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Oct 02

Oil Islands at Long Beach

By Drew | General Info

If you’ve ever spent any time on the coast of Long Beach California you’ve surely seen them, the four islands not too far off the beach, each one appearing to contain what must be some sort of high priced resort, or even maybe an amusement park. Maybe condos for the rich and famous? Palm trees interspersed with towering blue and white buildings, and if you’re there at the right time, you may even see waterfalls gushing down into the ocean. If you know what I’m talking about, then you’ve been taken in by the mystery and illusion of the Long Beach Oil Islands.

Built in 1965 for an estimated $22 million dollars each, the THUMS Oil Islands have been a magical part of Long Beach for as long as most residents can remember. They were originally named the THUMS Oil Islands after the consortium which operated them; Texaco, Humble Oil, Union Oil, Mobil Oil, and Shell Oil companies. This consortium, THUMS, was later purchased by Occidental Petroleum in 2000.

Overhead of the oil islands

Over the years, the islands have been known by many names. They were eventually officially named after different fallen astronauts and became known as the Astronaut Islands; Island Freeman for Theodore C. Freeman, Island Grissom for Virgil I. Grissom., Island White for Edward H. White II, and Island Chaffee for Roger B. Chaffee. Their exotic look was designed specifically to serve as camouflage to hide the huge oil drilling rigs that tap into the rich oil beds under the city. The towers also act as a sound wall for the islands closer to shore. Not surprisingly these features were designed by a theme park architect, Joseph Linesch, who also worked for a time on the design of nearby Disneyland Park.

The fancy looks and exotic lore do come with at least one drawback. The islands have a tendency to attract unwanted visitors from time to time. Some attempt to travel to the islands by boat. Occasionally someone will actually attempt to swim to these mysterious locations! Just a word of advice: It’s a felony to trespass on the islands, and the men and women who work there take unwanted guests very seriously.

Yes, people actually still commute to the islands for work on a daily basis. Some come by boat from the Port of Long Beach, and some from the downtown marina areas. With approximately 25,000 barrels of oil still being produced by the islands every day, it takes a full crew working around the clock to keep operations up and running day after day. The pumps on these islands, however, are not what the residents of Long Beach imagine when they think of an oil well. Bobbing oil donkeys are a common sight throughout the city and in Signal Hill (a small independent city completely surrounded by the city of Long Beach). These are electrical submersible pumps (ESPs), which can either take fluid out of the ground or put it back in.

Why put it back into the ground? To fight subsidence. Early in the Long Beach oil industry’s history the removal of so much oil from under the city lead to the ground actually sinking, as much as six feet downtown and 29 feet on adjacent Terminal Island in the Port. It became necessary to replace whatever was taken with ocean water. Thus subsidence became a thing of the past.

It has been a very long time since the public was granted free tours of the islands, but the look of these floating wonderlands is just as magical as ever. The next time you visit the city, be sure to take a moment to look out at them, these floating marvels. These tributes to the human ability to create magic where there may have only been the ugly sight of industrial machinery. These islands are a gift to the people of Long Beach, we shall be grateful for them for many years to come.

Sep 19

Long Beach Dry Storage

By Drew | Alamitos Bay Marina , General Info

Long Beach is one of the few marinas in Southern California that has its own dry storage facility. It is perfect for boaters who don’t want to keep their vessel in the water full time, or just want to dry dock their boat in the winter. Here’s the information about it.

Dry Storage Location

Eel grass mitigation site

Eel grass mitigation site

The Long Beach dry storage yard is located on Boathouse Lane, on the north end of Marine Stadium, near Spinnaker Bay. It is right on the water, just around the corner from the Marine Stadium launch ramp and Davies launch ramp. There is a small, unusable dock out near it that protects an eel grass mitigation site, and it is also right across the street from Marina Vista park, which has two tennis courts, and a playground for children.



The Dry Storage Lot

Long Beach Dry Storage

Dry Storage Entrance

The dry storage yard has several entrances on Boathouse Lane. They are gated and locked, but available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each vessel has its own assigned spot, but the city does not provide water or power. Since each spot is assigned, the CF numbers or name of the vessel must be visible at all times, even if the boat is covered; most people who have a boat cover with write the CF numbers or name of their boat on the canvas. The spots also cannot be swapped with anybody else, or be given to anybody else without approval from the office. Security is provided by regular patrols from the Long Beach Marine Patrol.

All spots can only accommodate mast down storage, and the maximum length including trailer is 25′; this means that most vessels are power boats 21′ or smaller. The sailboats that are there tend to be smaller, like sabots, hobie cats, or West Wight Potters.

How To Get A Dry Storage Spot

The dry storage lots are administered by the Alamitos Bay Marina. To get a spot, you will need to call the office at (562) 570-3215 during normal business hours. There may be a short waiting list, and a fee to sign up will apply. There is no seaworthy inspection for the vessel, but you will still need to provide the ownership paperwork, and insurance, and fill out a short packet. Aside from the monthly fee, a deposit will need to be placed for each key needed.

