Letter to the Editor -- Superyacht-Friendly Law: A Step in the Right Directionposted: 11/8/2012
I read with interest your article in the Oct. 26-Nov 8 issue of The Log Newspaper, “New Legislation to Make California More Superyacht Friendly.”
I had no idea that the way we’ve previously been “welcoming” visiting mega-yachts to our state by socking them with a $50,000 fine the moment they pulled into port, if they didn’t fill out and submit an “oil spill prevention plan” three weeks before their arrival.
But then, I thought to myself, “Why should I be surprised at that?” There is so much useless paperwork and so many needless charges thrown into just about everything the state gets its hands on.
California Assembly Bill 2005 -- which now gives large recreational vessels up to 14 days after they arrive to submit the paperwork -- passed AND was signed into law by our governor. Kudos to everyone who made this happen, including Assemblyman Martin Garrick of Carlsbad, who authored the bill; and Todd Roberts of Marine Group Boat Works, who worked with him to get it approved.
How shortsighted it was to have made visiting our California ports so difficult for superyacht owners. When you consider how much revenue a visiting boat of that size brings in to our harbor communities -- with big boat owners spending money on everything from fuel and boat maintenance to moorage and cruise provisions -- it becomes clear how crazy it is to make these boaters not only pay more than everyone else, but also get hit with “surprise” fines on the day of their arrival: fines that they are told were for now-entering-the-port paperwork that was “due three weeks ago,” long before they were probably even thinking about entering the port.
It makes me wonder what other stupid policies and regulations are out there that we should target for elimination? And that really makes my head hurt.