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Projects

Shelter Island Boat Launch

Waterfront Development

Construction is underway on the Port of San Diego’s Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project. This important project will improve this public amenity and make it safer and more navigable for boaters. The launch ramp is temporarily closed and is expected to reopen in late 2018. Until that time, boaters are encouraged to utilize alternative boat launches. A full list is available in the FAQs section below.

Busiest Boat Launch in California

10lanes

50,000boat launches per year

$9.6millionimprovement project

Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project Timeline

November 2015
November 2015

California Division of Boating & Waterways awards a $6.1 million grant for the project.

March 2016
March 2016

Wildlife Conservation Board awards a $3.3 million grant for the project (award was later amended to $3.5 million to cover the total project cost of $9.6 million).

August 2016
August 2016

Wildlife Conservation Board awards a $3.3 million grant for the project (award was later amended to $3.5 million to cover the total project cost of $9.6 million).

October 2016
October 2016

Board of Port Commissioners approves a Coastal Development Permit.

November 2016
November 2016

Port hosts a public open house at the Port’s Administration Building to give the public the opportunity to learn more about the project, view design renderings and exhibits, and talk to the project team. Information about alternate boat launch ramps in San Diego and Mission Bay was also made available.

April 11, 2017
April 11, 2017

The Board of Port Commissioners approves R.E. Staite Engineering Inc. as the contractor.

May 23, 2017
May 23, 2017

Contractor begins mobilizing equipment and installing fencing around the project area. Construction is expected to take ten months.

May 30, 2017
May 30, 2017

Contractor closes the ramp. One lane remains open during the summer months.

September 5, 2017
September 5, 2017

Contractor closes all lanes of the launch ramp.

Late 2018
Late 2018

Anticipated reopening of the launch ramp.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the project’s current status?

The Shelter Island Boat Launch is currently closed to boaters. Construction began in late May 2017 and originally was anticipated to open in time for the summer 2018 season. Unfortunately, the project is taking longer than expected because of unforeseen circumstances. During excavation, the contractor encountered a large amount of concrete debris that was not known to exist. The removal of the concrete required an extension of the project schedule. At this time, completion is expected to take place in late 2018. Given the recent findings, the Port is working with the contractor to explore the feasibility of opening one or more lanes earlier, contingent on public safety. Updates will be provided at portofsandiego.org/sibl

The Port of San Diego recognizes that this extended closure impacts boaters during the summer boating season. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we continue this project.
 

What is the Shelter Island Boat Launch?

The facility is believed to be the busiest boat launch ramp in California, with an estimated 50,000 launches annually. Constructed in the mid-1950s with a single-lane concrete launch ramp, its last major improvement was completed in the mid-1970s when the existing 10-lane boat launching ramp was constructed. The facility is used by recreational boaters from the general public, including small yachts, inboard and outboard motorboats, private fishing boats, fishing tournament boats, and amphibious tour buses.

Why does the boat launch need improvements?

The Shelter Island Boat Launch is in need of repairs because of the corrosive and wearing actions of seawater and heavy use by boaters. Also, due to increased use over time and the use of larger recreational boats, the boat launch has been experiencing congestion and delays when boats launch at the facility. This is further exacerbated during low tide events when basin access is extremely limited.

How will this project improve the boat launch?

The Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvements Project will make the boat launch safer and more navigable in multiple ways:

  • Enlarging the maneuvering area in the basin
  • Replacing the worn-out launch ramp
  • Increasing the lengths of the boarding floats
  • Installation of public walking platforms with viewing areas
  • Installation of signage and lighting
  • Bringing the docks, public walkways and restrooms to current ADA (Americans with Disability Act) standards

Where are alternate launch facilities?

Due to safety concerns and to allow the construction to occur, the facility will be closed to the public during most of the construction. One lane will remain open during the summer months. Expect delays if launching from the SIBL during the summer months, or find an alternate launch facility as shown below:

San Diego Bay
Kayak Launch Ramp: MAP

2869 Historic Decatur Rd,
San Diego, CA 92106

San Diego Bay
MCRD Boat House (Military Only): MAP

131 Neville Rd,
San Diego, CA 92140

*Coronado
Coronado Boat Launch, Glorietta Bay: MAP

1975 Strand Way,
Coronado, CA 92118
*NOTE: CLOSED April 2017 through
the end of May 2017

National City
Pepper Park: MAP

3299 Tidelands Ave, National City,
CA 91950

Chula Vista
Chula Vista Boat Launch Marina: MAP

Marina Way, Chula Vista,
CA 91910

San Diego Mission Bay
Dana Landing: MAP
2580 Ingraham St,
San Diego, CA 92109

San Diego Mission Bay
South Shores: MAP

S Shores Park Dy,
San Diego, CA 92109

San Diego Mission Bay
Ski Beach Boat Launch Ramp: MAP
Ingraham St & Vacation Rd,
San Diego, CA 92109

San Diego Mission Bay
Santa Clara Point: MAP

1001 Santa Clara Pl, San Diego,
CA 92109

San Diego Mission Bay
De Anza Cove Boat Launch: MAP
E Mission Bay Dr, San Diego,
CA 92109

Oceanside
Oceanside Harbor Boat Launch: MAP

1380 N Pacific St, Oceanside,
CA 92054

 

Photos below show an aerial view of the Shelter Island Boat Launch Ramp before the improvement project began, and a conceptual rendering of the improvements that are underway. The additional photos show some of the large buried concrete debris found by the contractor during excavation operations. The removal of the debris required a change to the project schedule. Click on a photo for a larger view and to scroll through all of the photos.