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Old 08-04-08, 12:08 PM   #1
reidconti
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[Totally OT] - Boats on the bay?

Okay, I know this is totally OT, but I've lived here for 6 years and haven't been able to get an answer to this.

How come nobody has houses on the bay with boats and such?

Do the tides cause the water to rise and fall too much? I don't see how it could be more than on some lakes. Are there environmental regulations? Is all of the land directly on the bay owned by the state or something?

And areas like Redwood Shores and Foster City have their own waterways, but for some reason THOSE don't connect to the bay, either.

I just can't fathom it. Anywhere else with such access to the water, you'd see people taking advantage of it. Ask people here and nobody seems to know -- it's like the thought somehow never occurred to anyone.

I'm hoping someone here can explain it to me
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Old 08-04-08, 01:01 PM   #2
alainp
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I don't think they're prohibited. It may be more impractical than anything else to take them out beyond protected waters like within a harbor. Just two weeks ago when taking off on a fishing trip, I noticed some, what looked to be, houseboats in the Berkeley Marina located close to the marina bait shop. And, after looking at Berkeley's municipal code, I found this:

6.20.200 Residential houseboats.
To provide additional security and assistance in emergency situations, the Harbormaster may
designate a limited number of berths as residential houseboat berths. Nothing in this section shall
alter the obligation at all times of Permittees and renters with vessels occupying such berths to be
in compliance with applicable conditions set forth in the permit issued to the City by the San
Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (“BCDC”), as described in Section

6.20.280. The vessels occupying these berths may have permanent sewer hookups and are
subject to the following conditions:


I do know that, relatively speaking, houseboats don't have much freeboard and, unless the water was calm like glass, you don't want to take those houseboats anywhere where the water was choppy, which the bay often gets. Sometimes, when going out on the bay or outside the gate, I'll see some bass boats with less than a foot of freeboard which just looks scary.

Oh, and as far as who "owns" the bay, the SF BCDC (Bay Conservation and Development Commission) probably has a lot to do with its regulation and use.



Edit: Oops! Totally misread your post, Reid. I thought you meant houseboats. Sorry.

Last edited by alainp; 08-04-08 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:12 PM   #3
Gee3
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Because here in the Yay Area you can either afford a house or a boat. But not both at the same time! hehe!

Or if you're like me you move back home after living in TX for 5 years and can't afford the boat or the house becuase the prices are 3+ times more $$$ and 3+ times more smaller than in TX! Ugh!
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Old 08-04-08, 03:28 PM   #4
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First off, what kind of boats are you thinking of? The bay can be very rough - certainly not someplace you'd want to waterski! A lot of my neighbors own boats - and they all tow them to the delta or a lake to use them for waterskiing, fishing, etc.

The bay itself doesn't really lend itself to the kind of private moorings you see in other places (I grew up in NJ, along the shore. We lived on an inlet that was very protected, and everyone with waterfront land had docks, boats, etc.).

Lots of shallow flats in some areas that are protected from development (so no long docks, no dredging), then lots of bluffs/hills with steep drop-offs in others (often where the roughest water is). The pacific storms hit the bay hard, too. The tides are basically the ocean tides - much larger than you'd see in a typical lake. The storm surge from those pacific storms can be pretty frightening - and some of that does get through to the bay.

There are some natural places that lend themselves to mooring boats. These have long ago been used by commercial interests, marinas, yacht clubs, etc. What's left is likely protected as environmentally sensitive. So, there's not a lot of opportunity to own waterfront land that you could even think about building a mooring from. There are lots of large, expensive boats in those marinas, but the combo of economics and rough water keep many from even bothering with smaller boats.

JB

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Old 08-04-08, 03:34 PM   #5
reidconti
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Gotcha. I was thinking of the bigger stuff you'd see on lakes -- offshore powerboats, etc.

Sounds like a combination of factors, really. Primarily not much land that's good for it, and the land that is good for it was long ago developed for commercial interests. Makes sense, since this area has been very populated for awhile; the places where people build waterfront houses tend to be lakes that were 'discovered' or at least populated later.
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