Category Archives for "Long Beach Marinas"

Jun 01

How To Get A Boat Slip In Long Beach

By Drew | Long Beach Marinas

Long Beach has some of the best weather and water conditions in the country, so it’s no surprise that slips in the marinas are so highly sought after. Even though there are almost 4000 boat slips in the city owned marina, there is usually a waiting list, especially for the larger sized vessels. However, getting a “permanent” boat slip isn’t impossible. There are a few steps you have to take, and having the proper paperwork and documentation ahead of time can make getting that boat slip a breeze. Here’s how to do it.

 1. Check each marina for permanent boat slip availability

The first thing you need to know is the terminology the Long Beach Marina Bureau uses. The city rents out slips in three different ways. “Guest Slips” are transient slips that are rented out for a maximum of 15 days per calendar month. These are usually used for boaters on a cruise up and down the coast, or people visiting the city. A “Temporary Assignment” or “T/A” is a boat slip rented out on a monthly basis. These are only available at the Alamitos Bay office, and are meant as a temporary way to fill a boat slip during the construction. These are not meant to be long term slips and the slip assignment will be cancelled when different phases of the construction are completed. For long term slips, much like renting out an apartment or house, ask the marinas about renting a “permanent” boat slip. These slips are rented out for an indefinite period, and many families have had boats in the Long Beach marinas for decades! Since the Alamitos Bay Marina is currently (as of May 2016) undergoing major construction, there may be waiting lists for different size vessels at different times of the year at the different marinas. The only way to find out is to call each office individually and see what their availability is. The office numbers and hours are:

Alamitos Bay Marina: (562) 570-3215 8am-5pm 7 days/week

Long Beach Shoreline Marina: (562) 570-4950 8am-5pm 7 days/week

Rainbow Harbor/Marina: (562) 570-8636 8am-4pm 7 days/week

Same day availability for slips is a rarity, so don’t expect to buy a boat then walk into one of the marinas and immediately get a slip. Doing so is a good way to risk having a boat with no home. Even if a slip is available, between their regular duties and appointments the permit agents for the marinas probably won’t be able to see you same day. Buying a boat and expecting to get a slip the same day or the next day is a recipe for disaster.

2. Get on the waiting list

If there is a waiting list, sign up on it. There is a nominal fee to sign up and a fee every year to stay on the list, but it makes sense to sign up as soon as you can. The wait can be anywhere from a month to a year or more, but as long as you stay on the list they will eventually be giving you a call. The paperwork for the waiting list can be picked up in the office, or can be mailed out, but cannot be faxed and is not available online. This is because there is a carbon copy that needs to be filed along with the hard copy.

The fees paid when you sign up for the waiting list are strictly to get on the list. They cannot be used as part of your security deposit, first month’s fees, or key deposits.

The name that is used when signing up on the list must be the name of the registered owner of the boat. No corporations are allowed, and the name on the waiting list cannot be transferred to anyone else.  This means that even if the boat is sold, the new owner cannot take the old owner’s place on the list.

3. Play the waiting game

Like it was mentioned before, depending on what size slip you signed up for, the wait could vary from a few days, to a few months, to a year or more. Slip sizes in the Long Beach marinas range from 20′-120′, increasing by 5′ increments. The quickest waiting lists are typically 30′-45′, and the longest are 20′-25′ and 70’+.

There are a few reasons for the long waiting times for the slips. First, California has the second largest number of registered boats in the country, after Florida, and only so many available slips. Second, Long Beach is in a prime geographic area in Southern California. It is the closest marina to Catalina Island, protected by the breakwall that was constructed when the Navy had a presence at the port. Third, for over 10 years the marinas have been undergoing a massive reconstruction project. Slips have been kept open so that current boatowners (permittees) have a slip to move to when their dock is being reconstructed, and would not have to leave the city.

While you are waiting, it is a good idea to call any of the offices and get updates on your spot on the waiting list. As your name gets closer to the top, it is a good idea to start prepping your vessel and getting your paperwork in order.

One other detail to mention about the waiting list is it is possible to move down the list through no fault of your own. The Long Beach Marine Bureau has a program for permittees who need to leave their boat slip for a period of time, either for cruising or some other reason. The permittee can apply for a “Leave of Absence”, which is good for up to 5 years. When they are ready to come back, they can apply for reinstatement. This means that, instead of bypassing the waiting list completely, they are put back on the waiting list, but with the original date they signed up. This means the person will go at or near the top, pushing all others on the waiting list one spot down. So, if you ever call and find out you have dropped one or more spots on the list, this is probably the reason why.

