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Launching in San Diego
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RobMcClain



Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 318
City/Region: Summerlin, NV
State or Province: NV
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 23 Venture
Vessel Name: Freedom
Photos: Freedom
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:48 pm    Post subject: Launching in San Diego Reply with quote

Howdy folks, Were thinking about making a trip down to San Diego with boat in tow to do a little cruising and general sightseeing. I have spoken to the folks at Chula Vista Marina and have found them to be very welcoming, and their guest docking is readily available. Apparently we can launch at the big ramp right nearby and then store the SUV & boat trailer in their lot. They advised against leaving the vehicle & trailer in the ramp parking lot even 1 night, and we are looking for roughly 5 nights. Chula Vista is sounding good. With that said, I see there are also a few ramps into Mission Bay but they seem to mostly lack any docks so it is powering off and on the trailer which I like to avoid if at all possible. Im also concerned about vehicle & trailer safety at any of those locations.

Those of you who cruise that area, do you have any suggestions or recommendations on where we might launch, and additionally if the location is safe to leave the SUV & trailer for several nights?

Rob
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journey on



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 3269
City/Region: Valley Centre
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: journey on
Photos: Journey On
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've launched Journey On in Chula Vista, San Diego and Mission Bay. Here's my opinion.

Chula Vista: A great place to launch and the marina is a good one. We've used it many times, leaving our truck and trailer at the launch ramp. However, they now limit you to day use only. Since you have a place to leave the trailer, it's not a problem for you. Has a dock where you can unload the boat next to the dock. One drawback is that it's at least 1/2 hour to the bay's entrance, since Chula Vista is in the south bay.

San Diego Main launch ramp: on Shelter Island, close to the harbor entrance. Just rebuilt. No easy dock at the launch ramp, plan on powering on and off. Allows 3 day parking. I stay at the Southwest Yacht Club, which one can do if you belong to a yacht club. Takes reservations for the guest dock, nice restaurant. Or you can stay at the City Docks, right across the harbor at the end of Shelter Island.

Mission Bay: Right off Sea World Drive, next to Sea World, there's a launch ramp we've used. It has docks right next to the launch are so you can walk your boat back with no trouble. I believe they offer 3 day parking. Our problem with Mission Bay is finding a place to park the boat. In the past we've stayed at Mission Bay Yacht Club with reservations. You have to belong to a yacht club. The last time, Journey On wasn't compatible with their new electrical system, we had inadvertently a single point connection between the power return and chassis ground. I couldn't find another place to rent a slip.

There are other launch ramps in both Mission Bay and San Diego Bay, but we haven't used them. I'd use Google Maps and get a look at the launch ramps.

Boris
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rbfconstruction



Joined: 19 Sep 2017
Posts: 100
City/Region: huntington beach
State or Province: CA
Photos: Angler Management
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:26 am    Post subject: launching in San Diego Reply with quote

I have stayed at The Dana, located on mission bay, not that far from the bridge.
There is a public ramp right next to it, but no pier. There is a pick up dock right there after you launch. The rooms are really nice and they have a fantastic restaurant for all meals. We are actually going again next week (the 9th through the 13th). I don't like to launch that way either. Lets meet and help each other launch!!!!!! lol
Anyways, Keep the Dana in mind for a stay should you decide not to stay on your boat. Ted lets me keep my trailer at the hotel. Very safe and secure.
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rbfconstruction



Joined: 19 Sep 2017
Posts: 100
City/Region: huntington beach
State or Province: CA
Photos: Angler Management
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:32 am    Post subject: launching in San Diego Reply with quote

You might give the Dana a call, I am not sure but they might let you keep the boat in their marina (even if you don't stay there) Maybe ????????????
Richard



best of luck to you
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rbfconstruction



Joined: 19 Sep 2017
Posts: 100
City/Region: huntington beach
State or Province: CA
Photos: Angler Management
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:01 pm    Post subject: launching in San Diego Reply with quote

Hi, As I mentioned, I too do not like driving on off the trailer. I looked at south shores park (assuming that was the one you are talking about). It looks like the docks are accessed by a bridge, so I am thinking it is still a drive off/drive on launch???? Maybe I am spoiled with Huntington Harbor as my wife walks the boat off with two ropes, ties it off, while I go park the trailer.
Do you know where this can be done on Mission bay?


thanks,
Richard
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RobMcClain



Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 318
City/Region: Summerlin, NV
State or Province: NV
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 23 Venture
Vessel Name: Freedom
Photos: Freedom
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback Boris, it is very helpful.

