SantaCruz Harbor

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Visitor Berthing Information

Welcome to the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor. The harbor provides permanent moorage for approximately 1,200 wet-berthed and 275 dry-stored vessels. Additionally, the harbor offers guest berthing to boaters, averaging 15,000 visitor-nights per year. The information provided in this pamphlet is intended to acquaint you with the harbor facilities and policies. If you have further questions, you may contact the harbor office. VHF channels 16 and 9 are monitored, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week; only Channel 16 is monitored after regular office hours. A harbor patrol officer is always on duty.

Harbor Entrance

Santa Cruz Harbor is situated between Monterey Harbor and Pillar Point Harbor of Half Moon Bay. Coordinates of Walton Lighthouse at the harbor entrance are 36° 57’ 36” north, 122° 00’ 06” west. The average depth in the marina is 10' ML W. Between November and May, the entrance to the harbor can be extremely hazardous due to shoaling and heavy surf The Port District-owned dredge "Seabright" is often dredging in the vicinity of the harbor entrance and should be contacted for passing instructions. Boaters should monitor VHF channel 16 for Local Notice to Mariners, and contact the harbor office for the latest channel conditions.

Berthing and Regulation

Guest berthing is on a first-come, first-served basis; reservations are not accepted. However, prior to entering the harbor, visitors are encouraged to radio the harbor office for a space assignment. Once inside the harbor, boaters will be asked to register and pay in advance to stay overnight. The harbor office is located near the fuel pier, up from the launch ramp. Vessel registration (CF number or documentation number) is required when registering. Most trailerable boats and power boats are requested to use end-ties in the north harbor (above the bridge). Guest berthing is permitted for up to two weeks, though extensions may be granted with harbormaster approval. Charges range from $.75 to $2.00 per foot / per night with a $35, minimum.

Rafting and Guest Space Management

In order to accommodate as many visiting boats as possible, a rafting policy is in effect. When registering, boaters must agree to allow other vessels to raft alongside and to provide adequate fender protection. Whenever possible, space is assigned so rafting is kept to a minimum, and to match the type and size of vessels. Additionally, the Port District staff may occasionally move a vessel to another location to maximize the harbor's guest berthing capability.

Vessel Seaworthiness and Minimum Use

All vessels berthing in Santa Cruz Harbor, including transient vessels, must be seaworthy (Port District Ordinance Section 210 and meet the minimum use requirement of ten ocean-going trips on the Monterey Bay (Port District Ordinance Section 302. 1).


Gate/restroom keys can be obtained for a $40 refundable deposit. Shower fobs can be purchased for $25. Shower fobs are non-refundable but can be reactivated for future use. Guests leaving after or before office hours can contact the harbor patrol on VHF channel 9 to return keys and obtain refunds.

Dockside Electricity / Water

Electricity (110 volts, 20 / 30 amps) is available for visitors. The harbor office has several styles of "pigtails" to adapt your shore power cord to our service. A $50 to $75 refundable deposit is required. Please do not unplug anyone else's shore power cord to obtain power.

Fresh water is also available.

Transportation / Parking

All vehicles, including boat trailers, must display a parking permit to park anywhere within the harbor grounds. Your valid guest berthing receipt is a parking permit when displayed on the dash of a vehicle. For questions regarding parking privileges, please contact the harbor office. Other guests of the harbor need to park in the "visitor" parking spaces and pay the parking meters. Meters operate 24-hours/day, or a daily meter parking permit, valid 4 am to 10 pm, may be purchased for $13.

Santa Cruz County has an excellent public bus system. A bus stop is located on the street near the harbor office. For further bus schedule information, call (831) 425-8600.


  • There is a 5 MPH maximum speed limit throughout the harbor, including the entrance channel.
  • Please contact the harbor office for fuel pier hours.
  • Pump-a-head facilities are available at the fuel pier. No overboard discharge of any type is permitted within the harbor.
  • End-ties and other designated dock space are used for visitor berthing. Do not go into an empty slip without specific permission from the slip renter.
  • Keep pets leashed at all times. You're responsible for cleaning up your pet's mess.
  • For restaurant locations, concessions, laundry facilities, grocery stores and marine outfitters, please see diagram on the reverse.

For the rare occasion that Santa Cruz Harbor cannot accommodate your boat, an open anchorage area is available one mile west of the harbor, next to the City of Santa Cruz wharf. The wharf has a public dinghy landing.

PDF Document Download the Visitor Berthing Guide


Map of Launch Ramp Area

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