ON SPRECKELS LAKE: Power Runs, Events, Sail & the SFMYC (kinda, sorta, maybe)! - Page 144 - RC Groups
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Dec 17, 2012, 05:09 PM
Age quod agis
SD RC Boater's Avatar
What a shame that the reckless behavior of a few people unwilling to follow the speed rules set forth for safety have essentially ruined the beauty of the lake with the placement of all of those unsightly buoys.
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Dec 17, 2012, 09:11 PM
Registered User

The buoys suck.

If the buoys work, good. That said, they suck.
Last edited by wyldrydes2; Dec 18, 2012 at 07:51 PM.
Dec 17, 2012, 11:29 PM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Happy Holidays to all
Last edited by craig_c; Dec 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM.
Dec 18, 2012, 12:04 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Originally Posted by sport 40 II
The lake should have been enjoyed by all. Not just members (sail boats) of the club, but the residents of the bay area.
Quite correct Sport, and I am in full and absolute support of that position....

------------------- HOWEVER -------------------
(And speaking as a private user of the Lake,
Not a Club member...

1) The Lake, is a model yacht (as in all types of lawful model watercraft) facility, not just go-fasties!!

2) People who regularly use the Lake, it's stakeholders if you will, generally are respectful toward each other and their activities, staying out of each other’s way and respecting the City laws (Rec. and Parks Code) and are, in the main, generally respectful of SFMYC rules as well even though those Club rules do not bind the Irregulars and other members of the public. Amongst the regular users on the Lake, cooperation generally reigns supreme.

3) The LAW (not Club rules) on the Lake, for the past 22 years has been
  • 15 MPH for gas & nitro - no exceptions
  • 60 decibels at full throttle at 50 feet - no exceptions
  • fine for each violation $100
I will also point out (again), that when these Rec and Park rules were mandated, no one was given a choice. The Club was told you either follow the LAW or there will be no model boats on Spreckels Lake, period.

This was also the Rec & Park Commission Resolution that set aside by mandate the Gas-Free protected area.
4) A minority within the performance powered model boating community have chosen, for the past 22 years, to flagrantly and selfishly flout the rules and disobey the LAW concerning both speed and noise upon the Lake by running at speeds sometimes in excess of 60 miles per hour on a Lake where it is clearly unsafe to do so with a heavy gasoline or nitro powered boat because of the edge design of the Lake and the proximity of the pedestrian walkway encircling it. They have also chosen to run with tuned pipes without mufflers, sometimes exceeding 100 decibels. Yes, I have a decibel app on my iPhone and I do take measurements. Just because they have gotten away with it so far, does not make it right. (And yes, R&P has noticed)

5) Because of this disregard for keeping speeds within a safe range for the Lake, there have been accidents involving serious injuries, lengthy hospital stays and, oh yes, the lawyers do get involved. The 1990 Law/signage, I am told, was partially in response to one of these accidents.

The neighbors and members of the general public enjoying the Park also complain about the noise on the Lake, not as much as they used to, but it still happens and the Club has to respond if the complaint gets made through official channels. We, not the boaters with the loud boats, are the ones who have had catch the flak in the past.

6) There has been a recent run of accidents on the Lake, all related to people exceeding their performance envelope; pilot error; going much to fast with both gas and electric watercraft beyond their ability to maintain safe and effective control.

Because of the accidents, a number of people with scale power boats as well as sail have openly quit using the Lake because they have become afraid of having their boats damaged or sunk, or being physically hurt in an accident where a boat jumps the Lakeside and hits them.

In other words, irresponsible use of fast, performance watercraft, legally or illegally, of whatever power source, is driving other users of the Lake away and ruining the experience of the Lake and the Park for members of the public as well as other model boaters and SFMYC members.

Behavior such as that is not "sharing the Lake," it is ruining the Lake for everyone.

Do not try to put "ruining the Lake" on the SFMYC, we are trying to make the best of a bad situation as are most of the regular users and stake holders of the Lake.

Originally Posted by sport 40 II
I may stop by sometime soon just to see all the buoys in person and hand out fliers to those that would like to join Fremont District 9.
Please do- I don't want to spoil anyone's fun but gas powered, high performance speed boats on Spreckels Lake operate most of the time in violation of City law in addition to creating an unsafe environment that threatens not only the skippers of the boats but the pedestrians and children who gather to watch the boats as well. We all know that high performance boats would be better off running over at Fremont's Kaiser Cove where they cannot jump out of the lake and strike a bystander.

Oh, and a little piece of history for you, the SFMYC is/was a NAMBA charter club, we were there at the start.
Last edited by craig_c; Jan 27, 2013 at 08:48 PM.
Dec 18, 2012, 12:30 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Originally Posted by wyldrydes2
cheap-fast-electrics (CFE)
Oh, please! Lakeside Saturday Night Specials now?

First off, I am not worried about cheap RTR "fast electric" boats in the sub-$150 class as they do not go very fast anyway, I can out-walk most and I'm not in very good shape anymore as you well know! Most do not even have rudders but steer by mixing their screw speeds.

No, if you are going to worry about electric go-fastie RTRs, you need to look at the $249 to $600-plus category and that is a whole different kettle of fish. I don't think that many people these days would consider $300 boats cheap by any means. IIRC, the boat that holed the Santa Barbara sold for $349-plus shipping.

Accuracy, this is not an election commercial.

On the flip side, we are going to have to come to terms with the new world we find ourselves in. The old line hobby of boat model builders is shrinking and, some say, dying and is being replaced by the gas and electric RTRs, which are almost exclusively go-fasties capable of at least 20 to 30 or more miles-per-hour. We, Club members and Irregulars alike, are going to have to do our best to educate these folks in how to safely run a fast speed boat, in the safety rules, how to charge their LiPo batteries so not to burn down the house and yes, in some cases, explain why they would be much better off driving a couple of hours over the Fremont and Kaiser Cove.