Aug 25

Port of Long Beach Green Port Initative

By Drew | Green Boating , News

The City of Long Beach is home to hundreds of personal pleasure crafts of all shapes and sizes, and is a popular destination for visitors to bring their boats for a day or two of fun in the sun. But it’s also home to another kind of ocean craft: Container ships coming to call at the busy Port of Long Beach. And they’re getting bigger every day. This might sound like a recipe for more smog than sun. But this particular port has been making waves in more ways than one, and it’s a breath of fresh air for Long Beach’s residents, as well as its boaters.

It’s hard to miss the Port of Long Beach’s impact on the city’s western skyline. Enormous cranes reach tall into the sky, lifting hundreds of thousands of containers from enormous ships to the docks where they are either loaded onto waiting trucks or onto a complex string of cargo trains. Ports like this one are infamous for the pollution they cause, and until recently the Port of Long Beach was no exception.

Foss Hybrid Tug

Foss Hybrid Tug

2005 marked the beginning of a new era for this busy seaport. Then Executive Director Richard Steinke signed the Green Flag Initiative, setting never before seen standards in the reduction of air pollution caused by port commerce. Ships coming to call in Long Beach were given new guidelines, and the thousands of truck drivers coming in and out were also called upon to do their part in reducing the air pollution.

Groundbreaking new programs were put in place. Among them was the port’s Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program, a vessel speed reduction zone restricting the speed of container ships as they approached shore. Reducing speed means burning less fuel, which equals fewer emissions. New regulations were also put in place to ensure only low-sulfur fuel is burned, and an increased use of shore power for cargo ships so instead of continuing to rely on fuel after docking, they run on electricity for the duration of their visit.

Clean Trucks at Pier T

Clean Trucks at Pier T

Another flagship program put in place is the Clean Trucks Program which set standards for the type of fuel and emissions acceptable for the trucks coming into the port for pick-ups and deliveries. Trucks deemed too “dirty” were banned, and a center was put in place on port land to assist truckers and trucking companies with acquiring new fleets of clean burning rigs.

So what does all of this mean today, eleven years after the introduction of the Green Flag Initiative? Well, according to the 2015 annual inventory of port-related air emissions, which is conducted by an independent consultant and reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, since 2005 there has been a 48% reduction in nitrogen oxides, 85% reduction in diesel particulate matter, and a 97% reduction in sulfur oxides.

And they aren’t stopping there.

Today the Port of Long Beach remains focused on continued reductions of air pollution through an increased use of on-dock rail systems, new joint efforts with the neighboring Port of Los Angeles, and an ongoing interest in next level technological advancements. According to a recent statement from Long Beach Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán, “While we’ve had challenges, we continue to be committed to reaching our goal of zero-emissions operations. We are steadfast in our commitment to improving air quality for the region now and over the long term as evidenced by our recently approved $46 million mitigation grant program.”

Now more than ever Long Beach’s many residents, boaters, and visitors can breathe a hard earned sigh of relief.

How To Get A Liveaboard Slip In Long Beach
Aug 24

How To Get A Liveaboard Slip In Long Beach

By Drew | Alamitos Bay Marina , Rainbow Harbor , Shoreline Marina

Liveaboard slips are very popular in Long Beach, as you could imagine. Boaters from all over Southern California come to Long Beach, and many love it so much they never want to leave! For boaters who want to live year-round on their vessel, a liveaboard slip is a great idea. Getting one though, is not as easy as it seems.

The Alamitos Bay Marina, Shoreline Marina, and Rainbow Harbor/Marina all have a very limited number of liveaboard slips available. The Long Beach marinas are not zoned as a residential area, and the power and water supplies on the docks are not meant to serve a residential community, so the number of liveaboard slips at each marina is capped at 10% of the slips. This means that there are very few slips to go around, and the marinas are almost always at their capacity, so getting a liveaboard slip can be a tricky process. If you are ready to make the leap, or just making plans for the future, here’s a quick guide on how to do it.

What A Liveaboard Slip Is

Liveaboard slips in Long Beach grant you the right to use your boat as a “place of abode”; that is, use it as you would an apartment. Boaters with non-liveaboard slips are only allowed to stay aboard their vessel up to 12 nights per month, while liveaboard slips can stay aboard 24/7 if they wished. Liveaboard boaters can also get a special parking sticker for their vehicles, and are given free tickets to the Long Beach Grand Prix if they are in the Shoreline Marina or Rainbow Harbor/Marina. They are also able to request telephone line installations at their dock, and Shoreline Marina and Alamitos Bay Marina tenants can also get a mailbox at the marina.

How To Get A Liveaboard Slip

The process to get a liveaboard slip can be a little complicated, so here’s a step-by-step guide to make everything simpler for you.

