Category Archives: Boating

There’s a Whole Lotta News at Lot 4

Lake Havasu State Park-Launch Ramp

Officials at the Arizona Department of Transportation and Arizona State Parks are about to increase boat launch capacity by 33 percent with a new fourth launch ramp at Lake Havasu State Park. But that’s not all: things will get a lot easier on your feet this Labor Day.

In addition to the new ramp between Lot 3B and Windsor 4, and reduced wait times, the ramp is v-notched for added traction. The new construction also includes an additional 72 over-sized parking spots on the east side of the access road, more restrooms, and a new exit out of Lot 4 that will ease traffic congestion. It is expected to be completed by late summer.

But that’s not all! Thanks to volunteers at the Lake Havasu Marine Association, the complimentary golf cart shuttles, so popular last Memorial Day and Fourth of July, will return for Labor Day weekend. The shuttles will cut the long walk between parking and the launch ramps. As we all know, even a quarter mile of walking can be a hassle on hot asphalt with a bunch of kids and coolers in tow, especially when the overflow Windsor 4 parking area is called into service.

While the service is free, tips are gratefully accepted – the funds are used to pay for the golf cart rentals.

For information about the lake’s launch ramps, log onto:

http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/boating/marinas-and-launch-ramps.aspx

House of Reps: “Don’t Box Us In”

LakeHavasu-Tubing

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment in mid-July that would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from using federal funds to restrict recreational tubing, waterskiing or wakeboarding on Lake Havasu.

No changes are likely to occur on the lake until the legislation meets approval by the U.S. Senate, and is signed into law by President Obama.

“I’m pleased to see the House pass my bipartisan amendment and instruct the service to reopen Lake Havasu for all users,” said the amendment’s primary advocate, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ 4th District).

“The irresponsible and arbitrary boating restrictions made by the Service in May of 2015 should alarm all Americans who value the rule of law and a government that is accountable to the people it serves.”

In May 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expanded a no-wake zone in Lake Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. The restrictions drew city and county administrators’ disdain by inconveniencing boaters without any advance public notice, Gosar said, and was implemented two days prior to Memorial Day weekend.

Last April, Fish and Wildlife submitted a proposal that would effectively close large areas of the Refuge to motorized watercraft out of concern for the Refuge’s shoreline and wildlife. Those restrictions, however, could do irrevocable harm to the region’s recreation-based economy.

“This half-mile area is a place where families taught their children to ski and wakeboard,” Gosar said. “Several special needs children no longer have a safe place for these activities. Instead, these restrictions have created a safety risk as more people have been confined to a smaller space with boats traveling 70 miles per hour.”

Read the complete story here:

http://lhmarineassn.com/amendment-on-lake-havasu-restrictions-passes-u-s-house/

NOAA Forecasts Don’t Get Better Than This

2000px-NOAA_logo.svg

 

Boaters may not realize that there’s a website that provides weather conditions specific to Lake Havasu City. Want our advice? Bookmark this.

The readings, issued by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Las Vegas, are taken three miles west of Lake Havasu at an elevation of 446 feet and predicts such factors as the temperature, relative humidity, heat index, dewpoint and sky cover in increments of 48 hours.

“Temperatures, rain and humidity are fairly consistent, but the ability to receive wind forecasts is invaluable – it has the most influence on the boating experience,” says Jim Salscheider, president and CEO of the Lake Havasu Marine Association.

“Be sure to check it before you go out, even if you plan to be a spectator at an event on the lake. You’ll have a good idea of how to prepare for the conditions and what to bring.”

The LHMA eventually hopes to receive a grant to install a weather buoy on the lake. Until then, the NOAA website is the next best thing.

View the current forecasts here:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=34.4814&lon=-114.3705&unit=0&lg=english&FcstType=graphical

Boaters: We’ve Got Your Back

 

johns rock arial

Aerial View of John’s Rock

John Gallagher, a deputy sheriff from Palmdale, Calif., was pulling his daughter on a wakeboard going about 20 mph in his 23-ft. Commander when it struck a previously unknown rock near Black Meadow Landing, about 17 miles south of the city. Attention Boaters: what happened next is a perfect example of how the Lake Havasu Marine Association has got your back.

When John hit the rock, his boat came to a violent stop. “It felt like the motor exploded and it fell out of the bottom of the boat,” he tells us.

