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San Francisco Bay Charter's Handbook- Suggested 2 Day Trip
By Bob Diamond

Suggested 2 day trip

South Beach Harbor at Pier 40 in San Francisco is a great destination for a first overnight cruise. It's a reasonable distance from Redwood City. At about 20 miles, it's only 4 hours away even at the stately speed of 5 knots. The harbor is easy to find, easy to get in and out, and easy to maneuver in. There are facilities such as heads and showers and lots of restaurants and other shops ashore.

We suggest you plan your trip on a weekend when there is morning maximum ebb approximately between 9:00 and 10:30. This will give you a favorable current heading up to San Francisco in the morning and favorable current coming back in the afternoon the next day. If you leave Redwood City as late as the time of maximum current, you'll be arriving about the time the current goes slack. This would give you plenty of time to get to South Beach and may even give you enough time to sail past Pier 40 and the Bay Bridge to check out the North Bay, Alcatraz Island, etc. before settling in at South Beach Harbor.

Make your reservations with harbor office at (415) 495-4911. The overnight fee is $1.00 per foot. There is also a $50 key deposit, which can be done with an authorized credit card. The harbor master monitors VHF channel 16 if you need to call via marine radio.

Pac Bell Park is within walking distance and there are several restaurants in the area. Take advantage of the extra time the next day to explore the North Bay a little before heading back to Redwood City. Just allow about 4 hours of sailing time from the Bay Bridge for the trip south. It's likely you'll have the wind in your favor the whole way and if it's a normal spring or summer day there will be lots of it. What a way to finish a weekend sail!

For more information please visit our website at For this article in its entirety including links and photos go to:

Bob Diamond has been head sailing instructor at Spinnaker Sailing since 1984.

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