Richard, your description of launching is exactly what my wife and I do. Looking at the ramp Boris mentioned, which I believe is the South Shores ramp, I think the north dock will allow for walking the boat off. Boris mentioned this capability. I cant see for sure on Google Earth but it looks like the ramp on the south side might be a bit more of a challenge but still doable.

The ramp down in Chula Vista looks similar to the South Shores ramp, although maybe the docks on either side are a bit more walkable. My wife and I like to cruise slowly, especially when naval vessels are in the area, so using that marina as our home port allows us to meander and enjoy the sights (watching the channel markers closely, of course). Additionally, we like to use our tandem kayak and being at the south end of the bay will allow us to take in the wetlands adjacent to the marina.

With that said, location is still to be determined...

Rob
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journey on



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 3269
City/Region: Valley Centre
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: journey on
Photos: Journey On
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

South Shore Park docks can be used to walk the boat off the trailer. One walks over the bridge and thence back on the dock. We launched there last year and Judy brought the boat back whilst on the dock.

Both south San Diego Bay and parts of Mission Bay are kayak friendly. San Diego Bay used to have a yacht club building sitting outside of the marina. The tide would go up and down, so the first floor would be submerged. There is a salt works at the bottom of the bay.

San Diego Bay has more to see.

Boris
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Cview



Joined: 07 Sep 2008
Posts: 59
City/Region: Phoenix
State or Province: AZ
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-VIEW II
Photos: C-VIEW
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chula Vista Marina has some parking availability for boat trailers in their parking lot, but the spaces are tight. When I had a C-Dory 22 on a single axle trailer, I was able to man-handle the trailer into one of the spaces. I wouldn't have been able to do that with a tandem axle trailer. That said, last time I was there I saw a tandem axle boat trailer parked outside of the designated area taking up several parking spaces. When talking to the marina, make sure they understand the size of your trailer.

The marina at National City has some parking for boat trailers. There is a launch ramp next door. You might have to get a slip in the marina to get boat trailer parking.

It is a challenge to find boat trailer parking in San Diego as they want to make the parking areas at the ramps for day use only to avoid the homeless camping at night.

Tony
C-View II
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Cview



Joined: 07 Sep 2008
Posts: 59
City/Region: Phoenix
State or Province: AZ
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: C-VIEW II
Photos: C-VIEW
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chula Vista Marina has some parking availability for boat trailers in their parking lot, but the spaces are tight. When I had a C-Dory 22 on a single axle trailer, I was able to man-handle the trailer into one of the spaces. I wouldn't have been able to do that with a tandem axle trailer. That said, last time I was there I saw a tandem axle boat trailer parked outside of the designated area taking up several parking spaces. When talking to the marina, make sure they understand the size of your trailer.

The marina at National City has some parking for boat trailers. There is a launch ramp next door. You might have to get a slip in the marina to get boat trailer parking.

It is a challenge to find boat trailer parking in San Diego as they want to make the parking areas at the ramps for day use only to avoid the homeless camping at night.

Tony
C-View II
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rbfconstruction



Joined: 19 Sep 2017
Posts: 100
City/Region: huntington beach
State or Province: CA
Photos: Angler Management
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:14 pm    Post subject: launching in San Diegoc Reply with quote

Boris, thank you. So are you saying longer ropes and then a person can pull the boat over? sorry if I sound dumb here, my wife is not savvy with trailer backing and all yet.


