A Mega Marina for Mega Yachts

One of the big questions hanging over the proposed marina is why so big?  Well, now we know.

Save Clipper Cove just completed a review of the architectural drawings submitted by the developers that revealed a mega-marina designed for mega-yachts.  Under the developer’s proposal, 372 slips would be built with an average slip size of 54’ and two finger docks per slip.[i] These are boats that start at $500,000 new and run-up to several million dollars.

The marina would also provide docking for mega-yachts up to 175’ in length.[ii]  In contrast, South Beach Marina, a modern marina located adjacent to AT&T ballpark in San Francisco, has an average slip size of 36’ and only one finger dock per boat.  

Not surprisingly, the footprint of proposed marina is startlingly large.  Despite being the largest protected open-water cove in San Francisco (several times the size of McCovey Cove next to AT&T ballpark), most of Clipper Cove would be closed off and given over to the new marina.  Public access would be severely restricted. The scale of the marina design is such that it would essentially close of most of the Cove to small boating.



The proposed conversion of Clipper Cove to a privately owned, mega-marina would sacrifice a Bay Area recreational and educational treasure.  While the Bay Area may need more marina facilities, this particular plan is not appropriate.

Worse, the local demand for a mega-marina in particular is far from clear. The U.S. has witnessed an 85% decline in sailboat sales since 1985[iii] and California has witnessed a 22% decline in sailboat registrations over the past 10 years.[iv]  Yet, sailing participation in the U.S. has grown 15.6% since 2006, largely due to community sailing centers such as the Treasure Island Sailing Center and Cal Sailing as well as share programs such as OCSC in Berkeley and Club Nautique.[v] Increasingly, boaters are choosing “rent and share” over “purchase and park.”

Given the inappropriate design and footprint of the proposed marina, Save Clipper Cove today submitted the results of the architectural review and urged the TIDA Board of Directors to reconsider their support for this proposal.

[i]TREASURE ISLAND MARINA DEVELOPMENT,” presentation to Treasure Island Development Authority Board of Commissioners, Treasure Island Enterprises, LLC, Treasure Island Development Authority, August 12, 2015, Page 9, Dock Layout.

 It should be noted that the developers have offered several variants of their proposal, each differing slightly in length, width and/or dock arrangement.  However, the scale and size of the marina footprint is essentially the same in each.  See the layout cited above and see the loan application filed with the California Department of Parks and Recreation calling for 420 slips with an average 50' length.

 [ii] “Treasure Island Marina to Expand?” August 2015, Latitude 38, page 70.  See also the dock lay outs in developer presentations cited above.

 [iii] Annual Business Review, The Sailing Company, data through 2013.

 [iv] California Department of Boating and Waterways, 2015 data.

 [v] US Sailing.


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