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Power boat recommendations for San Francisco Bay cruising

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Power boat recommendations for San Francisco Bay cruising

Old 04-10-2015, 04:55 PM
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Default Power boat recommendations for San Francisco Bay cruising

I've been in the market for a boat for a while and have come close to pulling the trigger but am on the fence. It would be my first boat so I am not looking for anything bigger than 25 feet.

The boat will be exposed to salt water full time as it will stay berthed at a marina just north of San Francisco. I was looking at some nice bow riders (chaparral, sea Ray, bay liner) and all have I/O engines which I'm told require a lot more maintenance than an outboard would given the outboard won't sit in the water.

Practibility wise it will likely only be used on weekends and just for casual cruising and anchoring out and relaxing in the sun, heading to the ball park to anchor and get festive during Giants games, that sort of thing.

Anyone in the Bay Area have any advice for me? Everything I see for sale are catered more to the fresh water Lake Tahoe, lake Sonoma, lake berryessa crowds and I'm not sure something like a Chaparral 190 SSi is best suited for my situation.

Any advice anyone can provide, particularly if you are familiar with SF bay boating (which is mostly dominated by sail boats) would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:48 PM
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Which marina are your going to keep the boat in? SF bay gets pretty choppy most days. Any open boat, bow rider, etc is a poor choice for that area, in my opinion. I have boated there in both 22 and 25 foot pilot house boats, and they were fine, but at times a lot of spray--and the pilot house was much appreciated.

Generally I/O engines do not do well in full time salt water, will have corrosion, fouling problems. There is a threat from billows with time. I prefer either inboard or outboard, for salt water. I have owned several I? O in salt water, and they are OK for the first year or two. Then the issues come up.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:57 AM
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I would agree, I/O power systems can be made to last in salt water but it's a lot of work and the available anti fouling paints for Alu don't work that well, at least not here. I've done it but I might not choose to do it again.
From what I recall of SF bay I would want a closed bow boat like a walk around style, self bailing decks and outboard power. Definitely not an I/O bow rider.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:11 AM
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The boat will likely live full time in a slip at Clipper Yacht Harbor, the huge marina in Sausalito so the water is extremely calm. Obviously once you get out of Richardson Bay and in the SF Bay the water does indeed get choppier.

I was thinking the same thing about engine type and have read similar things. It's amazing how difficult is to find boats with outboards for sale in this area. It's primarily I/O for the 24 and under boats unless you go 17 feet or less which is too small.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:28 PM
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For you boating habit's I would get a dual console (ie. bowrider with fishability) in size range you want. Lot's of good builders out there - Pioneer, Pusuit, Cobia, Robalo, Sea Hunt, Sportsman, Sea Fox, Edgewater, Grady White to name a few. Any can be fitted with hardtop or bimini with enclosure to keep you dry in the rain or slop. The boat's you listed are lake boats not really made for the ocean IMO. Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:41 PM
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I would look for something in the 22 to 25 ft range with an outboard that offers some wind and spray protection. SF bay gets choppy and windy a lot, you're not going to want be out there in an 18 footer for long.

Here is an example of a boat from craigslist that should suit your needs, good luck with your search.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/boa/4971609937.html
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:43 PM
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You will be fine up in Richardson Bay, and over to Angel Island, around Tiburon protected area. But once you get out into the main bay, with currents, ferry wakes, and the wind driven waves, across to the area to the East of the SF downtown area, South Beach Marina, and China Point--it will be very rough. That is where the open bow boat is a detriment.

Some days it may well be fine, but then when the tide turns, and wind against current, it can be real nasty and even dangerous within a short time.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by thataway View Post
You will be fine up in Richardson Bay, and over to Angel Island, around Tiburon protected area. But once you get out into the main bay, with currents, ferry wakes, and the wind driven waves, across to the area to the East of the SF downtown area, South Beach Marina, and China Point--it will be very rough. That is where the open bow boat is a detriment.

Some days it may well be fine, but then when the tide turns, and wind against current, it can be real nasty and even dangerous within a short time.
Agree 100%. I had my 26' HydraSport in Bel Marin Keys and would run through the locks to get to San Pablo Bay, just south of Novato. I also had it wet-slipped at Richardson Bay Marina. Once that wind kicks up and the tides start to rip, it gets very snotty, very quick and it would make a run to the GG miserable. You can go to flat calm to 3' to 4' every 6 seconds very quickly. I would suggest a pilothouse or cabin type of boat - 90% of the days we ran, we were bundled up in wet-weather gear. Now I live in SoCal where it is 90% shorts and flip flops!
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:37 AM
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Have you tried looking for dry storage/dry rack? You can run the I/O and not worry about growth.
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam9066 View Post
Have you tried looking for dry storage/dry rack? You can run the I/O and not worry about growth.
If there were a marina in Souther Marin that offered dry storage with valet I would do that without question. Unfortunately there is none that I know of and I don't have readily available access to a tow vehicle to deal with hitching it from dry storage and launching it every time I want to go out for just 2-3 hours at a time.

To the others, the furthest I'd travel out is likely the bay in and around Alcatraz. Other than that, I'd be restricting to more laid back boating in the protected areas.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rossini View Post
If there were a marina in Souther Marin that offered dry storage with valet I would do that without question. Unfortunately there is none that I know of and I don't have readily available access to a tow vehicle to deal with hitching it from dry storage and launching it every time I want to go out for just 2-3 hours at a time.

To the others, the furthest I'd travel out is likely the bay in and around Alcatraz. Other than that, I'd be restricting to more laid back boating in the protected areas.
Loch Lomond marina has a storage facility right at the launch ramp, IIRC Sausalito does too.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:44 PM
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I was on one of the Alcatraz tour boats once, on a "nice" SF day, and we were taking windblown spray over the bow coming back to Fishermans Wharf...
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rossini View Post
If there were a marina in Souther Marin that offered dry storage with valet I would do that without question.
Do the valet services take care of flushing and washing salt off the boat before storing it? Nice service if they so, but I bet it costs...........
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:23 AM
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My 2008 25' Rosborough would probably suit your needs well. This is a ruggedly built, seaworthy vessel. Twin 115 HP Yamaha outboards with 500 hours for power. This pilot house boat is very clean and in excellent condition. Check it out at www.ironhorsemtb.wix.com/rondor.
Text contact number, not shown on website, is 802 379 5437.
Good luck,
Ron
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by dumy1 View Post
My 2008 25' Rosborough would probably suit your needs well. This is a ruggedly built, seaworthy vessel. Twin 115 HP Yamaha outboards with 500 hours for power. This pilot house boat is very clean and in excellent condition. Check it out at www.ironhorsemtb.wix.com/rondor.
Text contact number, not shown on website, is 802 379 5437.
Good luck,
Ron
So he's looking for a 19' bowrider and some help on deciding. Your insightful help is to propose he buy your 25' cabin boat in Vermont and have it shipped all the way to San Francisco....that's awesome help. Way to try and get free advertising without helping.

As to the OP, don't be afraid of IOs. Do the recommended maintenance and your fine. This country and this BB in general are averse to IOs and only like OB and IBs, yet the rest of the world lives on IOs, be it Diesel or Gas IO. Just go to Europe where boats stay in the water year round on the Med and look for an OB. Not very many around except the fishing dhow hulls and small dinghys. Mostly IO and IBs in Europe.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:16 PM
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Having lived and boated about half my life (I'm 60+) in the Bay Area, I agree whole heartedly with all the comments about getting a pilot house, protected helm type boat for SF Bay. And will add my opinion that even then, unless you are an avid fisherman, a small power boat on the Bay proper is not much fun. Take the ferries from Vallejo or Larkspur a few times on typical days and see how many are out there. There's a reason for that.

The place for the kind of boating the OP is looking for is the Delta, and a really wonderful place it is for having fun in a small boat. You would be in for 100X more enjoyment keeping your boat up there and driving an hour to get there.
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 6104696 View Post
I was on one of the Alcatraz tour boats once, on a "nice" SF day, and we were taking windblown spray over the bow coming back to Fishermans Wharf...
That's exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote my post. Same thing, when were were there. SF bay is no place for a little lake style boat. It reminds me of Long Island Sound when the winds kick up....NASTY....
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Old 04-25-2015, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dzmconstr View Post
So he's looking for a 19' bowrider and some help on deciding. Your insightful help is to propose he buy your 25' cabin boat in Vermont and have it shipped all the way to San Francisco....that's awesome help. Way to try and get free advertising without helping.

As to the OP, don't be afraid of IOs. Do the recommended maintenance and your fine. This country and this BB in general are averse to IOs and only like OB and IBs, yet the rest of the world lives on IOs, be it Diesel or Gas IO. Just go to Europe where boats stay in the water year round on the Med and look for an OB. Not very many around except the fishing dhow hulls and small dinghys. Mostly IO and IBs in Europe.
Well I have done exactly that, here in the Long Island Sound region (salt water) for 12 years, 6 months per season. And maybe in Europe the anti fouling paints for aluminum work well, but here the one I have tried (Trilux 33) does not work all that well. You still get growth and you will even get barnacles growing on the bellows, on the trim lines and in the water intakes. Yes in the water intakes this is after brushing on 2 full coats on the surfaces you can get at and spraying on the ones were you can't reach with a brush (inside the bell housing, etc). It gets to the point where you actually have to split the lower and upper drive housings to get then cleaned out and then paint the INSIDE. Its a pain in the rear to say the least, I have been able to make it last but an outboard is MUCH less work and safer in a number of ways. I/Os are fine in freshwater regions where you don't get this kind of growth, or in salt too if you can not store it in the water. But if its a high fouling area, with the EPA allowed paints, I say, its too much work. Next one will be an OB, for me.
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