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Old 22-09-2015, 09:56   #1
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Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

I have been sailing in San Diego for about a year and a half. Looks like we might be moving to the Bay Area. My wife's job will be in the Cupertino area and I have a few questions.
1) How's the sailing there as compared to SD
2) Marina availability
3) Location. More specific if my wife will work in Cupertino, where should we consider keeping the sail boat. I won't need to commute to work, so the only consideration is her ease of commute and desirable location for the boat with not to much drive time to get to the boat. I know I'm spoiled in SD where my boat is 10 min away.
4) Any other pointer are welcome

Thanks in advance
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Old 22-09-2015, 10:43   #2
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

Lets See,

1. The sailing will be exciting in the central bay, much less so on the south bay, but still better then SD. It will be much cooler though and much windier. A pleasant summer day is 20-25 knots of wind. More in the slot.

2. Marina's, most marines are not in the south bay, which has lots of skinny water. Plenty of slips But drive times might be longer depending on where you end up with the boat.

3. Coyote point in San Mateo, might be a good one. Redwood city marina would be another. The commute from San Mateo to Cupertino will be unpleasant. But that's the case everywhere around the bay.

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Old 22-09-2015, 10:52   #3
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

Sailing is WILD on SF Bay in the summer compared to SD. Our winter months might be more comparable. If you want the ocean experience, you could keep your boat in Pillar Point Harbor. If you prefer protected waters, the closest might be around Westpoint Marina/Sequoia Yacht Club, but it's a long ways to get into SF Bay. For that, you could try Pier 39, Treasure Island Yacht Harbor or any of the marinas in the Alameda Estuary. All of these choices are going to be a heck of a drive from Cupertino....sorry. No way around that, but you'll love the sailing.
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Old 22-09-2015, 11:11   #4
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

I've sailed in the South Bay from Redwood City, and now have the boat in Alameda.

Marina availability in SF Bay is surprisingly good and reasonably priced. If you want to live aboard you might have wait list issues, but otherwise I would expect you won't have too much trouble finding a slip for a decent boat.

My experience :

Redwood City : Pleasant, sheltered sailing in Redwood Creek. In summer, you get plenty of wind but no chop. Once you get out in the South Bay, it can really blow in summer with lots of steep chop. A large area to sail in, but not much to look at. This would be the closest marina to Cupertino. 20 minutes drive outside of rush hour?

Alameda : A longish (4 mile) sail (I usually motor) up the estuary to get to the bay. Then you have plenty of options. The area south of the Bay Bridge has lighter winds than "the slot", which can really blow in summer. For a day sail, the Golden Gate Bridge, Richmond Bridge, Angel Island, Treasure Island, and Alcatraz are all within range.

Often I will hang around in the South Bay for easier sailing in ligher winds and flatish water if I'm on my own, or go and get soaked in the slot if I'm with crew.

Note on nomenclature : The Central Bay is the area defined by the Richmond Bridge, GG Bridge, and Bay Bridge. Everything south of the Bay Bridge is South Bay.

One classic daysail encompassing a variety of conditions : across the slot to Raccoon Strait, around Angel Island, then home via the east side of Treasure Island.

A few days a year, if the bay is really riled up, we will just sail up and down the Alameda Estuary.

Things I really like about Alameda : Ability to pick your sailing conditions. Sheltered, fantastic climate - cooler in summer, warmer in winter vs. the South Bay. Deep channel, no depth worries. Lots of marinas, lots of supporting businesses - sailmakers, a chandlery, repair yards.

What don't I like? Takes a while getting to the bay. 45 mins to 1 hour drive from Santa Clara (same for Cupertino I expect).

If you want instant access to the Bay, there are numerous marinas around the Central Bay.
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Old 22-09-2015, 11:17   #5
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

PS, I would recommend living near to Apple (did I guess right?) and driving the longer distance to where the boat is. What's a one hour drive each way to the boat at the weekends, if you're saving 2 hours a day on the commute?
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Old 22-09-2015, 11:26   #6
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

Howdy!

I see this is your first post in the forum and you are new to the forum. Welcome Aboard CF!

Sailorchic34 and Gamayun and MarkSF have given you some good tips so far.

