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Anchoring in the Bay

Click here for designated USCG Federal Anchorages in San Francisco Bay

A map of Richardson Bay Anchorage with zones for eelgrass protection, an Audubon sanctuary, and detailed maritime routes.

Information about Anchoring in Richardson Bay

Welcome to Richardson Bay! The goal of the Richardson Bay Regional Agency is to maintain a healthy, safe, and well-managed anchorage. With that in mind, we would like to share some information with you about Richardson Bay, its basic rules, and its surroundings.

You are welcome to stay for up to 72 hours, within the designated anchorage. If you need additional time (such as for provisioning, minor repairs, etc.) please complete the RBRA Anchoring Permit Application and send to or contact the Harbor Master by phone at (415) 971-3919. Effective October 15, 2023, there is no anchoring in the Eelgrass Protection Zone. Stays beyond 72 hours are prohibited without the issuance of an anchoring permit pursuant to Sections 3.04.010(a) and (b) of the RBRA Code, and consistent with Resolution No. 03-19 of the RBRA Board of Directors.

30-Day Anchor  PermitRBRA Code as Amended by Ordinance 19Approved Resolution 03-19 - New Vessels 

Vessels must be located outside of all small boat channels and outside the Richardson Bay Audubon Sanctuary. Please be aware that depths in the Bay get progressively shallower beyond Daymarker #4, averaging 4 feet or less at mean lower low water (MLLW).

Chart of Richardson Bay

The Bay floor is composed of loose mud, therefore it is recommended that a Danforth-type anchor is used for anchoring (plow anchors do not hold well in Richardson’s Bay). The bay is subject to dynamic diurnal tidal cycle; please deploy adequate scope (such as 5 to 7 feet of run for each foot of depth) to accommodate for a 6-foot tidal swing.

In the summer, afternoon winds regularly clock in at 20-30 knots from the west (wind effects are amplified due to the varied topography of the Sausalito hillside). During winter months, gale-force winds are observed from both north and south during storms. Please anchor accordingly.


Richardson’s Bay is designated a “No Discharge Zone” and dumping of trash or sewer is strictly prohibited. Many of the local marinas are equipped with pump-out stations, and there are mobile pump-out services available.

Shoreline access is available at the Turney Street dock. A wide array of marine services are available in Sausalito,  including full-service boat yards, rigging services, inboard and outboard engine mechanics, and chandleries. Clipper Fuel Dock sells both diesel and gasoline, and they refill propane and CNG tanks. 

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