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Old 03-12-2011, 14:15   #1
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Sailing Around Galveston

We are considering moving to the Galveston area and would like information on marinas, yacht clubs and sailing in the area. We have a 38' Pearson the draws 5'6" and want to make sure that there is a good affordable sailing community.
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Old 03-12-2011, 16:54   #2
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Re: Sailing around Galveston

Lots of areas to sail around Galveston, including the Gulf and Galveston Bay. But the area is very industrialized. Most folks keep their boat in Clear Lake, when we were there we stayed at Watergate. The marinas are not all that expensive and there are about 8,000 boats on Clear Lake. Clear is a misnomer. Plenty of water for you to sail with a 5 1/2 foot draft. Chuck
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Old 03-12-2011, 20:38   #3
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Re: Sailing around Galveston

We used to be on Clear Lake at Waterford- very nice, affordable marina with great amentities but at 6 ft, of draft we found the non stop soft groundings in the undredged channel to be a PITA. Now we are in Kemah and while I miss the heated pool with spa side bar service, shaving 45 minutes of chugging across the lake to the bay and the inevitable scraping of our keel make it worthwhile.

Look at Boardwalk marina(noisy) or Seabrook(quieter, more live aboard friendly) for quick access to Galveston Bay and deeper water.

The Galveston Yacht club gives quick access to the Gulf but the surrounding area definitely feels a bit tired.I love the gorgeous old homes of Galveston but its a tough place to live as it feels really removed from everywhere else. If you are going to be living on land, you will probably be happier in the Clear Lake/Seabrook/League City area.Haven't been to Harborwalk so no help there. If you are keen to sail out in the Gulf because you like dodging rigs take a closer look at Galveston, its a hike from Clear Lake/Kemah to the Gulf.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:38   #4
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Re: Sailing around Galveston

Galveston Bay is a very active boating community with thousands of boats docked in Clear Lake.

The Texas Mariners Cruising Association (tmca.nu) has good tips for new cruisers and conducts weekend cruising trips in season. There are several active racing clubs for phrf and one design racing.
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Old 05-12-2011, 20:53   #5
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Re: Sailing Around Galveston

Just to add my $0.02. We were in Waterford for about a year. I echo the long motoring to get to Galveston Bay. Might also try Portofino Marina, right under the bridge.

Galveston Bay is ALLEGEDLY (please, no arguments about this again) the 3rd largest boating community in the US. There is, therefore, lots to do, see and enjoy.
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Old 06-12-2011, 18:38   #6
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Thanks for the info. We are a long way from making the move. I can put Houston on the list...
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:40   #7
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Re: Sailing Around Galveston

Not to hijack the thread but related to the original question.

I'm considering a move to Houston/Galveston area when I retire. I wanted to know if it's possible to anchor out in Clearlake or in the bay for liveaboard and use a dinghy to commute for food shopping or other local traveling? I haven't seen any info on moorings and wanted to know if anchoring was permitted in the area.
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Old 12-12-2011, 19:04   #8
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Re: Sailing Around Galveston

I lived in Galeston for 6 years and Houston for another 6. Galveston Bay other than the Houston Ship Channel is very shallow. Many places are 4' deep or less. The Bay is brackish salt water. If you are there during the Winter - and the Winters tend to be brief and windy - the north wind will bring the stink of the Texas City refineries. It is not so nice.

If you decide to live in Galveston, the Galveston Yacht Club is nice. It is near the entrance to the Bay and has easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. There are not many places to sail to from Galveston. It is a long hike south to Corpus Christi. It's not all that far to Port Aranzas, Port Arthur, Beaumont or Orange. But when you get there you wonder why you made the trip.

Back to Galveston...Offats Bayou is a good deep anchorage but it is a long way from downtown Galveston. To get to the Bayou you have to follow the ICW under the Causway Bridge then turn east and follow the Offats Bayou channel. It is quite narrow so you have to watch the markers carefully. Once in Offats Bayou you will find there is a 7/11 with a boat dock on 61st Street. Also, there is a shopping center with a Safeway not far away.

Payco Marina is near the foot of the Causway Bridge. It is accessed via a channel branching from off of the ICW. I kept my boat there in the early 80's. Again, the channel is narrow and I doubt that you could get in with a draft over 4 feet. Payco has the usual ammenities -showers - shore power and water at the dock. However, the showers are rather primitive to say the least. That was many years ago. I was told by local friends that Payco was all smashed up by Ike. The showers may have been rebuilt new since then.

I should add that the tides in Galveston Bay are very small. The typical tide is about 1 foot. Storm tides are much more, of course. Summers are very hot and very long and very humid.
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Old 23-12-2011, 07:41   #9
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Re: Sailing Around Galveston

i'm jim from arkansas, i will be visiting the freeport,tx. area this spring sometime and would be interested in going out for day sail with someone if anyone is interested or just needing an extra deck hand.

jim
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Old 23-12-2011, 13:34   #10
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Re: Sailing Around Galveston

Hello? Anyone here keep their boat at Freeport?? I have a brother in Lake Jackson, so I kinda hoped this thread would include that area. Funny thing about sailing in the Galveston area- the area is huge and not talked about much...
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Old 24-12-2011, 08:20   #11
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Re: Sailing Around Galveston

looking for someone to go sailing with sometime, if anyone is interested in taking me along for a daysail, let me know.
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Old 24-12-2011, 08:55   #12
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Re: Sailing Around Galveston

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan_78 View Post
Not to hijack the thread but related to the original question.

I'm considering a move to Houston/Galveston area when I retire. I wanted to know if it's possible to anchor out in Clearlake or in the bay for liveaboard and use a dinghy to commute for food shopping or other local traveling? I haven't seen any info on moorings and wanted to know if anchoring was permitted in the area.
There are a couple of smaller sailboats anchored there right now. If you have a deep draft, there are a lot of places to run aground, (soft mud).

I wouldn't anchor in Galveston Bay, too unprotected, There is the remains of redfish island, but depending on the wind thats no good either.

Clear lake is surrounded by high rise condos, that break the wind, but if a strong north wind comes all the water can drain out, I have seen my boat resting in the mud. Every once in a while a sailboat will get it's keel so stuck in the mud it will not refloat when the water comes back. (rare).

Industrialization and factory farms have turned the lake to mud and algea. Not so clear anymore.

There was a number of waterside resteraunts, and marinas, they were hard hit by the hurricanes recently, but are slowly making a comeback.

There are several active boating clubs that plan events year around. We have about a 10 month boating season, with late December through January, and Late July through August being the months most people avoid staying out on the water.

I stayed at Harborwalk, they are currently in Bankruptcy, but are being managed by the Bank. It is a nice new marina with easy access to ICW, and GOM. And Moody Gardens in Offats Bayou is an easy 15 min boat ride down the ICW.

The only warning I would add to the above Offats Bayou directions are, Use the cut closest to the bridge, as the other one is shoaled, also when following the red Buoys into the Bayou the center line to the bulkhead is the deeper water, the buoys are in shallow water, (2-4ft), and after passing the "last buoy", ...wait don't turn to the center, keep going straight along the channel, after a minute you will see one more Red Buoy, hard to see and seperate from the others, stay away! that buoy is aground on a shoal. Once you get past it, you will see a clear path straight to Moody Gardens pier. Everything past this part is deep water, see chart.

(Every year that last buoy catches a few unwary boaters, it has almost caught me more than once, and I know it's there.)
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Old 03-01-2012, 17:35   #13
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Re: Sailing Around Galveston

Moody Gardens is popular tropical getaway, perfect for families and friends
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