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Nelson's Marine Out Of Business

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  • Nelson's Marine Out Of Business

    We are saddened to hear that one of the Bay Area's longest operating yards, Nelson's Marine at Ferry Point in Alameda wil be closing its doors on Tuesday. Nelsons has played a part in a multitude of high profile projects, including storing Steve Fossets Maxi Cat "Cheyenne" (aka Play Station), Bruce Schwab's Vendee Globe entry "Ocean Planet", Artemis Racing has had work done in the yard, and most recently, l'Hydroptere has moved to the yard for some work.

    There was no one in the office today for statement, but we have heard from other yards which had received inquiries from boat owners seeking asylum elsewhere.

    The Alameda Patch posted this in May of 2011 which may be an indicator of the situation:

    The City of Alameda, through the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority, has moved to evict Nelson’s Marine from Alameda Point for failure to pay rent.

    Attorneys for the City filed an unlawful detainer action with Alameda County Superior Court on April 21, saying that the marine services company owed $47,659.06 in back rent as of April 5th, less a $9,000 check that hadn’t yet cleared. On April 5th, the City delivered a 5-day notice to quit or pay rent demanding that Nelson’s either pay the back rent or surrender possession of the site at 1500 Ferry Point, Building 167, at Alameda Point, not far from the USS Hornet Museum.

    The City of Alameda, through the Reuse and Redevelopment Authority sublets the site to Nelson’s under a “Lease in Furtherance of Conveyance” agreement that the City has with the U.S. Navy. PM Realty Group, a property management services firm, is contracted by the City to manage the leasing of the buildings at Alameda Point on a day-to-day basis. According to court documents, the lease commenced March 1, 2005 and was to expire April 30, 2015. The site borders on, but does not appear to overlap with, the site the City has offered to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for a second campus.

    The case is RG11572207 in Alameda County Superior Court.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2


    • #3
      The clean up starts


      • #4
        Need an engine?


        • #5
          Are they having a yard sale?


          • #6
            I note three wooden sailboats shown in two photos, plus what seems to be an FRP kit sailboat which has never had its hull and deck put together.


            • #7
              That's just one corner of one edge of the yard. The last time I was out there the boats were stacked at least three deep all around the perimeter of the old aircraft hangar, and who knows what was inside the barn. It has been a storage yard for awhile now, with no boat work going on that I could tell. It's a long story - I dry-sailed out of there for a year or so.

              I think there's a market for dry-sailing larger keelboats using a travel-lift and Carl could have had that nitch. KKMI does it but only for the really high-end race boats. At Nelson's it was just a bit more expensive than a slip but you saved all the bottom work, divers fees etc. Nelson's location and set-up sucked on several levels for that purpose, but it could have been made to work.


              • #8
                I played with the idea several times, but as Bob points out, the cost was not compelling vs. the bottom paint option, just OK. Which means that you really had to want to have your boat there. And I really didn't. The place looked run down, dirty and unattractive so I could not get comfortable with whether they would treat my boat properly hauling it around when I'm not watching. Or whether they would be reliable at launching it prior to regatta weekends - imagine, paying fees, lining up crew, loading up sandwiches, and arriving at Nelsons to pick the boat up on a Saturday and finding it still on its stands. Also, no shore power to run the de-hu after racing. Without a clear financial incentive, I could not get up the courage to test whether they were reliable, diligent folks or not. So I never did and I'm the prime demographic for it (Mostly racing, live far enough away that I don't just come over and hang out on my boat in the slip).


                • #9
                  They always launched it when requested but the problems were the dirt from the Navy ships just upwind of the yard, and the inability to wash down the boat once it was hauled out. Ditto on the lack of power - that's a problem at Alameda Marina's dry storage too. Finally, Nelson's only had the side-tie and on a windy afternoon you saw your boat getting knocked around at the dock.

                  But there's still a market for this. My boat stayed light and fast and the bottom stayed perfect while dry-stored. Some PHRF regions even ding you for dry-sailing because it's clearly an advantage. My boat can come out with a single-point lift on a 3-ton hoist but there are many local race boats that can't, plus you have to own a trailer if you're doing it yourself.

                  One time I told Carl I could see the entire J/105 fleet lined up along his fence - but he didn't get it.


                  • #10
                    They've splashed a couple of the more active bigger boats. Bodacious1 and I hear Bodacious2 are comming to Alameda Marina. They will be stored in the yard for easy access to the travel lift. Ocean Planet is in the water, not sure where she is going.


                    • #11

                      My, what an attractive vessel! It seems to embody an "organic" esthetic which I associate with funky buildings and boats from the early '70s. Animalistic curves and cubbyholes.

                      Thinking I might find pictures of it rigged and sailing, I searched for Ocean Planet and did not come up with what I thought was a likely match. Has it been changed so much since this previous photo? -- or is it a different vessel entirely? I realize that you did not explicitly identify the boat in the picture.


                      • #12
                        I think its the old Ocean Planet. I've kinda, sorta, been watching the refit over the last couple of years.
                        Could be wrong.


                        • #13
                          It looks more like Thursday's Child to me.


                          • #14
                            What ever happened to Lois Lane, they were prepping for Pac Cup, got dismasted in an OYRA race I think, and never heard from again. Chain saw? Napa Marina dry storage?

                            Edit: it was the 2011 2nd Half Opener


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BobJ View Post
                              It looks more like Thursday's Child to me.

                              Yes. If it weren't for the distinctively shaped cubbyholes for stashing lines, it's also got the same Star-like semi-circular traveler/vang thing. No suprise that the two might be mistaken, though, since they share some significant similarities.


                              edit: I just noticed its canting rudder. Very cool. Looking at the picture of the boat's stern at Nelson's, I was wondering how such loads as that rudder would present could be cantilevered off such a low-freeboard stern. . .