Here is more information that will tell you about sailing on SF Bay. From my POV, SF has the very best sailing conditions during the summer months, if you like wind and challenges.

San Francisco Bay is one of the best places on the planet for sailing, so I have no doubt you will find any kind of challenge or fun you seek there. I sailed there for years and enjoyed it very much. Have fun!

Since you are new to sailing SF, and I assume you would like to learn good places to sail, I will give you a link to a guide that is concise but helpful. It shows and tells with some good insights. It even has an itinerary for a day sail around the bay with tips on direction to go and places to see and things to do. I hope it gives you a good start. It was published by "Latitude 38" the local sailing rag (magazine) that has long been a source for good stuff related to sailing in the SF Bay. I really wish I had seen this when I first moved to SF and started sailing there. I only learned this stuff over time and observation. It is a handy guide, I would keep on my iPad on my boat if I was there now.

Learn about the "South Tower" as a hazard during tidal changes.

http://www.latitude38.com/features/BaySailingGuide.pdf
_____________

Want to Go Out the Gate?

Sailing Out the Gate under the Golden Gate Bridge is a great experience.

I am not trying to discourage you from going Out the Gate, as I always enjoyed that and greatly enjoyed sailing under the GG Bridge. But, just outside the Gate there are some risky areas that sailors should recognize (Potato Patch, SF Bar), especially because of the possibility of "rogue waves" and "sneaker waves" in that area. Sailboats have been capsized and lost there.
Here is a special article you should read, because the Golden Gate area has some special challenges and hazards you should be aware of before taking your boat "out the Gate."

Don't go out the Golden Gate unless you are prepared and aware of the natural features (bar) AND the large Vessel Traffic shipping lane.

The San Francisco Bar | CoastsideFishingClub.com

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What about the Wind?

What follows is something I wrote and put together based on some research I did earlier this year.

What does San Francisco offer sailors?
Wind! The San Francisco Bay offers predictable stronger than average winds and many sailing challenges. According to NOAA statistics, San Francisco has the highest average wind speed of any US city during the summer months (SF averages 13-14 mph in the city).

But, even higher than the average for that entire city, there is the area of the SF Bay where sailors love to sail during the summer, it is known as "The Slot." For example, typical daily winds in the summer months are 20-30 knots in an area known as the "slot" (it runs under the Golden Gate Bridge towards Alcatraz). That higher wind gives you chances to reef a mainsail for real. There are also tidal changes, strong currents, fog, ship traffic, hundreds of sailboats sailing around for practicing right of way, etc. All of that will provide valuable experience that prepares one for coastal sailing without going "off shore."

Here is a NOAA wind forecast for San Francisco Bay Saturday June 13, 2015. Notice that the wind increases in the afternoon up to 30 knots!
TODAY...SW WINDS 5 TO 15 KT...INCREASING TO 15 TO 30 KT THIS AFTERNOON. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING. 

TONIGHT...SW WINDS 15 TO 30 KT...DECREASING TO 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. PATCHY FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT. 

SUN...SW WINDS 10 KT...INCREASING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING. 

SUN NIGHT...SW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. PATCHY FOG AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SOURCE: San Francisco Sailing Weather
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Same Day Forecast Comparisons?
(June 13, 2015)
In comparison to San Francisco, the same day forecast for San Diego was 5mph increasing up to 10mph in the afternoon. In other words, only 30% of the wind predicted that same day in San Francisco.
San Diego? Wind up to 10 mph.
Chicago (The "Windy City" ?) Wind up to 5 mph.
Pensacola? Wind up to 14 mph.
Miami? Wind up to 15 mph.
Boston? Wind up to 7 mph.
Long Beach (LA) California? Wind up to 9 mph.
Tampa Bay (Florida)? Wind up to 9 mph.
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There is a lot of information about the San Francisco Bay Area in previous threads/discussions on the forum. Here is a link to many found in CF. If you read some of these, I know you will find many answers to your likely questions.