4. Get your paperwork and boat ready

There are a few things you will need before the city can issue you a slip. The boat will have to be currently registered in the name of the person who signed up on the list, the boat will have to have current insurance with at least $100,000 in liability coverage (property damage or P&I) in the boatowner’s name, and you will need to provide your ID and a picture of your vessel. Vessels registered to one or more persons are allowed, but only one person is allowed to be on the permit.

The vessel will also need to be inspected before you can assume the slip. This means it will need to have the CF numbers and current decal, or the name and hailing port if it is documented; working nag lights, electrical systems, and bilge pumps; and the riggings, lines, decks, and below decks must be in good shape. If the rigging or dock lines are frayed, or there are soft spots on the deck, they may fail your inspection and deny you a slip.

5. Once you are called off the list, set up an appointment

Once you are called for a slip, the permit agent will need to set up an appointment to process your paperwork. The packet that you need to fill out can be faxed over and filled out ahead of time. When you are setting up the appointment, ask the permit agent if the vessel inspection can be done the same day; a separate employee, the field agent or Marina Agent II will do the inspection, and they are not always available the same time as the permit agent.

When you arrive for your appointment to process your paperwork, you’ll need to bring your packet, the paperwork mentioned above, plus first month’s rent, a security deposit which equals one month’s rent, and deposits for gate and restroom keys. The permit agent will give you the total over the phone when you make the appointment. The marinas accept cash, checks, and Visa or Mastercard.

6. Move in to your new boat slip!

Congratulations! Once all that is over-you’ve signed up, waited your turn, and passed inspection-the slip is yours! You’ll get your move-in date from the permit agent, and on that day you can tie up, fill up your dock box, meet your new neighbors, and make yourself at home!

May 24

Guest Slips in the Long Beach Marinas

By Drew | Activities , Long Beach Marinas

All three public marinas in Long Beach offer guest slips. Guest slips can be booked up to 30 days in advance, and for a maximum of 15 days per calendar month. The current fee for (most) slips is $1.15/foot of your vessel/night; however, the fees go up every October, and there are exceptions for certain special events and also at Rainbow Harbor and the Shoreline Marina. To book the slips, all the marinas require current registration or documentation, current insurance with at least $100,000 in liability coverage (property damage or protection and indemnity), a current driver’s license, and there is a short form that will need to be signed. All paperwork needs to be provided ahead of time, but once it is on file reservations can be made over the phone with a Visa or Mastercard. Check in and check out time is 12 noon, and there is an extra fee if you leave past the check out time (although the marina offices can be flexible if you call ahead and ask for a late check out). All slips come with power and water included, and a maximum of 2 vehicle parking passes per slip.

Guest slips cannot be guaranteed at the marinas and often times the slips will be fully booked, especially during the summer months and on holidays. Advance reservations are highly recommended.

Alamitos Bay Guest Slips

Alamitos Bay books their guests on available end-ties, or less frequently in open slips. The end-ties are side ties, and in certain parts of the marina there can be a wake from passing vessels.  As of May 2016, the marina is currently under renovations, so guest slips are in extremely short supply, and reservations made 30 days ahead of time are recommended. Some docks have yet to be rebuilt, so there are new, concrete end-ties and old, wooden ones as well. Restroom keys are a $50 deposit, and there are currently no gates on the docks. If you plan on returning, you can keep the key instead of returning it for the deposit; this cuts makes it easier if you are going to be arriving after hours and cannot make it to the office. Reservations can be made by calling (562) 570-3215 between 8am-5pm 7 days per week. To try and book a slip walking in during business hours, you can type up to the harbormaster dock outside of the office and walk with your paperwork. If you arrive outside of normal business hours, tie up on the harbormaster dock and provide your paperwork and payment when the office opens in the morning.

Shoreline Marina Guest Slips

Guest slips at the Shoreline Marina in Downtown Long Beach are on GG dock, which is the dock closest to the beach, near the fuel dock. They are single slips, but are in  a limited size range. Guest slips here are easier to midweek and during the Fall/Winter, but fill up during holidays and weekends in the Spring and Summer. The docks here are gated, so a $50 deposit on a key is required. Keys here are on a computerized “FOB” system and are turned off after your last scheduled day, so it makes more sense to return the key rather than keep it for another stay. During the Long Beach Grand Prix and Long Beach Jazz Festival, guest slips are $3.00/foot/night with a three nigh minimum. Parking passes will also be limited to one per slip. Guest slips during these times book up very quickly so reservations must be made as close to 30 days ahead of time as possible. Reservations can be made by calling (562) 570-4950 between 8am-5pm 7 days per week.

