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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How's the depth? I want to go up it 3 hours after low tide with a sailboat with a 5ft draft.

I've heard it is a little prone to silting in. Also how is the channel between it, and Loch Lomond marina?

Thanks in advance,

Mark
 

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Mark,
I wish I could give you some encouraging information. How low is the low you’re coming off and how high is the high? The San Rafael Channel hasn’t been dredged in years and is both filling in and hard to follow. As I recall, there are (at least) two humps you have to go over coming in and a third when you turn for Loch Lomond. Once you get into San Rafael Creek proper, it deepens considerably all the way to SRYC. To compound the problem, there are only one or two channel marker pilings still in place. For me, it is sweaty palm time all the way in (I draw 6’). Because the channel is no longer uniformly deep, pay close attention to your depth sounder readings and chart plotter position as well as visually sighting the remaining pilings. There are range marker shapes on shore near the creek entrance that you can use to line up on the channel too. I seem to drag in the mud at least once while transiting. You have the right idea going in on a rising tide. Be careful, don’t get distracted, and you will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi George,

Thanks for the information - it looks like low tide on Sunday is +2.2ft, high tide is +5.5 and I'll be arriving an hour or two before high tide.

If it's a bit dodgy I can always change plan, but I thought it would be an interesting place to visit for the weekend.

The alternative would be to head south, go to Coyote Point perhaps.

Mark
 

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Mark,
Those are good tides, you should have no problem. For practice, still monitor the depth sounder closely and feel your way down the channel. The closer you get to downtown San Rafael, the creek begins to take on a “Venice” look and feel as the multistory condos and apartments come right down to the water. As far as I know there is no anchoring in the creek or channel. Lock Lomond and San Rafael marinas have overnight berthing. If you are a club member you can also go to SRYC or MYC (you use the marina docks for LLYC).

For what it is worth, we experience “depth” issues going into Coyote and San Leandro too.
 

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Once you get there look off to your left, there is an....eccentric sounding guy on craigslist trying to sell a restored black pearson triton. I'm curious if it's nice. He's so sure it will cause a bidding war into the mid teens that he doesn't need to take pictures.

Have fun up there.
not bad
Must Sell Restored bluewater triton pearson firm

:D

ps the wine bottle by the windlass might explain the excentricity! jajajaja

I bought my h28 in san rafael...shallow back then...
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Can you anchor there? I saw a photo of it. I'm not sure how far back it goes, it looked like a river or canal with house and small private docks in front.
Even if you could anchor, the areas outside the channel look too shallow. The waters around the island are part of a nature reserve, I think.
 

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If you want to anchor out, you need to go around Quarry Pt. and anchor off of China Camp. You can also anchor behind the Tiburon Peninsula at Paradise Cay.
 

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North,
It will be one very short list. Long Term anchorages: Richardson Bay. Short term free: Paradise Cay, China Camp, Clipper Cove, Aquatic Park. Short term paid: Alayla Cove, Angel Is. There are some hidey holes in the sloughs of the Bay but you are sitting in mud at low tide. The Delta has a bunch of spots but you might get kicked out after a while by local law enforcement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Ok. I'm going to have to make a list of anchorages or I'm going to be shocked when I get there.

The Venice thing sounds nice, so this is a Labor Day weekend cruise for Mark?
The "List" already exists, click over to ActiveCaptain.com, register (it's free), and use the interactive cruising guide which includes notes/marks for facilities, anchorages, hazzards to navigation et al together with reviews and comments by users and other cruisers.

Further to the San Rafael Canal, I cannot imagine a "Pleasure Cruise" to that venue. The water is thin, murky, often foul and there are very few places where one might moor and no anchorages. At the bottom/west end of the canal there is the San Rafael Yacht Club which is a great little Club with friendly members and a roughly 300 foot long "visitors" dock although unless one is a member of a club with reciprocity one might not be able to stay very long, or at all. We did keep out first "real" boat, a 1957 era Thunderbird 26, in a slip behind a semi-run down apartment building on Canal Street for some while before we obtained a slip in Sausalito and found the area, ah..."exotic?". We often walked down to the Pier 15 Bar/Restaurant (still there with reportedly great food) and the denizens of the Canal District were a sight, particularly the multi-ethnic street hookers that trolled Francisco Boulevard, cheerfully waving to passing motorists and, often, "flashing" their "wears" as an "enticement" (for some). Something of a "Tenderloin North" although I have no clew as to whether that situation continues...
 
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