View Full Version : Del Valle and a wet boat upon arrival?

Zebco Kid
02-12-2009, 09:34 PM

I am planning on hitting Del Valle this weekend. Mother Nature is planning on joining me during my drive.

I have a cover for my boat, but the transom area and prop exhaust do get wet during rain.

Am I to understand that I will not be admitted to Del Valle under such circumstances? Can I bring a towel, and while I'm in line, simply wipe it down.

Are we fighting mussels or bureacracy?

Sage advice is appreciated, as I'd hate to waste the time, fuel, and enthusiasm.



The Reel Deal
02-12-2009, 09:57 PM
I have yet to fail an inspection, even when there was some water on the boat. here are some tips from my experiance.

bring some towels, pull over in the fist parking lot on the left on the way to the ramp. dry your boat there. lower your motor and make sure no water drips out. if any does, dry it then raiser and lower until no water drips from your motor. dry off your trailer too, they will check the trailer jack.

second, be super nice to the inspectors, those guys get treated like crap from a lot of the non regulars that visit the lake. talk to the guys, be freindly and it will go a long, long way. overall the inspectors are all nice guys that have a difficult job.

More tips straight from the east bay parks del valle web site(http://www.ebparks.org/node/852

"BOAT OWNERS--several boats fail inspection each day and unfortunately are not allowed to launch. The most common reason for failing is water in the outboard motor. DO NOT FLUSH YOUR MOTOR PRIOR TO VISITING THE PARK. Staff recommends allowing at least a five-day waiting period after flushing your motor to give it plenty of time to dry. Double check before leaving home that the motor is dry, many people are surprised that, when asked to lower their motor, water comes out. By contract, inspectors cannot pass these boats to launch. Water in live wells accounts for the second most-common reason for not passing inspection."

02-12-2009, 10:25 PM
I am in the same boat! No pun intended. I had to break my band last week to go sturgeon fishing and will be heading out sat morn to get boat inspected and hopefully do some fishing. I will second what reel deal said. These guys get hammered by people. A little kindness can go along ways. Even if you fail the inspection be courteous, as you will surely run into the same inspector again.I think as long as you make the effort to get your boat dry, they will make the effort to get you on the lake. Lets just hope the weather man is wrong.

02-12-2009, 11:16 PM
If you are absolutely sure your motor is dry and will not drip out water, put a garbage bag over the lower end that way no water gets inside during the ride up there. Seems that the big areas are the motor and live wells from what I am gathering from all the reading. Have to admit that I've not gone through a DV inspection as of yet.

Zebco Kid
02-13-2009, 06:22 AM
I've been to Del Valle one time under dry conditions. The inspector told me then that even if there was water in the storage hold handles (from washing down), they'd prevent entry. Bring a few towels, and make sure the boat is dry like a desert.


02-13-2009, 06:42 AM
I will see everyone in the morning. I will have Striper Steve and his daughter with me tomorrow. I hope the lake doesn't get blown out with all the rain.


02-13-2009, 07:33 AM
I'll be there tomorrow on my yak. It seems pretty ridiculous that I can show up with my yak car topped in the rain and they don't give me any grief for it being wet on the outside, but a boat being towed catches hell if they are wet from the rain. I'm not complaining ::) but it doesn't seem to make any sense.

02-13-2009, 07:54 AM
I concur in what has been said thus far...very good advice. *Also, be wary of a wet anchor rope and condensation drops in the storage compartment where the rope is housed. *

I agree being nice can be very helpful but if your boat is borderline, I'd wait until you're the only patron at the inspection station when being nice can pay dividends. *If there are other prospective boat launchers present to witness even the smallest amount of water detected on your vessel, the inspector will be compelled to comply with the letter of the law...i.e., see ya! *Remember, the inspector has bills to pay, too and prefers not to join the growing ranks of the unemployed. * *

As for DG's original question, "Are we fighting mussels or bureaucracy," I'm inclined to go with the latter. *Case in point: *Santa Clara County has closed some of their lakes to boats two or three days a week citing lack of funds to pay boat inspectors. *I'm fearful this temporary infringement may become permanent as bureaucrats seek to cut costs wherever they can in this scary economic environment, with or without real mussel contamination concerns. *County budgeters and politicians seeking to justify their jobs will win this battle over anglers by using their "muscle" to reduce our opportunity to fish county-managed waters, raising the price to do so whenever they can. * Such inertia will be difficult to stop and reverse. ** *

02-13-2009, 02:41 PM
and... they will ask you to remove you're drain plug, so don't, as I did last weekend, forget to put it back in. Getting on the water is an easy distraction. Thank goodness I noticed it before I went to park my truck or it would have been game over!

Good luck out there guys. ;D
Old School

02-13-2009, 04:20 PM
*Pull plug and drop outdrive/ lower unit before to drain before you leave your house
*Garbage bag with rubber band over your prop
*Pull off the road on an inclne to let water drain
*Dry bilge as much as you can

Thats it. Dont make it harder then you need to.

The Reel Deal
02-13-2009, 05:29 PM
I did have some condensation on the inside of my storage lids last time i was inspected. they asked if I had a towel and i did so he asked if I could wipe it off. He passed me but said that a lot of inspectors will fail you for that.

wet ropes and lifejacket will also get you in trouble.