Boating and Sailing in San Francisco


Boating and Sailing

San Francisco Bay has year-round sailing, but tricky currents and strong winds make the bay hazardous for inexperienced navigators. Boat rentals and charters are available throughout the Bay Area and are listed under "Boat Renting" in the Yellow Pages.

Adventure Cat Sailing Charters. Near Fisherman's Wharf, from spring through fall, Adventure Cat takes passengers aboard a 55-foot-long catamaran. The kids can play on the trampoline-like net between the two hulls while you sip drinks on the wind-protected sundeck. A 90-minute bay cruise costs $35; sunset sails with drinks and hors d'oeuvres are $50. Pier 39, Dock J, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 94133. 800/498–4228 or 415/777–1630.

Rendezvous Charters. This operator offers individually ticketed trips on large sailing yachts, including sunset sails ($30) and Sunday brunch cruises on a schooner ($45). Pier 40, South Beach Harbor, Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA, 94107. 415/543–7333.

Spinnaker Sailing. You can take sailing instruction from Spinnaker or charter a private sailboat with or without a skipper. Pier 40, South Beach Harbor, San Francisco, CA, 94107. 415/543–7333.

Both Rendezvous and Spinnaker are south of the Ferry Building on the eastern waterfront, right next to AT&T Park, not next to Pier 39.

SF Bay Adventures. Nautical tours—full-moon sails, great-white-shark tours—are the specialty here, along with local-history ($65) and sunset ($55) cruises. This outfit is based in Sausalito, but some boats depart from San Francisco. 85 Liberty Ship Way, at Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA, 94965. 415/331–0444.

Stow Lake. If you prefer calm freshwater, you can rent rowboats ($14, $19, and $29 per hour), pedal boats ($25 per hour), and electric motorboats ($35 per hour) at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. Remember to bring bread for the ducks. The lake is open daily from 10 to 4 for boating, weather permitting. 50 Stow Lake Dr., off John F. Kennedy Dr., Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, 94118. 415/386–2531.


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