1. Sign up on the waiting list for a permanent slip. If you already have a permanent slip, skip to the next step.

To get a liveaboard slip, you must have a permanent slip in the marinas. Temporary assignments and subleases are not allowed to stay aboard more than 12 nights per month. Guest slips are the only exception, as they are allowed 15 days per calendar month.

2. Once you get your permanent slip, request and fill out the “Liveaboard Request” card.

Since the marinas are almost always at their liveaboard slip capacity, there is usually a waiting list to get liveaboard status (this wait can vary depending on what size your vessel is). Filling out the “Liveaboard Request” card gets you on the waiting list. There is no fee for this.

3. Play the waiting game…again.

The wait for liveaboard status can vary wildly between docks and vessel sizes. Not only are the liveaboard slips capped at 10% of the marina, but the marina only has certain areas where a liveaboard slip can be. Liveaboard slips cannot be next to each other, across from each other, or diagonally from each other on the dock; this is to ensure some modicum of privacy for the tenants.

There really is no way of telling how long it might take to get a liveaboard slip. Some very lucky people can get liveaboard status within days of putting in their request, for others it might take years.

4. Once you are called off of the list, schedule an inspection.

When your name comes up on the waiting list, the marina office will notify you and schedule a liveaboard inspection. This is different from the seaworthiness inspection when you got when you first came in, and is designed to make sure that you will be able to be self-reliant in case of a marina wide emergency, such as power or water outages.

5. Move on in!

Congratulations! You’re part of a club only 10% of the people in the marinas are in!

Liveaboard Vessel Inspection Requirements

The vessel inspection to get a liveaboard slip is a simple process, and almost all vessels pass on the first time. To get a liveaboard slip, a vessel must:

  • Be at least 25′ in length
  • Be currently registered or documented
  • Cannot have any partners on the registration/documentation or on file with the marina office
  • Have a holding tank
  • Have a fire extinguisher
  • Have a source of heating and cooking
  • Have a fully functioning electrical system. An inverter is recommended, but not required.

The marina will also need the names of your spouse and any children living on the vessel, as well as a list of any pets.

Some Things To Keep In Mind

Liveaboard slips can be a bit inconvenient to have. When you get called off of the waiting list, it will be for the first liveaboard eligible slip that opens up in your size, you might have to switch docks. Once you do accept liveaboard status, it might be difficult to transfer slips, since you would need to transfer to another one that is eligible to be a liveaboard slip. The roads around the Shoreline Marina and Rainbow Harbor/Marina are also periodically closed for special events-such as the Long Beach Grand Prix and Long Beach Marathon-which makes getting to and from your home tricky.

If you are interested in getting a liveaboard slip, call each marina office get on the waiting list today!

Aug 23

Insurance and Proof of Ownership

By Drew | Alamitos Bay Marina , General Info , Rainbow Harbor , Shoreline Marina

The City of Long Beach Marine Bureau has very strict requirements for vessel insurance and proof of ownership for boat owners. These requirements are easy to follow, however, and most boat owners already meet them.

Insurance Requirements

Even thought it is not a state law, the Long Beach Marine Bureau requires all vessels renting city docks to have liability insurance. Liability insurance, sometimes written as “Protection and Indemnity”, “P&I”, or “Property Damage”, covers you in the event that your vessel damages city property, or another vessel in the city marinas.

The insurance needs to be current, written in the permittee’s name, and the limits of liability must be at least $100,000. Along with that, anyone with a permanent slip, or looking to get a permanent slip, must add the City of Long Beach as “Additionally Insured”. This can be done at no extra cost by calling your agent and requesting it. The official wording must be:

The City of Long Beach

Its Officials, Employees, and Volunteers

200 B Aquarium Way

Long Beach, CA 90802

The City of Long Beach Marine Bureau requires this so that renewals are sent in automatically by your insurance company, and also to be notified in case of any changes, ie sale of the vessel. This does not mean the city has any ownership interest in the vessel, or the city is in any way a loss payee. In fact, if the city is listed as “Loss Payee” instead of “Additionally Insured”, the Marine Bureau will not accept the insurance.

Also, you will notice the address that needs to be listed is not Long Beach City Hall’s, and is probably different from the marina your vessel is at. This is because the Rainbow Harbor/Marina office handles the insurance for all of the permanent slips and commercial docks in the city.

The Long Beach Marine Bureau requires updated insurance every year for their permittees (those with permanent slips). As was mentioned earlier, if the city is listed as Additionally Insured, and the address is correct, the Rainbow Harbor office should get sent a renewal every year by your insurance company. However, sometimes there are mistakes, the insurance company does not send the renewal, or it gets sent to the wrong office. If the Marine Bureau does not get the renewal, they will contact you by phone, then by mail, and give you 30 days to provide the updated insurance before cancelling the slip.

