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Jazz Cup - low water warning from organizers

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  • Jazz Cup - low water warning from organizers

    I’m not sure if ya’ll have opened your Jazz Cup flags that arrive in the mail this week. In with the flag is a note about the low water expected in the harbor. It says:

    With boats that draft 6.0 feet or more:

    Please note the following when you get to the Benicia Marine Harbor:

    On race day, high tide is forecast at ~12pm and low tide at 2.5 feet at ~5pm. About 10 yards inside the marina entrance there is a berm approx. 3.5-4 feet below the surface at low tide. This gives us 6.0-6.5 feet of clearance at 5pm. Benicia Marine Harbor does not have any dredging planned before race day.

    This could be interesting...

  • #2
    We have a AAA membership, towing inclusive. Will that help?


    • #3

      Humpday falls on a Saturday this year?


      • #4
        We found it last year at 2 am trying to leave the harbor and it wasn't close to low tide. This kind of sucks. First Vallejo, now Benicia.

        Can the YRA help here? Can it impose a minimum low tide depth for its member clubs? We do require keels for racing.

        I guess if we are not in by 3 we'll be pushing our delivery forward.


        • #5
          there will certainly be few if any early morning escapes on sunday, with low water at 6:22 @0.2 feet, ~3 feet at 10am.


          • #6
            re Racing that same weekend, does anyone have similar info about Santa Cruz Harbor?


            • #7
              I'm not sure how YRA is involved in Jazz Cup, other than to help secure the permit from the USCG and manage the master calendar.

              The Organizing Authorities for this one are South Beach and Benicia YC's. Unlike Vallejo where the YC manages their own marina, Benicia YC does not manage the marina as is the case with many YC's.

              Dredging is expensive so it does not happen when it should. This is a problem at many marinas.

              I don't know what the answer is other than to hang a U-turn and skip the party which makes for a very long day or vote with our feet and not sign up for the race in the first place. Both options hurt Benicia YC and maybe they can put pressure on the marina to dredge?

              At least they warned us!


              • #8
                Is Hoop still in the loop? If so, he'd be your man.

                Years ago when I was a BenYC member, the racers didn't have much influence with the rest of the club, let alone with the outfit that leased the marina from the city. Hopefully that has changed.


                • #9
                  Economy being what it is/was, smaller marina's have put maintenance on back burner.

                  Anyone no the current vacancy rate at the Marina?

                  The bigger bummer will be the Bay Bridge closure, making getting people to and from the City and Peninsula a bigger
                  chore than in years past. There are several nice dinning and B&B establishments there, so getting the S.O. to come visit
                  is easier than other overnight regattas.


                  • #10
                    I spoke with a person in the harbor masters office at the Benicia Marina this afternoon. I told her I have a boat that draws 6.5 feet and wondered what she thought the cut off time was for us to enter the marina. She said that we shouldn't try entering the marina after 2:30pm on Saturday given the tide conditions. If wind conditions are like last year then it's iffy that we would finish that early. I asked the harbor master if there were other options for those of us who might finish the race too late to enter the harbor. The harbor master said there are mooring balls just outside the marina that could be used by those of us who may not be able to enter the harbor in the late afternoon. I wasn't able to confirm just exactly where the mooring balls are relative to the marina entrance but will try to get mooring ball location information tomorrow. So perhaps those of us who may not be able to enter the marina Sat. afternoon can hang on mooring balls until the tide comes in and or overnight. I'll also see if I can chat with the Benicia YC folks and see if we can get some sort of dingy service from the mooring balls to the yacht club and back during the afternoon/evening.

                    The harbor master also said that they dredge the harbor entrance every November down to 8ft, but that the harbor entrance silts in during the year and it's not uncommon for the entrance to have entrance issues latter in the year.


                    • #11
                      I motored through a little mud last time I went by Benicia, right near one of the buoys (it was an early flood and I draw nearly 6 ft). They are relatively small white spheres, but some are not all that deep, so be wary. At least the bottom is soft and squishy.


                      • #12
                        Are you referring to the "mooring balls" or something else? I'm not sure what color the mooring balls are.


                        • #13
                          Wow, 1430? The note I got from the RC said worst case was 6.0-6.5 at 1700. Ahi draws about 6.5 and with the crew on the lee rail we could probably make the worst case, is the harbor master being conservative or is there more to this?

                          If you need to be in by 1430 to make a 1700 low tide that means you would have to wait until about 1930 or 2000 to get in after the low. Ahi rates 114 and is not a downwind speedster but finished the last three years between 1515 and 1600, although the current is slightly less favorable this year.

                          I sent an email to the OA asking if they would have any support boats to help stuck boats or maybe be able to give us up to the minute depths (get a stick) otherwise we may have to re-think our plans. Maybe the dock party happens at anchor, maybe dinner happens before we get to the dock. Maybe the dock party happens in a raft up waiting for the tide?

                          We then have the same problem in the morning, and might not be able to get out until later in the morning. No early starts here...

                          Maybe Windjammers is a better option next year?


                          • #14
                            There are now over 40 PHRF boats, half of which probably draw over 6' plus probably another 10 sporties and those numbers will increase as the date draws near. 20+ boats and a couple of mooring balls is not going to cut it. I think our choices are a) try to get in (hopefully with some support and info from the locals) b) drop an anchor (we are not cruisers, but we still know how) or c) just go home.

                            The race is just half the fun!


                            • #15
                              The buoy I saw was a relatively small white ball - I have no idea if it's what the harbormaster was referring to. I saw more than one near the marina, but can't recall how many, exactly. I remember the buoy because we thought of marking it with the GPS, since it seemed to be the limit for us at low tide, but by the time the GPS was found we were long gone.