Boaters Guide

What You Need To Know About Sailing in San Diego

Harbor Sailboats Rules and Regulations

Emergency Contacts

If you are experiencing any issues while chartering with Harbor Sailboats, please refer to the binder on board and please call our office at 619-291-9568. If an actual emergency exists, radio on VHF Channel 16 or dial 911 on a cell phone; below are additional phone numbers and services available in case of an emergency.

U.S. Customs Services

610 W. Ash St, San Diego, CA 92101
619-652-9966

Customs Inspection & Clearance

Shelter Island
619-685-4300

Vessel Arrival & Departure Questions

619-685-4312 or 619-685-4304

U.S. Coast Guard

619-278-7033

San Diego Harbor Police/Customs Dock Location

Latitude 32° 43′ 12.846” North
Longitude 117° 10′ 6.8448” West

Harbor Sailboat Member Amenities
  • Included parking while sailing (holiday restrictions)
  • Access to pool, hot tub, and saunas
  • Showers
  • Deli 
  • Fuel dock/pump out dock
Local Anchorages

There are three anchorages within San Diego Bay; permits are required for most areas. Contact Harbor Sailboats for the Hull ID # prior to requesting a permit.

Permits are available online at the Port of San Diego on VHF Ch-16 or (619) 686-6227.

La Playa Cove
Located between San Diego and Southwestern Yacht Clubs in the Shelter Island Yacht Basin, marked by yellow buoys. La Playa Cove is a 72-hour, weeekend-only anchorage. The hours for anchoring are from 0900 beginning on Friday through 0900 on Monday. In case of a weekend holiday, anchoring is permitted for 96 hours. If the holiday falls on a Friday, anchoring is permitted from 0900 hours on Thursday through 0900 hours on Monday. If the holiday falls on a Monday, anchoring is permitted from 0900 hours on Friday through 0900 hours on Tuesday. All boats must have a holding tank.

Glorietta Bay

Located in Glorietta Bay, south of the Coronado Golf Course and marked by yellow buoys. Glorietta Bay is a 72-hour, 7 days a week anchorage. The hours for anchoring begin and end at 0900 hours; all boats must have a holding tank. Boaters should exercise caution when entering the channel as Glorietta Bay is known to have several shoals on the outskirts of the channel; pass under the Coronado bridge at its widest part and pick up the channel.

Mission Bay

Located to port as you enter the channel is Mariner’s Basin and to starboard is Quivera Basin. Both are located outside of the Ventura Bridge (Harbor Sailboat’s yachts are not allowed under the bridge). Guest slips are available at Islandia Marina (619) 224-1234 and Marina Village or drop anchor at Bonita Cove in Mariner’s Basin. Mariner’s Basin will dry at low tide on the most northerly side of the bay so exercise caution when choosing a spot for the night.

Hazards to Navigation

A good source of boating and navigation information for all boaters is the U.S. Coast Guard’s Local Notice to Mariners and Local Charts (this information should not be used as a navigational tool). 
All Harbor Sailboats boats under 28′ must stay inside the San Diego Bay, Harbor Sailboats defines the bay as the waterway between the Coronado Bridge and Ballast Point. View local hazards on the chart

Downtown

The Midway Museum (USS Midway) is moored along the Broadway Pier with it’s bow pointing towards the bay. The overhanging bow will dismast a sailboat that is sailing too close to the ship, so be sure to maintain at least 500 yards of separation from this retired aircraft carrier. 

Point Loma

There are several areas to be aware of at the entrance to the San Diego Bay.  To seaward of Point Loma and the lighthouse are thick kelp beds, which run for about 1.5 miles south of the point. Although the fishing is great, it’s very easy to get kelp caught in engine intakes so sailors must pass SD1 before turning North. Just inside the kelp line, there are breakers near the tip of Point Loma during a south swell.

To the east of the San Diego Bay channel entrance is a submerged jetty that runs for approximately 2 miles offshore; rocks are visible at low tide but can be tough to pick up during high tides. This borders the Zuniga Shoal, further to the west.

North Island

At approximately 32° 41′ 10.2″N 117° 13′ 40.7″ W, near North Island, is a submerged jetty and rocks. This hazard to navigation is across the channel from Ballast Point and should be passed with plenty of room.

The northwesterly coastline of North Island can be very shallow and is a protected area. Boaters should stay well off the beach.

Shelter Island

There are shoaling waters near the entrance to Shelter Island. Be careful when entering near the southern tip and follow the marked channel. Skippers must pick up the channel entrance marked by a red buoy approximately 500 yards off the beach.

Coronado

There is a shoal just west of the Coronado Ferry Landing and east of the carrier basin on the Coronado side of the bay.

Another shoal is at the first dogleg heading south on the south side of the Coronado Bridge heading towards Chula Vista and the entrance to the Sweetwater Channel.

