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Old 03-07-2021, 06:43   #1
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Location: Boat is currently at a marina in Point Richmond, CA
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SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

Hello all: I brought my boat to Point Richmond two years ago after 5 years in the Sea of Cortez. After Covid, there's substantial deferred maintenance that needs doing.
I'm planning to haul out this fall in the SF Bay area and to do some work (bottom paint, buffing/polishing, brightwork varnish, water tank replacement, etc.). Some of the work will be DIY, with me staying aboard, but I also will require professionals to help with some of it.

So far, folks have recommended three places where you are allowed to do DIY projects while staying on your boat: Napa Valley Marina, Berkeley Municipal Marina, and SF Boatworks in the city.

I'm looking for first-hand experience from people who've done work in these places: Was it a good experience? What are the pro and cons of each boatyard? How easy/feasible is it to get contractors to each? And how helpful are the folks at the yards?

Thanks in advance, John
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:13   #2
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

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Originally Posted by jenders View Post
Hello all: I brought my boat to Point Richmond two years ago after 5 years in the Sea of Cortez. After Covid, there's substantial deferred maintenance that needs doing.
I'm planning to haul out this fall in the SF Bay area and to do some work (bottom paint, buffing/polishing, brightwork varnish, water tank replacement, etc.). Some of the work will be DIY, with me staying aboard, but I also will require professionals to help with some of it.

So far, folks have recommended three places where you are allowed to do DIY projects while staying on your boat: Napa Valley Marina, Berkeley Municipal Marina, and SF Boatworks in the city.

I'm looking for first-hand experience from people who've done work in these places: Was it a good experience? What are the pro and cons of each boatyard? How easy/feasible is it to get contractors to each? And how helpful are the folks at the yards?

Thanks in advance, John
I can definitely recommend Berkeley Marine Center (that's the one on the north side of the Berkeley City Marina). Cree Partridge has been running it for years., and he doesn't just tolerate DYI, he enjoys helping and is happy to give advice. Like anywhere, if you are the kind of customer people enjoy dealing with, you will have a better experience.

He has a pretty good stable of onsite people so I have never had to bring in outside contractors. You'll need to talk to them about how they work that.

Their fiberglass and paint work is top notch. They have built boats from scratch, so you are not likely to come with a problem they an't help with.

It's likely not the place if you are on a rigid schedule. It's a small place, and they don't have spare resources to throw at projects that are running behind schedule.
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:44   #3
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

Suggest doing your buffing/polishing, brightwork varnish, water tank replacement, etc. in the water at Point Richmond. The marina (I assume it is Boardwalk Port formerly Brickyard Cove Marina) has easy access to boat contractors if you need them and you can stay on your boat.

If you haul the boat at the boatyards below check with them on whether you can stay on the boat. Also plan your haul-out duration since besides haul-out cost you will be charged lay days at an increasing daily rate.

Napa Valley - furthest away from Point Richmond, large boatyard, DIY, good access to on-site maintenance staff, higher cost for outside contractors since they have a further distance to travel from the bay and Delta, I had my Hunter 386 on the hard there for 3 years and had the yard do bottom paint, shrink wrapping and battery replacement
https://www.napavalleymarina.com/boat-yard

Berkeley Marine Center - closest to Point Richmond, small boatyard, DIY, limited access to on-site maintenance staff, close proximity to outside contractors in the bay, took my sailboat there to unjam my Hunter 386 main furling sail and perform maintenance while in the water
https://berkeleymarine.com/about/yard-rates/

San Francisco Boatworks - full service yard, did not know you can DIY
https://www.sfboatworks.com/haul-and.../bottom-paint/
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Old 03-07-2021, 09:06   #4
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

Ditto comments on Berkeley. Cree is great. Bring the crew a beer on Friday evening and you will get great service! Check on who's the yard boss -- one was a non-drinker but loved it if I brought him a nice ginger beer.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:27   #5
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

San Rafael harbor just around the corner from you, all DIY here, buy your own supply's where ever, expertise available if needed, stay on board, showers, toilet included, Berkley evidently no longer a DIY yard, and Napa requires you purchase supply's from them.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:31   #6
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

