Dog Days of Summer

Boat safety tips for dogs…

Taking your pup out for a put around the bay is a great way to keep them entertained and happy. My dog Stanley is a great boat dog and started hanging out on board of my Sailboat at 10 weeks old. He is very well behaved and loves to be out in the water. I’m sure there are a lot of our members out there who enjoy hanging out with their furry friends as much as I do, and for those who are thinking about it but aren’t sure, I wanted to offer a couple of safety tips.

Get your dog a life jacket!

One of the most important things to remember with dogs is that they can be careless when they are having fun. They also get distracted and do not think about the consequences of their actions. They are happy go lucky dogs! They can be on the deck barking at a boat one second and then swimming to that same boat the next. If your dog likes to jump in the water, always have a life jacket on him. Even if he is not the type of dog to just jump in, he could accidentally fall in and the life jacket can save his life and keep you from getting soaked as you try to lift him out of the water.

A few years ago a friend of mine took his family to Catalina. They did not want to leave their beautiful Golden Retriever at home, so they took him on the boat. He was a bit hyper and liked to bark at anything that moved from the aft deck. Half way to Catalina, my friend noticed that the barking had stopped. He went down to the aft deck on his Carver 35 to look for his furry friend only to find an open gate and no dog. They looked around the boat and found nothing. They decided to turn around and head back to Long Beach and maybe, if they got lucky, they would run into him. Of course this did not happen, and once they got back to Alamitos Bay they had to accept the fact that their friend was gone and had probably drowned.

This is a scenario that any one of us could easily face. NEVER, EVER, EVER leave a dog unattended. He deserves as much care as your children do. His life depends on your vigilance. If my friend had made sure that the gate was locked and made sure that his dog was within sight then he would have never lost him. If all that fails, a life jacket could be the only thing saving your dog.

A dog can get hypothermia just like you and me. Swimming in open water, even for experienced and strong swimmers, is a treacherous task and when your pets body is spending energy trying to keep warm, fatigue will set in that much faster. Most people who drown are strong swimmers that did not want to wear a PFD. Your dog is no different with the exception that he cannot choose to wear a PFD… that’s a choice you have to make for him.

Your dog has to learn to swim just like you do. He also needs to get used to wearing the PFD and learn to swim while wearing it. As with anything else on a boat, the last place you should learn to do something is in the event of an emergency, so make sure your dog is used to wearing his jacket, is used to swimming while wearing it, and is a good swimmer. Take your dog to the beach and swim with him while he wears his jacket. Make sure that the straps fit and are securely attached. Look out for chafing or loose straps. Make sure you learn how to adjust the jacket to your dog, and make sure it fits snugly enough that he wont slide out of it. Remember that your dog cannot adjust the jacket on the go, so you need to do that for him.

My friend had a very bad experience that weekend. Fortunately he received a call three days later. A local boater found his dog swimming close to the jetty and rescued his dog. He had apparently jumped in the water shortly after leaving the harbor and nobody noticed until they were half way to Catalina. He was lucky that he was close enough to swim closer to shore and that someone found him. He had been in the water for a while and was shaking and exhausted. The man who found him was so upset that the dog wasn’t wearing a life jacket that he decided to wait a few days to make sure my friend was convinced his dog had drowned. He did this to teach him a lesson and told him so on the phone once he finally called him. He told him to get a life jacket for his dog that would fit him, and only until he showed him the life jacket would he release the dog to him. That was one very harsh lesson, but one that they all lived to tell about it. This story had a happy ending but it could have just as easily been a tragedy.

If you don’t have a life jacket for your dog, it could end up costing him his life. Make the right choice for him. He needs it!

Happy boating!

Basin 3 / Slurry & Striping Plan

Hello fellow boaters,

We have some more maintenance work coming our way.

The Basin 3 parking lot, from West Marine to Dock 22, will be slurry sealed and striped April 16th  – 19th.  Color coded maps of the parking lot have been provided by the Marine Bureaus to assist you with parking during this time.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience during the remodel. Please send me a note or give me a call if you have any questions – Kimarie Vestre Alamitos Bay Marina Supervisor.

All questions can be directed to Kimarie Vestre at (562) 570-3236 or email her at

Happy Sailing!

Boater Appreciation / Alamitos Bay Marina Grand Re-Opening Celebration

Hello everyone!

In celebration of the completion of the marina renovation, the Marine Bureau is throwing a Boater Appreciation / Alamitos Bay Marina Grand Re-Opening Celebration on Saturday, April 28th from 10:30 am to noon – at Alamitos Bay Marina’s Basin Three Parking Lot.

