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Galveston Sailing?

A6C5O7

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Oct 8, 2020
18
West Wight Potter 19 Trailer Sailor
Looking for anyones experiences on sailing the Houston area. Places of interest or anywhere to steer clear of. I know its not the most glamorous place to go but its the only thing Ive got right now.

Thank you for any help you may provide!
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,907
Hunter 26 Charleston
I've never been but I've had some cousins cruise out that way. They said you need to have a chart showing all of the oil rigs if you want to feel safe when a fog comes in.
 
Jan 22, 2008
757
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Do you have your own boat? Are looking for opportunities to crew or charter? What size range? There’s Galveston Bay and Clear Lake, not the most scenic venues, but there is a very large and active sailing community. GBay Sailing
 

A6C5O7

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Oct 8, 2020
18
West Wight Potter 19 Trailer Sailor
Yes I have my own trailer sailor. West Wight Potter 19.

Thank you!
 
Jan 22, 2008
757
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Yes I have my own trailer sailor. West Wight Potter 19.

Thank you!
There are several yards on Clear Lake that will store your boat on the trailer and you call and it will be in the water and ready when you get there. Or, several public boat ramps on the lake. But, the lake can get crowded, real crowded, there are probably ten thousand boats moored, docked, or stored on or near Clear Lake. But it is just a few minutes to get to the bay.
Road traffic is almost always a pain, though and every bridge, freeway, and major intersection is always under construction in the area.
To the north there is also Lake Houston, Lake Conroe, and a little bit further to Lake Livingston. No idea what the sailing is like those lakes.
 

A6C5O7

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Oct 8, 2020
18
West Wight Potter 19 Trailer Sailor
Bill,
Thank you for your response. I'm much more interested in sailing in the bay. Besides steering clear of the channels are there any areas that you wouldn't sail in or any areas you find interesting. We'll be heading down next month for the holiday break.

Thank you!
 
Mar 20, 2011
587
Hunter 31_83-87 New Orleans
There a couple of boat launches on clear lake but you need to check for availability because of road construction on Hwy 146 closed those under the Hwy bridge. From clear lake you can sail into the bay past the kemah boardwalk (Bill’s marina). Can also get a temp slip for ovetnighting with good amenities if you so choose. Once into the bay with your shallow draft check the charts and head to redfish island ( a man made breakfront area off the ship channel when heading south towards Galveston. Clear lake to Galveston is about 25 miles so do the math on arrival to Galveston If by boat with your speed. Once in Galveston you can get a slip at Galveston Yacht Basin marina or head to Offats Bayou. This is a good place to go (anchor out or get a slip at Moody Gardens).

When in the bay stay outside the ship channel to avoid commercial traffic. Plenty of water just outside the channel. Predominant wind is S-SE 10-15 unless there’s a cold front pushing thru and it will get sloppy and move water out of the bay and drop the depths. Average depth of the bay for sailing is about 10’. You might want to stay on the west side of the Houston ship channel. East side towards Galveston has several unlit well heads, oyster reefs and other obstructions. Have fun. I enjoyed my sailing time on the bay.
 

WayneH

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Jan 22, 2008
854
Tartan 37 Pensacola Shipyard, FL
We launched our 21' a few times at the Topwater Grill in San Leon. We would launch on Friday and spend the weekend sailing the bay area, come back on Sunday, load the boat up and then go eat at the grill. Covid probably means you can't eat in there these days. With the normal southeast winds, you get fairly protected water out to the Texas City Dike. The east end of the dike is a convergence of three shipping lanes. The Houston Ship Channel, the Texas City Ship Channel and the ICW cutting across the other two. Busy area where you need to keep your head on a swivel.
 

A6C5O7

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Oct 8, 2020
18
West Wight Potter 19 Trailer Sailor
Wayne,

Do you know if you're able to dock at the Seawolf park?
 

HMT2

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Mar 20, 2014
881
Hunter 31 828 Shoreacres, TX
Bill and JMCE1587 are giving you great local info. I am in the area too. It wpoudl be helpful to know where you are coming from with your boat. Then we can give you some good info. The Galveston Bay complex is BIG.
 

A6C5O7

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Oct 8, 2020
18
West Wight Potter 19 Trailer Sailor
Thank you very much everyone!

My in-laws are located in downtown Houston so not too far away. I've only sailed east Metagorda bay before.
 

