that ALL Catalina Express parking, at all dates and times, will be contained within this 125 space area when it becomes available.




This past Thursday evening (last night) your Dana Point Boaters Association (yes, us again) attended and actively participated in a who's-who harbor wide stakeholders' meeting to address the traffic issues we have been experiencing this last summer due to the 200-300% increase (an unofficial industry expert estimate from the meeting) in HPW activity since last year.  As we commented at the opening of the meeting, this is a "good problem" for sure, as it simply means there is even more recreational boating use of the ocean and our harbor.  (Beginning level paddlers and kayakers are boaters too.  Right?)


Yet there are serious problems here.  The war stories from DPBA members that were constructively discussed clearly demonstrated this to all concerned.  (An aside, a special thanks is due here to all those boaters who emailed and called us recently on this topic.  Please keep it up!  Your participation really does make a difference!)


Please don't misunderstand though.  We are proud to report that it was definitively an "us meeting" rather than "them versus us" dissident boater confrontation.  Indeed, there was a very strong sense of common purpose and as a result the short and long term "fixing" is already in the works. 


Please stay tuned.  There will be more on this subject later. 




We would like to pass along a few words from Dan Streech, a founder of Nordhavn (PAE).  Dan has been in the harbor since the very beginning and those who know him know how much he loves the harbor and how committed he is to keeping PAE here, as well as making sure that PAE is always a good harbor citizen.  Anyway, we thought it best to simply lift a few words from our email exchange recently, just before the Labor day weekend:


"Specifically what might be conveyed to the public is that PAE's new lease with the County for the Beach House included quite a bit of concession on our part regarding parking.  Of the 77 parking spaces in the Beach House parcel, 60 of them will always be open to the public (meaning that PAE employees will compete with the public for those spaces). The remaining 17 spaces will also be open to the public before and after regular business hours.  There is a good natural balance in this agreement, because PAE's highest usage of parking is exactly the opposite that of the County's and public's."


"Upon the county's request, the parking lot will be given over to them for special events.  This weekend, all 77 spaces have been given to the county for their use in their Labor Day weekend parking plan (I think for Catalina Express parking?)."


Thanks Dan.  We think this explains pretty well the recreational specifics of a genuine win-win partnership. 


Obviously this impacts the math associated with those 120 spaces contractually committed to Catalina Express: The benefit to boaters from the Nordhavn assumption of the vacant Beach House space is that going forward, 77 Catalina Express parking spaces will not be coming from dedicated boater parking lots.


We are hopeful that given the hard facts, the small group of boaters who have been loudly complaining lately will now move on to a new topic for dissent.




Your Dana Point Boaters Association is working on some "opportunities" with The County and other stakeholders associated with harbor revitalization and needs to collect boater perspective to make sure we are fairly representing our members.  To accomplish this we've prepared a really short survey (take it in less than 5 minutes tops) that you can take by clicking here


Better yet, stop by our booth this weekend and do it there.




This past Wednesday, four Dana Point Boaters Association Directors met with Mike Scalise, new Dana Point Harbor Patrol Station Commander for well over an hour to get to know him better and discuss topics of interest to Dana Point boaters.


Topics included handling of 4th of July water cannon battles (expect more enforcement of safety regulations next year), clarifications regarding anchorage policy (more on this in a future Boater Blast) and recent theft problems in the West Basin.  Mike has been actively working this problem and is looking for patterns to aid in apprehending the perpetrators.  Mike asked that boaters please call the 24 Hour Dispatch ((949) 723-1002) email him directly if they see anything unusual or at all suspicious.  To email Mike click here.




We also wanted to draw your attention to a major event, the passing of the baton from one of the greatest leaders and protectors of our public recreational resources in the entire history of the State of California. That man is Peter Douglas, Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission.  Mr. Douglas has been at the helm for many years, going back from beginning, as champion of the Coastal Act (1972) and then the Coastal Commission itself (1976). 


One can only imagine what our coastline would have looked like (most likely we wouldn't have been even able to see most of it because we could not access!) were Mr. Peter Douglas not at the helm during this critical period of intense coastal development state wide.  We've talked with Mr. Douglas several times while representing Dana Point boater interests during the past five years and have always found him tough, fair, thoughtful and to be quite frank, truly brilliant. 


Mr. Douglas retired in August due to failing health and we wish him the very best.  We are concerned (but remain hopeful) that his legacy will be carried forward by his replacement, former Senior Deputy Director, Dr. Charles Lester.  Dr. Lester certainly has some big shoes to fill.



We hope that all of our members, as well as all other DPH community members are frequently looking to the website as a source for current and up-to-date boating and harbor related information. There is literally a ton of information on a broad spectrum of topics available there, thanks in major part to the tireless efforts of long time DPBA Webmaster, Director and Secretary Steve Carpenter.


We have been holding off on membership renewals for some time this year, until a "behind the firewall" members-only area could be operational, but the website upgrade is quite complex and has been delayed by Steve's full-time+ work schedule lately. (Steve, like the rest of the DPBA officers, directors and advisors is a boater and very dedicated volunteer.) Because the website still isn't quite ready, we are now asking existing members as well as new members to go to the existing website and go ahead and renew their membership. Thereby you can update your contact information let us know what your interests and priorities are, as well providing updated contact information we will use to keep you informed. This will insure that you remain informed about the evolving issues within our harbor.


Again in 2011, there is no charge for DPBA membership. We have been very careful in our uses of our members' funds accumulated during the almost 5 years since we were incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. Rest assured that we will continue to represent Dana Point boater interests and work with the other stakeholders potentially impacting recreational boating interests, both inside and outside the harbor.  


Mission Statement
The Dana Point Boaters Association advocates the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating resources.  We work to improve the family friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented actives we all enjoy in the harbor.  We serve as the watchdog by ethically protecting the rights of all boaters and representing them when collective action is most effective.  We actively gather information and communicate our views to educate boaters, external interests, and public officials.  We build and maintain constructive, working relationships to achieve common goals with other harbor stakeholders.  We will pass on our harbor to the next generation of recreational boaters in better condition than it is today.
Questions should be directed by email to (  Or call us at (949) 485-5656 and leave a voice mail and we'll get back to you soon.

Dana Point Boaters Association
P.O. Box 461
Dana Point, CA  92629