I'll add one to your list. Svendsens in Alameda. I hauled my new to me boat there 3 years ago with the intent of a bottom job post inspection. They quoted me 2 prices on the bottom job. 1 if they prepped it (required) and 2 if they did the complete job. If they do the complete job you do not get charged lay days. I had more work to do, replaced the stern tubes (I have a cat) prop shafts and a couple through hulls and some other work. People next to me where living on their boat for the month they were there. I was out of the water for 2.5 months. I did the projects I wanted to and had them do the others. No charge for lay days which was a huge savings. I've used their yard for years with clients boats. Good reliable workers.
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Old 03-07-2021, 12:39   #7
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

Unfortunately, Svendsen's in Alameda is no longer there, as of about 2-3 years ago. I don't know all of the details, however Bay Ship and Yacht bought them out (I understand to keep some developer from just deleting them). The store moved to the Bay Ship facility on Alameda (about 10x the size!) and the yard was moved to Richmond. They also renamed themselves to Svendsen's Bay Marine.



At the moment the only working boat yard on Alameda is the small one at Grand Marina (at the foot of Grand Ave). Last I heard the Alameda city council is looking for someone to takeover the old Svensen's boatyard (as it is planned to still be there after the renovation currently in progress).
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Old 03-07-2021, 13:56   #8
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

ditto Berkeley Marine Center
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Old 03-07-2021, 16:02   #9
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

BMC is your solution. Cree and team are great. I’ve done several large boat projects there and they have all been successful
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Old 03-07-2021, 17:11   #10
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

I have had excellent experiences at Napa Valley, with our old cruising boat (all DIY)and with my current boat (almost entirely work done by the yard). If you are going to do most of the work yourself, it will definitely be less expensive at Napa. Though it is a big yard, a lot of it is for storage only, so booking in advance is advisable.



My current boat, a 30 foot composite Atkin Tern (converted nearly 20 years ago to junk rig), arrived at Napa from Martha's Vineyard on a heavy trailer at the end of March last year. It suffered some trucking damage, which was spotted by Mike Meyers, the yard manager, as soon as he lifted the boat off the trailer. Since no work could begin until after a survey, Mike put the boat in the (much cheaper) storage area. After I had the boat surveyed, the yard came up with an itemized quote for the work, and the trucker's insurance company did pay. The boat was moved to a covered shed in the work yard, and I was really pleased with the work done by Dave (Mike's brother), which involved both carpentry and fiberglassing. (I've also been impressed in the past with Dave's spray-painting jobs).

I also got the yard to install masthead running lights and a basic depth sounder, and I got the phone number of a lettering painter who lives down the road from the chandlery's bulletin board. Quest has been documented for a long time but now has her name and new hailing port on the stern. I even paid the yard to paint the bottom! After launching, I ended up staying on their "guest dock" for several weeks, moved under the crane to get the mast installed, then back to the dock to figure out as much as I could of the junk rig. When it was finally time to head down the river, I was a little sad to leave a second home.

I should also say that this is not a "fancy" boat yard. There's a little more paving than when we first went there for a haul out (2006 ?), the bathroom is nicer, and the store has a much bigger stock, but a lot of the yard is dirt. It's 8 or 10 miles to supermarkets, Trader Joe's, and hardware stores, so you need to plan on shuttling a car to the yard. It's hot in summer and can get very cold in winter. Your plan to go in the fall is good (though it is fire season). The people are what make Napa a good yard, both the hard-working, patient employees, (who tolerated me being too chatty when they really wanted to work) and many of the people working on their own boats. Back for another haul out was a couple we'd met in the yard at least ten years ago, and off in a far corner of the yard was a young dreamer, who really was close to finishing his restoration project.

There are plenty of sailboats in the yard, but it is not Napa's main orientation. For good, basic hull work it's great.

Carol
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Old 03-07-2021, 17:18   #11
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

I forgot to say, that I called Berkeley Marine, and they're not taking DIY boats yet--they weren't sure when they would start that up again. Nice people though! My boat is now in Berkeley Marina, and their rigger did a good job on a replacement centerboard cable for me; a diver installed the lower end and I did the upper end, so didn't need to use their Travel Lift.
Carol
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:22   #12
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Re: SF Bay: Haulout and DIY advice needed

THANK YOU ALL for your responses and the great information on the yards available. It will help me greatly in making the decision where to go. Sail on! John on Victoria
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