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Old 12-21-2014, 10:35 PM   #1
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San Diego area marinas

We will be in San Diego later this week. One of the goals of this trip is to identify a full service marina, complete with things like a nice gym, etc...

We are going to stay at the Kona Kai and check out what its marina offers, and would like input on other marinas in the area offering a nice gym for the admrial and the accessability of a dog potty area near by. Other amenities of course are great! We don't care much about restrooms, showers, or laundry, we can do that on the boat. What we are looking for is more of a resort style marina, than just a place to park the boat.

I know these things might not mean as much to a "local" but to someone from out of town they can make a big difference.

Please let me know of other "resort style" marinas in the area. Chula Vista is another one we're planning on visiting as well. We are also going to visit the community of Oceanside since we've had friends recommend it, and it sounds like a wonderful community.

Thanks
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:14 AM   #2
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Pier 32 in National City is about the nicest marina we've visited on the west coast. Excellent facilities all the way around from the pool/sauna, showers, laundry, docks, boater lounge and more. We lived on board for several months there, plenty of liveaboard slips available. Everything is new, another plus.

Only negative is the location, several miles back in the bay and next to a commercial pier. It never bothered us but Shelter Island it is not.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:46 AM   #3
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Kona Kai is hard to beat. Especially since you're staying there. It's only negative is the crowded area of Shelter Island. The Marriott Marquis Marina is back a bit and a little less crowded and great service. Pier 32 was mentioned and is even further inside the bay. Also at Shelter Island but on the opposite side of Shelter Island Drive is Point Loma. It's got a few less amenities as far as I know when compared to it's sister Kona Kai and other sister Pier 32.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:47 AM   #4
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Pier 32 in National City is about the nicest marina we've visited on the west coast. Excellent facilities all the way around from the pool/sauna, showers, laundry, docks, boater lounge and more. We lived on board for several months there, plenty of liveaboard slips available. Everything is new, another plus.

Only negative is the location, several miles back in the bay and next to a commercial pier. It never bothered us but Shelter Island it is not.
I get the feeling most who choose Pier 32 do so because they don't want to be at Shelter Island.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:40 AM   #5
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IMHO San Diego is one of those place that's better in theory and on paper for fun leisure activities than reality.
I mean it should be paradise, it has the weather and the location, it has the places to see and things to do, but it has very noisy and very busy interstates and highways slicing right through it all and then there's the airports both private and military right there everywhere. Seems to be a constant roar of jets, tires on pavement and helicopters everywhere. I won't go into the drug problems there, but it's not hippies with fun love and peace drug problems. And away from all that-its not really condusive for fun boating. Fun meaning not long no wake zones or long jaunts to scenic areas.
Further up the coast-from Oceanside to Long Beach appears to be more quality of life oriented. Imho. We particularly like Long Beach.
Have a fun trip Kevin. I look forward to your reviews. Take ear plugs and you'll be happier and sleep better.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:52 AM   #6
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IMHO San Diego is one of those place that's better in theory and on paper for fun leisure activities than reality.
I mean it should be paradise, it has the weather and the location, it has the places to see and things to do, but it has very noisy and very busy interstates and highways slicing right through it all and then there's the airports both private and military right there everywhere. Seems to be a constant roar of jets, tires on pavement and helicopters everywhere. I won't go into the drug problems there, but it's not hippies with fun love and peace drug problems. And away from all that-its not really condusive for fun boating. Fun meaning not long no wake zones or long jaunts to scenic areas.
Further up the coast-from Oceanside to Long Beach appears to be more quality of life oriented. Imho. We particularly like Long Beach.
Have a fun trip Kevin. I look forward to your reviews. Take ear plugs and you'll be happier and sleep better.
Well, we've really enjoyed our time in San Diego. You're right if you compare boating there to the East Coast as there is no ICW, no Bahamas, and there are not as many ports to visit. The places to visit from there are Tijuana to the South and Oceanside to LA to the north. Most incredible zoo in the world is enough to rank it high in my opinion. Certainly more in the way of marina choices for larger boats than LA. We just were there for ten days and were not bothered by drugs nor that much by the planes, although the presence of planes was definitely there. As to all the places we've visited we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and found it most pleasant. Only a couple more days there when we fly back and then on south to continue our journey.
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:34 AM   #7
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Thanks Guys!

We'll check out Pier 32 and the Marriott as well.

Will let you know what I and more importantly the missus thinks.
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:34 AM   #8
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We kept our boat at the Kona Kai for a few years and came down from OC most weekends to sail and enjoy SD life. I have to disagree with pilothouse king- SD is a great spot for bars, nightlife, restaurants, Marine World, beaches, the zoo, etc., etc. Much better than Long Beach where we moved the boat later to be closer to Catalina.

