Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project

Ramp status:  Closed during construction. Anticipated reopening: Summer 2018.

February 8, 2018 Update:  Notice of pile driving activity

Please be aware that the contractor on the Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project will be conducting pile driving activities at the Shelter Island Boat Launch beginning Friday, February 9, 2018 through the end of March 2018. The pile driving may occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., causing noise impacts. The contractor will utilize lesser-impact means of pile driving as much as possible in order to minimize noise.

For safety reasons, the public areas in the project vicinity, including the adjacent beach area, may be subject to closure during the most intense portions of this work.

Thank you for your patience during construction of this important public works project. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

January 2018 Project Update:

The Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project is currently 50 percent complete and is behind schedule, although efforts are being made to minimized delays in reopening. Here is a list of what has been achieved:

  • The previous launch ramp facility has been completely demolished. A temporary cofferdam has been installed and preparations are being made for installation of the new concrete launch ramp.
  • The breakwater wall panels were fabricated off-site and are now completed.  New piles that will support the wall panels will begin installation in February 2018.

During the excavation of the previous jetties, underground debris such as concrete and other pre-existing construction debris was discovered.  This was an unforeseen element and removing the debris has unfortunately led to delays in the construction schedule. 

The Port of San Diego is working closely with the contractor to minimize any further delays.  The boat launch ramp is now anticipated to reopen to the public in the summer of 2018.  An updated schedule will be available in February 2018.  

The launch ramp is closed during construction.  

Thank you for your patience during this very important public improvement project

Questions can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Shelter Island Boat Launch Ramp construction

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 utilize one of the many alternate launch facilities below: 


shelter-island-boat-launchWelcome to the Shelter Island Boat Launch Improvement Project page. This page provides information on the project, public outreach and press releases.

We appreciate your interest and encourage your participation and feedback. Please bookmark this site and return often for updates. If you have any questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

shelter-island-boat-launch-lot The Port of San Diego is working on an important project to improve the Shelter Island Boat Launch Ramp. 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 out-board motorboats, private fishing boats, fishing tournament boats and amphibious tour buses.

The approximately $9.5 million improvement project was designed with extensive public outreach and has received funding from the California Department of Boating and Waterways and the Wildlife Conservation Board. It will make the boat launch safer and more navigable in multiple ways including:

  • 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 restroom to current ADA (Americans with Disability Act) standards

mc shelter island boat launch before 2016 08 23 mc shelter island boat launch after 2016 11 10

This website will be updated periodically as the project progresses. The Port recognizes that this project is of great public interest as this is a highly used boat launch. Please pardon our dust during construction. 

Press Releases:

Port of San Diego press release header

August 2017 Update: Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project

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mc shelter island 2 2017 07 07The Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility is currently operating with one lane open during a major improvement project to provide better access for boaters. After the Labor Day weekend, it will be completely closed from September 5, 2017 through the completion of construction, currently anticipated in March 2018.

Alternate boat launch facilities are available.

The Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project has been underway since May 30, 2017. Since then, the contractor has begun the removal of the west jetty and installation of a cofferdam - a watertight enclosure that is pumped dry to permit construction of the new concrete ramp.

All new piles and concrete wall panels for the project are currently in fabrication off-site. The closure beginning Tuesday, September 5, 2017, will allow the contractor to continue jetty removal operations to make room for the new concrete breakwater and walkway.

Creative Commons LicenseThis public website's original content and documents, provided by the Port of San Diego, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted.