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Old 02-06-2013, 23:48   #1
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Sacramento River Trip

Hello, Just joined the forum recently to gert more information about the areas we will be traveling in a few weeks.

We plan to take my boat from Sacramento to San Francisco in a few weeks.

I have searched online and really can't find a lot of information on this voyage. Any pointers would be helpful I am not familiar with the bay waterways and have been doing my homework...at least I think I am.
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Old 02-06-2013, 23:58   #2
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Welcome to the forum. We boat out of Isleton, look forward to seeing you out there.

Downloading the local charts is a great place to start and its free. Study the charts and watching the depth finder like a hawk is my best advice.

Any particular destinations in mind?
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Old 03-06-2013, 00:15   #3
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

I have found and downloaded/printed all the charts I could find from sacramento to San Francisco.
I just really want to make the trek to San Fran by boat. That is the only real reason. We plan to stay overnight in the city and head back the next day. Due to my schedule and a few friends that are going we can not allow for more time. I would like in the future to take a few days and see what there is to see. For now a river trip will have to do.

My boat is 21'. I should be okay getting to San Fran right? I plan to park at Pier 39 for the night. If there are better places to go that would be helpful as well.
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Old 03-06-2013, 00:50   #4
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

sac to sf by water is something like 80-100 miles. I don't think you can do it in a single day unless you have a pretty fast boat. Oh, if a 21ft powerboat I guess you're ok, until you get into the sfbay, can get quite rough out there, can pound you pretty bad, slows you down too, it won't be fun at all if the water is rough, which most times it is.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:33   #5
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

Unless your boat is FAST, your gonna have to maybe take 2 days each way. Theres small and large ship traffic, areas in which you can not travel at high rates of speed ECT ECT, Not to mention the fuel bill lol, It can be a fun trip if ya plan a stop along the way ! Just sayin, at the speed yall will need to travel to make it, sorta makes it hard to enjoy the trip !
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Old 03-06-2013, 13:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwmowery View Post
Due to my schedule and a few friends that are going we can not allow for more time. I would like in the future to take a few days and see what there is to see. For now a river trip will have to do.

My boat is 21'. I should be okay getting to San Fran right? I plan to park at Pier 39 for the night. If there are better places to go that would be helpful as well.
I met a guy that went from Pittsburg to Stockton in about 45 minutes. I can make it from Isleton to Stockton (17 miles)in under an hour but prefer a more leisurely approach. The boat in my avatar will move at 28+ but I usually lope along at eight knots and smell the roses.

When your on a time budget you ante up at the pump and don't worry about it. I'd schedule a shakedown run first say Sacramento to Rio Vista or Pittsburg? Once ya have that under your belt start adding on from there. SAC to SF is a big hop if ya haven't ran down before.

Perhaps just you and the significant other for the SF trip. It gets boring for the passengers for a long speed run in my experience. Of course if you're running 50+ nobody gets a chance to get bored
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Old 03-06-2013, 15:08   #7
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

The river between Pittsburg and Port Chicago can be quite exciting in the summer with 25 knots on the nose and an ebb tide. Avoid the sand bar in the middle of suisun bay by the old reserve fleet, which is exposed at low tide and shallow even for a small powerboat

Depending on current, the seas around San Pablo bay can be a bit of fun too. Could be easy or could get a little rough. Morning is better before the summer winds kick in around noon.

2 days would make for a much easier trip both ways. Think you would get beaten up on the way to the city if you tried doing it in one day.

The trip back to Sacramento will be much easier btw. Once you get past Sherman island the trip will be in flat water. Conversely the 50 miles west from Sherman island can be very wet if the winds are up. Expect a 3 to 4 foot or higher chop heading toward Port Chicago in the afternoons on an outgoing tide. Needless to say you will want to avoid that area and San Pablo if the winds are above 25 knots, which is more the norm in the afternoon's in summer
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Old 03-06-2013, 23:15   #8
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

Glad I asked the questions on this forum!

Seems like I can make a good trip to Pittsburg and back. Grab a cold one and assess the situation. It seems like when we get there we will be able to tell if we go or stay. Maybe just see what there is in the north of San Fran.

