Day Chartering.The most popular day chartering activity is sailing north to the San Mateo Bridge and back. This can generally be done in 4 hours or less even in the small boats. For short sails, charterers can get half-day charter rates on weekdays. Half day charters start officially at 2:00 p.
m. but there is a one-hour grace period for earlier check in if the boat is not being used in the morning. It's okay to sail north beyond the San Mateo Bridge but it's not advisable to go south. The channel in the south approaching the Dumbarton Bridge gets narrow, is not marked and the sides are steep. Additionally, it's usually a beat to get back to the Redwood City area and there is little traffic so assistance may be hard to obtain should it become necessary.The area between Redwood City and the San Mateo Bridge is a great day sailing area.
The wind comes up almost every afternoon from early spring to mid fall. The wind chop isn't excessive except perhaps mid channel when there is an ebbing current opposing the strong northwesterly wind. The water is deep enough for sailing at least a mile wide at the Redwood City Channel entrance and gets wider approaching the San Mateo Bridge. It doesn't get too shallow until a couple hundred yards from the bridge causeway.
In the winter, light wind can be expected most of the time when there are no storms. During winter storms, the wind builds from the south and shifts to the northwest as each cold front passes. After the front, there is often a period of good northwest wind and clear sky with puffy white cumulous clouds. This can last a day or so unless another storm is following close behind the previous one.When conditions get too rough on the Bay, there's usually good sailing in Redwood City Channel. The minimum width is 300 feet and there are two turning basins wide enough to allow the largest ships to turn around.
The wind generally blows across the channel from the marshes west of the channel. This makes for nice reaching up and down the channel with in the strong breeze yet smooth water..Bob has been head instructor for Spinnaker Sailing in Redwood City since 1984.For more information please visit our website at http://www.spinnakersailing.
By: Bob Diamond