Rainbow Harbor Guest Slips

The Tallship Lady Washington on the Pine Ave Pier

The Tallship Lady Washington on the Pine Ave Pier

Rainbow Harbor has many different options for transient boaters looking for guest slips. In Rainbow Marina (the Fishbowl), any slip not rented out permanently is used as a guest slip. The slips can accommodate any vessel up to 50′ in length and up to 16′ wide. Rainbow Harbor has the Pine Ave Pier, which is a 180′ long pier and can accommodate any vessel up to that size. Rainbow Harbor also has 150′ long commercial docks that can be rented out. The Pine Ave Pier and commercial docks are side ties with 50a-125v/250v  and 100a 3 phase power available. These docks are very popular with visiting yacht clubs,who have the option to raft up to each other with the harbormaster’s approval. Guest slips on the weekends, holidays, and during the summer almost always fill up, so advanced reservations are always needed.

The guest slips fees at Rainbow Harbor and Marina are different as well. Visiting vessels over 90′ are charged a flat $315/night, and the fees during the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Jazz Festival go up to $6.00/foot/night with a three night minimum.

Reservations can be made my calling (562) 570-8636 between 8am-4pm 7 days per week. If you arrive after office hours, tie up on one of the public docks and call the after hours line at (562) 570-3101 and inform the on-call person. Failure to do this could result in your boat being impounded!

Anchoring in Long Beach

Per Long Beach Municipal Code 15.08.510, no vessel may anchor in the nearshore are in Long Beach. However, the Marina Manager has designated the leeside of Island White as an anchoring area Friday-Sunday. This area is patrolled by the Long Beach Lifeguards, and any vessel anchoring outside of those days will be cited or towed. For more information on anchoring you can call the Long Beach Lifeguards at (562) 570-1360.

May 24

Alamitos Bay Marina

By Drew | Alamitos Bay Marina , Long Beach Marinas

The Alamitos Bay Marina was the first Long Beach marina. It was opened in the 1950s in east Long Beach, and has close to 2000 slips, making it the largest of the three city owned marinas in Long Beach. It is so big, in fact, that there is a smaller, privately owned marina (Crissman’s Marina) inside of it! It is also the home to a fuel dock, shipyard, several yacht clubs, and a Sunday farmer’s market.

The Alamitos Bay Marina is the oldest and largest marina in Long Beach. The marina office, located at 205 Marina Dr., serves as the main office for all three city owned marinas, and is where you can find both the marina manager’s office and the headquarters for the Long Beach Police Department’s Marine Patrol division. The marina office is also the site of the impounded boat auctions, usually held twice per year. There is a harbormaster’s dock out front with a free pumpout and water, and is available for boaters who need to do business in the office, or as a guest slip for boaters who arrive after hours. Behind the office is the impound dock, where impounded vessels are held until they are released to their owners or they go to auction. The phone  number for the office is (562) 570-3215, or (562) 570-3101 after hours.

Alamitos Bay Marina office

Location of the Alamitos Bay Marina office. Click to expand.

The office can be hard to find, and Google maps has the office erroneously located near the Crab Pot restaurant. To find on Google, search for “Long Beach Marina Headquarters”. The office is located at the very end of Marina Dr. on the tip of the peninsula where the road dead-ends. If you are driving on Marina Dr. and keep the boats on your right-hand side, you will eventually run into the office.

Alamitos Bay Marina Slips

The Alamitos Bay Marina has both public and privately controlled slips. The slips directly under the authority of the city are located 8 different areas in the marina, while the slips in Naples Island and Treasure Island are privately owned. There is usually a waiting list for the city slips, so for up to date information please call the Alamitos Bay office at (562) 570-3215.

The city controlled slips at the Alamitos Bay Marina are divided into 8 different basins. All slips come with a dock box, dedicated power pedestal, and water. The marina has liveaboard slips for vessels 25′ and up, but the liveaboard status is only granted after a non-liveaboard slip is issued. Since only 10% of the slips can be liveaboard, there is a separate waiting list for these, and the length varies between docks.


Basin 1 Alamitos Bay

Aerial view of Basin 1

Basin 1, located directly behind the marina office, has the largest slips in the marina, ranging from 40′-120′. These include the concrete berths formerly used for commercial purposes.





Aerial view of Basin 2

Aerial view of Basin 2

Basin 2, located between Heritage Yacht Sales and Joe’s Crab Shack, has slips from 25′-40′, including two public slips (for a maximum of two hours) in front of Schooner or Later. Stan Miller Yacht Sales also has several slips and end-ties for their inventory.




Aerial view of Basin 3

Aerial view of Basin 3

Basin 3 is the largest basin in the marina, and has slips from 20′-45′. It runs between Joe’s Crab Shack and the Marina Shipyard. The parking lot in Basin 3 is also the location of the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market.





Basins 4 and 5 are unique in that both are controlled by different yacht clubs.