Guest/transient boaters, subleasees, and temporary assignments do not need to add the city as Additionally Insured. You will only need to provide your insurance once, but it is up to you to keep your file up to date. Many boaters who frequent the marinas will add the city anyway. Keep in mind, though, that the insurance still needs to have $100,000 in liability coverage.

It is best to get your insurance through a dedicated marine insurance company, such as BoatUS ( click here for boat insurance quotes,) as they have the knowledge and resources to better help their customers.

Ownership Requirements

The Long Beach Marine Bureau has a few different requirements for proof of ownership.

To get a permanent slip, a sublease, or a temporary assignment, a current DMV registration (CF numbers) or Certificate of Documentation from the U.S. Coast Guard must be supplied. The vessel  must also be documented or registered in the applicant’s name; other names are allowed, but the person applying for the slip must own at least as much of the vessel as the others. If the vessel is owned by a corporation, then the applicant must provide the articles of incorporation, showing the applicant as an officer of the company. Out of state and foreign vessel documentation will be accepted initially, but, in accordance with California state law, the vessel will have to be registered in state or documented with the U.S. Coast Guard within 90 days, and the updated paperwork must be supplied to the marina office. Temporary DMV registration and travelling letters provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, or the Mary Conlin or Dona Jenkins companies are also accepted. Pink slips and transfers of ownership are accepted on a case by case basis.

For guest slips, the vessel merely needs to be currently documented or registered. Out of state registration and foreign certificates of documentation are accepted.

Vessel Partnerships

If you own a vessel with one or more partners, and have a permanent slip in the Long Beach Marinas, you might want to get them on file to give them some rights to the slip. If they are not on file, they will have no access to the vessel or the permit. As far as the Marine Bureau is concerned, they may as well not even exist. To give your partners limited rights to the permit, you will need to do a few things.

  1. Request and fill out the “Partnership Agreement”. All partners you wish to have on file must fill out the paperwork. You can either have each partner come to the office in person and sign the form in front of the Marina Agent, or you can have the forms notarized.
  2. Supply the marina office with the ownership forms showing all partners listed. This means each partner has to be on the registration or documentation.
  3. Provide the marina office with a copy of the IDs for each partner.

Keep in mind, though, that partners only have a limited amount of rights to the permit. Partners can sleep on the boat (up to 12 nights per month), and get a parking pass or keys, but that’s it. A partner cannot cancel a permit, request a transfer or live aboard status, change any contact information, or request any billing information. The only person able to do those things is the person who originally signed up on the waiting list and got the permit.

These are the major points of the insurance and ownership policies at the Long Beach Marinas. For any more detailed or specific questions you can call the marina offices during normal business hours.

Aug 21

Important Phone Numbers

By Drew | Alamitos Bay Marina , General Info , Launch Ramps , Rainbow Harbor , Shoreline Marina

Here’s a list of important phone numbers for the Long Beach Marinas to keep on hand


After Hours Line: (562) 570-3101

Call this number anytime after normal business hours for the marinas, or during holidays. It will go to a 3rd party answering service, and they will be able to get a hold of the on-call person for the marinas.


Alamitos Bay Fuel Dock: (562) 594-0888


Aqua Bus/Aqua Link: (562) 591-2301


Aquarium of the Pacific: (562) 591-3100


Beach Parking Lots: (562) 570-8055


Launch Ramps: (562) 570-8636


Lifeguards: (562) 570-1360, VHF 16


Long Beach City Hall: (562) 570-6555


Long Beach Fire Department: (562) 436-8211

This is the number to call if you are on a cell phone. Landlines can still dial 911, and dock phones can dial 9-911. Please do not call the marina offices for emergencies.


Long Beach Police Department: (562) 435-6711

This is the number to call if you are on a cell phone. Landlines can still dial 911, and dock phones can dial 9-911. Please do not call the marina offices for emergencies.


Marina Maintenance: (562) 570-1582


Marine Patrol: (562) 435-6711

This is the number to call if you are on a cell phone. Landlines can still dial 911, and dock phones can dial 9-911. Please do not call the marina offices for emergencies.


Marine Stadium Recorded Information: (562) 570-3203


Marine Stadium Rentals: (562) 570-3236


Park Events and Rentals: (562) 570-5333


Parking Citations: (562) 570-6822


Parks, Recreation, and Marine Main Office: (562) 570-3100


Passport Bus: (562) 591-2301


Pierpoint Landing: (562) 983-9300

Sportfishing and multi-day fishing charters.


Rainbow Harbor/Marina: (562) 570-8636


Sea Tow: (562) 592-2808


Shoreline Marina: (562) 570-4950


Shoreline Marina Fuel Dock: (562) 491-4636


Vessel Assist: (562) 594-0888

Located at the Alamitos Bay Fuel Dock.


Whale Watching: (562) 432-4900

Harbor Breeze Cruises.



