Sailing Directions for San Francisco

The north shore of San Francisco forms the southern edge of central San Francisco Bay. There are no singificant hazards for small craft along the shoreline. Be aware of the sometimes strong current and the heavy boat traffic.

See the Visiting San Francisco page for details on the facilities.

From the Coast Pilot

The following text is quoted verbatim from the Coast Pilot, published by NOAA.

San Francisco Municipal Yacht Harbor, 1.8 miles E of the Golden Gate Bridge with a W and E basin about 0.3 mile apart, has depths of 8 to 12 feet to the berths. A light near the end of a point marks the N side of the entrance to W basin; a prominent stone tower is 0.2 mile W of the light. The E basin is protected on the N by a breakwater extending E from the W shore, and on the E by a pier of Fort Mason. The seaward end of the breakwater is marked by a light. E basin is entered between the breakwater light and the pier. The harbor accommodates about 700 boats in the W and E basins. Guest berths are available; transients should report to the harbormaster’s office on the S side of the W basin for berth assignment.

Aquatic Park, 2.6 miles E of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a recreation area protected on the W by a curved pier extending out from Black Point and on the E by a pier that berths historic ships of the National Maritime Museum. The basin is closed to power vessels, and other vessels must stay offshore away from buoys marking a swimming area. The speed limit is 3 knots. Depths of 9 to 16 feet are inside the basin. Small craft can find anchorage in about 13 feet. Permission to anchor for more than 24 hours must be obtained from the Aquatic Park Ranger Station.

Fishermans Wharf is 2.8 miles E of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The approach to the wharf is marked by lights. Depths of 15 feet or more are available to the wharves. Gasoline, diesel fuel, water, ice, and marine supplies are available.

Pier 39 Marina, 0.3 mile E of Fishermanís Wharf, is a boat harbor with 360 slips. In 2001, the reported depth alongside the slips was 9 feet. L-shaped breakwaters protect basins on either side of the pier. The E breakwater is marked by private lights. Electricity, water, ice, and pumpout facilities are available. Limited space is available for transient vessels by appointment only. The harbormaster monitors VHF-FM channel 16 0830-1700 daily.

South Beach Harbor, extending from 0.85 mile to 1.1 miles SE of the Ferry Building is a marina with 700 slips. Depths in the approach and alongside are reported to be 15 feet. It is protected by a breakwater marked by private lights. Private lights also mark the N and S entrances to the marina. Berths are assigned by the harbormaster; VHF-FM channel 16 is monitored 24 hours a day or telephone (415) 495-4911. Electricity, water, ice, groceries and pumpout facilities are available.

Central Basin, 1.9 miles S of the Ferry Building, has depths of 10 to 24 feet. Limited berthing facilities are on the W shore of the basin. Gasoline, water, covered and open storage, and some small-boat supplies are available. There are a surfaced boat ramp and a portable lift; hull and engine repairs can be made. Hull repairs can also be made at a boatbuilding and maintenance school in the SW corner of the basin.

On the N side of Hunters Point, 3.8 miles S of the Ferry Building, are two repair facilities. The largest marine railway can handle craft to 300 tons or 120 feet for hull and engine repairs.