Aerial view of Basin 4

Aerial view of Basin 4, including the Long Beach Yacht Club

Basin 4 is the home of the Long Beach Yacht Club, and the club has “first right of refusal” for most of the slips. This means that if a slip is available, it is offered to the yacht club first, and if it is turned down, then it would be offered to someone off of the waiting list. The Long Beach Area Boy Scouts also has a few slips for their sailing program. As you could imagine, most boats in this basin belong to one of the two organizations.


Aerial view of Basin 5

Aerial view of Basin 5, including the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club

Basin 5 is located at the very end of E. Ocean Blvd, directly across the water from the marina office. All of the boats there are members of the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club , the oldest yacht club in Long Beach. It is gated, and only members and their guests are allowed inside.






Basin 6 is divided into two different areas:

Aerial view of Basin 6 South

Aerial view of Basin 6 South

Basin 6 South is on Marina Dr, near Davis Launch Ramp and the Marina Pacifica Condos. It has slips from 30′-45′ and a separate parking lot.





Aerial view of Basin 6 North

Aerial view of Basin 6 North

Basin 6 North is located in the Marina Pacific shopping center near the Pacific Coast Highway bridge, and has 30′ slips. This basin also has its own separate parking lot.





Aerial view of Basin 7

Aerial view of Basin 7

Basin 7 is also on E. Ocean Blvd, and shares its docks with the U.S. Sailing Center. It is the smallest basin in the marina and has only a handful of slips.







Aerial view of Basin 8

Aerial view of Basin 8

Basin 8 is the newest basin in the marina, and has 45-50′ slips. It is located on Costa Del Sol Way near the Pacific Coast Highway bridge, just outside of Jack Nichol Park in Spinnaker Bay. It is the only basin that has gated parking, and laundry machines.



The private slips are located on Bayshore Ave, Naples Island and Treasure Island, right in the middle of the bay. These slips are rented out by the individual property owners, not by the city. The marina office does not keep a list of open slips on the island, so if you are looking at keeping your boat there, you simply need to take a walk along the canals and see who has “For Rent” signs posted on their docks. Since these docks are privately owned, however, the property owner can charge as much as they wish (as long as it is above a minimum amount set by the city), and it is often times much more than the city owned slips.

Alamitos Bay Guest Slips

Boaters wishing to visit Alamitos Bay can reserve a guest end-tie up to 30 days in advance, assuming there is availability. They can accommodate vessels up to 100′, and will need the vessel registration or documentation, the declaration page of your vessel insurance (make sure the limits of liability are at least $100,000), a copy of your ID, and you will need to sign some paperwork (much like at a hotel). The slips can be reserved by calling the office at (562) 570-3215.

Dry Storage

The Alamitos Bay Marina also has several different types of dry storage. There are two different storage yards for trailerable boats at the north end of Marine Stadium, on the corner of Eliot St and Boathouse Lane. The yards are gated, with 24 hour access for renters. The assigned spots can accommodate up to 25′, including the trailer.

The marina also has a small, gated storage yard for kayaks and sabots on E. Ocean Blvd, next to the Leeway Sailing Center. The yard opens up directly to the beach, and is just a short dragging distance away from the water. There are also shore moorings available along the seawall on the bay side of Ocean Blvd, but the waiting list for those can be five years or more. The shore moorings are rings attached to the seawall that can accommodate up to 5 kayaks or sabots.

Services and Amenities

Besides the Marina Shipyard, the Alamitos Bay Marina has several other services available.

Marina Shipyard Long beach

Marina Shipyard

There is a fuel dock, Alamitos Bay Marine  located in Basin 1 on Oil Dock Rd., along with a vessel towing service and a lifeguard station. To contact the fuel dock and towing service, you can call (562) 594-0888. The Lifeguards can be reached at (562) 570-1360. There is also an AquaLink stop at Alamitos Landing.

For out of town travelers, the Seaport Marina Hotel is located on the corner of Marina Dr. and 2nd St, just across the street from Basin 3.


Things to do in Alamitos Bay

Hydrobikes at Alamitos Landing

Hydrobikes at Alamitos Landing

There is no shortage of fun, family friendly things in Alamitos Bay. If you are driving down, parking is free in the marina lots until 10 pm or, you can bring you boat down and book a guest slip through the marina office. Want to boat around the bay, but don’t have one? Check out London Boat Rental at Alamitos Landing, or bike on the water with Long Beach Hydrobikes, also at Alamitos Landing. Kayak and stand up paddle board (SUP) rentals are available at Alfredo’s Beach Club, located on the corner of E. Ocean Blvd and Bayshore Ave. For a more romantic evening, Gondola Getaway offers gondola rides around the bay and through the canals of Naples Island.

There are also several bars and restaurants around the marina. For the best breakfast in the area, visit Schooner or Later in Basin 2, and make sure to order “The Mess”, which was featured on Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives! The Five O’Clock Wine Bar at Alamitos Landing is perfect for a mellow, relaxing evening enjoying California wines, craft beer, and small plates. If you are looking for seafood, The Crab Pot and Joe’s Crab Shack are both popular options. Boathouse On The Bay adds a trendy, upscale vibe to Alamitos Bay, while Malarkey’s is the perfect place to stop in for a have a beer and play some bar trivia.

Across the street from Basin 3 is the Marina Shores shopping center. Here you will find a Whole Foods Market, a Five Guys burgers, Petco, Paradise dry cleaners, and Phenix hair salon.

Just outside of the Alamitos Bay Marina on the northwest corner of 2nd St. and Pacific Coast Highway is the Marina Pacifica Mall. It boast a 12 screen movie theater, a Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, several restaurants, a two grocery stores, and even a yoga studio! Parking at the Marina Pacifica Mall is free and available until 2am.

Down the street from that is the Marketplace at Long Beach. Here you will find smaller and more local and eclectic shops. You will find everything from the Creative Cakery bakery and Nekter Juice Bar, to Ruby’s Diner and the Tilted Kilt. There is also a spayoga studioTrader Joe’s, and UA Theater.

Mother's Beach

Mother’s Beach

Mother’s Beach is a child friendly area just across the Davie’s Launch Ramp, on Appian Way. It is a small beach deep inside the bay, with no waves except for the small wakes from the passing boats. There are buoys roping off the water so boats don’t get too close and a lifeguard present during the summer season, so it is perfect for little ones to go wading in. There is also a large playground and a small take out place serving hamburgers, fries, and sodas. There is a fee to park in the parking lot, but there is ample free street parking around the beach.

Lastly, Marine Stadium is host to a weekly Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays, and, during the summer, free concerts by the Long Beach Municipal Band. During these concerts the speed limit is reduced to 5 mph, and boaters are encouraged to bring their boats to the stadium; it is not uncommon to see boats anchored or tied together side-by-side, with people sitting on deck enjoying the music.


Apr 30

Long Beach Public Docks

By Drew | Alamitos Bay Marina , Long Beach Marinas , Public Docks , Rainbow Harbor

The Long Beach public docks are popular destinations for Southern California’s boating community.

There are a few different options for boaters and day sailors looking for public docks in Long Beach. The Long Beach public docks are located in Rainbow Harbor and in the Alamitos Bay Marina at Alamitos Landing. They are both free for a short period of time, and a great way to spend an afternoon in Long Beach.

Rainbow Harbor/Marina

Long Beach Public Docks

Dock 8 public dock at Rainbow Harbor

There are two docks at Rainbow Harbor/Marina. Dock 8 is located inside the marina (in the “Fishbowl”), on the north-east wall near the Yardhouse and the other, Dock 10 (also known as “Parker’s Dock”), is located just outside of the mouth of the harbor, in front of Parker’s Lighthouse restaurant. Combined, they offer over 700′ of dock space, and are free for a maximum of 3 hours. They are on a first come/first served basis and cannot be reserved, although they may be rented out and closed off to the public for certain special events, such as the Grand Prix and S.C.O.P.E. Both are cement docks, and have water and electrical hookups on the dock, although they are usually locked. The docks are regularly patrolled by the Long Beach Lifeguards, and the dock rules are clearly posted on the seawall and pilings. If you have any question about the docks or their availability, call the Rainbow Harbor office at (562) 570-8636 or the Long Beach Lifeguards at (562) 570-1360.

The public docks in Rainbow Harbor are very popular, and will often times fill up in the late morning/early afternoon on the weekends, and stay packed until 11pm-12am, especially during the summer. Dock 8, which has about 200′ of space, almost always fills up first (since it is inside the marina, closest to the restaurants), which means that boaters will often hang out in front, waiting for a spot to open up. DON’T DO THIS. Not only is it a violation of California’s Harbors and Navigation Code section 131(a), there are boat rental and charter companies with inexperienced operators who may not be able to maneuver out of the way of your boat! There are one or two collisions every summer because of this. If you notice Dock 8 is full, exit the marina and head to Dock 10 (Parker’s Dock). If that is full as well, call the marina office. If you are nice to them, they might have a slip they could let you use for a few hours. It is also important to note that rafting (side tying to another vessel) is also prohibited on the public docks, even if all the available space is already taken. You’ll just have to wait your turn.

