Where to Dock Your Out-Of-Town Boat in SF Bay

Revised: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Many out-of-area racers have asked where they can keep their boats before the race.  As it turns out, there are many options.  What's best for you will depend on a number of factors, including length of stay, length of boat, and where, generally you'll want to stay.  The discussion below is an expansion of materials provided by Sylvia Seaberg.  The list is not exhaustive, and there are options beyond the immediate areas listed, but this may get you started.

Yacht Clubs

 Some yacht clubs in the Bay Area are able to provide docking, each under its own rules, of course.  This courtesy is typically extended to members of other yacht clubs only.  For 2012, our Starting Line host, St. Francis Yacht Club, will be inviting boats to dock for a short time before the race.  Details are forthcoming, as well as information about guest access.

Other clubs in the area known to have their own docks and may have room for a visiting yachtsman include

If you happen to be acquainted with a member at one of these fine institutions, she or he may be able to help you get connected with the right folks.

Marinas

Marina Village in Alameda, http://www.marinavillageharbor.com/. If you stay longer than a week then the monthly rate listed on their website is prorated. A week or less it depends on the size of the boat, contact the harbor for details. The harbormaster Alan Weaver does his best to accommodate out-of-town boats. There are two yacht clubs within walking distance and a reasonably priced hotel, The Marina Village Inn, if you need a break from the boat or if you have visitors that need accommodation. There is an Enterprise rental car office in Alameda. There is also a very good Chandlery, Svendsen's, on the island within driving, cycling or longer walking distance. There is a West Marine with a rigging shop also within walking distance of Marina Village. Actually, Alameda is very yachting oriented so there are numerous sailmakers and other yachting businesses there as well. There is a supermarket and restaurants within walking distance and more options if you have a rental car. The facilities are clean and include a laundry room. This Marina has a good reputation with Pac Cup and Singlehanded Transpac boats (also racing in even years) so call them early if you want to inquire about reserving a spot. There is a fuel dock across the estuary in Oakland. The weather is typically nicer in Alameda than in San Francisco. I keep my boat at Marina village. The con is that Alameda is located within an estuary so it is a longer sail to the starting line than from other locations.

Trailers: Alameda Marina is located nearby and has a hoist for boats on trailers.http://www.alamedamarina.net/

South Beach Harbor, http://www.southbeachharbor.com/, cost is something like $1.25 per foot with a maximum stay of two weeks. If you wish to stay longer than two weeks you might be able to negotiate with the harbor master. South Beach is a beautiful location nest to the ballpark and within walking distance of many restaurants and stores. A mile up the famously beautiful Embarcadero promenade is the refurbished Ferry Building filled with the most amazing food products you can hope to find.

South Beach Yacht Club is right there and the deck is a great place to enjoy a drink and view. Public transportation is very convenient from this location and I'm sure it would be easy to get a rental car as well. I used to keep my boat here and regularly crew out of this harbor. The nearest fuel dock is Gas House Cove at Fort Mason. The cons are: it can get noisy during games so bring ear plugs. (However, this could also be a pro if you want to stand outside the gate and watch the game.) There are no chandleries nearby although South Beach Riggers is located in the neighborhood. San Francisco Boatworks is about a mile away. There are no hoists or facilities for trailers here.


Pier 39 Marina, http://www.pier39marina.com/. This location is in the heart of San Francisco's tourist zone and is probably as close to the starting line as you can get without somehow getting a guest berth at Saint Francis Yacht Club. I'm not super familiar with this marina although I know they have a good reputation for trying to accommodate guests. There is tons to see and do within walking distance. Nearest fuel dock is Gas House Cove just around the corner. The cons are: this is the home of the famous sea lions and I imagine it can be kind of smelly if they are around. I would ask the harbor master specifically about this.

Clipper Yacht Harbor in Sausalito, http://www.clipperyacht.com/. This is across the bay from San Francisco, weather is usually nicer here than in SF. This marina has many amenities including a West Marine, laundry and fuel dock. Like Alameda, Sausalito is very boat-oriented. The cons are: it is a longer sail to the starting line. I don't know how good the public transportation is, but it's such a nice location you might not want to leave anyway.

Schoonmaker Point Marina, also in Sausalitohttp://www.schoonmakermarina.com/ may be worth a look.  With a sandy beach, nearby kayak rentals, and a very long side-tie guest dock, this might be a great location to amuse your visiting family and friends while you fix the head.  Near to West Marine so you can get that left-handed winch grease you were pining for.

Richmond Harbors, http://bycmarina.com/PAGES/MARINA.html, http://www.richmondyc.org/Club-Harbor~123233~13823.htm, http://www.mbyh.com. The "Richmond Riviera" is across the bay from San Francisco and typically has pleasant weather. Richmond has several yacht harbors. Both the Richmond YC harbor and Brickyard cove have hoists and dry storage. The amenities are limited but pleasant and the YC is one of the friendliest in the Bay Area. The cons are: you will probably need your own transportation. Once you get out of the marina areas the city of Richmond is not the nicest place.

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Sylvia has been enthusiastically sailing and racing on the bay and West Coast for 20 years. She starting racing on a Hawkfarm 28’, sailing it regularly in Bay Area and coastal races. After years of crewing aboard her Hawkfarm Eyrie in the OD, HDA and OYRA series she grabbed the helm and in 2002 began double-handing in the OYRA and SSS series with gal pal Synthia Petroka.

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