TowBoatUS arrived shortly thereafter. They told him they both lived and worked on the lake every day and had never seen the rock before. Being in law enforcement, John felt compelled to report the hazard and called the Lake Havasu Marine Association and Arizona Game & Fish. Both his calls were returned within days.

“One of the issues on Lake Havasu is no agency has ‘buoy responsibility’ on the California side of the lake. No matter, the Lake Havasu Marine Association (LHMA) and AZ Game & Fish sprung into action, soon joined by AZ State Parks,” said Jim Salscheider, president and CEO of the LHMA.

Within two weeks a buoy was placed to warn of the hazard, Jim tells us.

While insurance is paying for the boat repair, John Gallagher says, “I’ve been coming for 12 years, so this won’t stop me, I’ll be back on the lake as soon as I can.”

Meanwhile the LHMA has decided to name the obstacle “John’s Rock.” Gallagher is humbled by the honor.

“I realize it’s not Mt. Whitney or Shasta. But it’s kind of cool having a landmark named after you. It’s only about six inches above the water level, but now it’s my little piece of earth.”

He plans to return soon to pay homage to his namesake foe.

Join a Clean-Up Right Here in River City, Sept. 24, 2016

clean up

The 4th annual Castle Rock Water Trail Paddle and River Clean-Up is your chance to give back to Mother Nature. You’ll never believe what they’ve removed from the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge in the past.

Last year during the clean-up, volunteers pulled out an entire dock that got stuck in the backwater area. Others found plenty of soda cans and even abandoned boats. Now here’s your chance to join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and volunteers as they collect litter and debris along the shoreline of the refuge.

Meet Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7:15 a.m. at Castle Rock Bay in the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge behind the Walmart (off Vista Drive). You’ll receive free use of a kayak or canoe, plus plenty of trash bags to fill with whatever flotsam and jetsam you can find between the launch point and Mesquite Bay Central (London Bridge Road). When you finish, a shuttle will transport you back to the start. Or bring your own kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard. The clean-up will be followed by hot dogs for all volunteers.

According to Catherine Bell, Wildlife Refuge Specialist, “You never know what you’re going to see along the three-mile clean-up route – possibly Great Horned Owls and various birds.

“We’re also gratified that there seems to be less and less garbage in the water. That means our visitors have a lot more respect for the fragile environment,” Bell says.

The event is being held by the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, in partnership with the Friends of the Bill Williams River and Havasu National Wildlife Refuges, and is scheduled annually in observance of National Public Lands Day – a signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation that promotes both popular enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands.

Every little bit helps keep Lake Havasu and the Colorado River clean.

For more information: Marge Penton, secretary@billwilliamsriver-havasufriends.org, and Dee Dee DeLorenzo, 928 758 2707, or the golakehavasu.com webpage for the event.

Whole Lot of “Quaking” Going on During IJSBA Championships, Oct. 1-9, 2016

Jet Skis® on Lake Havasu Arizona

The IJSBA returns to Lake Havasu City for the annual Personal Watercraft World Championships presented by quakysense on Oct. 1-9, 2016. Help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the International Jet Sports Boating Association’s World Finals.

The first World Championship was at the Nautical Inn in 1982, where the IJSBA gathered a small gathering of adrenaline junkies who were eager to show off their athletic prowess on a fascinating new product – Kawasaki’s Jetski. Over the past 35 years, the event has attracted many hundreds of thousands of spectator visits, more than 25,000 international competitor visits, sold out hotels, filled up restaurants, and generated an estimated $100 million in revenue for the Lake Havasu economy.

Starting Oct. 1, approximately 500 competitors are coming from more than 30 nations across the globe. If you haven’t seen a personal watercraft recently, today’s watercraft come out of the box with upwards of 300 horsepower. Then skilled mechanics, using the latest aftermarket performance parts, squeeze out an additional 20% more power. When 20 of these watercraft are on the starting line (located in front of the free grandstands), all racing towards a single first turn, you won’t believe your eyes.

Track speeds regularly exceed 90 mph and witnessing two or more of these watercraft power through a high speed turn, together, will be a spectacle you will not soon forget.

Racers are not the only stars of this show. Freestyle competitors use highly customized watercraft to perform two-minute routines of backflips, submarines, and other tricks to dazzle the crowd. That Saturday night, Oct. 8, a special nighttime freestyle and stunt show presented by Blosion and free to spectators, will be performed in Lake Havasu City’s Bridgewater Channel, in the shadow of the famous London Bridge.