It is going to be very challenging to say the least. There are going to be a lot more go-fasties and faster ones too in our futures. We best start thinking about that now and making plans to get along with them as well as bringing them into our community of modelers.
Last edited by craig_c; Dec 18, 2012 at 02:56 AM.
Dec 18, 2012, 12:40 AM
Registered User
Oh, fudge...
Dec 18, 2012, 12:49 AM
gpzy's Avatar
Originally Posted by Aerominded
Oh, fudge...
Good thing there are no fisherman to contend with !
Dec 18, 2012, 12:49 AM
Todd Fleury
sport 40 II's Avatar
We have talked a few times before, and I do agree with you that gas boats have gone way beyond what the lake was intended. I do race electrics, and I still believe that even electrics are beyond what is capable for the pond. But my concern is that the club has now taken away the beauty of the pond because of a few bad apples. There needs to be a better way to police the lake without blowing a whistle or something else. I would like to see more race at Fremont, but I don't want to push people.
Dec 18, 2012, 01:07 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Originally Posted by Rssailor
To many bouys detract from the look of the lake. A bit more enforcement couldn't hurt.
The buoys, when you are at the Lake do not look that bad. Yes, they are a bit of an intrusion - think how I feel, I had a pristine background for all my photos,now I won't be able to shoot around the buoys and make the boats "look real." I'll take the buoys though if it keeps one person or child from catching a face full of high speed screw.

As for enforcement - the Horse Patroller I spoke with said they would help as they can if we give them a call and they are not tied up on another or higher priority call. We cannot expect a SFPD horse officer or a Park ranger to sit out at the Lake and just watch like a lifeguard which is, in a way, what would have to happen for at least a few hours each weekend day every weekend. There just isn't the budget for it. Wish there were
Last edited by craig_c; Dec 18, 2012 at 01:47 AM.
Dec 18, 2012, 01:08 AM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
I would like to see more race at Fremont, but I don't want to push people.
Then don't push, Invite them.
Plan a day at Fremont, and make sure everyone you meet that runs a go fast is invited.
Dec 18, 2012, 01:08 AM
Pond Sailer's Avatar
tis the season for fudge, just don't eat to much. I stopped by to see pictures of the night of lights outing. I was not sure I was on the correct forum for a bit. sorry to read the old story about using the lake popped up again. no fun in all that stuff. hope you had a good turn out. I was at a xmas party but thought of you all. I saw the few picks posted and from that I could see that the true Christmas feelings must have been shared. maybe a few more folks could put up a pic or two to share with us here at home. you all have a merry Christmas and a happy new year and I will see many of you then. 2012 had a few challenges especially with the sad news on the east coast. that was so sad. may 2013 be a better year. god bless you all.

Dec 18, 2012, 01:27 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Originally Posted by sport 40 II
<clip>....my concern is that the club has now taken away the beauty of the pond because of a few bad apples. There needs to be a better way to police the lake without blowing a whistle or something else. I would like to see more race at Fremont, but I don't want to push people.
Todd -

I built most of the buoys and I wish it didn't have to be so, but given the alternatives which are an inevitable injury accident which will happen sooner or later as they have in the past; model power boats being kicked off the Lake completely as many of the Irregulars and Club members rightly or wrongly fear or other consequences, I'll take the little visual disruption that comes with the buoys even if it screws up my photographs. Conversely, I have had three sets of parents say they appreciated the cordoned off area for their kids' first boat experience.

The pond is still one of the nicest model ponds of the semi-naturalistic urban style there is and that is not going to change. Just look a the alternative of model boating ponds elsewhere that have been closed, were abandoned and have deteriorated beyond belief or repair.

I would point to the the Berkeley Model Yacht Pond built by the WPA and toasted as one of the finest model yachting ponds in the western hemisphere with nearly continuous westerly winds in the knot to knot-and-a-half category. It's completely abandoned, falling apart and filling with silt.

I was told that Rec & Park told the Club to see if we can solve the issues of speed and noise ourselves. If we can't, I was told, then they say they will will step in. Given what happened last time and the way many of the long time stakeholders of the Lake worry about that prospect, I don't think that would be an optimal solution from a modelers' point of view.

I would be more than happy to work with you guys over at Kaiser to try and draw more people to the Fremont site. Chat with me after the New Year and let us see what we can do about making it happen.

Last edited by craig_c; Dec 18, 2012 at 01:40 PM. Reason: clarity
Dec 18, 2012, 01:49 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar

The Surprise decked out with Christmas Lights - Oh, now there is a sight I would truely like to see!!
Latest blog entry: Ah, To be young again...
Dec 18, 2012, 03:41 AM
Pond Sailer's Avatar
well thank you for that idea. ill have to say for now the only lights you might see on her are the lights from the burning gun powder coming out of the canons as she is doing a broadside on you while you standing on your deck drinking your rum. I just have to work on my bad ass sailor talk. but really, the sails being reflected from the powder flash looks Awasome. Ray Grosser did a nice video of Sunrise firing her canons with moonlight reflecting off the water and its better than any lights that I could ever hang on her.

here Is that video

Surprise exercises her guns at night.mpg (1 min 50 sec)

Last edited by Pond Sailer; Dec 18, 2012 at 03:50 AM.
Dec 18, 2012, 12:36 PM
Kurt Greiner
seaphoto's Avatar
Perhaps over time you can substitute the buoys with scale buoys (or other obstacles like permanent islands) that add to the ambiance of the lake. It might make a nice club project - someone comes up with a standard scale-ish buoy design, and anyone who wants to can make one or two. Just a thought.


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