San Francisco bay area - Google Search
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Old 22-09-2015, 11:42   #7
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

Drive time is going to be an issue. Bay Area traffic is pleasantly unpleasant at the best of times. That being said, you will love the sailing.
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Old 22-09-2015, 13:02   #8
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

The sailing in SF Bay is exhilarating. Winds are quite a bit higher then SD. I grew up sailing SF Bay and kept a boat in SD for about two years. Sailing in SD we used to go to the few anchorages and then anchor for the night. It was lots of fun. Sailing in SF you sail in strong winds more often then not. It really depends on what you enjoy about sailing. I used to race a lot and thought SF Bay was great for that. Then as I started cruising I found that SD had more places to visit then SF.
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Old 22-09-2015, 14:02   #9
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

Cruiser's Forum had a similar query last month I'd recommend reading it.

IMHO there are no easy commutes from Cupertino (South Bay) to any marina. Your best choice is to live out here a while close to her work and decide if a liveaboard is even an option. You may decide she has to find work closer to a marina that allows liveaboards and also doesn't have a very long waiting list.

Best places to Live Aboard near San Jose? 17-08-2015, 14:38
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f74/best-places-to-live-aboard-near-san-jose-151419.html
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Old 22-09-2015, 14:23   #10
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

From the wording of the original post, I assumed the OP didn't plan to live aboard. Am I wrong?
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Old 22-09-2015, 14:32   #11
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

Great advice, and also a hearty welcome.

Also, go get yourself a copy of Kimball Livingston's Sailing The Bay.

Do it right now.

You will want to move up here faster!

Once you get here and get settled, let us know, lots of us from SF.

Anchorages do not abound, but there are a few that are great: Clipper Cove, Aquatic Park, etc., covered in Kimball's book.

But, wait, wait, wait: there is the ENTIRE 1,000 miles of the California Delta.

There are hundreds of anchorages a simple day sail away.

You will LOVE it here.
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Old 22-09-2015, 15:06   #12
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

Nope. No live aboard.
Also any pointers of brining the boat up from SD. It's a 2000 3700 Tartan.
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Old 22-09-2015, 17:17   #13
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

Sorry I didn't pick up on the no liveaboard.

I do have two navigation article links that might be of help if you're planning on sailing your boat north:

The San Francisco Bar
https://coastsidefishingclub.com/gre...francisco-bar/
Navigating Pillar Point Harbor (commonly referred to as Half Moon Bay)
https://coastsidefishingclub.com/gre...-point-harbor/
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Old 22-09-2015, 18:07   #14
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yngvepau View Post
Nope. No live aboard.
Also any pointers of brining the boat up from SD. It's a 2000 3700 Tartan.
Typical advice is to get to Santa Barbara. wait for a good weather window. Leave SB so that you arrive at Cojo. Wait there till wind starts to abate and then round conception. From there take your time and harbor hop your way up the coast. If the weather is good just keep going. http://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Guide.../dp/0071374647 is an excellent book.
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Old 22-09-2015, 20:50   #15
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Re: Moving to San Fransisco from San Diego

I learned to sail in the bay. Funny nobody has mentioned getting stuck in the mud. Maybe that was just me. In a Laser. Once. Well maybe twice. I was only 16. Redwood City is nice and the commute isn't too bad from Cupertino. I'd probably go up to 280 to do it and avoid 101, but early morning on a weekend it's not too bad. Sailing up, Cojo is a nice anchorage even when it is blowing. As the guide books will tell you, the train tracks go over a culvert there near the beach and you anchor right off that. It is beautiful. Private property and quiet except for the trains going by. It reminds me of Forney Cove, if you have been out to Santa Cruz Island. I've gone around early morning when it was glassy and calm. Usually it is not glassy and calm in the afternoon/evening. Best to wait until it calms down, you just get beat up otherwise. Avila Beach is nice. Get fuel there and Morro Bay. Make sure you are filled up before leaving that area. The leg from San Simeon to Monterey is the one that is the longest and most fatiguing I'd say. I have a friend that stayed a night behind the rock at Point Sur and said it was nice, but I haven't stayed there. I have read the holding ground and protection is good there (which you have probably seen from shore if you have visited Big Sur.) San Simeon is a beautiful anchorage. In an emergency (only) you can duck into Whaler's Cove at Point Lobos. It is often filled with kelp though so your fin keel and rudder will hang up on it unless you can pick your way through. There are probably a million folks on here to give lots more good tips about that trip. But also, buy the book by Brian Fagan, "The Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California;" it is very good and will answer most, if not all, your questions.
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