Proposed Online Overnight Cove Permit System

Looking across the calm Aquatic Park Cove water to the park’s Maritime Museum, with the San Francisco city skyline in the background.
Looking across the calm Aquatic Park Cove water to the park’s Maritime Museum, with the San Francisco city skyline in the background.

NPS photo

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News Release Date: May 15, 2017

Contact: Lynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006

San Francisco, CA — On June 22, 2017, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park proposes to begin using an online permitting system for sailing boats wishing to anchor out overnight in the Aquatic Park Cove. It will be easier for visiting vessels to schedule and obtain permits by using the nationwide reservation system, and the new system will aid the Park’s efforts to increase visitor security, swimmer safety, and environmental compliance in this National Historic Landmark District.

The proposed reservation system will not apply to boats entering the Cove during the day. No permits will be required for day use, and space will continue to be available on a first come, first serve basis.

In conjunction with the new online system, the park is proposing to implement a $10 overnight anchoring fee, which would bring the Aquatic Park Cove in line with existing artificial anchorage fee structures in the Bay Area. To make it easier for regular Cove users, the Park is also proposing to include a calendar year of overnight anchoring fees in the purchase of its annual Park pass. Currently, the $40 pass only offers entry to the fleet of historic ships at Hyde Street Pier.

“This modest fee will allow us to continue to protect, preserve and share the special places here at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park,” said Park Superintendent Kevin Hendricks. “After carefully considering the impact of this new system, and an overnight anchoring fee, we came to the conclusion that this is the right course of action to improve services important to visitors and community members.”

The park conducted a program review of its existing, paper-based permit system, and a comparability study of three different Bay Area sites that offer similar overnight experiences, accessibility and amenities. The analysis showed that the park’s present free overnight anchoring permits are below similar operations and that, even with a fee of $10, Aquatic Park Cove will remain one of the most affordable overnight anchoring experiences in the Bay Area. The park feels this new system, and fee increase, is consistent with the public’s desire for convenient, affordable, and sustainable recreational experiences.

A description of the proposed system and fee change, a photograph of the Aquatic Park Cove, and a form to submit comments is available online at

Comments are also welcome by postal mail to: Anchoring Fee Proposal, Superintendent, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Headquarters, 2 Marina Blvd. Bldg. E, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123-1382.

The comment period will close on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf, includes a fleet of historic ships, Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center, and the Aquatic Park Historic District. For more information, please call 415-447-5000 or visit, Twitter @SFMaritimeNPS, and Facebook @SanFranciscoMaritimeNHP.

Last updated: May 17, 2017

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