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Old 12-22-2014, 11:39 AM   #9
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Somehow BandB left out Catalina Island as a place to visit. That's where we SoCal boaters go every year. If you are a yacht club member, recips are available along the coast of Southern California. Oceanside Harbor is small, but has the most boater oriented water cops who will go out of their way to help you. The harbor entrance is south facing and can be interesting in a (rare) following sea. If you have any doubts give the Harbor Police a call and they will escort you into the harbor.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:34 PM   #10
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Just incase...

We have not made the trip all the way from Alaska in our boat yet.

We're flying into the area looking at potential places to stash our "water condo", seeing the sights, and soaking up some sun.

The intent of this trip is to determine if there is a place to put the boat that the admrial could be happy with as a winter retreat. My long term cruising plans are pretty dependant on her saying to herself "yes, I could do this".

She is a workout person, both on and off the water so thats why I, and she, was asking about the gym. We'll also be evaluating the local accessability of stand up paddleboarding, kyaking, and even PWC's if thats allowed.

We also have a couple of dogs, so thats important to her as well.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:41 PM   #11
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Somehow BandB left out Catalina Island as a place to visit. That's where we SoCal boaters go every year. If you are a yacht club member, recips are available along the coast of Southern California. Oceanside Harbor is small, but has the most boater oriented water cops who will go out of their way to help you. The harbor entrance is south facing and can be interesting in a (rare) following sea. If you have any doubts give the Harbor Police a call and they will escort you into the harbor.
That is a serious oversight as we loved Catalina. In fact we may go back for a day or two before heading south. I still can't believe I did a zip line. And just driving around in the hummer and seeing the island. It was a wonderful place to visit.
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Old 12-22-2014, 12:54 PM   #12
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Holy carp...Looks like many choices. I counted at least 5 outdoor pools and two yacht clubs behind Shelter Is. Looks like a fun trip Kevin. We need a full report when you return.

A good friend of mine, who had a place on Coronado Is with a slip for his Bertram, finally had to move back to the mid-West. He cited the subculture issues for wanting to move his family. Might have to add he did criminal prosecutions and probably saw some things most of us do not.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:06 PM   #13
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Just incase...

We have not made the trip all the way from Alaska in our boat yet.

We're flying into the area looking at potential places to stash our "water condo", seeing the sights, and soaking up some sun.

The intent of this trip is to determine if there is a place to put the boat that the admrial could be happy with as a winter retreat. My long term cruising plans are pretty dependant on her saying to herself "yes, I could do this".

She is a workout person, both on and off the water so thats why I, and she, was asking about the gym. We'll also be evaluating the local accessability of stand up paddleboarding, kyaking, and even PWC's if thats allowed.

We also have a couple of dogs, so thats important to her as well.
Well, I think you'll find it opens up a whole new area of exploring and pleasure. We loved Alaska, more than we ever thought we would and we loved San Diego. Trip Advisor shows 192 attractions in San Diego and there are at least 150 of them we'd see if we had the time.

As to PWC's, Mission Bay actually has one area that is PWC's only and another that is PWC's permit or something of that sort. But one can anchor there and have a lot of fun.

A lot of 5 mph speed limits.

Oh and Mission Bay Sportscenter rents everything from PWC's to Kayaks to sailboats to a hot tub pontoon boat to jet packs.

For gym and such obviously the marinas tied to resort hotels are most likely to have them available, but there are several fitness centers within walking distance too. 24 hour fitness seems to be on every corner. Even a YMCA near.

As to airplane noise, yes it is there, especially if your are at Harbor Island or even some on Shelter Island. San Diego International Airport is waterfront. You get less noise as you move toward Marriott and Pier 32.

The other side of the airport being close is that the convention center is also close, on the harbor as well. So much going on right there.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:53 PM   #14
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We kept our boat at the Kona Kai for a few years and came down from OC most weekends to sail and enjoy SD life. I have to disagree with pilothouse king- SD is a great spot for bars, nightlife, restaurants, Marine World, beaches, the zoo, etc., etc. Much better than Long Beach where we moved the boat later to be closer to Catalina.

David
I'm pretty sure I said there's a lot of things to see and do there, and the weather is great but for a MARINA as Kevin was inquiring about, it's my experience hence "IMHO" twice.. that all are very noisy and the streets are congested OR all off the beaten path in places pretty far from good boating, the same as Ft.Lauderdale is, unless you like to idle long distances looking at things not that appealing to my eyes. Its why I lived in Miami vs Ft. Lauderdale. My idea of decent dining isn't sitting next to the street watching and smelling traffic congestion. I liked to go into the open bay and go fast, then go to waterfront restaurants with dockage not on the street.
Kona Kai is what a quarter mile from the Naval Air Station directly across the water to the east, and San Diego Int is not a mile as the plane flys to the NE???. It's been my experience that sound travels across the water quite well, and when I've been there, it's been non-stop jets and helicopters from before sunrise til l9ate at night. The planes taking off from SDI have to climb up and over the hills on both sides. We take bikes with us when we travel so are quite attuned to the noise of traffic and machines. In again my humble opinion anyplace that is noisy isn't my idea of quality.
On the other hand LONG Beach has incredibly long sidewalks to ride to cute little neighborhood of Naples and to Seal Beach. Downtown Long Beach has the restaurants, movie theatres, a comedy club, and the Marina also has scores of outside restaurants. There's several high end hotels across the street that all have nice gyms that you may use if you have loyalty cards. Good gyms too! No airplanes, no helicopters.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #15
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Holy carp...Looks like many choices. I counted at least 5 outdoor pools and two yacht clubs behind Shelter Is. Looks like a fun trip Kevin. We need a full report when you return.

