Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 18 of 18

Thread: Berkeley Marina at Crisis Point?

  1. #11
    There is always Emeryville.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Wet Spreaders View Post
    OK - well that last post about poor security pretty much kills any idea I had of moving there. I want to be closer to the racing, and Alameda is a long motor to both the Circle and St Fancy. At least if I was at Berkeley I'd be close to one of those. How is the security at Brickyard or Richmond Marina?
    I was being a little harsh in retrospect; if you're not a liveaboard and just want to park your boat there - yup, being at the end of the slot has been nice! - it's still worth considering. I don't miss that estuary commute myself. Just don't leave anything in your car overnight, and expect to be grossed out by the bathrooms, the litter, and the dogshit everywhere. Just part and parcel of being in lawless berzerkely, it seems. They instituted a regime of friendly unarmed security walkers until 9pm or so, which has been a nice touch. But the overnight mall cops are useless, when they bother to make a presence. Crime has gone down since the RV dwellers left, but still plenty of car break-ins and creepy people lurking during wee-hour wee runs to the head. Once you're on the docks, though, everything has been copacetic in my experience. I've left good power tools in easy reach for a passerby while I'm gone for the day and they're still there when I get back. N&M docks have the best weather. A&B docks have the fanciest boats. The rest are whatever.

  3. #13
    Berkeley is a great place to race from. You can get to pretty much any start line in the central bay in an hour, usually less. Getting home is usually a pretty quick main only run from almost anywhere. The weather on L dock is good too, been there since 2010. Any slip on the south side has the benefit of the stand of trees by BYC and is sheltered in a southerly by the land. I used to be on a boat on D dock and 10 years ago it was a mess. It can also be really windy over there since there is less shelter.

    B&C were rebuilt about 10 years ago and A disappeared to put bigger boats in B&C. F&G were rebuilt maybe 20 years ago. Not sure about the rest but D&E are the worst. L-O are OK.

    The parking has become an issue in the L-M lot mostly due to the ferry (water taxi) on weekdays and those damned dragon boats on the weekends. I appreciate the dragon boats providing access to people who might not otherwise have access to the water, really I do, but when you have 3-4 boats that carry 20 people each that puts a real strain on the parking lot. Oh yeah, those 60+ people don't pay any slip fees as far as I know. There also seem to be way more cars than the activity would suggest. Even on a weekend (no ferry) and after the dragon boats go home (I think they favor the morning before the wind picks up) the lot is still full. There can't be that many live aboards and I see few boats out or people on boats. Marina management is trying to find a solution. My crew of 8+ carpools whenever we can and I would be OK with getting a couple of slip holder passes and the others pay a bit if it means we can actually find a spot.

    Like everywhere else the infrastructure is in need of some deferred maintenance. When I have requested a fix from the office (cleat coming loose) it was done before I got back to the boat in a week or two.

    I have not had a problem in the parking lot but my car is only there overnight 6-8 times a year. I see security cars but never people. There are occasionally folks living in their cars but they don't seem to stay long. On the docks it is great to have live aboards providing a measure of neighborhood watch keeping an eye on things.

  4. #14
    I feel for you guys in the L-M lot. Weekends it seems to be a free-for-all, and even weekdays it can be tough. I'm at the F-G lot, which is rarely full; could easily get many water taxi customers parking there.
    The real shame is that the marina isn't so bad - still lacking compared to the other marinas I've berthed at - but that it could be so, so great! Location, location, location. Without a ton of funds and a cohesive, shared vision among the various tenants (marina, hotel, restaurants, ferries, parks & rec, etc), though, I can see how it's ripe for problems.

  5. #15
    The Berkeley Marina isn't alone. Fortman Marina in Alameda (and several other Estuary marinas), Richardson Bay Marina in Sausalito (and several others), Loch Lomand in San Rafael (and several others). Empty berths, run down facilities, parking disappearing. Smaller berths converted into 40+ footers. Disappearing dry storage and hoists. Dredging issues. Boat yards harder to find. And, I don't even know much about the South Bay except San Leandro is no more and at lest one or two San Mateo marinas are in trouble The list goes on. I believe boating, and in particular sailboating, is in trouble (perhaps crisis) on SF Bay. Older boaters are dying off and not being replaced by younger sailors; older smaller boats not being replaced by newer smaller boats. Municipal marinas competing for dollars with other budget categories and private marinas charging more and more. I really don't think there's an answer that will satisfy most of us.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Wylieguy View Post
    ...older smaller boats not being replaced by newer smaller boats. ...
    All you mention is so true, and so depressing I try not to think about it. But this one in particular is something I've only recently given much thought to. Having finally found myself on reasonable financial footing, I've started to think about moving up to a bigger (30' - 40'), newer (>1985) cruising boat than I've historically considered. What do I find? Slim pickins. The evaporation of builders making smaller cruisers in the 80s/90s leaves me with few options. Even many "good" boats start to have really significant and virtually irreparable issues at over 30 years, certainly issues that would turn off potential new boaters, let alone people like me who know what we're getting into (and eventually conclude it's better not to!). It's one thing to put a few dozen weekends into fixing up a J/24. But bigger than that and it becomes just foolish. Ask me how I know.

    Another 10 years from now, when most American sailboats and the smaller European boats are nearly 50 yrs old and being scrapped with haste and there's no inventory to replace them, the bay is going to be a lonely place. A few small racers dry-sailed from private docks, a few big charter Beneteaus sailing out of the marinas that haven't been converted to housing, and the rest of us kayaking and windsurfing. Oh well.

  7. #17
    I should add that SF Bay seems healthy in comparison to some other places. My old home waters of NY/NJ have gone from a once thriving sailing community to a ghost town. Powerboating is still active, albeit also diminished, but it really shocks me every time I go back to visit and there's literally not a single sail where 30 years ago there were dozens on any decent summer day. The used sailboat market is so good I've considered buying one there and shipping it out here.

  8. #18
    I don't post often, but I wanted add my perspective since I have spent a lot of time at the Berkeley Marina. I have berthed a Catalina 27 or Tartan 10 on almost every dock in the marina since 2008, sometimes as a permanent tenant, sometimes as a short-term tenant (normal rate +10%), sometimes only a few nights at a time. I've taken quite a few friends and family out on day trips and done many weekend races. My T10 didn't even have an engine for the first two or three years I berthed her there. It's been a while since I was able to do Friday night races, but i miss them a LOT. I think for a sailor in without a deep pocketbook there is no better place to be in the Bay Area since it is windy in summer, the inner basin is reliably calm, the best sights/destinations are close by (cruising AND racing), the yacht club is very friendly, the harbormaster and staff are more than competent, and the rates are about as low as they get in the area. If you are just learning to sail, the estuary or Richmond might be a less intimidating location. Yes, infrastructure is old, traffic to the marina can be crap, crime is something to be aware of (I kept things out of sight in my car, locked my bike and have never had a problem what else do you expect in the Bay Area, it's a way of life?!).

    What does one really need from a marina? For me, Berkeley meant easy access to the Bay and all it had to offer. The rest is just details....The people I met at the marina and yacht club were a wonderful bonus I sincerely miss. I hope the City of Berkeley finds a way to keep the Marina accessible long into the future. The only reason I do not patronize it today is because I no longer live in the USA.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •