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Old 08-08-2019, 11:12 PM   #1
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City: San Francisco
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Bay Area marinas

Been visiting Bay Area marinas and looking for recommendations from below:

1. Marina village Alameda- large, clean, 2 yacht clubs. Water between slips tight.
2. Ballena bay Alameda- rebuilt docks, small club, quick access to open bay
3. Westport Redwood City- great/new seems very far from everything. 2 hrs to town via trawler?


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Old 08-08-2019, 11:42 PM   #2
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Hi Jim

Looks like we live in the same zip-code. My boat is in Westpoint. Itís a convenient distance from home but a long haul up to the central bay. But itís an almost brand new marina with nice harbormaster and great amenities. It has shoaling problems and getting in or out a low tide can range from impossible to merely a challenge, but hopefully planned dredging this year will improve matters. Similarly Redwood City harbor marina and Bair Island marina nearby share similar attractions and issues. Some new slips are opening behind newly built condominiums nearby but seem overpriced to me.

All of these locations in the south central bay can present a challenge also when max ebb and flood tidal currents push up to 8kts in or out - forget about transit at hull speed in those conditions. But time it right and your hull speed can be 16kts SOG!

Marina Village and Grand Marina in Alameda are fairly nice and much closer to the central bay. Very little tidal current there. Easy to get to but crowded and far from home.

North of Westpoint on the peninsula are Coyote Point (windy) and Brisbane Marinas (sunny). Both are run by county government. Both older but have their own pros and cons.

Brisbane is protected from our wind blasts and is worth a look. Availability of slips can be a problem but they do become available.

As you look into the SF marina scene youíll find 15-20 year waiting list, such as at South Beach Harbor by the ballpark, so unless you have magic connections forget those. They are also mucho expensive.

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Old 08-09-2019, 12:50 AM   #3
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Thanks! We will likely start out at Westport, (close to home) when we get the boat here. Our NP45 will be in the boats afloat show in Seattle 9/12 weekend. We’re having a delivery captain bring it here right after, pending weather windows. Hopefully here before the end of September. I didn’t realize it’s hard to get in and out of the slough. Currents are that strong? Do you have to go in/out better than low tide? Assume go north on an ebb and ride the flood home?
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:53 AM   #4
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Vallejo has lots of available berths. Located midway between San Francisco's central bay and the Delta. (Ideal for some.) However, marina office business is limited to Mondays through Fridays. USCG located there.
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Old 08-09-2019, 06:31 AM   #5
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I grew up in the Bay Area and all told spent about half my life there. Early on, boated with friends who had boats in Sausalito and Alameda.

I boated out of Ballena Bay for several years back in the 'oughts when we belonged to Club Nautique. Great location on land and shore. Had an office at Oyster Point that looked over Brisbane Marina, where a couple co-workers had sail boats. There's another pretty good marina in south City almost next door where I knew a guy with a trawler, who has since passed away. From Ballena Bay it is an easy day trip to any of the places worth cruising to. Even in SFO traffic, it will take you much less time, and fuel to drive your car to Alameda than run your trawler up the bay to the same point from Redwood City or even San Mateo (took a Mainship 350 out of there once when Club Nautique had one stationed there; we lived in San Mateo for a little while when I had the job in Brisbane).

So it depends how much cruising you want to do, and how much time you want to spend just putzing around and tinkering with the boat in the marina, which for many people is a past time in and of itself. I should note there are also a lot more boat-related stores and services in Alameda than there is on the Peninsula.

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