2099 GRAND STREET, ALAMEDA, CA 94501 | PHONE: (510) 865-1200 | FAX: (510) 865-1240

Email: Marina@grandmarina.com | Latitude 37 46.73 North-Longitude 122 15.13 West

March 2023 Newsletter

Water and Oil Don’t Mix

There are many options for dealing with contaminated oil or dirty bilges. If you need to clean out your bilge, it can be as simple as using oil absorbent pads (but these must also be disposed of properly). Call 1-800-CLEANUP (253-2687) for more information on oily water and pad disposal. Or go to www.coastal.ca.gov and check out where there are bilge pump out facilities, to pump oil or oily water from your bilge. But remember… never use a sewage pump out for bilge waste! If you prefer not to do-it-yourself, there are several local business that will come directly to your boat, to clean you bilge, pump it out, or change your oil. Call us in the office, and we can give you a listing of these local services.

Keep Your Keys to Yourself

We would like to ask that our boaters not loan gate keys out to people working on their boats. This is for your safety and the safety of your fellow berthers. The Harbor Office is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday thru Saturday. Boat workers should obtain dock keys directly from the office.

Gray Water

We recently had tenants asking questions regarding our policy on gray water. While Grand Marina does not have specific rules regarding grey water, here are some marina best practices on this topic:

 Soaps from boat sinks, showers, laundry and dishwashers are more harmful than those at home because they do not get treated in a sanitary sewer system when discharged from your boat.
Do as much washing at shore-side facilities as possible.
 Choose phosphate-free, biodegradable soaps and detergents.
 Use more “elbow grease” and as little cleaning product as possible.
 Rinse and scrub your boat with fresh water after each trip.
 Use canvas boat covers to keep your boat clean between trips, and reduce the amount of cleaning you need to do.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

If you’re looking for a late winter/early spring project, you couldn’t find one more worthwhile than inspecting your engine’s manifolds and risers. Manifolds lead a tough life, enduring hot gas, corrosive acids, seawater and vibration, followed by days and even weeks and months of idleness. This leads to rust and corrosion eating away at the metal and clogging water passages.
Ignore your manifold and risers long enough, and the engine could burn up and/or water could find its way into the cylinders. Both conditions are usually terminal and are not covered by insurance. So save yourself from going out of your mind, do a regular engine inspection.

Water Hoses

Every year many boats throughout the U.S. sink in their slips. The causes can usually be traced to one of two, or both, occurrences. Failure of the bilge pump(s) is the most obvious to most of us. Check your bilge pumps regularly and replace when necessary. The less obvious reason is failure of the on-board water system at one of its weak points while dockside water is attached to the vessel. The pressure in all municipal water systems fluctuates throughout the day and night. Usually, the pressure will be 40 psi or less during the day, but can spike to as much as 70 or 80 psi at night. This spike can happen suddenly and if you have the dockside water hooked up permanently and have a weak hose under the sink, or a weak o-ring or gasket in a faucet, you will eventually have a failure (usually when you’re not there). The subsequent flood of water can easily overwhelm the vessel’s discharge system if it’s already in bad shape. The occurrence is not as uncommon as one might think. Be sure to check your hoses often check for cracks and leaks. Make sure the fittings are not fused and that they can come off easily.