Long Beach Public Docks

Parker’s Dock at Dock 10

Dock 10 (Parker’s Dock) was opened in February of 2015 and is the newest of the Long Beach public docks. It was installed with a bull rail instead of cleats, and also has an ADA accessible portion near the ramp. On the south end of the dock are three pump outs and one water hookup available for public use. This section of the dock is limited to a maximum of 15 minutes in order to give everybody a chance to pump out or replenish their water. This dock is over 500′ long, and almost always fills up after Dock 8 does, so chances are if there are more than a few vessels on tied up there, Dock 8 is already full. One thing that people may underestimate is the amount and strength of the wakes the dock is exposed to. Whale watching boats, commercial fishing boats, and water taxis all operate out of the marina, and can throw sizable wakes, even at 5mph. A vessel that is not secured properly or that does not have the proper fenders down can sustain some damage on this dock, so make sure you have everything tightened and secured before leaving your vessel.

Alamitos Bay Marina

Long Beach Public Docks North Dock ABM

North public dock bullrail at Alamitos Bay Marina

The Alamitos Bay Marina also has two public docks. They are both located at Alamitos Landing, and instead of dock numbers are denoted as the “North Dock” or “South Dock”. These are the oldest of the Long Beach public docks, and are simple wood docks with no water hookups or pump outs, and minimal electrical hookups. Both docks share space with commercial operations, so the public areas are painted with either a green or  yellow stripe on the bull rail. These docks are also patrolled by the Long Beach Lifeguards, and are free for two hours (instead of three hours like Rainbow Harbor), and are also on a first come/first served basis. These public docks are also subject to wakes thrown by passing vessels, so caution is needed when tying up a vessel here as well. The public dock space at Alamitos Bay is much smaller than in Rainbow Harbor, but because the vessel traffic is much lower finding room to tie up is isn’t very hard, even in the summer.

Bull Rails

Wondering what a bull rail is? A bull rail is simply a long rail attached to the edge of a dock that is anchored to the dock every 20′ or so. This makes it easier to accommodate a large range of boat sizes, and prevents dinghies and inflatables from using up cleat space. Tying up to a bull rail can be a little tricky though, so here’s a helpful video on how to do it.

Mar 14

Rainbow Harbor Marina

By Drew | Long Beach Marinas , Rainbow Harbor

Rainbow Harbor/Marina

Rainbow Harbor/Marina

The Rainbow Harbor/Marina is one of the best destination harbors in Southern California. Located at the end of the Pike in Downtown Long Beach, there is never a shortage of fun activities. From the Aquarium of the Pacific, to whale watching with Harbor Breeze Cruises, to nights at Shenanigan’s or the Sky Room, there is something for the whole family!

Parts of Rainbow Harbor opened in 1983 with the development of the Downtown Marina (now known as the Shoreline Marina). A small basin for recreational boats was carved out of the harbor, and was a quiet place to keep a small boat until the rest of the area was developed. In 1995, Rainbow Harbor/Marina was opened, and the recreational basin became affectionately called the “Fishbowl”, due to its location surrounded by Shoreline Village. Rainbow Harbor/Marina was split into the recreational side on the east (Rainbow Marina) and a side for larger commercial vessels on the west (Rainbow Harbor). The Rainbow Marina (Fishbowl) today is no longer strictly recreational, as there are several small commercial operations.

The Rainbow Harbor Office

Rainbow Harbor office

Rainbow Harbor office

The main office for Rainbow Harbor is located at 200 B Aquarium Way, next to Pierpoint Landing. It is on the west side of the harbor, by the rear of the Aquarium of the Pacific. There is parking available in the paid parking lot in the back, or you can pull your boat up to Dock 1, right in front of the office. They are open 7 days a week from 8am-4:30pm, and are closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. To book a guest slip, inquire about permanent slips, or report any safety concerns or maintenance issues or problems with any of the launch ramps you can give them a call at (562) 570-8636. The fax number is (562) 570-8640.

Rainbow Harbor Marina slips

Rainbow Marina

Slips in Rainbow Marina

The slips in Rainbow Marina range in size from 30′-45′, with end-ties ranging from 69′-90′. All of the slips and end-ties have dockboxes, water and power available. The 30′ and 35′ slips have 30a/120v service, and the 40′ and 45′ slips have 50a/120v service. There are two gates leading to the marina-one in Shoreline Village by Shenanigan’s Irish Pub, and one on the public dock. A key is needed to open these, and the keys are only available to current boatowners in the marina, their guests, and guest or transient boaters. Boatowner restrooms and showers are located in Shoreline Village and also require a key to get in. Guest (or transient) slips are available for rent as well as permanent slips. To reserve a guest slip call the Rainbow Harbor office at (562) 570-8636 between 8am and 4pm. They will require your documentation/registration, the declarations page of your insurance showing at least $100,000 in liability insurance, a copy of your ID, and a Visa or Mastercard. Guest slips can be reserved up to 30 days in ahead of time, and advanced reservations are highly recommended during the summer and holidays. Renting permanent, or year round slips, in Rainbow Marina is unique because of its location. It is in the middle of Shoreline Village and is a high traffic area and very popular on the nights and weekends. There are also large events several times a year which impacts not only the docks and waterways, but also the roads around the marina.  Many people are turned off by this, and look toward the Shoreline Marina and Alamitos Bay Marina for a quieter place to keep their boats. However, the tenants that are in Rainbow Marina have been there for years and have created a small community on the docks. They are all very welcoming, and are quick to chat and offer helpful tips and tricks or watch each other’s vessels when out of town.