HMT2

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Mar 20, 2014
881
Hunter 31 828 Shoreacres, TX
Coming from downtown upper Galveston Bay is very convenient, I sail out of the Houston Yacht Club, the area is not very crowded and plenty of water under the keel. There’s a fair amount of commercial traffic going through the ship channel and the Bayport Channel but very easy to stay clear of.
 
Jan 22, 2008
757
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Mike is right, commercial traffic around here is pretty easy to stay clear of and the bay complex is BIG. It's completely different sailing around Galveston Island than in Upper Galveston Bay. I spend almost all my sailing time on the club race courses in the upper bay. With your draft, there's probably not many places on the bay you can't go and lots of coves and bayous you can get into. Chart plotter or a good phone app is needed to avoid all the submerged obstacles, there's a lot of them. Biggest hazard for you though, IMO, powerboaters who do not pay attention to their course and wakes.
 
  • Like
Likes: HMT2
Mar 20, 2011
587
Hunter 31_83-87 New Orleans
Wayne,

Do you know if you're able to dock at the Seawolf park?
have never seen any pleasure craft tied up there. Last time I was down that way I believe it was closed fo renovations.
 

WayneH

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Jan 22, 2008
854
Tartan 37 Pensacola Shipyard, FL
Wayne,

Do you know if you're able to dock at the Seawolf park?
That is not a dock you see on the satellite view. It's a fishing pier. All the shoreline is riprap concrete due to the constant ship wakes. You cold possibly run ashore on the west side but I wouldn't bring my daysailer aground there.
 
Jul 26, 2020
11
Dehler 25 25 Kemah TX
Destinations:
Note: use a chartplotter or navionics on a tablet. Galveston Bay is shallow and full of old oil and gas equipment.

Job Beason Marina - Slips are cheap not much to do but they have a few places to eat and you can grill at the marina.

Red Fish Island - Good protection as long as the wind is not out of the west. A small shell beach makes a great place to come ashore and start a fire.

Bayland Marina - Not much more than a marina but they have fuel and some food.

Houston Yacht Club - You can anchor NW of the club. Not much to do there though.

Moody Gardens - On offatf's bayou. The deepest water I have anchored in.

Nassau Bay - Great protected bay in Clear Lake. No better place to anchor in bad weather.

There is many more and with a Potter you really don't have a limit.

JJ
 

A6C5O7

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Oct 8, 2020
18
West Wight Potter 19 Trailer Sailor
Trip update!
My wife and and some of her family went out 3 separate times. Two days we set in at the public boat ramp on the north side of Tiki island and the last day was at the pay for boat ramp and the bait shack just on the other end of the causeway. Please do not that both places do have overhead power lines that are around the 20 ft mark but at the bait shack you just have to avoid it as it crosses diagonally but the titki island one crosses right iver the dock making it impossible to rig and then put in but the dock is long enough it's not a total cluster if you do decide to stand up the mast on the water.
We motored the first day and a couple days later we were able to out up a reefed main and head to moody gardens. I had thought sailing through the ICW with the barges would be worse but communication was easy and very polite.
On the third time out at the bait shack we headed east to circumnavigate pelican Island and have lunch at a restaurant on the Waterfront. It was amazing despite a radio failure but luckily the bridges land line numbers are easy to find and everything went smoothly. If you do decide to head out of the bait shack there are alot of unmarked pilings left over about 100 feet west of the causeway. Once finding those (luckily just visually) we stayed closer to the shallows about 200 yards from the bridge.
Overall it was a great few trips and will definitely do again in by the future. Also I love having a 12" draft, lol
 
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Likes: Bill19233
Jul 9, 2013
24
West Wight Potter 19 Backyard
Looking for anyones experiences on sailing the Houston area. Places of interest or anywhere to steer clear of. I know its not the most glamorous place to go but its the only thing Ive got right now.

Thank you for any help you may provide!
My favorite trip for Galveston. Is to put in Offats bayou and sail around behind the dike anchor overnight. Then sail to clear lake.
Two long days are taken put in at Offats bayou or the Texas city dike Sail south through west bay. Drop the mast and motor beneath The bridge over San Luis pass pull up on the north shore to raise the mast. Be sure all you lines are correct and your motor is on tight then motor out through the surf about half a mile and sail east along the Galveston beach. Watch for the platform off the beach near town. In your Potter this will take from ten to 12 hours.

Fair winds
Tom bodine
 

A6C5O7

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Oct 8, 2020
18
West Wight Potter 19 Trailer Sailor
Good evening!

Planning on heading out this Friday. How are you guys feeling about the weather? Scattered T-storms and light winds. Not sure if that's good or bad, lol.