Skip to content
October 2, 2019

Searching for a Slip in San Diego?

If you are meandering south this season with your eye on the start of the Baja Ha-Ha, you’re probably contemplating a slip or mooring. San Diego has been called one of the most cruiser-friendly cities on the West Coast, as our editor-at-large Andy Turpin found out when he passed through in early 2018. “In addition to the dozen marinas that may have guest slips available for transient boats on a short-term basis, the Port of San Diego, in cooperation with the local Port Tenants Association, has gone to great lengths to organize a clear-cut system of anchoring, berthing and mooring options that are laid out on the Port’s easy-to-navigate website:”

Still, finding an actual slip can be a little tricky during the cruising rush hour of the fall. Here is the status of several San Diego marinas from Marcia Hillman at Downwind Marine (Also take advantage of Downwind’s October seminar schedule.):

Temporary slips continue to be difficult to find, especially in any size over 35-ft. But San Diego marinas are cruiser-friendly, and many will hold slips openings for temporary use in the latter half of October — so if the picking seems slim right now, things might change in the few weeks before the Rally start.

One option, I am told by the marinas, is to check the website to help book slips and moorings online in San Diego. Many of the marinas listed below have been filling their “guest” slips this way already.

Located on Harbor Island, Cabrillo Isle Marina is nestled nicely in San Diego Bay.

Here is the short list of the marinas I know in the area that will work hard to support cruisers when they can.

Shelter Island Marina — Dockmaster Joe: 619-223-0301

Marina can usually offer up to 35-ft slips – currently 100% FULL but OK to call later in Oct. to check.

Humphrey’s Half Moon Marina — Dockmaster Brad: 619-224-3401

Marina is now full, and may be full in late October as already several cruisers occupy guest slips. Still, more slips often become available, expect most available only up to 35-ft. But call to check availability up to 80-ft.

This is a specialty marina, and unless you have a pirate ship from the 1700s, you probably won’t be able to dock your boat here. But seriously, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is a must-see if you’re in town.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Andy

Koehler Kraft — Dockmaster Liz: 619-222-9051

Currently 100% full as several cruisers have already reserved the empty slips. But, if desperate, Koehler can fit a couple more boats on their 90- to 100-ft work dock over the weekend just before the Ha-Ha starts. Call to reserve from Friday, November 1 after 4 p.m. to Monday, November 4 at 7:30 a.m.

Point Loma Marina — Dockmaster Jill: 619-718-6260

Comment—Marina can offer 45- to 70-ft slips. Currently 100% full, but OK to call in late October to check.

Frolic heads out for a sail in January 2018. Note that everyone is wearing shorts and T-shirts, and note the packed marinas in the background. Much to the Bay Area’s envy, San Diego is truly a boater’s paradise.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Andy

Shelter Cove Marina — Dockmaster Bill: 619-224-2471

Marina can offer 28-, 32- and 36-ft slips; currently 100% full, but expect some availability later.

Sun Harbor Marina — Dockmaster Sean: 619-222-1167

Marina can offer 32- to 40-ft slips, but sometimes longer; currently 100% full — many cruisers there already — but OK to call later in October to check.

Where, exactly, is the “heart” of America’s Finest City? For our soggy, salty money, we would have to say Shelter Island.
© 2019 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Andy

Sunroad Marina — Dockmaster Josh: 619-764-9169

Marina can offer 35- and 40-ft slips; currently 100% full, but OK to call later in October to check, or fill out and submit an application onlne at

Cabrillo Isle Marina — Dockmaster Thomas: 619-619-297-6222

Slips become available often; expect most of these to be only up to 35-ft, but call to check on available temporary slips up to 100-ft.

Harbor Island West — Dockmaster Eric: 619-291-6440

Marina is now full and should be full in late October as several cruisers occupy guest slips already. Still, slips become available often — expect most of these to be only up to 35-ft, but call to check on available temporary slips up to 100-ft.

Marina Cortez — Dockmaster Emily: 619-291-5985

Pretty much the same stories as everywhere else. Call in late October.

Photo of the Day

How many kids — plus their instructors and dogs — can you fit on a Hobie 16? Apparently all 14.

20 people on a Hobie 16
With 20 humans and 2 canines aboard, this cat is still (barely) floating. “Note to self: Don’t try this at home!” commented our correspondent, Peter Nelson.
© 2019 John Hoag

These young people were taking part in a MY SAIL (Multihull Youth SAIL Foundation) camp on Lake Quinault on the Olympic Peninsula during the week leading up to the Northwest Area Hobie Championships in August. Read all the details in Racing Sheet, out now in the October issue of Latitude 38.

Come Aboard this Santa Cruz 52 at Yacht Fest This Weekend

Santa Cruz 52 at Yacht Fest this Weekend Roxanne, the second to last 52 to come out of Santa Cruz, is one of the nicest ones you will find. She was originally built to go cruising with a family, which she did, taking one lap around the Pacific before returning to San Francisco Bay where she has sailed sparingly for the last 10 years.

She’ll be on display and open for boarding at Yacht Fest at Marina Village this week, October 4-6.

Sail CaliforniaYacht Fest 2019

Read More

October Racing Preview

Summer’s over. Fleeing snow flurries, Lake Tahoe sailors are trucking downhill to saltwater. But don’t let the change of seasons deceive you — October is a super-busy month for yacht racing on the California coast.

Express 37 start
A start in last year’s Express 37 Nationals.
© 2019 Michele Profant

This Week

  • The Nordic Folkboat International Regatta is wrapping up this week at Corinthian YC in Tiburon.
  • On Friday, Southwestern YC’s Little Ensenada Race starts in San Diego.
  • St. Francis YC will host the USMRC (match racing) Finals starting on Friday. StFYC.
  • The Express 37 Nationals will sail on Friday-Sunday out of Berkeley YC.
  • Sausalito YC’s Twin Island Series will wrap up on Saturday.
  • Island YC’s Jill & Jack + 1 on the Estuary will lead off a flurry of fall female-friendly races on the Estuary this Saturday.
  • For the little ‘uns, Santa Cruz YC offers the West Marine Fun Regatta on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Golden Gate YC will host the Islander 36 Nationals on Sunday.

Next Week

Express 27 mark rounding
A windy mark rounding in last year’s Express 27 Nationals.
© 2019 Roxanne Fairbairn
  • The Express 27 Nationals will base out of Encinal YC on October 11-13.
  • Long Beach YC will host the Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge (aka LEMWOD) on the 11th-13th in Catalina 37s and Cal 20s.
  • Vanguard 15 Fleet 53 will head over the hill to Inverness YC for their Championship on Tomales Bay October 12-13.
  • The Joan Storer Regatta is coming up on Saturday, October 12. Entry proceeds will be donated to the Hirschberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer. Participants will be treated to a hosted bar and food at Tiburon YC after the race. Entry is open at “Get your crew of gals and kids together for a fun day of racing,” says organizer Mariellen Stern. “50% of the crew must be female!
  • El Toros will Stampede at Richmond YC on October 13.

October 18-20

  • The International Masters Regatta will return to San Diego Yacht Club on October 18-20. Legendary skippers, invited from around the country, come for a three-day battle in a rotation of J/105s. Participating skippers must be over the age of 60. For those on the cusp, the International Masters Regatta can be seen as a rite of passage after their long, hard-working sailing careers. This year’s skippers will be Mary Brigden Snow, Scott Harris, David Gould, Gary Jobson, Tad Lacey, Scott Mason, William Petersen, Andy Roy, Chuck Sinks, Terry Timm and founder Don Trask.
  • The wonderful woodies sail on the Cityfront in StFYC’s Jessica Cup on October 19.
  • Two Oktoberfests show up in the calendar on the same weekend: Oakland YC’s Oktoberfest on October 19, and BYC’s Oktoberfest all weekend. The latter will mark the official end to the YRA racing season and has divisions for almost every boat racing on the Bay. Multiple races are scheduled for Saturday, a pursuit race on Sunday, and an “epic Oktoberfest Celebration back at Berkeley YC after Saturday’s races.”
  • On the same weekend, the SSS will wrap up their season with the Vallejo 1-2, racing singlehanded from the Berkeley Circle to Vallejo YC on Saturday and doublehanded from VYC to Richmond YC on Sunday.
  • It will also be Leukemia Cup weekend, with the Perkins Cup Corporate Challenge hosted by StFYC in J/22s on Saturday and the Leukemia Cup for everyone on Sunday, hosted by CYC.
large group of women sailors
Cheers to the women of the Red Bra Regatta!
© 2019 Gerard Sheridan

South Beach YC will host the all-women’s Red Bra Regatta October 19. The regatta provides the opportunity for women of different sailing skills to have a day of racing on San Francisco Bay and meet each other at the party after the race. SBYC plans a two-race day. Interested skippers can sign up on the South Beach YC website. This year the Red Bra Regatta will be supporting a charity, Girls United, part of the Flying Kites 501 Charity that brings education to girls in rural Kenya through the creation of schools and education of teachers.

Remember that the Jill & Jack + 1, the Joan Storer and the Red Bra Regatta (plus Richmond YC’s Amazing Grace Cheney Regatta on November 3) are all part of Latitude 38’s Unofficial Women’s Circuit. We’ll count SoCal’s LEMWOD too.

October 25-27

  • San Diego YC will host the Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup on October 25-27.
  • Richmond YC will get spooky with the Great Pumpkin Regatta, featuring buoy racing and a Halloween party on Saturday, and a pursuit race on Sunday. The costume theme this year is Zombie Luau.
  • For a less massive Halloween experience, head on over to Tiburon YC in the North Bay for the Red Rock Regatta on October 26.
  • StFYC will host their Fall Dinghy Regatta on Saturday and Sunday.
Zombie Luau graphic
Zombie Luau is this year’s theme for RYC’s Great Pumpkin Regatta.

We couldn’t help sneaking a peek into November — Midwinter Series here we come! So get the boat out and enjoy fall’s regattas while you can. As usual, see our Calendar for many more choices, and feel free to add your favorite in the comments section below.

(Almost) Hot Off the Presses
Tomorrow is the day we’ve all been waiting for, as the October issue of Latitude 38 will hit newsstands, Wi-Fi signals, and the synapses of a Nation.
Sponsored Post
Westwind Washing, Waxing, Varnishing. Serving the Bay Area for more than 25 years.