Permanent slips require current registration in the slip owner’s name, insurance with at least $100,000 in liability coverage and also naming the city as “Additional Insured”, first month’s rent, and a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. The vessel will also need to be inspected before the slip is issued. To get a slip, call the Rainbow Harbor office Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm. Please note that slips will not always be immediately available, and there may be a waiting list for the slips at various times throughout the year.

Public Docks

Dock 8

Public dock at Dock 8

There are two public docks in Rainbow Harbor, totaling over 600′ of dock space. Dock 10, or “Parker’s Dock”, is outside of the harbor in front of Parker’s Lighthouse restaurant. It is an “L” shaped dock over 400′ long, with 3 pumpouts  on the south end and 1 water hose. The other public dock is Dock 8, located inside Rainbow Marina near the Yardhouse. This dock is over 200′ long, but does not have any pump outs or water. Both docks have a 3 hour maximum time limit and are open 24 hours per day, but are closed during some special events, such as the Grand Prix.

Rainbow Marina Boat Rentals and  Yacht Charters

Marina Sailing

As mentioned before, there are also commercial operation in Rainbow Marina. The biggest and oldest is Marina Sailing. They have been around since 1962, and with Rainbow Marina since 1999. They are a sailing club that offers sailing instruction and vessels for hourly rentals or multi-day charters. They have 19 vessels in the marina, ranging from 26′ to 46′. Their Long Beach office is located in Shoreline Village at 429 Shoreline Village Dr. Ste M. For more information you can call them at (562) 432-4672. They also have locations in Marina Del, Rey, Channel Islands, Redondo Beach, Newport Beach, and San Diego.

Long Beach Boat Rentals

Long Beach Boat Rentals

Long Beach Boat Rentals

Long Beach Boat Rentals is a small boat rental company and one of the most popular things to do in Long Beach. They are located at 401 Shoreline Village Dr., behind the Yardhouse at the top of the public dock. They have several power boats to choose from, including electric Duffy boats, a 21′ pontoon boat and personal watercraft for rent. You don’t need a captain’s license or any prior experience to rent any of these, just a credit card and an ID. Advanced reservations are encouraged, especially during the summer when they are routinely booked solid. They can be reached at (562) 491-7400. The electric Duffy boats are perfect for a relaxing family outing on the water, as they come with ample seating space, power outlets, and a table large enough for a meal with extended family. They are also easy enough to operate that a first time user could feel comfortable taking one out of the marina to do some exploring around the Queen Mary or near shore area. For those who need a little more speed, Long Beach Boat Rentals also rents power boats with 9.9-40hp outboards. These can reach speeds of 30mph, but must be kept under 5mph in the marina. However, once past the harbor area you can open up the throttle and really see how fast they can go.

Jet skis are also available for rent. There are a limited number of these, though, and they go fast. It’s recommended to make a reservation ahead of time or, if you are making last minute plans, to get to their dock as soon as they open to secure one or two for later in the day.

Island Trader Charters

Island Trader Charters is run by Capt. Chuck Brown off of his 36′ Cheoy Lee power boat “Island Trader”. He has several decades of experience in the maritime industry, and offers private charters, sunset cruises, cruises to Catalina Island, burials at sea, whale watching, and overnight accommodations on his boat. He can be reached at (714) 625-6074.

Spirit Cruises

Spirit Cruises is located at Dock 9, near Parker’s Lighthouse restaurant a,nd Louisiana Charlie’s restaurant. They office cruises of the Port of Long Beach and the near shore area, private party cruises, and wedding cruises. Call (310) 584-8080 for more information.

Rainbow Harbor

Rainbow Harbor

Rainbow Harbor

Rainbow Harbor is the commercial side of Rainbow Harbor/Marina. It includes Docks 1-7 and the Pine Ave Pier. The Pine Ave Pier 180′ long and is used almost exclusively for transient vessels. The rest of the docks are leased by various businesses, including fishing charters, whale watching, and tall ships. To inquire about commercial leases, call the Rainbow Harbor/Marina office at (562) 570-8636 and ask for the commercial RFP packet. There is no waiting list for commercial dock space; instead they will keep all proposals on file and choose the one they think best fits the harbor.

