San Diego Bay Mooring and Anchoring Information

Downwind Cruising Guide Page. 17

San Diego, CA


Anchoring in San Diego Bay is by permit only in designated anchorages for 72-hour periods and must be obtained at least one day in advance – no exceptions. Most permits are issued without fee online by the San Diego Unified Port  District or from the Harbor Police Mooring Office during regular business hours from 0800 –1600 hours Monday-Friday.  (Closed weekends and holidays, and every other Friday.)  

Owners/operators of all vessels with permits are responsible for all applicable state laws and local ordinances, in addition  to any environmental concerns. All boats must have holding tanks or port-a-potties. 

For Online Anchorage Reservations: or call (619) 686-6227

These designated anchorages are marked on SD Bay Services map on back of this guide with the following descriptions: 

A1 – (LA PLAYA COVE) La Playa Cove is a 72-hour over weekend-only anchorage located between San Diego and  Southwestern Yacht Clubs in the Shelter Island Yacht Basin and is marked by yellow buoys. The hours of anchoring are from  0900 hours on Friday through 0900 hours on Monday. In case of a weekend holiday, anchoring is permitted for 96 hours.  If the holiday falls on a Friday, anchoring is permitted from 0900 hours on Thursday through 0900 hours on Monday. If the  holiday falls on a Monday, anchoring is permitted from 0900 hours on Friday through 0900 hours on Tuesday. A maximum of  twenty-five (25) boats are allowed in the cove. (Up to 40 vessels can be accommodated with raft-ups of up to 10 boats.) All  boats must have a holding tank. 

A5 – (GLORIETTA BAY) The A5 anchorage is situated in Glorietta Bay, south of the Coronado Golf Course, and is marked  by yellow buoys. Anchorage is open 7 days a week, with anchoring up to 72-hours only. The hours for anchoring begin and  end at 0900 hours. There is a minimum of one calendar day between issuance of A5 permits and no more than three 72-hour  anchoring permits may be issued to any person or boat in any 30-day period. This area accommodates fifteen (15) vessels,  and up to twenty (20) vessels within raft-ups. All boats must have a holding tank. 

Please note that the A8 – SOUTH BAY ANCHORAGE is no longer in operation! 

Anchoring permits for A1 and A5 may be obtained online or by at (619) 686-6227. Requests for anchoring permits may be  submitted up to 30 days in advance, but no less than one day in advance. No more than three 72-hour anchoring permits may  be issued to any person or boat in any 30-day period. The three permits may be issued at A1 or A5, or both cumulatively. 

A9 – (CRUISER ANCHORAGE) The A9 anchorage is situated in an area adjacent to the United States Coast Guard Air  Station at the east tip of Harbor Island and is marked by yellow buoys. This anchorage is available to non-residents of San  Diego County only whose boats are not registered in San Diego County either. Permits for this anchorage must be obtained  in person at 1401 Shelter Island Drive and proof of non-residency must be provided. Permit here also requires boat  inspection by the Harbor Police Bay Control Officer. You may dock at the Harbor Police/Customs Check-in Dock and notify  the HPD Dispatch at 619-686-6272 that you are on the dock and requesting an A-9 vessel inspection and permit. A copy of the  permit must be kept aboard vessel as proof of issuance. 

All vessels obtaining a permit for this anchorage are restricted to a 90-day period within any 365-day period. All vessels obtaining a permit must renew their permit every 30 days without exception. The Cruisers Anchorage is marked by three large yellow can buoys that warn of the restricted water space toward the Coast Guard Air Station to the east. A red channel buoy showing the entrance to the Harbor Island lagoon marks the West End. This anchorage is available for up to twenty (20) vessels. All boats must have a holding tank.

Note: In the event the Harbor Police or Harbormaster staff determines that any anchorage is congested, and an additional vessel would inhibit access by police/fire boats or in some manner would be detrimental to safe boating, a permit will not be issued.

TRANSIENT DOCK – 26 slips for vessels up to 65-feet LOA are available at Harbor Police Guest Dock located at the Harbor Police Sub-Station (1401 Shelter Island Drive) for a maximum rental of 15 days in any 40-day period per vessel/person. Reservations and slip permits are available online via the Port’s Website and can be made up to 14 days in advance.

Payment is required when making reservation. All major credit/debit cards accepted. Check-in time is 1300 hours and check-out time is 1100 hours.

Services available at each slip include potable water and 30-amp shore power connections, plus guests have access to restrooms and showers. Vessels are charged $1.27 per linear foot length per day based on USCG or DMV boat registration. Use of these slips requires current boat registration/documentation with owner and/or operator identification. Make online reservations for slip assignment on first come first serve basis – use the SD Port reservations website or tie up at the Police/Customs dock at the facility and contact the Harbor Police Mooring Office during regular business hours at the phone kiosk provided there dockside. For slips:
Also see Page 6 of this Guide for our list of marinas to contact for price and availability.

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