Join Date: Mar 2006
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Re: Moving to San Francisco Bay
I'm berthed at Marina Bay. If you go to MB one thing to consider is that there is less wind protection on E dock. D-Dock is the most sheltered. While I agree that Brickyard cove is nice there are a couple of drawbacks. One is that the entrance is kinda tight and there are shoals inside of the marina so sailing in/out can be tricky. I've motor-sailed with main hoisted in and out a couple of times in a 24' sailboat which is not difficult but you need to be on your toes. The slips are situated so that they are crosswind; but the wind is usually light. Regardless; be prepared to drive the boat out of the fairway in reverse until you get to the open area of the marina. Most people hoist/drop outside of the marina in the Richmond Channel; just be aware that the channel has ship/tug traffic and cross traffic/wakes from other boats. The docks are wood and the tie ups are on dock rings; not cleats. The docks where my friend is berthed at Brickyard are in good condition; not in need of replacement.
For Marina Bay the drawback is higher average wind in the marina; and about 15-20 mins further from SF Bay. I don't mind these things; here's how I take advantage of the 'disadvantages'. First; try and get an upwind slip (facing south) on D-Dock. When we exit the dock we either hoist sail in the protected area of the marina (south of D-Dock) or hoist while motoring upwind between the Marina Bay entrance and the Red Oak Victory ship. Once past 'the corner' there where the channel makes a dog-leg it's an easy upwind reach to the mouth of the Richmond Channel; It's a nice sail up to Brickyard Cove so we usually set the genoa while reaching and get ready for sailing on the bay by stowing dock lines and fenders. On the return we do the opposite; put out fenders/lines while reaching down the channel. Lots of times the wind is good and the water is flat calm because of the breakwater protection from the chop on SF Bay. We furl the genoa while turning downwind at the Red Oak and sail in with only the main hoisted. Once inside Marina Bay we drop/flake the main. The docks at Marina Bay are concrete and the tie downs are cleats. For food services there is Amini's (deli/shortstop), CVS, with Quiznos, Cafe, Pizza, next to it. Marine hardware store is Whale Point on Cutting, West Marine at Point Richmond, or KKMI Boatyard on weekdays. For extended services (regular hardware, food, etc.) El Cerrito is not too far away; we usually avoid central Richmond (aside from going for Fish & Chips at H.Salt on San Pablo Ave. occasionally).
Since you will be driving from Sac; you will want to take Richmond Parkway from 80 over to the SW side of Richmond. There should not be a wait for slips at Marina Bay; also MB allows Live-Aboards while Brickyard Cove does not.
RYC is just West of Brickyard Cove behind the same breakwater. RYC has upwind/downwind slips; and the docks are metal IIRC. Membership requires references by RYC members but if you join the yacht club, membership & berthing fee for a 30' boat is slightly less than a monthly slip fee at Marina Bay.