Aug 20

Green Boating Tips: Spill Proof Fueling

By Drew | Green Boating

The Long Beach Marinas are part of the national Clean Marinas program, and all three have been certified as Clean Marinas since 2006. The Clean Marina program is a nationwide partnership between public, private, and municipally owned marinas to promote environmentally safe “green boating”. Here are a few ways to have a safe and green boating experience while fueling up.

Spill-Proof Fueling

It’s unbelievably difficult to avoid spilling when filling your boat’s fuel tank. The most experienced boaters still routinely discover that at least a little has managed to make it into the ocean or onto the dock, ready to run into the water at the first rain or wave. Even a tiny fuel spill is enough to damage the animals and plants that make boating so much fun.

According to the National Academy of Sciences 85% of petroleum that enters North American waters each year is the result of human activity. And the cost to clean up a spill is a lot less than the cost to clean it up.

Before you begin to pump,here are a few green boating tips that can go a long way towards preventing a spill.

  • Check your fuel lines and tanks to make sure they’re in good shape. It’s easy to pump a lot of gas before you realize most of it has been leaking out of a crack in the line that you didn’t notice before.
  • Be sure to have the proper emergency supplies on hand just in case, such as absorbent bibs, or bilge pads, and a spill kit
  • Don’t overfill. If it’s not your vessel, find out how many gallons the fuel tank holds before you fill. Don’t guess!

Once you’ve begun it’s even more important to keep focused on the task at hand.

  • This should go without saying but let’s say it anyway. Make sure the engines (all of them) and electrical equipment onboard are turned off and be sure to extinguish any open flames. The same rules you would have at your car’s gas station apply at your boat’s gas station.
  • Use an absorbent bib around the fuel intake every time you fill-up Remember, every drop counts.
  • Fill your tank slowly, listening for the tell-tale sound of the tank reaching capacity.

When you’ve finished filling, wipe up any spills that may have gotten out despite your diligence and dispose of your used rags and absorbent bibs. Remember, these items qualify as “hazardous waste” and should be disposed of as such.

The U.S. Coast Guard recommends filling inboard tanks to 90% capacity. This allows for expansion due to heat. Also, boat fuel tanks aren’t like car fuel tanks. Car fuel tanks are pressurized, but boat fuel tanks are not, so the pump automatic shut-off doesn’t always work.

Even if you use portable fuel cans it’s important to be very careful, for they pose their own set of issues. Just transporting gas in a fuel can (aka jerrycan) will lead to major spills if you aren’t careful. Always fill your fuel cans on shore and on level ground where spills are far less likely to happen and are far easier to clean up if they do.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that over 70,000 gallons of fuel is spilled from portable fuel cans every year. New fuel cans sold in the U.S. must meet a set of regulations designed to prevent spills and reduce vapors being released. These new cans fill more slowly, but they are far safer for the environment.

Being a safe boater means ensuring the safety of not just your passengers and other boaters, but also the environment you’re a guest in. The world’s waterways are incredibly delicate. It’s important to take responsibility for every drop that we put into them.

Fuel sheen on the water.

Fuel sheen on the water.

If you accidentally spill any fuel, or notice any fuel in the water, immediately call the marina office. The marina will notify the lifeguards who will send out a rescue boat to assess the problem. If you notice a spill after hours, call the after hours line at (562) 570-3101. If  you have any bilge pads or booms, feel free to put them in the water in or around the sheen.

Jun 01

How To Get A Boat Slip In Long Beach

By Drew | Long Beach Marinas

Long Beach has some of the best weather and water conditions in the country, so it’s no surprise that slips in the marinas are so highly sought after. Even though there are almost 4000 boat slips in the city owned marina, there is usually a waiting list, especially for the larger sized vessels. However, getting a “permanent” boat slip isn’t impossible. There are a few steps you have to take, and having the proper paperwork and documentation ahead of time can make getting that boat slip a breeze. Here’s how to do it.

 1. Check each marina for permanent boat slip availability

The first thing you need to know is the terminology the Long Beach Marina Bureau uses. The city rents out slips in three different ways. “Guest Slips” are transient slips that are rented out for a maximum of 15 days per calendar month. These are usually used for boaters on a cruise up and down the coast, or people visiting the city. A “Temporary Assignment” or “T/A” is a boat slip rented out on a monthly basis. These are only available at the Alamitos Bay office, and are meant as a temporary way to fill a boat slip during the construction. These are not meant to be long term slips and the slip assignment will be cancelled when different phases of the construction are completed. For long term slips, much like renting out an apartment or house, ask the marinas about renting a “permanent” boat slip. These slips are rented out for an indefinite period, and many families have had boats in the Long Beach marinas for decades! Since the Alamitos Bay Marina is currently (as of May 2016) undergoing major construction, there may be waiting lists for different size vessels at different times of the year at the different marinas. The only way to find out is to call each office individually and see what their availability is. The office numbers and hours are:

Alamitos Bay Marina: (562) 570-3215 8am-5pm 7 days/week

Long Beach Shoreline Marina: (562) 570-4950 8am-5pm 7 days/week

Rainbow Harbor/Marina: (562) 570-8636 8am-4pm 7 days/week

Same day availability for slips is a rarity, so don’t expect to buy a boat then walk into one of the marinas and immediately get a slip. Doing so is a good way to risk having a boat with no home. Even if a slip is available, between their regular duties and appointments the permit agents for the marinas probably won’t be able to see you same day. Buying a boat and expecting to get a slip the same day or the next day is a recipe for disaster.

