Yacht Charters in San Francisco

Bareboat Yacht Charters In San Francisco

Are you looking for detailed, precise, and up-to-date information about bareboat yacht charters in San Francisco Bay? BoatingSF is here to guide you in choosing the ideal bareboat charter in the Greater Bay Area that suits your lifestyle. Continue reading for more.

Bareboating is an ultimate experience of a lifetime. This hobby can help you unleash your inner rebel and be more independent, wild, and free. However, turning this dream into a reality does not only require stubbornness and an adventurous spirit. You also need to have sailing experience and substantial knowledge about navigating a boat, such as anchoring, docking, and provisioning. You can’t just decide to start living your dream one day and go on bareboat chartering. Indeed, you need to follow the process to charter a boat.

Due to its swift currents and strong, steady winds, San Francisco Bay is considered a mecca for sailors, windsurfers, and water sports enthusiasts. There are many sailing schools, fishing charters, and bareboat charters in this area. Suppose you are looking for the most credible sailing companies and bareboat charter businesses to help you have a real sailing adventure in San Francisco Bay. In that case, this directory might be for you.

Table of Contents

Yachts on San Francisco harbor

Can I hire a bareboat charter in San Francisco?

Ideally, a qualified and experienced sailor can hire a bareboat charter in San Francisco. However, skippering a boat in the Greater Bay might be challenging for inexperienced sailors and non-members of the company’s sailing club. Most sailing companies that offer yacht rental in San Francisco are open to both members and non-members, although non-club members might pay for higher rental rates.

Sailors who lack experience and skills can attend sailing classes in various clubs around the Bay Area. These clubs offer a variety of sailing courses that range from basic sailing or beginner’s courses to advanced sailing courses for experienced sailors. Sailing classes are critical as they prepare you for any untoward occurrences while sailing in the rough seas.

image credit: Spinnaker Sailing

What are the requirements for a bareboat charter?

You don’t simply wake up one day, decide to rent a yacht, and then go on a sailing vacation. How can I charter a boat in San Francisco? What are the requirements for a bareboat charter?

The reality is, you need to undergo a process to get qualified for a bareboat yacht charter. As stated above, your safety is the top priority when sailing the San Francisco Bay.

Your sailing experience and qualifications matter and can help you get a good deal with the boat owner or sailing company. If you are still unsure and not confident of your sailing skills and qualifications, continue reading to be enlightened.

Ideally, having a bareboat charter certification is essential in chartering a boat. To be eligible for a bareboat charter, you must have the skills in handling the boat or yacht. It would be helpful if you have experience sailing a yacht of similar size and structure. You also need to update your sailing license and credentials to qualify for a bareboat charter in San Francisco.

The American Sailing Association or ASA offers a wide variety of sailing or cruising courses that can help upgrade your sailing skills. Things will undoubtedly be easier if you have authenticated certifications from ASA, ICC (International Certificate of Competence), or IPC (International Proficiency Certificate). These certifications will excuse you from taking written and practical exams.

If you can’t present proof of competence to the sailing company, hiring a skipper or a ship captain would be your next resort. Skippers have substantial knowledge about local destinations in the area and can provide recommendations for anchorages, navigation, docking, and even local restaurants. Adding a skipper can help you enjoy your vacation without worrying so much about the technicalities of bareboating.

Approval Process for a Bareboat Charter

Bareboat charters on San Francisco Bay can give you an ultimate experience of a lifetime. But while most people think these leisure activities are simple and generally accessible to the public, the approval process for a bareboat charter is thorough and challenging. Here are a few crucial points to remember:

  • These types of bareboat charters are exclusively available to club members for most sailing companies: half-day, one day, and two days. On the other hand, non-members are only permitted to bareboat charter for 3, 4, 5, or more consecutive days.
  • All bareboat charters or Yacht charters in San Francisco should have at least one crew member that stays aboard throughout the sailing operations.
  • Non-members should complete sailing checkouts 48-60 hours (or more) before beginning the 1st charter period. For non-members, checkouts or bareboat charter approvals are valid until the end of the current year.

The approval process begins with resume submission and a short phone interview. The usual interview questions are about your qualifications, training, and sailing experiences. After the interview, the sailing company will recommend the best possible way for you to obtain charter approval.

Then finally, the company will schedule a checkout based on your initial screening process results. They will give you a notice a week before your scheduled checkout. Ideally, checkouts consist of sailing-knowledge testing and on-the-water assessments. Your approval level result will determine the size of the sailboat or yacht you are qualified to sail.

