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South San Francisco Bay Charter's Handbook- Overnight Chartering
By Bob Diamond

Overnight Chartering

After a few day charters you might be ready for more extensive cruising in The Bay. There are lots of harbors and marinas where you take a boat to spend the night. Sailors who enjoy camping out will like the economy of overnight cruising in the smaller boats but the features of the larger boats will make it more comfortable. Spinnaker offers a special weekender rate for the period of Friday evening through Sunday evening. The weekender cost is discounted by 10% from the cost of chartering two weekend days. Friday night is included at no extra charge. At other times, there's a 10% discount for two or more consecutive days and a 20% discount for 5 or more consecutive days.

Places to go include anchorages, private yacht clubs, public marinas and parks. The best anchorage in the Bay is Clipper Cove, also known as Treasure Island Cove or Yerba Buena Island Cove. Clipper Cove is the name given when the Pan Am Clipper flying boats were based there. This is the coolest place to anchor during heat waves. Be sure to enter at the northern end of the mouth of the cove to avoid the shoal that extends from Yerba Buena Island at the entrance of the cove. Inside the cove, there's plenty of room to swing at anchor adjacent to Treasure Island Marina. A cool breeze blows right over the causeway that connects Treasure Island to Yerba Island but the water is flat and very well protected.

There are dozens of public marinas around the Bay. Some are privately owned and some are municipal but almost all accept boats for overnight stays. A few harbors belong to private yacht clubs. These are only open to their members and members of reciprocating private yacht clubs. The California Boater's Guide to the Harbors & Marinas of the San Francisco Bay, Delta, Outer Coast & Hawaii is a good guide to harbors with facility descriptions, maps, phone numbers and other useful information. There's a copy in the Spinnaker office for reference.

Popular destinations include South Beach Harbor near Pac Bell Park in San Francisco, Schoonmaker Point Marina in Sausalito, and Bellena Isle Marina in Alameda. These and many others have restaurants nearby and other fun things to do.

There are also a few parks where boats are welcome - notably Angel Island State Park. This park has picnic areas, nature areas and historical areas dating back beyond the civil war. There are slips available in Ayala Cove, first come, first served during the daytime. These slips must be vacated at sunset. There are mooring buoys in the cove where boats can stay overnight. There is a use fee for the slips and mooring buoys. Be sure to arrive early on summer weekends as the moorings tend to fill by midday on Saturday.

There's quite a list of possible things to do. These include harbors with restaurants in San Francisco, Sausalito, Tiburon, Richmond, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. In Oakland at Jack London Square there's Yoshi's for Jazz. Pac Bell Park is right at South Beach Harbor in San Francisco. Sail to a Giants game! During a multiple day charter it's possible to sail as far as Vallejo or even into the California Delta. If you have an idea and would some advise, talk to the staff at Spinnaker Sailing. Talk to us even if you're only curious about cruising.

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Bob has been head instructor at Spinnaker Sailing since 1984

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