Richard
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rbfconstruction



Joined: 19 Sep 2017
Posts: 100
City/Region: huntington beach
State or Province: CA
Photos: Angler Management
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:21 pm    Post subject: launching in San Diego Reply with quote

also, last time I left a number out, hit the goal post, and managed to put the boat sideways between the hitch and the post. Quite entertaining I am sure for spectators.


Richard
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journey on



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 3269
City/Region: Valley Centre
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: journey on
Photos: Journey On
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard,

Actually I sadl I was going to try longer ropes at the Shelter Island launch ramp. Haven't done that yet, but have seen several do it.

We find it a lot easier to launch next to a dock and walk the boat off the trailer. Since Judy doesn't back the trailer, once it's in the water, I have to climb on the boat and as I'm getting older, that's a bear.

The other ramps I mention have docks that one can use to launch the boat.

Boris
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 17207
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have only used the ramps at Shelter Island--and we almost always do the following technique at any ramp: We prep the boat for the water some distance from the ramp. I handle the truck and trailer, until we are on the ramps, lined up, and the water is not to the bow of the boat. At that point, I take the winch strap hook off the bow of the boat--and Loop a temporary line around the winch post, just in case. We have an 8' collapsable ladder, and I climb up to the boat, and board. Usually I remove the preventer line--but if it is a steep ramp, I take it back to the amidships cleat by the driver's window, so I can loosen it when I have started the engine.

Marie backs the boat down, and handles the truck and trailer from that point on. (She is capable of backing into the water and has done it a few times.) We communicate by various means from Cell phones to hand held VHF radio. But the best way--is to use a duplex system radio frequency system, such as "EarTech". These are just like a regular telephone, so you can both talk. Range is at least 500 feet, and communication is very clear. Not cheap at $385, but less expensive than marriage counseling! They have many other uses even on a boat as small as the C Dory, in docking, anchoring, locking etc--especially in noisy locations. For us they are essential for backing our boat trailer onto our gravel storage area, and getting our RV into its "slot" next to the house. We recharge batteries after each trip--but get at least 4 hours use out of a charge.



There are a number of duplex radio freq. and bluetooth freq which are considerably cheaper--and some which are more expensive. We have had good luck with the EarTech--as have many other boaters.

_________________
Bob Austin
Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki 2007 to present
Thataway TomCat 255 150 Suzukis June 2006 thru August 2011
C Pelican; 1992, 22 Cruiser, 2002 thru 2006
Frequent Sea; 2003 C D 25, 2007 thru 2009
KA6PKB
Home port: Pensacola FL
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journey on



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 3269
City/Region: Valley Centre
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: journey on
Photos: Journey On
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob,

Judy and I prefer to launch Journey On next to a dock, just because of the procedure you gave above. We find it's simple, easy and within both our capabilities. I back the boat into the water, Judy grabs the dock lines from the dock and finally I unwind the winch cable to let the boat off the trailer. Oh, and Judy checks the drain plug, which I have forgotten.

It takes us an hour to get the boat ready to launch. I don't know why and I'm jealous of the fishermen who get ready in 5 min.

Boris
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RobMcClain



Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 318
City/Region: Summerlin, NV
State or Province: NV
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 23 Venture
Vessel Name: Freedom
Photos: Freedom
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony, thanks for the tip about the boat trailer if we go to Chula Vista. Ours is a tandem axel with a long tongue so it definitely takes up a lot of space, ~30.

Im very intrigued with some of the places mentioned in this message string and thank folks for the info!! Looks like Ill be doing some added research and making a few phone calls. We hope to head down that way in early January.

As for our launching technique, Mary handles the lines and I handle the vehicle. Depending on the ramp (including our knowledge of it), docks, weather, and degree of activity, the lines we use are either 15 or 25 feet long, or a combination with the 15 on the stern and the 25 on the bow. These allow Mary complete flexibility in working with the boat and also when tying it off.

As Bob mentioned, we also have the EarTech headsets. We bought them after I had surgery on my larynx and had a minimal voice for many months. Its much better now but the headsets still provide for clear communication in many conditions, launching/retrieving just being one. I researched headsets prior to buying them and universally found EarTech to be the recommendation with no close second.

Rob
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