Yachts For Charter In San Francisco

Yacht charters in San Francisco are extremely popular and in-demand nowadays. The choices for sailing companies and bareboat charter businesses are endless. To help you save time and effort, we have compiled some of our favorite yacht charter businesses in the Bay Area. We try to be as comprehensive, precise, and up-to-date as possible to give you the best choices. If there are errors or omissions in our listings, we apologize in advance.

Here are our top choices for yacht charters in San Francisco:

Adventure Cat

Alcatraz Island plus Sailing Cruise on San Francisco Bay
image credit: Adventure Cat

This top-rated yacht in San Francisco is known for its world-class amenities. Their guests can enjoy a safe and stable ride while enjoying the freshest air in the California seas. This multi-passenger vessel is perfect for private events such as weddings, family outings, and more. The boat can accommodate up to 47 passengers.

Berth : Pier 39, Dock J, San Francisco

Phone Number : 415-777-1630

Website: www.adventurecat.com

Bay Lady

Rendezvous Charters, topsail schooner Bay Lady
image credit: Rendezvous Charters

This 90-ft long traditional vessel is perfect for those who want a classic sailing adventure. The boat has top-of-the-line safety features to ensure safety for all. Their amenities are perfect for team buildings, weddings, beach parties, and more.

Berth: Pier 40, San Francisco

Phone Number: 415-543-7333

Website: www.rendezvous-charters.com

Chardonnay II

Cahrdonnay Sailing Charters yacht Chardonnay II on San Francisco Bay
image credit: Chardonnay Sailing Charters

If you love speed and adventure, this could be the right sailing yacht for you. This Santa Cruz sailing charter is specially designed for sailboat racing experts and enthusiasts. Santa Cruz ’70 can accommodate up to 49 sailboat passengers and offer custom private charters, sunset cruising, and corporate team building.

Berth: 790 Mariner Pkwy, Santa Cruz Harbor

Phone Number: 831-423-1213

Website: www.chardonnay.com

Club Nautique

Charter yacht on San Francisco Bay
image credit: Club Nautique

Club Nautique offers a wide variety of sailboats (26’ – 52’) and power yachts (30’ – 43’). These vessels contain everything you need for a fantastic cruising experience of a lifetime. Their well-equipped vessels are also designed for offshore charters and cruises. They have corporate charters for business gatherings and team buildings. They also offer custom private charters, sunset cruising, wine tasting, photo treasure hunt, and ash scattering.

Address: 1150 Ballena Blvd #161, Alameda, CA 94501

Phone Number: 510-865-4700

Website: https://boats.network/clubnautique

Gas Light

Gaslight Cruising Past Angel Island
Gaslight Cruising Past Angel Island | Photographer: Michael Slater / BoatingSF

Gas Light is a 72-ft schooner that can accommodate various events with larger crowds, such as weddings, birthdays, family gatherings, and business events. The Tall Ship Gas Light can accommodate up to 49 voyagers. The company offers assorted catering, beverage options, and multiple pickup locations. Feel free to enjoy the incredible San Francisco city front and the Golden Gate Bridge while enjoying an exhilarating ride.

Berth: Richmond Marina; Pick up in Sausalito and South Beach (SF)

Phone Number: 415-405-5279

Website: www.baylightscharters.com

Just Dreaming

Just Dreaming Motoryacht
Just Dreaming Motoryacht | Photographer: Michael Slater / BoatingSF

If you want to experience sailing with style and elegance, Just Dreaming yachts are perfect for you. Their yachts can accommodate up to 42 passengers and are fully customizable. They can hold significant events such as weddings, anniversaries, and other memorable celebrations. Book an appointment now if you want a themed cruise and luxurious voyage in the California seas.

Address: South Beach Harbor, San Francisco

Phone Number: 415-678-0707

Website: www.justdreamingyacht.com


Charter Boat Ruby
Charter Boat Ruby | Photographer: Michael Slater / BoatingSF

Ruby Sailing is the first-ever sailboat licensed by USCG in San Francisco and operating since 1981. This veteran ship has proven its worth to the worldwide audience. They accommodate all occasions, from individual sails to couple voyages and private parties.

Berth: Ramp Café, San Francisco

Phone Number: 415-272-0631

Website: www.rubysailing.com

Santa Maria

Santa Maria charter yacht
image credit: SailSF

Santa Maria sailing company is passionate about giving its passengers an exciting yet educational voyage. You get to explore the water while discovering the marine ecosystem. Your $99 will be worth it.

Berth: Pier 39 Marina, SF

Phone Number: 415-378-4887

Website: www.sailsf.com

Team O’Neill

Team O'Neill charter catamaran
image credit: O’Neill Yacht Charters

Their yacht charters have the latest custom-built Morrelli and Melvin 65’ that is ideal for sailing the rough waters of San Francisco. They offer public sailing charters from April to October and private charters all year round. Team O’Neil yachts can accommodate up to 75 passengers.

Berth: Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor

Phone Number: 831-818-3645

Website: www.oneillyachtcharters.com

USA 76

USA 71 and USA 76, BMW Oracle Racing's 24-meter America's Cup Yachts
USA 71 and USA 76, 24-meter America’s Cup Yachts | Photographer: Michael Slater / BoatingSF

If you are looking for an exhilarating, heart-racing, and extremely satisfying sailing adventure, USA 76 is the right one for you. Fall in love with the smooth speed and power of USA 76 that can make you feel like a pro. The ship can carry up to 20 passengers and offer various services such as sunset watching, private parties, and racing.

Berth: Pier 39, San Francisco

Phone Number: 415-630-6383

Website: www.rubysailing.com

Yukon Jack

Rendezvous Charters, charter yacht Yukon Jack
image credit: Rendezvous Charters

This newly restored sailboat was named after an author and ocean-racing champion, Jack London. This ultra-light Santa Cruz yacht has a world-class and spacious interior that can accommodate 25 passengers. The ship’s modern and luxurious structure and amenities make it perfect for weddings, family vacations, and celebrations.

Berth: South Beach Harbor, San Francisco

Phone Number: 415-543-7333

Website: rendezvouscharters.com/charter/sailing-yacht/Yukon-jack

Angel: Fountaine Pajot Catamaran 35

This 6-passenger crewed yacht is available for team-building, family outings, private group charters, and sailing/cruising lessons.

Berth: Treasure Island

Phone Number: 510-535-1954

Website: www.afterguard.net


Charter yacht Carodon on San Francisco Bay
image credit: Fine Day For Sailing

This ultra-light, fast, modern racing yacht can take your voyage to another level. If you love some private moments with your closest friends and loved ones, the boat is waving for you.

Location: Sausalito, California

Phone Number: 415-730-0849

Website: www.finedayforsailing.com


Sailing yacht Esprit for charter
image credit: QM Travles

This fast, modern, and extra-comfortable center cockpit cruiser can fulfill your dream sailing adventure in the seas of San Francisco and all over the world. Most of their guests are adventure travelers who value privacy and sustainability.

Berth : Berkeley Marina, San Francisco

Phone Number: 510-408-7142

Website: qmtravels.com

Gentle Storm II

Charter yacht Gentle Storm II on San Francisco Bay
image credit: GS Charters

This seasoned, top-of-the-line Rick Niles’ 2004 Catalina 42 has cruised various seas and places all across the globe. It can accommodate up to six passengers, including a skipper.

Berth: Clipper Yacht Harbor, Sausalito, CA

Phone Number: 707-235-6295

Website: www.gscharters.com


If you want to enjoy a private sailing adventure in San Francisco, this sailboat might be for you. This bareboat charter offers a chill, laidback, and melodramatic ride while letting you enjoy the Golden Gate’s splendor.

Berth: Point Richmond or pickup in San Francisco area

Phone Number: 415-886-7245

Website: www.GotSailing.com


Charter yacht Whimsea at berth in San Francisco
image credit: Captain Morgan’s Sail Charters

This six-passenger crewed yacht is one of the most luxurious charter boats in San Francisco Bay. With its seasoned boat captains, expect to have a breathtaking adventure of a lifetime.

Berth: Sausalito

Phone Number: 916-836-0849

Website: www.captainmorganssailcharters.com

How much does a bareboat charter cost?

The cost of a bareboat/yacht charter depends on several factors, including the type of sailboat, season, destination, base boat, and local taxes. If a famous public figure or celebrity owns the yacht, the cost can be much higher. Ideally, a bareboat charter can cost from $10,000 – $15,000 per week on small sailboats/yachts. Meanwhile, luxury yachts, also called superyachts, can cost from $150,000 – $165,000 per week.

Those who are sail regularly can join a sailing club. Typically, club members pay $235 for a one-day bareboat charter. Non-members may have to spend more compared to members. The charter rate includes the following costs: crew, water toys, food and drinks, fuel, water and electricity, transport airport, taxes/VAT, and crew gratuity.

Final Words On Yacht Charters in San Francisco

Yacht charters in San Francisco are indeed an experience of a lifetime. While the thought may seem exciting and straightforward, the actual process of chartering a boat is thorough and meticulous. Having read and understood this article, you will be well prepared when it comes to organizing a bareboat charter. If you still can’t stop thinking about bareboat charters on San Francisco Bay, check out the links provided above and book an appointment now.

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