 Please see the flyer for the official invitation HERE. Food, friends, and chances to win door prizes are all part of the planned fun!

We hope you can join us as we celebrate the completion of the on-water reconstruction of Alamitos Bay Marina, as well as thanking our community of boaters for their loyalty throughout this major project.

We would love to see our LBMBOA members at this event and meet more of our members face to face. We hope to see you there!

Notice of BOA Annual Meeting

It’s that time of the year again. Join us at the Long Beach Yacht Club and find out about current and future city plans involving our marinas. We invite you to attend the Long Beach Marina Boat Owners Association General Membership Meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 31st, 2018, at the Long Beach Yacht Club, 6201 Appian Way, Long Beach. We will have outstanding speakers that you will not want to miss. Our keynote speaker this year will be Katie Allen, from Algalita Marine Research.

Katie Allen is the Executive Director of Algalita Marine Research and Education, a non-profit organization committed to preventing plastic pollution.

Algalita was the first to expose the severity of plastic in our ocean after Founder Captain Charles Moore brought attention to the issue upon discovering a plastic pollution accumulation zone in the North Pacific – known by many as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Advance reservations are required and space is limited to 100 people. Reservations may be made by emailing Leave your name, telephone number, email address, and number of members and guests attending. You can also reserve your spot by calling 562 433-0074 and leaving a message. There is no cost to current members of the Long Beach Marina Boat Owners Association; non-members may join at the door by paying the $20 annual membership donation.

We hope to see you all there.

Help a Member Find His Watch!

One of our members left his watch on the counter by the right sink in the men’s bathroom next to Dock 22, on Basin 3 on Friday March 23rd between 7:30pm – 8:00pm. It is a large Invicta men’s watch with a gold bezel and a blue and gold face. This watch was a very cherished gift from his fiance and would like to recover it. He is offering a reward if anyone can return it. If you or anyone you know has seen this watch, please contact me at  Please help a member recover his property, and remember that this can happen to all of us. If you or one of your guests finds something please notify us or the marina offices so we can make sure the property is returned to his rightful owner.

Thanks for your help! Happy sailing!

Guardrails at Docks 20 – 24

Some of our members in docks 20 – 24 have asked us what is happening with the guardrails along the seawall. As you might have noticed, the guardrails have been replaced with new code compliant ones throughout basin 3 with the exception of the last few gangways from dock 20 all the way to the boatyard.

The existing rails have been capped with plywood, as well as the old ramp locations, and the plywood is looking like it has seen better days. While we all know this is a temporary measure, it’s starting to look a little more permanent than we were hoping for. We reached out to Elvira Hallinan, Manager at the Marine Bureau, and she was kind enough to let us know the status of these rails.

We anticipate that the vendor, CraneVeyor will be on site to start replacing the rail in 2 weeks and it should take approximately 10 working days to complete. They will start at Dock 20 and move towards Dock 24.  Why so long?  Because Basin 3 required grout/seawall work that has to be timed with the tides. We made the decision to delay installing the new rail until after the seawall work is completed in order to protect it from potential damage during the course of completing the work. – Elvira Hallinan.

You might see some fencing going up in the coming weeks, to cordon off the area while work is being done. They will give us pretty much the same access we have, but we might have some limited access while the work is being performed. CraneVeyor will try to make this as painless as possible, but as with all improvement work, there might be a little dust and inconvenience. We’re looking forward to the new railings and saying good bye to that unsightly plywood once and for all!

Eduardo A. Limon – PR Director LBMBOA

Retire that Flag… With Honor!

We all spend lots of time cleaning our boats, and spend great time polishing, waxing and keeping our boats shipshape. Often times though, you’ll see boats going by with that raggedy US Flag that has definitely seen better days. Why don’t you get a new flag? some people might ask. Often times, people don’t want to just throw that flag away because they don’t want to be disrespectful. While that is a sentiment we all share, we shouldn’t just “fly the flag”, we need to do it with respect and honor.

Flag Retirement is the term used to define the proper, dignified way of destroying United States flags that are no longer fit to serve the nation.

The United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k states-“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

How do you know your flag should be retired? Sometimes your flag will only need to be cleaned to restore its original appearance. Regular cleaning of your flag can extend its life considerably. Flags can be machine-washed with a mild detergent in cold water. Flags should be hung to dry or laid flat. Do not fold the flag if it is damp. If it is possible, mend a tattered flag at early signs of wear. The edge furthest from the staff, known as the “fly” end is usually the first part of the flag to show wear. The fly end may start to unravel due to weather conditions.

