BTW, this is a typical response from someone who really doesn't know much about the city.
Newport just expanded/renovated all of it's public docks and added a new one. Dingy tie ups are allowed for up to 24 hours at all of them, and I believe, there is a 72 hour limit on a couple of them. Some are used more than others so you may have to do an initial hunt for a regular dock to use, but it shouldn't be too hard. The last few times I've tied up overnight, I was the only boat there. It is November though.
Parking in Newport isn't bad either, if you're in the know. If you are at H field, you would be parking on the peninsula. A yearly pass for MOST meters in the city is $100. You wouldn't want to move your car on a busy weekend though. For other fields, parking would be free, you just need to move for the street sweeper.
As for the Harbor Patrol, they are Sheriffs. Their job is to be a dick to people, not a job I would like. Having said that, I've had mostly good experience with the Harbor Patrol office people. Never had to deal with the guys on the boats but I always wave as I pass them and they do the same.
I've heard stories about the harbor patrol but it's always about a "friend's brother from Irvine" who had the issues with them.
Just sayin'. YMMV.
I lived in LA and worked marina's in LA and at a yacht club in Newport Beach. I've had LOTS of experiece with several harbor departments on both sides of the desk. My experience with them was not 'some guys brother' it was them being complete assholes to me for no reason.
going from avalon to LA my transmission went out. so we diverted to newport. They required us to show up, in person, every day by noon, to pay for a day's mooring. You could not pay for two days, just one. So instead of working on the transmission I'd have to plan my entire day around them. And I'm not even really complaining about that, but there was definitely a nasty attitude from everyone about anything from that office. "where's the restroom" was met with a scowl and eyeroll.
I've interacted with plenty of people in SoCal sherrif's and otherwise. You're right though that in Newport beach, the sherrif's think it's their job to be a dick, and they do their job well.
The last day was coming up and there was a red flag warning, and they flat out told me if I was not off the ball that my boat would be impounded. Again, they were just being dicks. I hadn't tried to bend rules or anything they are just nasty. For sure don't ask them about the weather or 70 MPH winds in the forecast or they might think you are stealing ($5) from them!
I can't speak to the THe new docks but when I was there a few years ago the county docks and facilities were disgusting. It's nice that tthey may have finally fixed them 10 years too late though. And I guarantee you you're not going to long term park a car there or a dinghy every day while you go to work. So those are real issues that the OP will have to suss out BEFORE spending 10k on a mooring.
Most reputations are earned, Newport Beach has a reputation that no other town on the coast with the possible exception of Dana Point have. And gee, what do they have that's different? OCSD.
In 08 (about when I was there) you couldn't even file a complaint. They said "yep we're just that good so we don't get no complaints" O.C. Sheriff's Department gets few complaints from the public - Los Angeles Times
In 09 they made the 'amazing' step of having complaint forms in the stations and complaints went up 42% It was even noted that OCSD was nasty to other agencies. They had an elitist bad culture there.Turns out, maybe they were'nt quite as good as they thought they were.
Complaints against sheriff's employees up 42 percent: OC Watchdog Blog: Orange County Register
It's POSSIBLE they have fixed all their problems, but it's gonna take a few more years before they earn a good reputation because their current one is well deserved.