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Old 23-08-2009, 03:35   #1
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On the Hook in Santa Barbara for the Winter

Call me crazy, but I'm considering spending this winter on the hook in Santa Barbara.

Don't even have the boat yet.

There's plenty of nice boats for sale there. It seems their value drops somewhat when not accompanied by a $60,000 slip. :-)

My ideal boat is actually up in Seattle, but I don't think I'll be sailing down the coast this winter, so I may have to skip out on it.

I know the anchorage tends to get a little wild in the winter and i would have extended periods (2-3 weeks) of being away, so I'll be lining up an extra-heavy anchor rig. I'm looking at 27-31' boats, thinking about a 40# Bruce with 300' of 3/8" (or 1/2"?) chain, to be on the safe side. I think the depth of the winter anchorage is about 40', is that correct? I'd like to keep it at 7:1 if possible.

I'm also thinking of using a secondary anchor on a 45degree heavy weather setup while I'm away to protect against the winter storms and make sure I don't return home to a beach-front wreck. While onboard, I may use a stern anchor to minimize pitching and rolling.

Regardless of the setup, has anyone else lived in this area through a winter? I'm curious if there are any comments.

Thanks!
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Old 23-08-2009, 09:09   #2
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Originally Posted by HobieFan View Post
Call me crazy, but I'm considering spending this winter on the hook in Santa Barbara.

Don't even have the boat yet.

There's plenty of nice boats for sale there. It seems their value drops somewhat when not accompanied by a $60,000 slip. :-)

My ideal boat is actually up in Seattle, but I don't think I'll be sailing down the coast this winter, so I may have to skip out on it.

I know the anchorage tends to get a little wild in the winter and i would have extended periods (2-3 weeks) of being away, so I'll be lining up an extra-heavy anchor rig. I'm looking at 27-31' boats, thinking about a 40# Bruce with 300' of 3/8" (or 1/2"?) chain, to be on the safe side. I think the depth of the winter anchorage is about 40', is that correct? I'd like to keep it at 7:1 if possible.

I'm also thinking of using a secondary anchor on a 45degree heavy weather setup while I'm away to protect against the winter storms and make sure I don't return home to a beach-front wreck. While onboard, I may use a stern anchor to minimize pitching and rolling.

Regardless of the setup, has anyone else lived in this area through a winter? I'm curious if there are any comments.

Thanks!
friend of mine spent one or two winters there--in the 'fools anchorage', as it is called by locals--for a goood reason---when you go there, look for mark....he has a 32 pearson with a light blue hull--i donot know if he is still there--he only anchors, as he enjoys that more than other forms of affixing boat to shore/dirt/mud.....he says the excitement there never ends.....gooood luck.....should be really exciting there this winter, as is el nino year and cali gets better storms than usual...much more exciting....tuck in under the hook of the land of point concepcion, if there is a spot of protected area--and yes, more than one anchor is a good thing......
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Old 23-08-2009, 09:32   #3
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Santa Barbera is a lovely place. Probably the best on the whole California coast--if you're wealthy and ashore. It's an exposed coast, esp in the winter. You will seldom if ever, have a day where the boat is sitting quietly. Anything CAN be done, but.....
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Old 23-08-2009, 11:47   #4
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as i said before--the fools anchorage is where folks anchor in winter--is snubbed by snotty yotties, but some folks actually enjoy it there----but it lives up to its nickname..>LOL.....i have a friend who has been there for at least 1-2 yrs....he likes it there....even ion winter--he tells me what to do there and how to go about anchoring in winter there--what he has to do to be safe...i keep asking him when he is going to leave, but he wont....boats donot sit quietly there even in summer...LOL. morro bay, half moon bay and some other places are , in my mind, better choices in winter--be careful in morro bay--when surf is up, is very dangerous entry.......channel islands harbor is better also--has inexpensive dockage....
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Old 23-08-2009, 14:49   #5
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Well, I don't want to go any further south than Ventura. I think I'm going to try it out in "Marina 5" as I've heard it called, and see how it goes. I may plan on splitting time in guest slips in the marina.

If things aren't working out with the rough weather, I'll sail down to Ventura and go hunting for a liveaboard slip, or, worst case, just flop between a guest slip in SB and Ventura.
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Old 16-09-2009, 17:52   #6
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Spent a wenter in Ventura, waiting for parts from down under for my windless and then just hanging out around the islands..
Something to think about, get rid of that idea "liveaboard" and call yourself a cruiser.. Many marinas dont allow "liveaboards" but we've gone in right after someone was turned down as a liveaboard and said we were cruisers and just passing through and were allowed to stay as much as 90 to 120 days.. we pay for the 90 days (3 months) up front and often negociate the fees..
Many marinas, when you mention liveaboard they have this idea that you're moving in and setting up flower pots and plants on the dock, including the pink flamingo.
But if you say you're a cruiser and pay up-front, they know when you're leaving and they already have your money.. When you leave, they smile and welcome you back your next time around.
For 7 years now, we've been harbor hopping up and down the west coast, spending two to three months in one place and then move on..
For a couple years we jumped around the SanFrancisco area staying in one marina and then another, moving every couple to 3 months..
And the great thing about it....you dont pay a liveaboard fee in most places..
Back to Santa Barbara, meet a few people that would hang out in the anchorage until a storm would come in and then head for the harbor for a couple nights in a guest slip..
we've also seen storms come through and the whole anchorage ended up on the beach the next morning..
Fishing boat drug his anchor once and picked up everyone else along the way to the beach..
we also found a place to anchor one night, behind the breakwater but not in the harbor in Ventura..
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Old 16-09-2009, 19:28   #7
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For 7 years now, we've been harbor hopping up and down the west coast, spending two to three months in one place and then move on.

Randyonr.... just hypothetically... do you think a cruiser doing this can avoid the Personal Property Taxes in Ca ?
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Old 18-09-2009, 11:03   #8
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we've gone in right after someone was turned down as a liveaboard and said we were cruisers and just passing through and were allowed to stay as much as 90 to 120 days.. we pay for the 90 days (3 months) up front and often negociate the fees...

Randyonr3... Forget about that last Q... not one I should be asking...

BUT, was wondering if you might share what kind of rates are you able to get on a 90 day basis at the S CA Marinas you have stayed at? This is exactly what I would like to be doing all along the West and East Coasts..

Cheers
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Old 18-09-2009, 15:55   #9
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Hobiefan,

I spent 7 years on the hook in SB back in the early 80's. For the record, the term "Fools anchorage" was coined by an unhappy harbormaster who was tired of resqueing wayward boats and was picked up by the local press who, of course, don't know any better. "Marina 5" is a more charitable term. It is a perfectly good anchorage as long as one bears in mind that it is an open roadstead and certain precautions must be taken. That said, there is no shortage of "fools" out there and these will be your biggest threat.

I loved living out there but since that time there have been some changes. The designated anchorage is now on the far side of a mooring field, which puts you a mile from the harbor entrance and is in rougher water outside of the protection of Santa Barbara Point. Also, more and more people are using the area as a free storage/dumping ground for their derelict boats. Even amongst the liveaboards there are a lot of sailboats without masts and cabin crusers with dinky outboards hanging off the transom. These boats are often on minimal ground tackle that is rarely checked. When the wind comes up these boats are in a mad rush to be the first to the beach and if you are in the way you will be right behind them.

This is not to say it can't be done, but you would do best to anchor outside of everyone else (where the water is roughest) and put your boat in the harbor when you leave for more than a day. Best of luck and feel free to ask any questions.

Mike
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