Each dock is 150′ comes with water and 50a 125v/250v and 3 phase service, along with a dedicated pump out. In addition to dock boxes, each commercial operation has one to two sheds to store larger items. There are no lockable gates on the docks.

Pierpoint Landing

Pierpoint Landing

Pierpoint Landing

Pierpoint Landing is a family owned fishing charter company that has been around for over 50 years. It was started by Whitey Ashley in the 60s, and is now owned by Don Ashley and Curtis and Veronica Wegener. They have a lease for all of Dock 1 in Rainbow Harbor, and run 1/2 day, 3/4 day, and multi-day fishing charters. They also rent out available dock space to recreational boaters. Their office is located at 200 Aquarium Way, and has snacks, drinks, ice cream shirts, hats, and bait available for purchase alongside tickets. Parking  available in the paid lot behind their office, or offsite in a gated parking lot. Guests using one of their vessels can get a parking pass at the ticket counter. For more information you can give them a call at (562) 983-9300 or visit their office in person.

Harbor Breeze Cruises

Harbor Breeze

Harbor Breeze Cruises

Harbor Breeze Cruises is located on Docks 2 and 3 in Rainbow Harbor and Dock 7 in Rainbow Marina. They are the largest whale watching company in the area, and also offer harbor cruises, private party cruises, and burials at sea. Parking is located at the Aquarium parking structure across the street from their dock. They can be reached at (562) 983-6880.



Tall Ship American Pride

The Tall Ship “American Pride” is also located on Dock 3 in Rainbow Harbor. It is a 130′ tall ship that is a faithful recreation of a 19th century three masted schooner. It is available for educational trips, summer camps, and whale watching. For more information call (562) 970-8800.

Grand Romance Riverboat

Grand Romance

Grand Romance

The Grand Romance is a 100′ long paddle wheel river boat on Dock 4 that boasts three decks, a dance floor, dj booth and full bar set up. They are available for private parties and events, as well as “murder mystery” dinners, New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July cruises. For bookings or more information call (562) 912-5665.





Dockside Boat and Bed

Dockside Boat and Bed

Dockside Boat and Bed

Dockside Boat and Bed is a unique attraction on Dock 5. It has several vessels available for rent as a “floating hotel”. This is a great alternative if you are looking for something a little different than a usual hotel experience. The dock is located in the middle of Rainbow Harbor and is the perfect location for someone checking out not only the Pike and Downtown Long Beach but also the Convention Center or the New Year’s Eve fireworks. They are also a great place to stay during the Long Beach Grand Prix, as they are just steps away from the action. Parking is located in the lot behind Pierpoint Landing or, for an additional fee, at the valet lot on the Pine Ave Circle by PF Chang’s. For more information call (562) 435-3111.

Burials at Sea by Capt. Johnnie Lee

Great Faith

The “Great Faith”

Sharing Dock 5 with Dockside Boat and Bed is Burials at Sea by Capt. Johnnie Lee. Capt. Lee has a 45′ power boat named the “Great Faith”, and is also available for boating lessons.





Hornblower Cruises

Dock 6 is currently rented out by Hornblower Cruises. They provide private party cruises as well as cruises for corporate and school events. They can be reached at (310) 301-6000.

The Pine Ave. Pier

Pine Ave Pier

The Pine Ave Pier

The Pine Ave Pier is a 180′ long pier located in the center of Rainbow Harbor. The west side has a floating dock that is used for transient vessels as well as the occasional special event. There is 30a/120v and 50a 125/250v  service available on the dock, as well as water and a pump-out. At the head of the dock is Gladstone’s Restaurant and Tokyo Wako. There is no lock on the swing gate, but the area is regularly patrolled by the Long Beach Marine Patrol. The east side of the dock is currently empty, and is only used for emergencies. However, the city will be constructing an additional 180′ long dock to be used as another public dock, which will make it easier for visiting boaters to get to the restaurants in Rainbow Harbor. To book dock space on the Pine Ave Pier, call the Rainbow Harbor office between 8am and 4pm at (562) 570-8636.

AquaLink and AquaBus

The AquaLink and AquaBus are two water taxis that have stops in Rainbow Harbor and Rainbow Marina. The AquaLink shares Dock 4 along with the AquaBus and the Grand Romance riverboat. The AquaBus also stops at Dock 7 and Dock 9 in Rainbow Marina.  The AquaBus runs from Rainbow Harbor to the Queen Mary and Hotel Maya, while the AquaLink runs from Rainbow Harbor to the Alamitos Bay Marina, with a stop at the Belmont Pier along the way. Both are run by Long Beach Transit, and can be reached at (562) 591-2301.