Sailing Directions for Sausalito

The entrance to the Sausalito channel is marked by the Spinnaker restaurant to port, and a red daymark to starboard. Once past the restaurant, observe the 5 kph speed limit. The Spinnaker restaurant does not have a sign visible from the water but it is quite prominent and has bright lights that make it obvious as night.

Most of Richardson bay is very shallow and should not be entered, except by shoal-draft craft when the tide is high, without local knowledge. The area immediately to starboard of the channel is the main anchorage and is considerably deeper at the south-east edge (closest to the bay) than in the inner areas. There is one rock in the bay: Cone Rock. It is marked by a buoy and is closer to Belvedere than to Sausalito; it is well east of the normal anchorage area.

Past Pelican Marina there is an area of open water to port with numerous moored boats. Parts of this area are very shallow and there are some submerged hazards.

The channel continues to Richardson Bay Marina, the northernmost marina in Sausalito. Do not go past this marina without local knowledge, and even then, only at high tide.

From the Coast Pilot

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

Richardson Bay, 2 miles N of the Golden Gate Bridge, is shoal except for the S part fronting Sausalito.

In the N part of Richardson Bay, a wildlife sanctuary, established by the National Audubon Society, provides safe refuge for migratory fowl that arrives each fall. The sanctuary is closed to marine traffic from October to March. Seasonal buoys N of a line approximately 097° True from Strawberry Point to Belvedere, mark the perimeter of the sanctuary.

A special anchorage is in Richardson Bay. Local authorities control the anchoring of vessels and placement of moorings in Richardson Bay. Mariners should contact the Richardson Bay Regional Agency at (415) 289-4143 for specific information.

Richardson Bay is a no discharge zone; it is illegal for vessels to discharge any form of waste into the bay.

A channel leading NW through Richardson Bay to facilities at Sausalito is marked by lights, daybeacons, and buoys. A no-wake speed limit is in all channels in Richardson Bay.

Sausalito harbors some commercial fishing boats and many pleasure craft. Several boatbuilding and repair yards have marine ways, the largest of which can handle craft up to 350 tons. (See the small-craft facilities tabulation on chart 18652 for services and supplies available.)