Letters – by Our Readers



As a follow-up to our recent conversation regarding the Sea Scouts; here is a summary of our recent activities and plans for the future.

The future is bright for Stockton Sea Scouting. Lots to share including where we have been in the last decade, where we are presently and most importantly where we are GOING!

Stockton Historical Maritime Museum and the USS Lucid:

The USS Lucid is currently in the process of being restored as a floating museum ship for Stockton. Amidst this restoration, the USS Lucid organization president, Dave Rajkovich, and the Point Weber organization have formed quite a bond. This will be a great asset for us in the future. USS Lucid is an incredible platform to teach and train the youth, especially in the areas of large vessel handling and operations. Historically, this has been something unique to Stockton Sea Scouting. Our youth are able to take away from the program a greater understanding of shipboard life, experiences and teamwork as they move forward in their lives. With the USS Lucid’s move to downtown Stockton, our programs will be positioned at the front and center of Weber Avenue. They have also allowed us use of their 45-foot navy self-propelled utility barge. This is a great platform for twin engine training and Delta cruises.

Needs for the Future:

Adult volunteerism is down everywhere. This year we have had an uptick in adult support, but we still have a great need for both female and male adult volunteers. As we are a co-ed program, we especially need female adults who are skilled in boating and have a desire to work with today’s youth who will be tomorrow’s future leaders. When my dad and I started in this program almost 30 years ago we knew nothing about boats or being out on the water. Yet here we are today, teaching youth while standing on the shoulders of those who taught us. It goes without saying that to be a successful non-profit organization we continually need support, better equipment and donations.

We need to improve our communication and spread the word about our program to other groups in the San Joaquin County area. We have always said that Sea Scouting is the best kept secret in scouting. We are a co-ed program for 14- to 21-year-old youth and hope to have a feeder program for 11- to 13-year-olds in the future.

Movement of Land Storage/Operations Yard:

Don Reinhart, a long time Sea Scout supporter, deemed it time to sell his industrial property. Don had previously donated part of his property to us for close to 28 years and we could not have made it this far without this single gesture. Unfortunately, the new property owner had plans that did not include us. We were lucky enough to find two places that were willing to store our container and boat fleet for the time being. We hope this new situation lasts, but the location for the boats is not ideal. It will do for now; however, we are always looking for new ideas and opportunities.

SSS Point Weber #1: Former Coast Guard 82-foot Point Class Cutter

The decision amongst the committee and officers in 2019 was to see if we could find a home for the vessel as it became too draining on the program to maintain. Towards the end of 2023, a gentleman from Alaska and the Point Weber Committee reached an agreement to sign the vessel over to him. Temporary berthing is currently still at the Stockton Rod and Gun Club and the ship is scheduled to head for Alaska this summer. The relationship between the Rod and Gun Club and Sea Scouting is still going strong and we look forward to working together in the future.

The reasons for retiring the big boat culminated years of issues, including the cost of operating, insurance, maintenance, haul-out and the final nail in the coffin: the fuel cost. We felt the amount of time the Sea Scout crew spent working on the boat compared to actual time spent cruising was way off. This was not an easy decision, and as I’ve told many, we had to use our head, not our heart.

Updates to Cruising Flotilla of Boats:

26-foot MSB (Motor Surf Boat) Coast Guard retired: Currently this vessel is in the process of a complete overhaul with a completion date of April 6. More work to go but our goal is to have it back on the water with the Sea Scout crew operating it as soon as possible. This was long overdue as the boat has been out of the water since 2017 and some issues being fixed go all the way back to the 90’s when the repairs made were essentially “band-aid” repairs. Our goal is to run a more reliable and SAFER fleet!

2nd 26-foot MSB: When you ask alumni which vessel taught them the most, it was operating a 26-foot motor surf boat, boat handling, towing and the ability to be in control. With the closure of Sacramento Sea Scouting unit Polaris, we had the opportunity to accrue a second 26-foot MSB.

18-foot Aluminum Work Skiff: This is a great fast-moving boat to keep eyes on crew while they are handling the other boats. In the summer of 2023 electrical upgrades and motor repairs were made.

Various inflatable boats and skiffs under 12 feet (powered by outboard engines 2.5-9.9 hp.): Just this week we decided to temporarily move away from inflatable boats. The idea is to see if skiffs and punts would significantly reduce our maintenance costs and other expenses. These small boats are the staple of our program because we can take a 14-year-old with minimal training and allow them the opportunity to command a watercraft. We do put all our scouts through the BoatU.S. class to get their California Boating Card.

30-foot Aluminum Surveyors Skiff (powered by twin outboard engines): This vessel was just donated at the end of 2023. It’s a bit of a blank canvas but has the potential for becoming our main cruising platform. The crew and adults have been setting up what we both envision for a final design and everyone has enjoyed the creative phase to make a premier Bay and Delta boat with additional offshore potential. Renovations will hopefully start this fall. We had an opportunity to visit Moose Boats at Mare Island and see the actual production of boats including Woodbridge Fire District’s new boat. This trip was to show the scouts that there are many different professions in the marine industry and to talk about our proposed changes.

John Manov


You are doing great things John. This is an excellent report, please keep me in the loop and if I can assist in any way, please let me know!


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