One more shoal is between the #1 green buoy and the amphibious base southeast at the entrance to Glorietta Bay.  This shoal can be troublesome for all boats during average tides and for smaller vessels at low tide.

Towing Services
  • Boat/US: (For Boat/US Members only): 1-800-391-4869
  • SeaTow: 1-888-9SEATOW or (619) 973-2869
  • Vessel Assist: 1-800-588-2128 or (619) 223-3575
  • Westow: 1-800-493-7869 or (619) 221-9193

If you are not experiencing an emergency, please contact Harbor Sailboats before contracting a towing service.

A good source of information that concerns navigation as well as many other issues all boaters should keep abreast of is the U.S. Coast Guard’s Local Notice to Mariners. San Diego falls within the U.S. Coast Guard Eleventh District, which provides the Local Notice to Mariners for the Southern California region. For further information on Coast Guard navigation issues you should take a look at the Coast Guard Navigation Center. You can find vessel movement information at Vessel Traffic Advisory.

Sailing in Mexican Waters

Harbor Sailboats yachts are not allowed in Mexican waters.

Fuel Docks
  • Pearson Marine Fuel Dock, 2435 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island, 619-222-7084
  • High Seas Fuel Dock, 2540 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island, 619-523-2980
  • Harbor Island Fuel Dock, 2040 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, 619-291-6443
  • Chula Vista Boat Launching Ramp, foot of Marina Way, Chula Vista
  • Glorietta Bay Boat Launching Ramp, 1715 Strand Way, Coronado
  • National City Boat Launching Ramp, foot of Goesno place, National City
  • Shelter Island Boat Launching Ramp, 2200 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego

Pump Out Facilities

  • Pearson Marine Fuel Dock, 2435 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island, 619-222-7084
  • High Seas Fuel Dock, 2540 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island, 619-523-2980
  • Harbor Island Fuel Dock, 2040 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, 619-291-6443
  • Chula Vista Boat Launching Ramp, foot of Marina Way, Chula Vista
  • Glorietta Bay Boat Launching Ramp, 1715 Strand Way, Coronado
  • National City Boat Launching Ramp, foot of Goesno place, National City
  • Shelter Island Boat Launching Ramp, 2200 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego
    Local Yacht Clubs & Marinas

    Due to the extensive administrative process, a $100 admin fee will be assessed for Marriott Marina reservations.  

    1. Bay Club Marina, 2131 Shelter Island Drive, 619-222-0314
    2. Island Palms Marina, 2071 Shelter Island Drive, 619-223-0301
    3. Cabrillo Isle Marina, 1450 Harbor Island Drive, 619-297-6222
    4. California Yacht Marina, 640 Marina Parkway, Chula Vista, 619-422-2595
    5. Chula Vista Marina, 550 Marina Parkway, Chula Vista, 619-691-1860
    6. Coronado Cays Yacht Club, 30 Caribe Cays Boulevard, Coronado, 619-429-0133
    7. Coronado Yacht Club, 1631 Strand Way, Coronado, 619-435-1848
    8. Fifth Avenue Landing, 600 Convention Way, 619-704-2550 (yachts 65300)
    9. Glorietta Bay Marina, 1715 Strand Way, Coronado, 619-435-5203
    10. Half Moon Marina, 2131 Shelter Island Drive, 619-224-3401
    11. Harbor Island West Marina, 2040 Harbor Island Drive, 619-291-6440
    12. Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Marina, 4000 Coronado Bay Road, Coronado, 619-424-4000
    13. Marina Cortez, 1880 Harbor Island Drive, 619-291-5985
    14. Kona Kai Marina/Shelter Island Marina, 1561 Shelter Island Drive, 619-224-7547
    15. Pier 32 Marina, 3201 Marina Way, National City, 619-477-3232
    16. San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, 333 West Harbor Drive
    17. San Diego Yacht Club, 1011 Anchorage Lane, Pont Loma, 619-221-8400
    18. Shelter Cove Marina, 2240 Shelter Island Drive, 619-224-2471
    19. Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, 1380 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, 619-291-2900
    20. Silver Gate Yacht Club, 2091 Shelter Island Drive, 619-222-1214
    21. Southwestern Yacht Club, 2702 Qualtrough Street, Point Loma, 619-222-0438
    22. Sun Harbor Marina, 5104 North Harbor Drive, America’s Cup Harbor, 619-222-1167
    23. Sunroad Resort Marina, 955 Harbor Island Drive, Harbor Island, 619-574-0736
      Local Hotels
      • Kona Kai Hotel
      • Hilton Airport
      • Humphreys
      • The Bay Club
      • Holiday Inn Bayside
      • Best Western Island Palms
      • Best Western Posada
      • Sheraton
      Destinations
      • Mission Bay
      • Glorietta Bay
      • La Playa
      • Chula Vista Marina
      • Catalina Island
      • Oceanside Marina and Fuel Dock
      • Dana Point Marina
      • Long Beach Harbor