2. Get on the waiting list

If there is a waiting list, sign up on it. There is a nominal fee to sign up and a fee every year to stay on the list, but it makes sense to sign up as soon as you can. The wait can be anywhere from a month to a year or more, but as long as you stay on the list they will eventually be giving you a call. The paperwork for the waiting list can be picked up in the office, or can be mailed out, but cannot be faxed and is not available online. This is because there is a carbon copy that needs to be filed along with the hard copy.

The fees paid when you sign up for the waiting list are strictly to get on the list. They cannot be used as part of your security deposit, first month’s fees, or key deposits.

The name that is used when signing up on the list must be the name of the registered owner of the boat. No corporations are allowed, and the name on the waiting list cannot be transferred to anyone else.  This means that even if the boat is sold, the new owner cannot take the old owner’s place on the list.

3. Play the waiting game

Like it was mentioned before, depending on what size slip you signed up for, the wait could vary from a few days, to a few months, to a year or more. Slip sizes in the Long Beach marinas range from 20′-120′, increasing by 5′ increments. The quickest waiting lists are typically 30′-45′, and the longest are 20′-25′ and 70’+.

There are a few reasons for the long waiting times for the slips. First, California has the second largest number of registered boats in the country, after Florida, and only so many available slips. Second, Long Beach is in a prime geographic area in Southern California. It is the closest marina to Catalina Island, protected by the breakwall that was constructed when the Navy had a presence at the port. Third, for over 10 years the marinas have been undergoing a massive reconstruction project. Slips have been kept open so that current boatowners (permittees) have a slip to move to when their dock is being reconstructed, and would not have to leave the city.

While you are waiting, it is a good idea to call any of the offices and get updates on your spot on the waiting list. As your name gets closer to the top, it is a good idea to start prepping your vessel and getting your paperwork in order.

One other detail to mention about the waiting list is it is possible to move down the list through no fault of your own. The Long Beach Marine Bureau has a program for permittees who need to leave their boat slip for a period of time, either for cruising or some other reason. The permittee can apply for a “Leave of Absence”, which is good for up to 5 years. When they are ready to come back, they can apply for reinstatement. This means that, instead of bypassing the waiting list completely, they are put back on the waiting list, but with the original date they signed up. This means the person will go at or near the top, pushing all others on the waiting list one spot down. So, if you ever call and find out you have dropped one or more spots on the list, this is probably the reason why.

4. Get your paperwork and boat ready

There are a few things you will need before the city can issue you a slip. The boat will have to be currently registered in the name of the person who signed up on the list, the boat will have to have current insurance with at least $100,000 in liability coverage (property damage or P&I) in the boatowner’s name, and you will need to provide your ID and a picture of your vessel. Vessels registered to one or more persons are allowed, but only one person is allowed to be on the permit.

The vessel will also need to be inspected before you can assume the slip. This means it will need to have the CF numbers and current decal, or the name and hailing port if it is documented; working nag lights, electrical systems, and bilge pumps; and the riggings, lines, decks, and below decks must be in good shape. If the rigging or dock lines are frayed, or there are soft spots on the deck, they may fail your inspection and deny you a slip.

5. Once you are called off the list, set up an appointment

Once you are called for a slip, the permit agent will need to set up an appointment to process your paperwork. The packet that you need to fill out can be faxed over and filled out ahead of time. When you are setting up the appointment, ask the permit agent if the vessel inspection can be done the same day; a separate employee, the field agent or Marina Agent II will do the inspection, and they are not always available the same time as the permit agent.

When you arrive for your appointment to process your paperwork, you’ll need to bring your packet, the paperwork mentioned above, plus first month’s rent, a security deposit which equals one month’s rent, and deposits for gate and restroom keys. The permit agent will give you the total over the phone when you make the appointment. The marinas accept cash, checks, and Visa or Mastercard.

6. Move in to your new boat slip!

Congratulations! Once all that is over-you’ve signed up, waited your turn, and passed inspection-the slip is yours! You’ll get your move-in date from the permit agent, and on that day you can tie up, fill up your dock box, meet your new neighbors, and make yourself at home!

May 28

Long Beach Boat and Yacht Rentals

By Drew | Activities , Alamitos Bay Marina , Rainbow Harbor

Long Beach has several options for visitors looking to rent a boat or a yacht. From jet-skis to large corporate events, the Long Beach marinas have boat rentals and yacht rentals for all of your needs.