I agree, a few more days would make the trip better. Seems like this could be one of many trips I make over the years.

I won't be running in the 50s. We will probably take our time getting to the delta and see where we are. No plans but to leave where we are for a few days and see where we end up. This trip is just the guys. Leaving the ladies at home this time.

Those have been some of the best trips. We go for bike rides and pick a direction. When we get tired and sore we stop for the night. Found a great many a watering holes that way!

Thanks for all the info and keep it coming. I will let you guys know how it goes as well!
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Old 04-06-2013, 00:19   #9
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

As soon as you turn west at Sherman Island, about 5 ish miles south of Rio Vista, where you'll see wind surfers and kite boarders, and the wind turbine farm to the west You'll know if its safe or not. If its too bumpy, best to head back to Rio Vista.

I was by there a few weeks ago and it was blowing 30-35. Just me and a lone windsurfer out by Sherman that morning. Not sure who though the other was crazier. I got drenched, though I had my fowlies on. Got the boat washed though..

Its a long fetch from Benicia to Sherman so it can get exciting at Sherman. If its rough at Sherman you can cut through to Antiock at Sherman and avoid the rough water. Antiock is a little less industrial then Pittsburg, but both have trains. Lots of trains... with horns. Both are nice marinas.

Rio Vista is nice too and main street is just a few blocks from the marina, and no trains. There's a great BBQ place there plus a good pizza place about 3 blocks from the river.
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Old 09-06-2013, 14:32   #10
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

Unlike today, the San Francisco estuary can be balmy and calm. Got to trust to luck/forecasts. Watch out for ships. Here a freighter has "jumped out" of the Carquinez Strait "S" curve:

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Old 11-06-2013, 00:25   #11
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

I have been watching the weather and I don't think we are going to be able to make it to San Francisco. It looks good though 16/17 June. errrr....

How are the waters from Rio Vista, CA to Pittsburg, CA?
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:17   #12
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

You should be fine from Rio Vista to Pittsburg....

Pittsburg Marina has some of the cheapest gas in the Bay Area.

This is a very long trip in a bow rider...

Here is a great book on SF Bay Cruising:
Cruising Guide to San Francisco Bay - 2nd Edition: Robert Mehaffy, Carolyn Mehaffy: 9780939837311: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 19-06-2013, 04:00   #13
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Re: Sacramento River Trip

We made it back to Sacramento!

We left Sacramento around 10am and got to Rio Vista about 1pm. I think we strolled at about 20is mph, when there weren't marinas.

After this we headed out toward Pittsburg. We rounded the island and went past Pittsburg, then Antioch and made our way to what the locals called the "Delat Loop." Needless to say we didn't make it past Pittsburg before nightfall.

We tied our boat at the Antioch Marina and stayed the night in a hotel after eating and drinking our fill.

The next morning (15 June) the wind was blowing and the swells were bigger then the day before. We started west to go back the way we came and found that going the opposite way throught one of the many sluoghs would be safer and a bit more pleasent. We entered the area near Rio Vista and headed up the river just as we came down.

It was a short trip. I learned a TON! I know a few more things about my boat and water and what happens when both of those collide in weather not like a lake or river. I found some decent watering holes, friendly people at most marinas. All together my 2 friends and I had a blast. We will be sure to make the trip again.

The hopes of me makeing it to San Francisco have been sidelined. I now see the "interesting" conditions of what little delta I saw. I didn't even make into some of the bays. It looks like I will have to wait for the "right" conditions in order to make my trek. Also, in the future I won't be making any out and back trips down there. We missed the Cajun feast at Isleton b/c we were presed for time. A trip shouldn't need to feel pressed. Live and learn.

Thanks to all that gave me advice. I will be back for more input on my next voyage!
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Old 19-06-2013, 23:11   #14
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Congratulations! It sounds as though you did learn a ton, and good on ya for leaving the dock and going for it.

Now, go out and do it again and you'll be amazed how much more you'll learn. I learn something new every time I leave the dock. Either about my boat, the water, or my ability to handle either.

Most of all, have fun and stay safe.
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