Fun and Safe Ways to Sail on San Francisco Bay this Summer

Sailboat passing under the Golden Gate Bridge

For San Francisco captain Zorah Rose, who anchors her sailboat at the Travis Marina under the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, an affinity for water started at a very young age.

“When I was 8 — my brothers were a lot older — they would always take me fishing and boating,” she says. “They never let me get away with not helping fix everything. It was a family lifestyle.”

That all-in attitude rubbed off on her and when Rose finally moved to San Francisco in 2011, she took up sailing and joined a boat ownership partnership, where members share costs, maintenance and time on the boat. After seven years, she decided to branch out and get her captain’s license, buy a boat and start her own private charter and sailing adventure business, Creative Concierge SF. “I just loved the look on people’s faces when they go underneath the bridge, or I put them behind the wheel.”

She bought her 1977 Islander 36 in 2018, and in 2019 she tore it to the bones and totally rebuilt it, including adding a powerful Perkins 4108 motor. Now she can sail clients down to Santa Cruz and then motor back home quickly.

“People come from all over the world to get a chance to sail on San Francisco Bay,” she says. “On a day ride you go out for three hours — you go under the gate, you cruise the city line, bump in and see the seals at Pier 39, get close to Alcatraz. It’s fun and exciting.”

Like many other small boat charter captains, Rose shut down for a while during shelter in place. But she is now up and running again. With a capacity to carry six people, she mostly takes out families and groups that have already been sheltering together. She asks people to wear masks, but they are allowed to walk about the boat, take the wheel and even ride the bow.

“It’s been unbelievable to be back on the water,” she says, and reports that after months of being cooped up, clients are eager for a safe, socially distanced adventures on the bay. “Most often I hear people say, ‘That was incredibly therapeutic, I had no idea how much I needed that.’ I think that when people see dolphins and seals they just are reminded about nature and that where we live is incredible.”

Rates start at $150 per hour for groups of six people with a two-hour minimum. On the third Sunday of every month Rose offers a free day for families and children to come out and look at the boat, go on board and sometimes even take a quick spin.

Approaching the Bay Bridge (courtesy of Creative Concierge SF)
Zorah Rose (courtesy of Creative Concierge SF)

Other Ways to Sail on San Francisco Bay

Fine Day for Sailing

A six-person sailing craft out of Galilee Harbor in Sausalito available for charters, including full moon and sunset trips.

Sail San Fran

A luxury, 41-foot sailboat available for charters for up to six people out of the Cove at
Tiburon marina.

Modern Sailing School and Club

This Sausalito-based club offers memberships for access to clinics and a fleet of charter sailboats, destination sailing vacations, skippered sails
and team-building events.

Club Nautique

The club offers memberships for classes and access to a fleet of sailboats, an award-winning sailing and powerboat school, events, and charters out of Sausalito and Alameda.


Sailing school and a fractional sailing program, allowing members to enjoy sailing adventures onboard a professionally-maintained, luxury sailboat at various San Francisco Bay marinas.

Tradewinds Sailing School and Club

A club offering memberships, clubs, events and sailing courses on a fleet of sailboats out of Richmond.