Be Your Own Captain

Long Beach Boat Rentals

Long Beach Boat Rentals

Looking for a fun afternoon on the water? You can drive your own boat with Long Beach Boat Rentals at Shoreline Village in Rainbow Habor. Long Beach Boat Rentals has several different types of boats for rent. For an exciting, fast paced adventure they have 40hp and 75hp powerboats, or, for a more relaxing ride, they also have electric Duffy boats. The powerboats can accommodate up to 6 passengers, and the Duffys can accommodate up to 8. The powerboats are perfect for people looking to explore the nearshore area around Long Beach, while the Duffys provide a comfortable, relaxed way to be on the water and are perfect for parties or families with children. No boating experience is necessary, but skippers will need to have a driver’s license to operate the boats.

If you are looking for more of an adrenaline rush, Long Beach Boat Rentals also rents jet-skis. The jet-skis can carry up to two people, and no prior experience is necessary. Riders have to be at least 16 years old, though, or 18 to operate one of the jet skis.

Long Beach Boat Rentals is located at 401 E. Shoreline Dr in Long Beach. Their booth is behind the Yardhouse, at the top of the ramp for Dock 8. They can be reached at (562) 491-7400. Advance reservations are recommended, especially during the summer and on holidays. Parking is available in the Shoreline Village parking lot, or in the Marina Green parking lot.

On the east side of Long Beach, London Boat Rentals also offers electric Duffy boat rentals. Alamitos Bay is perfect for a slow, comfortable cruise, and the boats easily travel through the narrow canals in Naples Island. While Alamitos Bay is much more low-key than Rainbow Harbor, during Christmas time the canals are the best place to see the Christmas lights on the houses, and the Duffy boats from London Boat Rentals are the best way to see them.

London Boat Rentals is located at 186 N. Marina Dr. in Long Beach, at Alamitos Landing. Parking is available in the Alamitos Landing Lot. They can be reached at (562) 594-2628.

Large Parties and Corporate Events

The Grand Romance

The Grand Romance

For large parties, Harbor Breeze Cruises, Hornblower Cruises, and the Grand Romance Riverboat have what you need. All three are located in Rainbow Harbor and can handle parties of over 100 people. Parking for all three is available in the Aquarium parking structure at 99 Aquarium Way. Harbor Breeze Cruises and Hornblower Cruises are also popular choices for corporate events, and often times even hold events for the Long Beach Mayor and City Council! All boats have a full bar and Coast Guard licensed captain and full and experienced crew and offer cruises around the Long Beach coast and Port of Long Beach. Reservations can be made by clicking on the above links.

May 25

Long Beach Grand Prix Guest Slips

By Drew | Activities , Rainbow Harbor , Shoreline Village , Special Events

The Long Beach Grand Prix is one of the busiest times of the year for the Long Beach marinas. The three day event takes over the downtown area of Long Beach, including the Shoreline Marina and Rainbow Harbor. During this time, several streets are closed off during the race, and also during “Press Day”, which is usually the Tuesday before the race. During these closures, no vehicles will be allowed in the marinas unless they have a marina issued parking pass, which is only available to permanent slip holders and their guests. There are Marine Bureau employees and LBPD officers staffed at various entrance points around the marinas directing traffic and controlling vehicle access. Vehicles entering the marinas will be directed to drive down Shoreline Dr. and then onto Alamitos Beach and through the Marina Green parking lot. Parking during this time is extremely impacted, and temporary paper parking passes are not issued by the Shoreline office or Rainbow Harbor office, so carpooling is a must. Another thing to keep in mind is that Rainbow Harbor/Marina is technically part of the Grand Prix circuit, so a ticket is needed to even get to the restaurants in Shoreline Village. No tickets are sold by the marinas. Grand Prix guest slips are also at a premium this weekend, and reservations, especially at Rainbow Harbor, are difficult to come by.

Long Beach Grand Prix

Ferris wheel at Shoreline Village Parking Lot

Shoreline Village and the Marina Green parking lot become spectator areas during the Grand Prix. Grand stands, food trucks, and other restaurant booths take over the grassy area at the Marina Green, while rides and vendors set up in the Shoreline Village parking lot. The bars and restaurants in Shoreline Village are open during the Grand Prix, and are jam packed from the time the Grand Prix starts until it ends. The restaurants all have extra security and their own wristbands to control the amount of people coming and going. Tickets are required to access any of these, though.

