By Sea

Harbor Entrance Location: N 37° 35.612′ W 122° 18.769′

Just south of the San Francisco Airport runways, Coyote Point can be recognized by a low, dark green mound on the horizon, backgrounded by the lighter greens and browns of the hills behind it. Aim for the mound. The marina is just to the left of the mound as you face it. Click on the photo for a larger image.

If new to sailing, or not sure of the Bay Area, the winds can come up strong from noon until sundown so you may want an early start. If you leave late, be ready to reef the main, and if you have a furler, go ahead and shorten the jib if the winds make the heel too uncomfortable. And always remember: No one over 28′ has EVER capsized in the bay, BUT use those PFDs.

Once within sight of the harbor, pick up day markers 1 and 2. Don’t cut it short as the depths shallow fast near the harbor. Keep aligned with the channel and no sweat. We were recently dredged to 15′ at MLLW. Most of the time the Club’s radio is tuned to VHF 16 and fellow Club members are happy to help with docking if asked. Just in case: 650-347-6730 to ask to speak with the Officer of the Day.

Coyote Point Harbormaster also stands a vigilant watch on VHF 16 during normal business hours. Call for aid to navigation, fueling, or other visitor questions.

Pay attention to the San Bruno Shoal and the channel buoys and anchored ships that may be in the way. At night you should be able to pick out the flashing YELLOW light atop CPYC. However, do not follow this beacon straight into the harbor as you will most likely run aground on the breakwaters. The shoal is marked by a day marker (piling mark) at its Northern end. The shoal runs N/S parallel to and EAST of the San Bruno Shoal channel. The shoal should not a problem except at the lower tide levels.

Click the charts below for larger images. The charts below show “mean lower low water”, or distance below 0 datum on the tide book.

Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left
port and the other was an atrocious liar.”

-Don Bamford


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