Ahoy, adventurous souls! Welcome to the shimmering waters of Sausalito, California. This picturesque seaside community – nestled on the northern end of the iconic Golden Gate, after which the bridge is named – is not just an artist’s haven or a foodie’s paradise; it’s a sailor’s dream.
Sausalito, with its sweeping vistas of San Francisco and the Pacific, offers more than just stunning views – it promises an fun sailing experience, unparalleled by few other locations in the world.
Whether you’re piloting your own vessel, taking a sailing tour, hiring a chartered yacht, or up for an adventure in renting a boat, sailing in Sausalito promises to be an incredible way to experience my favorite coastal town. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to go sailing in Sausalito – on your own, in a group, or however you choose.
This post covers the essentials you need to get to Sausalito by boat and/or start your sailing adventure here; you can use the rest of this site to plan your time in Sausalito once you step back on land. Are you ready to take the helm and explore the sailor’s nirvana that is Sausalito? Let’s batten down the hatches, and sail into an unforgettable adventure.
Sausalito Sailing Tours
It’s no surprise that most travelers have sailing in mind when they come to Sausalito. I mean, there’s a lot of water around the town. You’ll be spoilt with choice when it comes companies that offer tours for sailing in Sausalito. Just so you don’t get overwhelmed, I’ve listed the best sailing businesses below so you can browse their options and enjoy a day out in the water!
Schooner Freda B Public Sailings
Schooner Freda B Public Sailings offers some of the most popular Sausalito sailing tours. They have tons of tour options, but popped love the most that they all have this old-school wood boat bay tours aura. If you go to their website, you’ll notice they offer private charters, sunset sails, wedding celebrations, birthday parties, and more, and also public sails.
Captain Kirk’s Sausalito Sailing
If you don’t enjoy mingling with strangers, Captain Kirk’s Sausalito Sailing offers only private charters. They host their sailing adventures on three yachts: the Bay Wolf, the Mahalo, and the Osprey. There’s no shortage of trips to choose from: sunset sailings, Angel Island Barbecue, sailing lessons; you can even book an Ash Scattering Memorial.
(If you don’t get the joke behind the name of this company, Starfleet Headquarters is actually located in Sausalito – so it’s got an interesting connection to science fiction!)
SF Bay Adventures
SF Bay Adventures has a huge fleet, but they alaos also own and host some of their most popular trips for sailing in Sausalito aboard a Schooner Freda B – which is gorgeous, by the way. They offer public sails, but their strong point are private charters. You can choose from yacht charters on SF Bay to private events packages.
Fine Day for Sailing
A Fine Day for Sailing is a lesser known sailing outfit. Heather Richard is the captain of the yacht Carodon. She offers her boat for private charter to those who intent on spending one of our days out sailing the bay. Her service portfolio includes from nautical photo shoots and events to naturalist-led excursions on the water.
Sausalito Boats for Rent
If you prefer something more personal, you can always turn to locals who open their boats and yachts to travelers. There are two Sausalito boat rentals you can explore online.
Boatsetters is a boat rental community that’s been active since 2012. The platform allows travelers to connect with boat owners, and licensed captains. You’ll find different kinds of experiences, from short sails around the bay or a day-long fishing excursion.
As of publishing in mid-2023, there are 10 boats available for rent in Sausalito on Boatsetter.
GetMyBoat is very cool online platform that offers both captained experiences and drive-it-yourself rentals; it’s similar to Boatsetter. They also have 9 listings of boats for rent in Sausalito – it looks like many of the same boats are available on both platforms.
Sailing Your Own Boat in Sausalito
If you have your own boat and want to come visit Sausalito, there are other considerations too. Below are some tips to help you make the most of your time in this lovely community.
Sailing in Richardson Bay
Richardson Bay is a beautiful spot to go sailing – but it can be a bit treacherous; there is a problem with anchor-out boats that obstruct the main channels.
I strongly recommend consulting sailing charts to get an overall sense of the area, plus using your radar/AIS and your eyes to look for both anchored boats and unpowered craft (like kayaks, of which there are many on a weekend). I also advise against sailing into Richardson Bay at night since not all of the boats are properly lit to help you avoid collisions.
Day/Overnight Moorage in Sausalito
Several of Sausalito’s marinas offer daily/overnight moorage. You should definitely call each marina before you sail into town, just to confirm the details and availability. Here are ones you can start with:
- Schoonmaker Point Marina has daily moorage from $2-$4 per foot, depending on length
- Clipper Yacht Harbor also offers daily moorage from $2-$3 per foot
Sausalito Yacht Club, Sausalito Cruising Club, and Marina Plaza Harbor may all also offer daily moorage, but I don’t know the details – definitely call to inquire. (Some may require membership too, just FYI.)
Long-Term Moorage in Sausalito
If you’re looking for monthly or longer moorage, there are options for that too.
- Schoonmaker Point Marina also has monthly moorage from $21.80 per foot
- Blue Water Yacht Harbor offers monthly moorage from $12.25 per foot
- Clipper Yacht Harbor also offers monthly moorage from $13-$28 per foot
- Richardson Bay Marina has monthly moorage rates starting from $14.50 per foot
Pelican Harbour, Bridgeway Marina, Sausalito Cruising Club, and Marina Plaza Harbor also may offer monthly moorage; I don’t have details for these ones either, so I’d start with the four listed above and choose one of them if possible.
As for live-aboard slips (like the one we had in Bridgeway Marina), I’m sorry to burst your bubble but those aren’t really available in Sausalito. Most marinas that have live-aboard slips have a multi-year waiting list.
Have any other questions about sailing in Sausalito, from renting a boat, sailing your own, or where to park it? Let me know in the comments below!