View Full Version : Need advice: Taking your boat out the Golden Gate

10-04-2005, 04:51 PM
OK. I think I might want to take my 17' Montauk out the Golden Gate for the first time and go for salmon. It's a given that I want to go on a "nice day", but what should I expect taking a small boat through the GG? What do I do as to tides; do I time my departure/return around them? I've been out on the ocean a dozen times but never the GG.

Any/All advice appreciated.

10-04-2005, 05:22 PM
Going out is usually no problem, I stay to the right next to (not to close) to the shore. It will get bumpy through the "potato patch" but usually it flatens out passed that to just rolling waves. Coming in with the tide with a wind blowing west can really chop up the water, do the same, hug the shore line and get inside the bay all the way before heading accross it. Where will you be launching? Richmond? Berkeley? or Alameda?

10-04-2005, 08:15 PM
just be careful of a big outgoing tide with big swells. ;)

10-04-2005, 08:26 PM
I have a 17' montouk as well. I agree that you should watch the big out going tides. I've been through some pretty tough slop and the only problem was my stomach and nerves. Stick to the right and you'll be fine. remember there is a shallow rock, sometimes visible sometimes not right inside point bonita. About 20 yards off the main rock. Southerly wind and you will most likely see the worst Pt Bonita has to offer. There are a lot of commercial guys out there who fish a 17' montouk. Have fun and stick some fish!

10-05-2005, 09:14 AM
Ilve been out on a Montauk, several times. Definitely, take a GPS, a handheld works fine. Also, at least look at a chart and get real familiar with the bouys and know your colors and what they mean. The north channel is confusing if you don't know what is going on.

If you hit a big, out going, tide coming in, you could be in for more excitement than you want so plan your trip. Also, when the fog comes rolling in, it goes into the bay first, before it rolls in just a little ways north.

Also be sure the bilge pump in your Montauk is working good and be certain your boat doesn't have leaves and junk that will clog it. We have had some chop wash the bow and put some water in the boat. In fact, I think the Montauk bilge is too small, a second bilge is really a good idea for two reasons:

1) First it pumps more water.
2) It will be more accessable when it gets debris plugging it.

I think it would be a good idea to limit your passengers also. If you have a kicker and a four stroke motor over 70 horse your transom sets a mite low. With about 600 lbs of passengers we always seem to take a little water over the transom on slightly sloppy days. You can mitagate this by putting one up front and one next to you, but the ride up front is like jumping on a trampoline, so no bad backs.

If you haven't been out in the ocean running a boat, then I would start at Bodega, a way friendlier way to get in and out of the ocean. If you have never done Goldengate, even a nice day can give you the willeys.

10-05-2005, 12:12 PM
And don't forget that coming back in across the Bay in the afternoon is often the worst if the winds come up. I have fought 4 foot wind waves coming back to Berkeley, as well as dodging the sailboats that have the right-of-way over motor boats.

I would not go out without a good GPS, fixed VHF, and all the safety gear. I ended up adding radar so I can dodge the ships in the fog.

Don't be afraid to turn around if it looks like more than you can handle.

10-05-2005, 12:26 PM
All good advice ....

10-05-2005, 01:01 PM
Thanks very much to all. You've given me exactly the info I was seeking. I have a nice chartplotter GPS which I used in bad fog, and also new hand held VHF which I will thether to the console. Previous times in the ocean I have had some water come in over the transom, but the bilge pump has handled it. I've watched private boats stick to the North side, and since I plan to launch out of Sausalito, I won't have to negotiate across the main bay. I'll probably be out by myself.

Here's another question for you: Should I get a ~6 foot sailor's thether for myself, which can attach to the harness on my PDF, and use it when the water is difficult? Also how to attach it to the Montauk properly is not obvious to me.

Any thoughts?

10-06-2005, 11:22 AM

Read this:


10-06-2005, 08:26 PM
14 blast,
I was unable to open properly the link you sent. It opens in a language I can't decipher. Could you try again or maybe past the text into message here? Thanks.--VS

10-07-2005, 05:04 PM
Try it again...it just worked for me.

10-07-2005, 06:27 PM
14 blast,
I was unable to open properly the link you sent. *It opens in a language I can't decipher. *Could you try again or maybe past the text into message here? *Thanks.--VS

they changed the sever the last couple of days and
its been off line... it should work now...10/7

10-07-2005, 07:02 PM
Go with someone else who has knowledge of the area or buddy boat,thats my 2 cents

10-07-2005, 11:25 PM
Been there,.. All people should go out in planned buddy trips. There is always someone going out to the same spot. Then when your comfortable to break off. Winds and short wave intervals can really be a task taught by locals. Every place has it's up's and downs. I fished a canoe in Mendo. The time in and out were a simple task... But some just seem to get caught. Good times in the ocean are easy if you know the trick. -=Cy

10-08-2005, 01:16 AM
hopefully, you'll be in line following the fleet out to dux and following them back in. please don't stay out until it's blowing stink - no matter what the tide, you don't want to get breached from behind by that tidal ooze near bonita on your way home. always glad to hear another fool out there on a 17' whaler. tight lines man.

10-12-2005, 09:27 AM
I would always recommend that someone who has never been out before on their own, take a trip out with someone who has had experience and could actually point out some of the difficult navigational points to you, as well as showing you the areas that everyone is talking about. Often what we read and what we actually experience are two completely different things. It is also recommend to have a "kicker" motor and a full set of electronics (GPS and Sonar, because the conditions can change very quickly out there (ie the fog and wind). Just take as many precautions and learn as much as you can, not just from what you read but hopefully from what you can experience with someone who has done made the trek many times.

10-13-2005, 12:34 PM
Thanks everyone. Will definitely do first trip with someone who knows the GG.

10-13-2005, 10:12 PM
If you go on a friday, saturday or sunday, you will have plenty of company out there. Most of those guys will help you out if your in trouble. Follow the Nike theme and Just do it. Bang fish and take notes. ;D