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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 9:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:43 am
Posts: 779
Location: St. Louis, MO
I am going out to San Fran and Napa Valley for my Honeymoon next month and am wondering if there are any good places to rent Hobies for a day. The crew/wife to be has never sailed (or seen) the Pacific and insisted that we take a day to sail around on a Hobie.

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Nick

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'84 H16
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:15 pm
Posts: 1088
Location: Oakland, CA
Although I live near SF I've never searched for Hobie rentals, nor am I aware of any rentals.

If you do manage to find a boat, then sailing the SF bay can be a real challenge depending on your launch site. In front of the Golden Gate Bridge high winds, strong currents, and cold water require a wetsuit and strong seamanship. Also, there is only one beach in SF inside the bay from which to launch - Crissy Field, practically under the Golden Gate Bridge.

You could also try contacting the Hobie fleet in the north bay for a schedule of activities - http://www.hobiefleet281.com/

By the way, the city of San Francisco in summer can be cold and foggy in the afternoon, so if you stay there then bring something warm to wear in the evenings. However, if you're staying in Napa then the weather can be HOT.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:15 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Sacramento, Ca
Skipshot,

I see you're out of Oakland. I live in Sacramento, and the wind up here is super light on a good day. I'm getting a little bored. Where do you sail out of in the bay? Do you ever sail Pt Richmond? I've heard that a good place for a Hobie because of the long breakwater, but have never been there. I have seen some Hobie's sailing out of Berkley but haven't checked into that either.

Any help would be great.


Adam


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 4:29 pm 
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Location: Oakland, CA
There are four good bayside beaches from which to launch:

1. Coyote Point in San Mateo - wind can be consistently strong (12-26 mph), and the water is very shallow (4-16 feet) until you are out about 1 mile to the middle of the bay. Wind direction is out of the west and the beach faces north, so you launch/land on a beam reach. Summer time water temp is in the mid-high 60's.

2. Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda - Wind is lighter but still good, usually 11-20 mph. Water depth is about 5 feet for about 0.5 mile from the beach. Crowds are pretty light, but you are restricted from landing anywhere along the long beach except for near the windsurfer beach. Also, the tide tends to create a fairly large drop-off on the beach making getting the boat to and from the water's edge kind of difficult. Wind direction is out of the west/northwest and the beach faces west. Summer time water temp is in the mid-high 60's.

3. China Camp State Park in San Rafael - I've not sailed here, but checked it out. Winds are lightest of the four beaches, (7-16 mph), but picks up as you sail south towards the shipping channel. Water depth is also shallow until you reach the middle of the bay. Wind direction is out of the west and the beach faces south. Summer time water temp is in the high 60's to low 70's.

4. Chrissy Field in San Francisco - Fiercely strong winds and tides. It is highly recommended to have open ocean gear and strong sailing skills before setting out from here. Lots of windsurfers, kiteboarders, and dogs. No charge to launch and plenty of space to rig. Wind direction is out of the west and the beach faces north. Water depth is plenty deep, summer time water temp is in the high 50's to low 60's.

The first three charge an entrace fee. Beach wheels are required at all locations for the easiest launching. Coyote Point also has a launch ramp in the marina.

I have no info on Pt. Richmond.

The Berkeley Marina is not recommended because 1. the launch ramp puts the boat in the water on a beam reach with little room to maneuver 2. sailing out of the marina is directly upwind into the strong winds coming through the Golden Gate 3. no place to land except the marina launch dock. You can see windsurfers and the UC Berkeley sailing team on the water from the freeway, but the windsurfers have the luxury of being able to launch from almost anywhere, and the Cal sailing team has a small crane to launch the boats next to a dock outside the marina. Besides, they sail dinghy monohulls.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:13 pm 
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Location: Oakland, CA
Update: Richmond, CA Inner Harbor and Harbor Channel

I did recon today on sailing the Richmond Inner Harbor. Unless you are a yacht club member with reciprocal privileges to use the crane at the Richmond Yacht Club, you have only one, tiny option of putting in - a small park with a 50 yard long beach. There is no trailer parking and no boat launch, but there is regular parking so you'll need beach wheels to access the beach.

The good news is that the beach is adequate for rigging. Launching is on a beam reach, and the beach is on the lee side of a marina breakwater with easy access to the Richmond Inner Harbor and Harbor Channel. The Richmond Inner Harbor's breakwater is low and provides all the wind with few waves, is about 2 miles long, and the winds blow from the southwest which makes sailing the breakwater a beam reach. Winds are light in the morning, but between noon and 4 PM are at their peak. Wind speed can be very strong 20+ mph. This place is also ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

I scouted the Richmond municipal boat launch nearby and determined it inferior to the above mentioned beach since the launch put the boat in on a beam reach, and near the dock are large, concrete pilings which make landing difficult, and access to the dock from the ramp is on the windward side. Sailing from the ramp to the Richmond Inner Harbor is directly upwind.

The harbor breakwater is connected to the Brooks Island Regional Shorline, and access is limited (via boat only, you provide your own) to one small beach on the lee side. You'll need to make reservations if you wish to tour the island.

Getting there: I-580 East or West in Richmond, take the Marina Bay Parkway exit and go south towards the water. At Shimada Friendship Park the road becomes Peninsula Dr. Drive to the end where the road ends at a small parking lot. The small, protected beach is due west of the parking lot accessed via a wide, paved trail. There is no charge to park or launch, nor am I aware of restrictions as none were posted.


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