Launching from Treasure Island, SF?

So long as there seem to be so many SF Bay Area kayakers on this site I thought I’d toss out another (off the wall) question. =)~

Is there a launch ramp or pier on Treasure Island that’s suitable for kayaks? Are you even allowed to lauch from there??

I’ve launched from the South Beach Boat Club and paddled south past the floating dry-docks or north under the Bay Bridge, but I was wondering if you can launch from the island itself?

I’m not completely sure where exactly the shipping lanes pass, so tend to stay close to shore and plan to do the same thing (if there’s a ramp) with the island.


none that I know of

– Last Updated: Nov-05-08 10:54 PM EST –

There is a beach between TI and Yerba Buena Island that looks like it would be possible, but I don't think it is allowed. Most (if not all) of the island is rocky breakwater.

Here is a list of many of the launch sites within the Bay:

There is a beach on Yerba Buena Island (SF side) that is a nice place to stop for a break, but no real launching possibilities from there (no way to get a car or boat there).

If you have a VHF, you may want to start listening to channel 14 when you are on the Bay. You'll hear announcements at every start and key point that a ferry, barge, or ship gets to. This will help you learn their patterns, and also the names of key points, rocks, shoals, etc.

Most ships go between SF and Treasure Island. They generally use the large spans of the Bay Bridge.

Between Alcatraz and SF is considered the East Bound lane. Ships coming from the ocean and going to Oak, SF, RWC, etc. use this. Some ships going north (Benicia, Sac, etc.) use it. There is also a channel that goes between Angel Island and Alcatraz (but close to Angel Island). This is called the deep water channel. Ships going to sea generally use this, though ships with extra deep drafts or those going north will sometimes come in this channel.

If you want more details than you could ever imagine about shipping lanes and such, check out:

Chapter 7 gives all the details a ship’s captain is supposed to know.

And the following link has the chart that shows the shipping channels in the central Bay:

Thanks a lot! =)


careful on Yerba Buena
with the Coasties sooooo close this area is pretty resricted, especially the E side.

I got booted off the SF side of YB one day a few years back, in fact right after 9/11. d’uh. Coasties pulled up in a patrol boat and ordered me and my little boat off’n the island. I launch from Jack London square,a pretty weird, but interesting paddle out the channel.


Maybe I’ll just cross that one off my list of destinations then. =)~

Thanks for the tip/warning.


Treasure Island Launch
Yes, there is an old boat launch on Treasure Island and I’ve used it often in the past. If you will send me your E-mail address I’ll send you a map. It’s located on the North end of the island but is difficult to find.