From the Boathouse: Welcome huge yachts — they're good for harbor


I would like to welcome the super-yacht, Invictus, to Newport Harbor.

How nice it is to see the yacht moored in the turning basin located off the west tip of Lido Isle. It was here over the weekend and will return at different times during the next several weeks.

This beautiful yacht is 216-feet in length and has a full displacement steel hull built by Delta Marine. The boat can accommodate guests in six staterooms plus the owner's quarters, and is capable of housing a 22-person crew in 10 staterooms plus the captain's quarters.

Now, if you feel like taking the yacht for a cruise, then your fuel card might max out since the boat holds 51,300 gallons of diesel for a range of 5,000 nautical miles at a speed of 12 knots. If you need to get to your next port faster, then the top speed is 16.8 knots, but I will not tell you the gallons of fuel consumption — ouch.

However, at any speed you will cruise in comfort and style with a huge dining room that seats 20, a theater for entertainment, spa to relax in after working out in the gym, and other grand luxuries of a yachting lifestyle.

The boat was built under the project name "Invader" in the Seattle yard, and the owner's name was not revealed until the end of construction. Developer Rick Caruso took delivery of the yacht and brought her south from the Seattle waterways where the yacht underwent numerous sea trials.

I am pleased to see that the City Council and the Harbor Commission supported the yacht's stay in the harbor and, furthermore, allowed suitable mooring accommodations for this super-yacht. I have stated in countless columns that Newport Harbor — any harbor — benefits from visiting mega- and super-yachts.

Keep in mind that a yacht is a recreational boat, and a boat of almost any size can qualify for the title, but then we enter the nautical world of mega, super, mega-mega, and giga proportions. A mega-yacht is loosely defined as a pleasure boat over 70 or 80 feet in length, and the length is still being debated in the inner circles of yacht owners.

A super-yacht is a boat greater than 175 or 200 feet in length over all of the hull and up to 300 feet in length. When a yacht crosses over the 300-foot threshold, then you enter the world of the super rich, the giga-yacht. However, I digress.

The local economy gets a boost when large yachts pay a visit. The owners, guests and crew will visit local restaurants, movie theaters and shops. The yachts will require maintenance, supplies and the support of the local marine businesses. Additionally, the yachts pay slip or mooring fees. But not everyone is happy with the visiting boaters.

The Invictus did not arrive without a few residents complaining about the size of the yacht. The NIMBYs emerged to whine about how the yacht will affect them and others using the waterways. They mistakenly think they own the waterway outside their windows; that is their backyard, so go away.

Another inaccurate viewpoint goes like this: I have rights to my view of the harbor, and no one shall put anything in the way of my view without my approval. Some people think that because something is big, it therefore is too big, even before any harm can be seen. Lastly, some say such a yacht is ugly, yet isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? Give me a break.

Newport Harbor is a safe harbor open to almost any recreational vessel that can enter and anchor safely, subject to the vessel's draft. A harbor is meant for boats, yachts, paddleboards, swimming, fishing and most things nautical or water related.

I hope other yachts plot Newport Harbor as one of their waypoints when cruising the West Coast. Take a tour around the harbor by boat, and you will notice that there are already many mega-yachts hailing here as their home port. I am really interested to know how many people are excited to see the Invictus and how many local boaters are cruising over for a close-up view?

Question of the week: How did a yacht hit the Balboa Pier? Have you heard of an anchor in waters of 35ish feet at mean low tide?

The "September Showdown" on Saturday will take place between the defender Oracle Team USA and the Kiwis' Emirates Team New Zealand for the best out of 17 races to win the America's Cup.

I will be at the media center for the first days of racing on San Francisco Bay, and I am expecting excitement when watching the very fast and dangerous AC72 sailboats trying to cross the finish line first. I will let you know how the races kicked off and who I think will win the Cup.

Please be boat smart and boat safe. Lastly, please boat responsibly and look behind you before you turn the wheel at the helm.

Tune in to the No. 1 boating radio talk show in the nation, "Boathouse Radio Show," broadcasting live coast-to-coast on the CRN Digital Talk Radio syndicated network. See times at

Safe Voyages!

MIKE WHITEHEAD is a boating columnist for the Daily Pilot. Send marine-related thoughts and story suggestions to or go to

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