Newport Beach Boating Guide

Boating in Newport Beach, CA: Everything You Need to Know

Written by Boatsetter Team
May 27, 2022

Last Updated on July 29, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

Ready to hit the water in Newport Beach, California? Before you take out a boat, there are a few important things that you should know about the area.

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Boat Launches Near Newport Beach

There are a few public boat launches near Newport Beach. They are:

  • Newport Dunes Launch Ramp – This ramp sits at 1131 Back Bay Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660. It is only three miles away from Newport Beach, making it the most accessible and nearest boat launch for the Newport Beach area.
  • Cabrillo Beach Boat Ramp – 3720 Stephen M White Dr, San Pedro, CA 90731.
  • SouthShore Launch Ramp – 590 Queensway Dr, Long Beach, CA 90802.
  • Thums Crew Boat Dock – 1600 S Harbor Scenic Dr, Long Beach, CA 90802.
  • Sunset Aquatic Marina Boat Ramp – 2901 Edinger Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92649.

Further Away

  • The Port of San Diego Shelter Island Boat Launch Ramp – At 2210 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, you’ll find the Shelter Island Boat Ramp. It is 90 miles south of Newport Beach, near San Diego.
  • Marina del Rey – This ramp can be found at 13477 Fiji Way (Basin H), Marina del Rey, CA 90292. There is a $10 to $14 parking fee. It is 48 miles north of Newport Beach.
  • Ventura Harbour Boat Ramp – You can find this newly rebuilt ramp at 1400 Anchors Way Dr., Ventura, CA 93001. One-hour parking is free. Besides that, parking ranges from $6 to $10 for 2 to 24-hour parking. They also offer an annual parking pass for $150. It is 108 miles north of Newport.

Boating rules and regulations for Newport Beach

Boating rules and regulations Newport Beach

Newport Beach is a boater-friendly area, but some rules and regulations still apply.

  • You can live aboard your boat at a mooring in the harbor; however, you do need proper permits, which you can find here.
  • Always pick up your trash, food scraps, pet waste, and other litter, and do not allow it to come in contact with the ocean or other bodies of water. Never allow any liquids, especially gasoline or oil, to spill into the water. One pint of oil or gas can cover an entire acre of water surface. Please clean fish offshore, and properly dispose of, or compost, the remaining fish waste. Decomposing fish has a negative effect on the water quality and the organisms that live within the water, which is why this rule is in effect. Illegal dumping results in a $500 fine and up to a year in jail.
  • All vessels must have personal flotation devices for each person aboard. Children who are twelve or younger must wear their PFDs at all times.
  • All boaters must have a sound-producing device (whistles for kayaks and paddleboards) and navigation lights (flashlights work for kayaks and paddleboards).
  • There is a no-wake zone near the harbor, and the maximum speed limit is five miles an hour.
  • No loud or unreasonable noises are allowed between 10 pm, and 7 am. This is the city’s quiet time.
  • You may deter sea lions from boarding your boat, but you must do so using only approved methods.
  • Alcohol is not allowed on the beach. You must be off the shore and well into the ocean. In California, you may not operate any boat, even jet skis and small personal boats, while having a blood alcohol content level of .08% or higher. Commercial vessels require all captains to have a BAC of .04% or lower. Getting a BUI in California results in a misdemeanor with charges up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Subsequent offenses result in up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Check out this article on safe drinking and boating for California.
  • Glass and other breakable containers are also banned from the beach.
  • Boat operators must be at least sixteen years old. All operators must have a license, and there is no minimum age for certification.

Can you boat in Newport Harbor?

Newport Harbor boating

Newport Harbor is one of the largest yacht harbors in the United States. It is semi-artificial and has several scattered, artificial islands within it. Residents privately own most of the harbor and the islands within it.

You can boat in the harbor, but you cannot tow skiers (or waterski) here. You can also moor here, but you must follow these guidelines set by Newport Beach City Council.

The Bay is divided by the Pacific Coast Highway Bridge. Most sailboats and other large vessels cannot fit beneath it, so the south side of it is used primarily by smaller boats. North of the bridge is called Upper Newport Bay, or Back Bay. When choosing your boat and where you want to explore in your boat, keep this in mind.

Best boat types for getting around Newport Beach

To determine the best boat type for you, you first need to establish what you want to do out on the water.

If you’re looking for a fun time out with friends, consider chartering a yacht for the day. This luxury 40-foot-long day yacht holds up to ten passengers and comes with a seasoned captain who can show you all the cool places.

If you want to witness a California sunset in all its glory or catch a glimpse of whales or dolphins, this captained Catalina Lagun is perfect. It also comes with stand-up paddleboards and boogie boards for extra fun. 

Need a thrill and speed? Check out this Bayliner Speed Boat that holds up to six passengers. If you want a peaceful cruise, consider this Duffy electric boat.

No matter what you want to do, Newport Beach has something for everyone, and we have the boat to fit your next water-loving adventure.

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