Grand Prix guest slips at Rainbow Harbor

Usually, getting a guest slip at Rainbow Harbor is a pretty simple and straightforward process. Call in, provide your paperwork and payment, and get your slip. But, during the Grand Prix, everything changes. Reservations for Long Beach Grand Pix guest slips starts far earlier than the usual 30 day window. On January 2nd, at 9am, the Rainbow Harbor office starts taking names on the Grand Prix list for guest slips. This list, however, does not guarantee a slip. It merely gives you a better chance at securing one. Instead of simply booking open slips and the Pine Ave. Pier, the marina office will also use Dock 8 (the public dock inside the marina) and some of the slips belonging to commercial operators inside the Fishbowl (Rainbow Marina). The slip fees are also increased during the event, going up to $6.00/ft (as of 2016), with a three day minimum; this means that a 30′ would be charged $540 for the slip for the weekend. Requests for certain slips or areas of the marina will try to be honored, but it is not always possible. If you have a specific area or dock you want to be in,  it is highly recommended you show up as early as possible on January 2nd to get a place in line; it is not uncommon for people to start showing up at 5am or sooner to get their usual spot. Dock space along Dock 8 and slips on SHM-4 (the dock closest to the Yardhouse and Tequila Jack’s) are always the first to go, so if you have your eye on those areas you would need to line up in the wee hours of the morning to secure them.

Grand Prix guest slips on Dock 8

Grand Prix guest slips on Dock 8

Once you have put your name on the list, the marina office will give you a call when they start booking, which is usually in mid-February. If you do not have a slip request, the marina will assign a slip based on your length and beam, and will ask for the paperwork for your vessel, plus a special packet that will need to be signed, including the Grand Prix guest slips rules. The rules simply reiterate the marina regulations, such as a ban on open containers on the docks, live bands, and nudity. Once the office has received your paperwork and signed packet, they will need payment, and ask how many wristbands and gate/restroom keys you will need. The key deposits increase to $100/key for the event, instead of the usual $50. The wristbands, keys, and your receipt (no parking passes are issued) will be available for pickup in the office a week or two before the race if you want to pick them up early. Or, the packets can also be dropped off to our vessel during the race, but marina employees aren’t always immediately available so there may be a wait for your wristbands and keys. Please note that no tickets are sold by the marinas, and the fees paid are simply for the dock space. Tickets are sold separately by the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Wristbands for the Long Beach Grand Prix Guest Slips

Security for the marina during the Grand Prix is very tight, and controlling the number of people on the docks is a priority for the marina and police department. In order to prevent over crowding on the docks, every boatowner in Rainbow Harbor will be issued a certain number of wristbands for themselves and their guests for the Long Beach Grand Prix. Without these wristband and a ticket, they will not be allowed on the docks in the marina. WRISTBANDS ARE REQUIRED FOR EVERY PERSON ON THE DOCK. Each boatowner is also responsible for their wristbands and their guests. If a person is causing trouble on the docks during the Long Beach Grand Prix, it might also jeopardize the boatowner’s slip rental. In the Grand Prix guest slips rules packet that is signed, it states that the marina may revoke a rental and keep any fees paid if the renter or any of their guests violate any of the rules or regulations.

The number of wristbands given out are based on the size of the vessel. This is a hard cap, and once the maximum number of wristbands is given out for a particular boat, no more will be issued. Each wristband comes with a serial number that corresponds to the boatowner it was given to, so the marina can track not only how many are given out, but also which slips have had guests escorted out of the marina.

These wristbands are single use only wristbands. They cannot be switched between different people, and are different colors each day. The Long Beach Marine Patrol will have officers staffed at the gate entrances checking wristbands, and any that look like they have been tampered with will be confiscated.

 Grand Prix Guest Slips at the Shoreline Marina

The process for getting Grand Prix guest slips are the Shoreline Marina is almost the same as any other time of year. Reservations can only be made 30 days in advance, and they will need all the required paperwork. The only differences are the fee goes up to $6.00/ft/night with a three night minimum, and the Grand Prix guest slips packet also needs to be signed. No parking passes will be given out for guests. Slips are easier to get here for the Grand Prix, so if you are looking for a slip last minute, the Shoreline Marina might have one available.

Long Beach Grand Prix Parking and Water Taxis

During the Grand Prix, on-site parking is only available for boatowners who have a permanent (year round) slip in the Long Beach marinas. No parking passes are given out to guest slips or guest of the boatowners. The Grand Prix Association has a limited number of parking passes for sale on their website, but those go very quickly. The businesses around the downtown area rent out their parking lots for the weekend, but fees can range anywhere from $15-$40 to park. Even then, the walk can be as long as a half a mile or more to get to the track. One option people may not think of is parking across town and using the water taxis. The AquaLink and AquaBus both run during the Grand Prix, and have pick ups outside of the marina. The AquaLink picks up at Alamitos Landing and the Belmont Pier, and the AquaBus picks up at the Queen Mary. If you are not planning on staying all night, you can park at any of the pick up sites (street parking is free around the Belmont Pier, and marina parking is free until 10pm at Alamitos Landing) and take the water taxi over! Parking is much cheaper (or even free), and the only fee would be for the ride over!