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Old 06-09-2010, 11:52   #1
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pirate Oakland / Emeryville Marinas

I just bought a boat in Alameda. And I have a nice slip at Fortman marina, but I think I'd rather be over in Oakland or Emeryville to be more in the "center of things".

I did consider Berkeley, but I'm guessing the weather is much colder and foggier over there, than in Oakland.

So, does anyone have any opinions about the various marinas in Oakland and Emeryville?

Also, I would like to liveaboard my boat at some point, but it seems there is a multi-year waiting list to get a liveaboard slip for a boat my size (29.5'). Any tips or tricks to get around that? Can I put my boat into an oversized slip, and qualify for liveaboard that way? Or, would I have to, for example, add a 6' bowsprit to move into an available 36' liveaboard slip?

Thanks!
-Adam
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:02   #2
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Adam,
I would keep it in Alameda. You are not out of the mainstream in Alameda. There is a West Marine and Svendsen's no more than 10 minutes away as well as a huge boating community in Alameda. The crime rate is low in Alameda compared to Oakland or Berkeley. Also, as you already know, you are out of the big summer winds and fog in Alameda. It's also nice sailing downwind down the Estuary checking out the hundreds of boats after a nice long day of sailing on the Bay.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:05   #3
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With a boat that size, Fortman may be one of the best options in the entire bay area.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:16   #4
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Adam,
I would keep it in Alameda. You are not out of the mainstream in Alameda. There is a West Marine and Svendsen's no more than 10 minutes away as well as a huge boating community in Alameda.
+1

No advantage to Oakland over Alameda. In fact, the more rundown of the Oakland Marinas are a little bit scary. Berkeley is right in The Slot and they have rebuilt most of the north side of the marina, but the area is a bit of a crime hot spot and the weather isn't as nice as the Estuary. The Emeryville muni marina is a dump. Emery Cove is much nicer, but with either choice you have a long channel to navigate in and out of the marinas. PITA. Fortman is relatively expensive, especially considering the condition of the crappy wooden docks and the lack of amenities. Take it from someone who has spent a lot of time in virtually every marina in the greater Bay Area, Marina Village in Alameda is the best kept, nicest marina in the area. You'll pay a little more to keep your boat there (as opposed to Fortman), but it's money well spent, IMHO.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:18   #5
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Welcome to CF Adam!

We are across the bay from you at Oyster Cove, and like you are a bit south of the active area by angel island and alcatraz where so many race courses and day cruises sail. We look at it this way;

our slip fees are lower
our weather is sunnier
the water is just as wet
the wind fills the sails just as well
it's less crowded

And we can always head north for the event days like fleet week and opening day, if we want to.

As far as the live aboard thing goes in the bay area;

It's regulated by the these folks SFBCDC - San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the limit, at any marina that allows liveaboards, is 10% of the slips. So a marina with 300 slips can only legally allow 30 tenents to live aboard. Everyone else is legally limited to 3 nights a week, no more.

What that means is marinas can not charge any more than that 10% a liveaboard fee. If it shows on their books they are in violation of the regulatory law.

At some marinas this means that there are beau coup sneakaboards who keep a low profile and don't make any blips on the radar that would make their harbour master have to take action against them.

Lots of marinas avoid any of this by just declaring themselves a no live aboard marina and thats that.

Except it isn't of course because all marinas have at least some folks living aboard, with or without paying fees.

Don't bother asking if you can live aboard. That just sends up a blip on the radar.

Decide where you want to be. Get a slip.

Be a good tenant, keep your slip cleared and your boat tidy. Be really really careful initially to give the harbour master nothing to complain about. Pick a light in the boat to run all the time. 24/7, so that when you are there and not there is not so obvious. Be there your 3 nights a week initially and keep an irregular schedule. Once you are a known quantity and have make connections within the marina you can slide into sneak aboard in a few months.

Harbour masters want good tenants and are stuck by the law. They also don't like liveaboards who keep their boats like floating dumps. Makes them look bad to their boss.

It's all in playing the game.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:22   #6
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Adam, we have keep various sailboats in various marinas in the bay for the last 20+ yrs. Alameda is the best location so far and Marina village the best marina in our opinion. The reasons have been well stated by the previous members.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:35   #7
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Adam--

One alternative I have not seen mentioned is Brickyard Cove in Pt. Richmond. Before relocating to SoCal, we started out in Sausalito, then were in the Estuary, near the Rusty Pelican, for awhile but then, after joining the Richmond Yacht Club, were in Brickyard Cove (although not then in the public marina). Of all the marinas we used, or visited, we liked Brickyard Cove the best and particularly so as it was considered the "Banana Belt"--warm with fair winds while it was cold, foggy and miserable elsewhere. You might also find that membership in the Richmond YC as much to recommend it.

FWIW...
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:55   #8
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Hmmm…

I jogged past Marina Village yesterday, and it does look very nice.

But my priorities might be different from others here.

I grew up in Oakland, and have lived in SF. I'm not worried about crime or safety, unless things are _really_ bad. And, I'm fine with rather basic amenities, so long as there is a hot shower.

But location is important to me. And, personally, I'd rather be in Oakland, close to the Oakland bars, restaurants, and my friends, than in Alameda.

Are the Oakland marinas really that bad?

And are any of them better than the others?
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Old 07-09-2010, 13:10   #9
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Jack London Square is the only decent marina in the chain. If you like decrepit boats, sneak-aboards and filthy water, you can have your pick of the rest. Marina Village is literally 5 minutes from downtown Oakland. I don't see the problem.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:35   #10
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Marina Village is always full it seems.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:05   #11
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Marina Village is always full it seems.
Yes, well why do you think that is?
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Old 27-09-2010, 18:53   #12
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Check out San Leandro, you might like it. Lots of bird crap with berry stains from there dumb ass trees. Shallow harbor, so you will sit in the mud in a minus tide. They take a key dep but you wont get it back, the keys are yours and the $25.00 per key is theres. Lower rates than most by a small amount, I wonder why? But if you dont mind the above, it is a nice harbor.
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Old 27-09-2010, 19:00   #13
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Lower rates than most by a small amount, I wonder why?
Maybe the mile-long channel you have to navigate in and out of the marina? I kept a boat there for awhile and couldn't wait to get out. Perhaps the least convenient marina I have ever been a tenant of, for a variety of reasons.
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Old 27-09-2010, 19:11   #14
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Maybe the mile-long channel you have to navigate in and out of the marina?
You forgot to mention the bridges to be lifted for your passage and the priority given to commuting cars.
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Old 27-09-2010, 19:17   #15
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You forgot to mention the bridges to be lifted for your passage and the priority given to commuting cars.
There are no bridges over the channel into San Leandro Marina.
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