It is really up to you to decide when your flag is ready to be retired. If the flag is unable to be repaired or is too tattered then the flag should be retired. There are many local organizations that will take your flag for proper retirement. If you choose to do so yourself, the proper procedure is described below.

Basic steps to retiring a flag:

  1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.
  2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.
  3. Place the flag on the fire.
  4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.
  5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.
Enhancements to Basic Retiring program: – Using scissors handed out by the chaplain, cut the blue fields with the stars away from the red and white stripes — rendering them fit for disposal by fire.

When we disassemble the colors, it’s no longer a flag, and then you can burn the colors without disrespecting the flag. Burn each component separately: the blue field with stars, then the red stripes, then the white stripes, retiring the Colors. This is the only time the American flag and a pair of scissors are permitted to cross paths.

SlBYC is working with Boy Scout Pack 116, Den 3.,  to organize a Flag Retirement Ceremony to help people retire their flags with honor. Joan Palango who serves with BOA as an Advisory Board member representing the Seal Beach Yacht Club, brought this issue to our attention and we didn’t want to let the opportunity pass to let our members learn about this ceremony as well as the proper procedure to retire their flags. The idea is to work with boaters in the Long Beach Marinas and have them turn in their old flags so that the Boy Scouts can retire them properly. The ceremony would take place in June and details of the time and place will be advertised in our upcoming May issue. The ceremony will likely take place on or around Flag Day at the Sea Scouts facility in Alamitos Bay.

We will keep you informed of the exact date for the Boy Scout’s Flag Retirement Ceremony once it is final. SlBYC is working with Captain’s Locker to develop a program where boaters can turn in their old flags and purchase new ones. A percentage of the sales will be donated to help support the Scout’s organization. You will be able to drop off your old flag at Captain’s Locker after May and through June 10 for proper and dignified retirement.

For more information on the upcoming Flag Retirement Ceremony, check our May issue, subscribe to our website or contact Boy Scout Pack 116. Den 3. Laura Derose is the Scout Master and can answer questions regarding the upcoming ceremony. You can also contact Joan Palango at the SlBYC.



A Bad Day In The Water

What does a bad day in the water look like? To some of us, it might be the day we break something on our boats, or the day we get hurt, or a rough patch of bad weather or a very close call with some unmovable object. For the owner of the boat in these photos, the bad day was loosing their precious boat.

I’ve witnessed a few sinkings over the last few years, and they all had something in common… they could have been prevented. The unlucky owner of the burned Duffy had a short that caused an electrical fire because his power inverter was not fuse protected. Another large boat pictured below that sank in Marina Pacifica, had a dead battery which meant no working bilge pump. It turns out someone kicked his shore power cable and the battery charger quit working.

For all these people, there was someone there to make their experience a little less frustrating and manageable. Ken Walker owns and operates the Towboat U.S. Long Beach/Huntington Beach assistance towing franchise, with 4 towboats berthed at the Alamitos Bay fuel dock. He also operates the Fuel Dock itself. I ran into Ken while his team was getting the burned Duffy from the bottom of it’s slip. It is a very interesting site to behold to see a shipwright at work. I was happy to learn more about this very important business owner for Alamitos Bay Marina.

His captains are hazwopper /first responder certified and have specialized explosion proof equipment at the fuel dock to properly remove liquid hazards, such as a fuel tank that has ruptured and leaked into the bilge, they also maintain the specialized equipment and EPA registration to safely and lawfully dispose of such hazardous waste.

“Our fuel dock serves as a storage facility for our assortment of lift bags and salvage equipment. This ultimately could be easier on the unfortunate boater who has a catastrophic boating event such as a submerged boat. The faster we can get on scene and float their vessel the less expensive  it would be for the boater, as well as mitigate any pollution” says Ken Walker, and reminds us that they have always given Boat U.S. discounts for fuel, and since the towing dept is 24/7, they can access fuel on an emergency basis for not only customers, but LB Lifeguards as well as Police Department boats. In addition,  having the towboats at the fuel dock assures they can “boom” off the dock quickly in case of a fuel or hazardous waste spill.

The Alamitos Fuel Dock is also home to the only on-water service department in the area. They offer oil changes, fuel polishing, and tank cleaning as well as other fluid changes. They are often called upon for assistance when boat owners have fuel in their bilges as their equipment is capable of handling those situations. They also offer waste oil disposal, propane tank refills, as well as the only source of CNG tank replacements in the area.

