I was in Fortman for 3 years before I left for Hawaii
this summer. The wooden finger piers are often tippy and aren't the greatest. Other than that, it was a good marina. The amenities are basic but clean and parking is never a problem. Theft was nonexistant. I was gone for 3 months or more at a time and left a car there. Never had a theft problem and I'm sure the life raft and hard dinghy
on my deck
would have been a temptation.
As far as being in the middle of things, you've got a ton of clubs, especially Encinal YC, that I likefor its sailing emphasis and Guiness on tap, Alameda YC is at Fortman and very convenient, and there are at least 2 more clubs. You've got Grand and Svendsens yard, Svendsen's and West Marine chandlery
, a bunch of sail lofts, machine shops, welding and fabrication at Alameda Prop and Marine
. There are a number of good bars and restaurants on Park Street. It's all there and within easy bike/walking distance.
I didn't appreciate the weather
when I was there but it's the best that I found in the Bay. Very seldom very windy and the fog
burns off early. Spent two weeks in cold and windy Sausalito and they can have that area. Emeryville and Berkeley are also cold and windy. Don't have any experience with Richmond but the constant reporting of murders and mayhem there didn't make me want to move there. Same goes for the north side of the Estuary.
The big problem you are going to have is finding a liveaboard slip
. Understand the waiting lists are quite long thanks to the Eco Nazi's. I commuted to the boat and spent a week or two at a time on the boat getting it ready for the TransPac. No problems until I started staying a month at a time and parked my car in front of the office as I spent more time getting ready the downhill slide. Never got any official notice but the lady in the office made it very clear that she knew I was staying on the boat more than a couple of days at a time. Expect if they hadn't known that I was leaving, they would have taken action. I was in slip 10 very close to the office so it was hard to stay under the radar
and I really didn't make any offer to lay low. The smaller slips are way away from the office so sneaking aboard might not be such a problem. A guy who used to work at Svendsens complained that he couldn't get a liveaboard slip
any closer than Richmond and he should have had all the 'ins'. I looked at Grand Marina as the facilities are quite nice and they have marina supplied WIFI
. They were a bit more expensive and the fairways too narrow for my maneuvering challenged boat.