A good friend of mine, who had a place on Coronado Is with a slip for his Bertram, finally had to move back to the mid-West. He cited the subculture issues for wanting to move his family. Might have to add he did criminal prosecutions and probably saw some things most of us do not.
You got it Brett!
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:43 PM   #16
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Well, I think you'll find it opens up a whole new area of exploring and pleasure. We loved Alaska, more than we ever thought we would and we loved San Diego. Trip Advisor shows 192 attractions in San Diego and there are at least 150 of them we'd see if we had the time.

As to PWC's, Mission Bay actually has one area that is PWC's only and another that is PWC's permit or something of that sort. But one can anchor there and have a lot of fun.

A lot of 5 mph speed limits.

Oh and Mission Bay Sportscenter rents everything from PWC's to Kayaks to sailboats to a hot tub pontoon boat to jet packs.

For gym and such obviously the marinas tied to resort hotels are most likely to have them available, but there are several fitness centers within walking distance too. 24 hour fitness seems to be on every corner. Even a YMCA near.

As to airplane noise, yes it is there, especially if your are at Harbor Island or even some on Shelter Island. San Diego International Airport is waterfront. You get less noise as you move toward Marriott and Pier 32.

The other side of the airport being close is that the convention center is also close, on the harbor as well. So much going on right there.
Thanks! We'll be checking it all out!

As to airplane noise we live on a lake in Alaska. Airplanes take off all the time. I don't have one anymore but I have neighbors on both sides that fly out of here constantly.
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:39 PM   #17
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I'm pretty sure I said there's a lot of things to see and do there, and the weather is great but for a MARINA as Kevin was inquiring about, it's my experience hence "IMHO" twice.. that all are very noisy and the streets are congested OR all off the beaten path in places pretty far from good boating, the same as Ft.Lauderdale is, unless you like to idle long distances looking at things not that appealing to my eyes. Its why I lived in Miami vs Ft. Lauderdale. My idea of decent dining isn't sitting next to the street watching and smelling traffic congestion. I liked to go into the open bay and go fast, then go to waterfront restaurants with dockage not on the street.
Kona Kai is what a quarter mile from the Naval Air Station directly across the water to the east, and San Diego Int is not a mile as the plane flys to the NE???. It's been my experience that sound travels across the water quite well, and when I've been there, it's been non-stop jets and helicopters from before sunrise til l9ate at night. The planes taking off from SDI have to climb up and over the hills on both sides. We take bikes with us when we travel so are quite attuned to the noise of traffic and machines. In again my humble opinion anyplace that is noisy isn't my idea of quality.
On the other hand LONG Beach has incredibly long sidewalks to ride to cute little neighborhood of Naples and to Seal Beach. Downtown Long Beach has the restaurants, movie theatres, a comedy club, and the Marina also has scores of outside restaurants. There's several high end hotels across the street that all have nice gyms that you may use if you have loyalty cards. Good gyms too! No airplanes, no helicopters.
That "noise " is the sweet sound of freedom.
Nothing better than watching all our military go about their training sorties. I was in San Diego a couple weeks ago and it is my favorite place to keep a boat south of Santa Barbara. Lots to do, see and experience.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:38 PM   #18
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all off the beaten path in places pretty far from good boating, the same as Ft.Lauderdale is, unless you like to idle long distances looking at things not that appealing to my eyes. Its why I lived in Miami vs Ft. Lauderdale. My idea of decent dining isn't sitting next to the street watching and smelling traffic congestion. I liked to go into the open bay and go fast, then go to waterfront restaurants with dockage not on the street.
Well, we love Fort Lauderdale. Might be another reason we like San Diego. We get it, you don't like San Diego or Fort Lauderdale. Well, he wants a marina in San Diego.

I don't know when you were last in San Diego but there's been a lot of work on noise abatement plus a curfew on departures.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:27 PM   #19
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...
I don't know when you were last in San Diego but there's been a lot of work on noise abatement plus a curfew on departures.
Please expound on the curfew.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:11 PM   #20
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Please expound on the curfew.
No departures between 11:30 pm and 6:30 am and no engine runups during that period either.

Now in reality it seemed departures stopped earlier.

Inside our boat we really weren't bothered, but then we do live in Fort Lauderdale. In our stateroom, we didn't notice at all.

On deck we were certainly aware of planes but we are comfortable with that. As Kevin mentioned, certainly no more disturbing than the float planes in Alaska, but then I found them to be part of the uniqueness of Alaska.
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