“As the current operator, I’ve proudly served the boating community of LB since 1981, I started working at the family gas dock when I was 12, and went from tending the gas dock to running the service department as a mechanic, changing oil on a regular basis for many of our longtime customers, and finally getting my captains license and getting involved with vessel assist/ Boat U.S. program.” – Ken Walker.

Since 2001, Ken has undertaken the expense of being branded a “Valvtect marine fuel provider”. The ABM Fuel Dock is one of the first Valvtect stations on the west coast. The Valvtect name is associated with quality marine grade gas and diesel. He pays for a gasoline additive used to offset the effects of ethanol. The additive also contains a fuel stabilizer. The diesel additive, which he also pays for, contains a marine biocide as well as a stabilizer and c-tame improver. Their product tanks are certified every year by Valvtect, assuring that the Fuel Dock’s customers are getting a quality marine-grade product.

I would consider the city owned fuel docks to be a  necessity of the Alamitos Marina that the boat owners are paying for in the form of rent. Their fuel dock should provide a reliable quality source of fuel for their boats as well as the convenience of a full service dept for oil changes and fuel pump-outs. By operating both the fuel dock and Boat US simultaneously, we work hand in hand with the Lifeguards by having a quick response to non-emergency boating situations to free them up to be available for emergencies that could come up” – Ken Walker.

The “UST” (underground storage tank system) which includes both product tanks as well as the piping / product lines, dispensers and leak detection systems, was replaced in 2015 at the city’s expense, and is maintained by the City’s Fleet Services Department, but the existing electrical and docks were not upgraded. As the current operator, Ken maintains the aging dock even though he is on a month to month lease extension from the City.

The Alamitos Bay fuel dock needs to be replaced as the 60 + year old concrete dock is at the end of its shelf life. The area around and under the fuel dock needs to be dredged since at low tide there is only 4-5′ of water in front of the dock, and the inboard dock float is completely out of the water, causing a hazard between the two separate concrete floats. This needs to be addressed if and when the dock is replaced.

At this time, the Marine Bureau does not have any funding for the rebuild of the fuel dock. Based on a change in legislation, the City can no longer issue an RFP for design-build-operate.  Therefore for the last 12 months, the Marine Bureau has been trying to see if they could get funding and complete the engineering plans and start the permitting process for a new fuel dock.

The city replaced the Shoreline dock and UST back in 2012after closing the original 1984 facility for about five years, during which time Shoreline Marina tenants were without a fuel dock while City funding and permits were  obtained. The possibility exists for the same thing happening to marina tenants and boat owners at Alamitos Bay.

Since the lease for the current dock has expired, the city is required to issue a new Request for Proposal for a new operator. According to Elvira Hallinan, Manager at the Marine Bureau, they are almost done with the RFP for the potential new operator.

“If someone other than the current operator is chosen, the current operator will remain in place until a couple months after the selection of the new operator takes place.  This will give both the current and potential new operator time to coordinate a transition plan that will occur behind the scenes and not interrupt service to our customers.” – Elvira Hallinan.

In the Shoreline Marina, Bellingham Construction designed and built the new concrete dock , with a modular office/restroom that can be easily replaced if needed int the future. The new Alamitos Bay fuel dock could be similar in nature, which could minimize the amount of time we would be without a fuel dock. For the mean time, we have to make due with the fuel dock we have until funds are allocated for the rebuild.

We hope Ken Walker continues to serve us with both Boat U.S., pumping our fuel and servicing our boats. If Ken were to decide not to bid for the new proposal, or if another operator were to be chosen, we hope that we continue to get the great service that Ken has been known for and has gotten us all used to, as well as the excellent quality of the fuel that he is providing.

Next time you are on the water, swing by the Alamitos Bay Fuel Dock and say hello to Ken. His staff will be happy to assist you with your engine oil change, marine fuel or just in case you end up having a very, very bad day on the water.

Eduardo A. Limon – Director of Public Relations, LBMBOA.

Anchoring at Island White

Some of our members shared their concerns about the anchorage at Island White. While navigation charts show the anchorage at Island White as an approved anchorage, the City’s policy has been to only allow anchorage during Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Anchoring other nights during the week are not currently allowed…

At the 08 February 2018 Marine Advisory Commission Meeting, BOA expressed their opinion that the current policy for vessels anchoring overnight at the approved Island White anchorage (Friday Saturday and Sunday nights only) is unfair to boaters, and the previously discussed policy of anchoring any night, up to a maximum of 3 nights, should be implemented. The current regulations do not support the weekend only stay policy and, if necessary, new City regulations should be sought to implement our recommendation.