North Bay


The Napa River meets the bay at Vallejo and extends north to downtown Napa. Along the way there’s a large marina and boatyard, a yacht club, and lots of shorebirds. The river provides a warm, quiet escape from the central bay and makes a nice weekend destination. Until 2009, however, there won’t be any guest dock at downtown Napa. Boaters should also exercise extreme caution north of the marina, as there are unmarked hazards along the banks.

Cruising the Napa River

The Napa River offers a quiet, scenic setting, with warmer weather than you’ll find anywhere else on the water this close to San Francisco. There’s a full-service marina and boatyard—perhaps the only one with wineries

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Richmond is a busy commercial port and home to two large marinas and a couple of small ones. The Brickyard Cove development offers waterfront homes with private docks, as well as a modest marina; Marina Bay is a larger marina surrounded by condos. These developments, using waterfont areas that served as shipyards in World War II, provide some of SF Bay’s most affordable waterfront housing and warmer weather than the central bay.

Red Rock Island

Red Rock Island is the only privately owned island in San Francisco Bay. And it could be yours! Just $5 million. A Big Red Rock Located adjacent to the San Rafael Bridge, near Richmond, the

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San Rafael

The San Rafael canal provides a protected waterway lined with marinas, private homes, and apartments, with a full range of marine services. Loch Lomond Marina is at the entrace to the canal, giving it the easiest access to the SF Bay. The trip from San Rafael Yacht Harbor, close to Highway 101, is quite a bit longer. Lowrie Yacht Harbor and Marin Yacht Club are in between.


Vallejo and Mare Island are divided by the Mare Island Strait, which joins the Bay where San Pablo Bay meets the Carquinez Strait. The north end of the Mare Island Strait becomes the Napa River. Vallejo, named for General Vallejo who had his rancho here, is a seafaring town with a long heritage. Mare Island was formerly a Naval Shipyard where hundreds of ships were built and repaired, starting in 1854, when Vallejo was the state capitol. During World War II the shipyard employed more than 46,000 people and was one of the most important ship repair facilities in the Pacific.