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Old 04-11-2013
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Visiting marinas - do you phone ahead? (SF Bay)

I've been daysailing the boat since I bought it but this summer want to do more trips of a few days.

This may be a dumb question but if overnighting at marinas in SF Bay and along the nearby coast, do you book a slip ahead by phone? Or just radio when you're near? Or a combination of both?

If you book in advance, how far in advance do you need to do it?

Last summer I left messages at a couple of marinas in Sausalito and they didn't even bother to phone me back....
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Re: Visiting marinas - do you phone ahead? (SF Bay)

Here in the Seattle area I like to call ahead, unless I know that there is almost always space open (like at Shilshole).
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Re: Visiting marinas - do you phone ahead? (SF Bay)

A lot depends upon which marina you are going to and if you are staying overnight. For quick pit-stops hailing on VHF is usually sufficient. It is best to telephone ahead and reserve if you want to overnight at South Beach (especially if the Giants are playing a home game). We reserve a slip months ahead to make sure we can get in. We hail Half Moon Bay as we get close to the “HMB” buoy, firstly to get the conditions for going through the reef cut and secondly, for a slip assignment. There usually are available slips, but if not, there is a very large anchorage with excellent holding. We usually stay at the clubs in Santa Cruz and Monterey, but I have hailed for a slip assignment down there once.
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Re: Visiting marinas - do you phone ahead? (SF Bay)

I always call ahead when i trip plan. Most of the time marinas will let you know if they will be full or not based on history. ie. 4th of july, holidays
try to have a back up just in case. Showing up at 6pm and no slip available can ruin your plans.

I always call ahead on vhf in possible to give them a heads up. 5-10 miles out
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Re: Visiting marinas - do you phone ahead? (SF Bay)

I tend to call ahead. I got caught with a marina doing dredging, when the last thing I wanted was to look around for another! And you may get other useful info, such as the Coyote Point fuel dock is still out of commission (apparently a large stinkpot forgot to cast off before heading out...fortunately no spill, but a lot of damage).

Normally a week ahead seems to be fine, unless it is South Beach on a game day (or equivalent).

If you are a member of a Yacht Club, check for reciprocal arrangements. Many yacht clubs have free guest docking for other PICYA clubs. Except for St Francis, of course, who are too superior....

Right now AC is causing some confusion/tight booking with many marinas on certain days, and I think the Pier39 Marina is still closed for visitors....
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Re: Visiting marinas - do you phone ahead? (SF Bay)

Thanks for the replies, good to know. Note to self, double-check lines before leaving fuel docks.
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