LA County – with the hustle and bustle of over 9.9 million people across the area, not many actually get the chance to get out on the water and take a look back at the coast from a different angle. Ranked at #26 on LA Magazine’s 50 Things Every Angeleno Must Do, Sailing the Santa Monica Bay is an experience that every Los Angeles resident should have at least once.
Access to a sailboat or the marina isn’t as difficult as one might think; there’s different ways one can get out on the water.
1. Public Hoists
If you own your own boat, but not a slip in the marina, most harbors offer public ramps or hoists that you can use to launch. For $7, you can use a public launch ramp near Burton Chase Park in Marina Del Rey.
In Redondo Beach, you can use a hoist, starting at $18.
2. Rent a Boat
In both Marina Del Rey and King Harbor Marina, there are private companies that can rent boats to the public, starting as low as $95 for half a day. In Marina Del Rey, Blue Pacific Boating offers charter boats ranging from 23 to 72ft as well as private sailing lessons. In King Harbor, King Harbor Yacht Club offers 24ft Keelboat rentals starting at $60 for 4 hours.
3. Join a Sailing Program
In the Santa Monica Bay, there are nearly five different yacht clubs, 3 of which have junior sailing programs that hold national recognition. Some of these include programs from California Yacht Club, Del Rey Yacht Club, and King Harbor Yacht Club. These Jr.’s programs are designed to teach kids from 8 to 18 how to rig, sail, and skipper boats on their own. Many juniors in these programs move on to race sail boats competitively at local, national, and international competitions called regattas. The boats open to juniors at these clubs include 8ft Optimists, 8ft Sabots, 13 ft Flying Juniors, 14 ft Club 420s, 14 ft Lasers, and more.
At CalYC, different Learn-to-Sail programs start at $200 for nearly an entire season of practice and on the water coaching. During the summer, they offer a summer sailing camp, where you can get out on the water nearly every day during the summer.
At Del Rey Yacht Club’s Juniors’ program, Saturday sailing programs in the double-handed Club FJ are offered for beginner sailors who mav not have ever been out on the water before. They also offer a summer sailing program that lasts 7 weeks during the summer and runs Monday-Thursday.
The King Harbor Youth Foundation, in Redondo Beach, has a unique sailing program; along with offering access to Optis, CFJs, and Lasers, Juniors get the chance to take 24ft Martin Sailboats out into the ocean. King Harbor also hosts the Mira Costa Sailing Team, which races competitively in 5 traveling regattas hosted by collegiate sailing teams every school year.
After making connections at a club, it becomes easier to have access to different boats and different experiences out on the water, from trapezing off of catamarans during a storm, sailing 21ft Vipers, or being paid to race on 40ft yachts.
For contact info,
Blue Pacific Boating – (310) 305-7245; 13444 Bali Way #100, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
California Yacht Club Jrs. – Program Director, Guillaume Rasse email@example.com; (310) 823-4567; 4469 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Del Rey Yacht Club Jrs. – Program Director, Virginia Howard firstname.lastname@example.org; 310-822-5182 ext. 128; 13900 Palawan Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
King Harbor Youth Foundation – Head Coach, Jake Sorosky email@example.com; (310) 376-2459; 280 Yacht Club Way, Redondo Beach, CA 90277