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California Storms Take Their Toll and Keep Coming

On Wednesday, we reported on the New Year’s Eve storm that wreaked havoc across California. As another string of storms is approaching we’re sharing a couple more photos of two boats that didn’t fare well. It’s always a reminder to do whatever you can to secure your boat during the winter weather. Extra dock lines, extra fenders, removing your roller-furling jib or at least rolling it tight and wrapping a spinnaker halyard around it, making sure your bilge pump is clear and working, and generally battening down the hatches.

After last weekend’s storms, all looked bright and beautiful at South Beach Marina. However, frequent Sailagram contributor Kerry of the sailing yacht Cetacea sent in the photo below of a sunken boat at the docks at South Beach. He reports it wasn’t a storm that sank the boat but a bilge pump. How? The pump was pumping out the boat and, after exhausting the battery, it reversed flow and siphoned the water back into the boat, eventually sinking it at the dock. As Kerry said, “Sometimes safety equipment actually causes the emergency.”

Sunken boat
It was a sunny day on Monday to clean up after weekend storms.
© 2023 Kerry

At Antioch Marina, an Ericson 34 ironically named Outatime also sank at the docks. The cause is currently unknown, but yet again is a reminder to do all you can to secure your boat and check to make sure all systems are working ahead of the upcoming storms. It’s also a good reason to stay connected to your friendly dock neighbors or marina liveaboards, who are sometimes able to help remote owners who can’t get to their boats!

Ericson 34 Outatime Antioch
Time was up for the Ericson 34 Outatime, which sank right outside the office of Twin Rivers Marine Insurance in Antioch.
© 2023 Chris Seifert

We know people have suffered losses, but hopefully this photo sent by KKMI can add a little humor to the situation.

California storm
When there’s just too much water… Edgar Hernandez made good use of buckets in KKMI’s Sausalito yard.
© 2023 Paul Kaplan

Travis Marina, near the Golden Gate Bridge, held up well enough that the sailboats all came though unscathed, but the outriggers stored on the beach didn’t fare so well.

outriggers on beach after storm
The outriggers have been stored on the beach for many years. “I have never seen so much chaos on our site!” said the club’s president.
© 2023
Oakland Anchor Outs
The illegal anchor-outs that raft just south of Coast Guard Island in the unpatrolled Oakland estuary came adrift, ironically running up against the bridge to those who you would think are responsible for both enforcing the laws and rescuing the victims.
© 2023 Brock de Lappe

Elsewhere in California, the storm whipped up the ocean and sent enormous waves barreling onto the shore.

We heard reports of waves along the coastal areas reaching heights of 50 feet.
© 2023 @saltynat

The weather app posted this clip on its Facebook page.

The upcoming week looks full of more threatening storms. We hope everyone gets through unscathed. For more preparation advice, you can read the story in our January 2021 edition by Mary SwiftSwan of Afterguard Sailing Academy about lessons learned from the October 2021 storm that destroyed one of their boats on the shores of Brooks Island. You can also listen to the story in a recent edition of Good Jibes.


  1. milly Biller 11 months ago

    Bolt your socks on ! More tomorrow and next week. Stay safe and look after your boat !
    It always amazes me how many people- with all the great websites available- are still weather ignorant.

  2. Bruce 11 months ago

    Not that it matters, but I kinda doubt “Outatime” is an Ericson-34. Looks like a single-spreader rig and all the 34s were double-spreader. Probably an older/smaller model. Maybe an Ericson-29?

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The Question Is…
The first weekend of the month is the busiest for midwinters on San Francisco Bay, but some clubs are canceling tomorrow's races.