Newport Beach has a great harbor, and I’ve finally become a boat owner — all 10.5 feet of inflatable goodness. Hey, don’t mock my little Zodiac-style boat. It gets our family of four around just fine. But where to go? What to do? Fortunately, Newport Beach has just put out a new guide to the harbor.
Did you know there are public docks in the harbor? I had no idea until we got an old harbor map from a local rental place. The new map also marks these clearly, places where you can pull up, tie-up your boat and leave for a bit.
One thing I love about the new map are the locations of “Dock & Dine” restaurants:
Is there nothing cooler than pulling up in your boat to park at a dock, then getting out and having a meal? Well, I’m not sure our inflatable is what the restaurant owners had in mind, but at least I know where to go
Also shown on the map are local rental places, restrooms, mooring areas and more. Aside from the map, the booklet covers places for long-term mooring (good luck with that, and get your wallet out to pay big time).
One crucial rule I learned about Newport Harbor back when I was in college and learned to sail here is that the Balboa Ferry always has the right-of-way. The guide doesn’t mention this though it does warn to watch for the ferries.
After twice having the local tour company’s boats try to run me down, I also wondered if they somehow has some special right-of-way I didn’t know about. Nope, nothing that I can see in the guide. They’re just captained by jerks, it seems.
Disappointingly, despite the many historic celebrity homes scattered around the harbor (John Wayne being most famous), the map doesn’t pinpoint any of these. I guess that might have hurt the boat tour company’s ability to try and run down all the other boats in the harbor.
The guide — “Compete Cruising Guide To Newport Harbor” — is going to be distributed in print locally in in yacht clubs along the California coast, according to the Daily Pilot. You can also download a copy here (PDF format) from the city’s web site.