San Francisco Bay Sailing

San Francisco Bay Sailing

The sun is shining with fun and excitement. Adventurous people are checking their ‘bucket list’ with the hopes of experiencing one of their dreams. Have you ever imagined sailing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge while the sun is setting on the Pacific Ocean?

Amazing San Francisco Bay Bridge

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The broad blue-green body of water called the San Francisco Bay is one of the world’s great places to sail. Strong winds and currents make it both an exciting and demanding place to sail, with astounding views all in all directions. The North Bay, South Bay and Central Bay areas alone covers over 340,000 acres in size. The San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary (Bay-Delta) is the largest estuary on the west coasts of North and South America with hundreds of species of fish and wildlife, including several endangered species and multitudes of birds that reside here as they migrate along the Pacific Flyway of North America. One third of the salmon in California pass through the bay area making it prime fishing territory.

View on the Golden Gate Bridge

You don’t have to own your own boat or sail long distances to get out on the San Francisco Bay. If you have some boating experience, sailboat rentals are widely available, with most boats being in the 22 to 44 foot range. A few larger sailboats are available as well. A wide range of boats are available in Sausalito, San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond and the Oakland Estuary. If your not a sailer and want to learn, that can easily be arranged. Or, are you ready to be pampered with a luxurious escorted day or multi-day sailing tour? You’ll be happy to know that that either choice is available for the taking or should I say, by making reservations! If you plan on sailing by yourself, please check out! This blog site is a wealth of information about how to navigate the SF Bay, transient slips available, places to sail into and reviews of ‘fun trips’ in the city.
The hard part now is, deciding how you want to explore the bay. To help you do this, we have given you several different sailing companies, different options and their contact information below. Let’s make your dreams come true. First, a little history about this remarkable and vast bay.

Beautiful sunset at San Francisco Bay

Discovering the Bay’s history

As enormous and glorious as the San Francisco Bay is, it is an easy pace to miss. From the sea, the entrance of the Golden Gate is nearly invisible unless you know it is there, even when the fog isn’t obscuring everything. By land, the coastal range makes it remote. Until about 250 years ago, a few thousand native Americans had the entire San Francisco bay area to themselves.

Sailing San Francisco

European settlement in San Francisco began when Captain Juan Agustin Bautista de Anza led a party up from Monterey and chose Fort Point to build Mission Dolores in 1776. San Francisco was a Spanish territory from then until 1821, when it became part of newly independent Mexico. Even after its discovery, San Francisco remained a remote outpost, reached from the east coast of America or from Europe only after a long passage around treacherous Cape Horn.

San Francisco Bay Area Sailing

Everything changed for San Francisco when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in 1848. In 1849, hundreds of thousands of people came to San Francisco on their way to the Sierra Nevada to find gold. In just a few months, San Francisco grew from a mission and a handful of houses into a city of hundreds of thousands of people, lined with wharves. The bay filled with hundreds of sailing ships, the vast majority of which were abandoned as the crew went looking for gold.

Perfect sailing at San Francisco

Today, the city is the 14th most populous city in the United States and proudly offers a cornucopia of cultures, exhibits, museums, restaurants, tours and photographic opportunities. There are numerous options for getting around the city. Cabs, train, muni system, buses, trollies, Uber, scooters, rigshaw rides and of course, your own feet.

Sailing in the San Francisco Bay

Sail Boat Rentals with special discounts deal right now

Spinnaker Sailing San Francisco

Club Nautique Richmond

2580 Spinnaker Way
Richmond, CA 94804
Phone: 866-606-SAIL

Sailboat school and rentals, 25 to 54 feet; also some trawlers. Locations in Sausalito, Alameda, and Richmond. Queen of the fleet is the EliBriSar, a stunning Jeanneau 54 that is the largest boat available on San Francisco Bay for bareboat chartering. Skippered charters also available.

Club Nautique Sausalito

100 Gate 6 Rd.
Sausalito, CA 94965
Phone: 800 343 SAIL

NOTE: All above also offer sailing courses too!


Website: is an online boat rental marketplace where you can rent directly from boat owners, much like what airbnb has done for overnight accommodations. A range of sail and power boats is available in the San Francisco Bay and Delta.

A MUST HAVE is this navigational app Nobeltec | Home – Marine Navigation Software Software, nautical charts, add-ons and info in one place!
Nobeltec TimeZero is the best marine software for boating, racing, sport and commercial fishing.

About Sailing Schools

If you want to learn to sail, you can take classes or private lessons from many different schools. Classes range from introductions for beginners to advanced racing and long-term cruising skills.

Afterguard Sailing Academy
1853 Embarcadero
Oakland, CA 94606
Office: 510-535-1954
Cell: 510-333-1121

Tradewinds Sailing School and Club
2580 Spinnaker Way
Richmond, CA 94804
Phone: (510) 232-7999 or (800) 321-TWSC

Spinnaker Sailing San Francisco
Pier 40, South Beach Harbor
San Francisco, California 94107
Tel: 415-543-7333

About Yacht/Sailboat Charters

The most luxurious way to enjoy San Francisco Bay is on a chartered yacht with a professional captain and crew. Available yachts range from 30 to more than 200 feet long, for 4 to 400 people. They offer 2, 3, or 4 hour excursions, wine sails, sunset sails, whale/dolphin sails, picnic sails, bay tours and numerous other options.

Captain Kirk’s San Francisco Sailing
Phone: 650 492-0681

Phone: 510 234 5054
Private charters and public 2-, 3-, and 6-hour sails on a 57-foot ketch, Nehemiah — a beautiful, traditional wood ketch built in 1971

Sailing San Francisco

Captain San Francisco

Just a little extra advice. San Francisco can be very foggy, cool and windy during periods of summer and fall time. We have put together some suggestions to pack for your trip. You’ll want to dress in layers. A sweatshirt and/or light jacket and long pants feel good in the mornings. A fleece vest is great for blocking the wind and easily be worn under a jacket. A T- shirt and shorts are more comfortable in the afternoons. You’ll want a swimsuit, towel, suntan lotion, sunglasses, and a hat when it’s hot. If you desire to go deep-sea fishing, you should bring your own fishing gear. We can get fishing licenses before we leave or you can get them in advance.

A MUST HAVE is this navigational app Nobeltec | Home – Marine Navigation Software Software, nautical charts, add-ons and info in one place!
Nobeltec TimeZero is the best marine software for boating, racing, sport and commercial fishing.


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