Saturday concludes with a special Hall of Fame Ceremony recognizing key figures in the sport, some who have been coming to this event for all its 35 years.

The IJSBA quakysense World Finals 2016 also features a trade show offering for sale hundreds of products from across the watersports lifestyle, including drones, wetsuits, beachwear, and namebrand sunglasses, to name a few.

Amateur and Junior Racing begin Oct. 5; Pro Racing, Freestyle, and the complete trade show are open Oct. 7 – 9 at Crazy Horse Campground and Resort. The Under the Bridge Blosion Freestyle Show starts at sundown in the Channel. This event is sponsored by quakysense, the leading wetsuit in watercraft racing, along with help from the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kawasaki, Sea-Doo, Yamaha, Radio Central, and the Quality Inn, among others.

For more information and racing schedules (available the night before) visit IJSBA.com

It’s in the Bag

LHMA

Maybe you’ve seen the garbage posts around the lake. Each year for the past seven years 150,000 bags are distributed free for people to use in properly disposing their trash. Each bag can hold up to three pounds of your used ring tops, cigarette butts, sandwich wrappers and whatever else you don’t need anymore.

“Prior to the trash bag program, there were 50-gallon barrels. When they weren’t maintained properly, garbage would pile up. Now we ask that boaters take some responsibility for their own trash,” says Jim Salscheider, president of the LHMA.

“Boaters are cleaner than ever. Studies show that 95 percent of people who pull up to a clean beach will haul their trash out and leave it clean again,” he says, “The support of the boating community has been terrific, much better than those who drive their own cars to beaches, but we’re working on them as well.”

The program is funded by sponsors who use the bags as a mini billboard. They think you may be more inclined to buy Budweiser, for instance, or visit the Havasu Landing Resort and Casino, if you see how committed they are to helping boaters keep the area clean.

For a list of the lake’s best boat-in beaches log onto:

http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/beaches/top10beaches.aspx

Make it a Safe Fourth of July

Fierworks over Lake Havasu, AZ

  • Safe Places to View the Fireworks

Hooray for a long holiday weekend as July 4th falls on a Monday this year, leaving you a full 3-day weekend of fun in Lake Havasu. Start time for fireworks over Thompson Bay is approximately 9 p.m.

Best viewing locations are:

Rotary Park (plenty of free parking, straight view of the fireworks, coolers allowed, no alcohol or pets permitted)

The Nautical Beachfront Resort (on the island, plenty of free parking, coolers and outside alcohol not permitted) The Resort is also offering a special deal that evening starting at 7 p.m. and continuing through 11 p.m. The Concert, Fireworks and Dinner Package includes VIP Lawn Seating and a BBQ picnic meal for $59 adults and $35 for children 12 and under (walk-ins welcome). To reserve space call the front desk at 928-855-2141.

London Bridge Beach (on the island, free parking, coolers allowed)

Thompson Bay (via boat*, please anchor both bow and stern due to winds and current, anchor early as Thompson Bay fills up)

Fireworks will be set off directly across the bay from Lookout Point on Spectator Point (at The Nautical Beachfront Resort).

Tune in to KNTR 980AM for a live simulcast with music set specifically to the fireworks display.

Please leave pets at home. They can’t really hold sparklers in their teeth, so they are going to feel left out anyway.

Remember that significant delays may occur at the boat ramps for retrieval after the fireworks show has ended. Plan accordingly.

All watercraft must have proper lights at night. Please use caution when going through the Bridgewater Channel in the dark.

For more information and a handy map of all locations within sight of the festivities, log onto:

http://www.golakehavasu.com/events/details/1758/fireworks-over-the-lake-july-4th-fireworks-show/


 

Desert Storm Shootout on Lake Havasu

  • “Slow Down, You Move Too Fast …”

To borrow from Simon & Garfunkel:You Got to Make the Morning Last

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is monitoring the small no-wake section of the river around and under the I-40 Bridge at the north end of the Havasu Refuge this summer.

That means keep an eye out for No-Wake Zones where speed must be below 5 mph and not produce a visible wake.

Children, water skiers or anyone using a PWC must wear a properly fitting PFD.

The police will be diligent about checking for Operating Under Influence (OUI) violations. If you must drink, consider a Designated Captain available through the Lake Havasu Marine Association:

http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/boating/designatedcaptain.aspx

While we’re at it, remember that glass bottles are not allowed in prohibited areas, and there is no bow or transom riding allowed, and for good reason. Bow-riding involves sitting on or near the front of a boat, a position that leaves a person in danger of falling and being struck by the vessel’s bottom and propeller.

You won’t be “feelin’ groovy” if that happens.


buoy

 

Check Both Sides of Buoys

In case you weren’t aware (and very few are since there was no prior notification), there are new buoys around the sandbar area in the Havasu Refuge. These buoys were dropped by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife a few days prior to Desert Storm. On one side of the buoys (the side facing/visible to normal boat traffic) the buoys indicate “closed area – do not enter,” but on the other side (not visible to passing boaters) the buoys read: “Memorial Day weekend, July 3-5 and Labor Day.” So, in reality, it’s a “closed area” only about nine days out of the year.

The holiday closures at the Sandbar were implemented years ago because emergency responders could not access the area. The Sandbar remains open except for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends. The only change is that buoys with the closure dates are now in place year-round.

The buoys aren’t on swivels, so they face the same direction all the time. The reason for the fixed position is that maintenance crews were wasting six days a year dropping off and collecting buoys after each of the three holiday weekends. Since this is the only place these buoys are used, permanent buoys are more cost effective, the USFW tells us.

So buoys and girls, check the back of these navigation aids. Beyond the busy holidays, the marked areas are usually open.

Just Saying: Boating Relieves Stress

 

Boating near the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, AZ.

With Americans working longer hours, the need to take vacation time is greater than ever. Four in 10 Americans are not using all their paid time off (PTO), according to Project: Time Off’s 2015 research by GFK Public Affairs.

One easy solution? Get out on the water and go boating. It not only benefits overall well-being, it’s also more accessible than many think. In fact, millions of Americans go boating each year on more than 15 million boats in the U.S., according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

“Today’s technology can make it difficult to fully disconnect and relax, which is why boating offers a unique solution,” says Carl Blackwell, president of Discover Boating. “Surrounded by water, fresh air and your favorite people makes a boat one of the rare places where you can focus on each other, forget about daily distractions and enjoy the outdoors.”

Lucky for you, we spend a lot of time at GoLakeHavasu.com dreaming up ways for you to have fun on the water.

Where to start? Marinas and launch ramps are listed here:

http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/boating/marinas-and-launch-ramps.aspx

For boat-in beaches, see:

http://www.golakehavasu.com/boating/boat_in_beaches.aspx

Hungry? Want to learn more about boat-in dining? See:

http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/boating/boat_in_dining.aspx

Want to camp by boat? We’ve got you covered right here:

http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/boating/boat-in-camping.aspx

Want to boat, but find yourself landlocked? Here are some people willing to help you out:

http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/boating/boat_rentals.aspx

You spend plenty of time on land. You live life on water.

Let’s be Careful Out There

HavasuSafety.com, a new website created by Joel Silverstein, owner of Scuba Training and Technology Inc., is a Senior Capstone project Joel created while finishing his communications degree at The ASU Colleges of Lake Havasu. Joel was a non-traditional student who went back to college at the age of 55 and took advantage of a university in his own backyard. He recently graduated with honors. His Havasusafety.com provides access to safety information in a friendly and easy to navigate manner.

“Both visitors and locals alike are extremely active,” he tells us. “We participate in almost every outdoor activity imaginable. From a picnic on a hiking trail to boating, off-roading, skydiving and scuba diving. On rare occasions, however, things can go awry.”

HavasuSafety.com is the result of extensive research of safety information and services available in Lake Havasu City, available on an easy-to-access multi-platform interactive website,” Joel says.

There are links to medical, diving, and towing services; tips on safety in the hot weather, in the channel, hiking, and off-roading; and advice on avoiding excess sun exposure.

With the lake, boating, and watersports being a prime activity for more than 50% of the visitors, safety on the water is paramount. That’s one reason the site consulted with over two dozen organizations involved with the lake, including AZ Game and Fish Department, Lake Havasu City Fire Department, Lake Havasu Marine Association, Lake Havasu City Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

HavasuSafety.com, which will be updated on a regular basis to keep information fresh and relevant, provides access to information in a friendly and non-threatening manner. The website includes information that enhances safety and assists people better in the event of an emergency or another challenge.

It’s fun playing in Lake Havasu City so long as you know where to get help should you need it. As they say, “better be safe than sorry.”

See the new website at: www.havasusafety.com