Boat Burns at Alameda’s Fortman Marina


A houseboat docked in Alameda’s Fortman Marina caught fire shortly after noon today, Wednesday, March 30.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze and found no one aboard the vessel.

The Alameda Journal/Bay Area News Group reported that the live-aboard boat is about 35 feet long. It was gutted by the blaze, according to Interim Alameda Fire Chief Mike Fisher.

A veteran sailor who witnessed the blaze, said that he heard no explosion before the fire started. Some “popping” noises were heard later, though.

The plume of smoke could be seen around Fortman Marina, nearby Grand Marina, Coast Guard Island and from the other side of the Oakland-Alameda Estuary.

No other boats or structures were affected by the fire.

The burnt houseboat was located close to a covered docking area. “If the boat had been in the covered area, instead of on the downwind side, then the blaze could have spread to other vessels and been much worse,” said the witness, who preferred to remain anonymous. “Fiberglass boats are very flammable.”


(Contributed photos by James Fryer.)


Alameda Wildlife & Grand Marina

You never know what you’ll find on the docks in Alameda — maybe even a nest of house finches in the main sail of a boat docked at Grand Marina.

The nest was spotted a few weeks ago by an Alameda-based sailor, and this photo of the finch eggs was taken by local birder Cindy Margulis about 10 days ago.

And over the past couple of days, the eggs have hatched, and the baby birds are hungry. Once they get well nourished and are able to fly on their own, during the next week or two, they should move off the boat and onto dry land.  

Many thanks to Bay Farm Nature Connection (BFNC) for helping out with the birds — and for suggesting that the boat not head out for a summer sail until the young finches have abandoned ship.

Hopefully, the Alameda group will be scheduling a bird walk later this summer.


Homes Open Near Grand Marina in Alameda

Two new homes were showcased this weekend, when Grand Marina Village opened some of its doors.

The development is being put up by Warmington Residential California next to Grand Marina on the estuary end of Grand Street.

The developer aims for 40 three-story residences to go up in the area, ranging in size from about 2,150 to 2,375 square feet. Two homes were open this weekend in the hopes that potential buyers will “reserve” residences in the area, which are priced in  upper-$600,000s.

“We are very happy to be offering homes at Grand Marina Village,” said Debi Garlick, vice president of sales for Warmington in a press release.

Banners and ballons were up all over the area, and there were some interested home buyers stopping by.

With all the fine weather now following the rains, visitors could enjoy the spring flowers blooming in and around Grand Marina.

Warmington built nearly 500 homes in Bayport Alameda. The latest community, Grand Marina Village, is officially located 1629 Cruiser Lane, at the corner of Grand Street and Fortmann Way.

While this development goes up, the parking lot in Grand Marina is being affected. And parking on the weekends can be hard to find.

How the eventual parking situation plays out in this popular waterfront area will be “interested.”