Located off of San Pedro Bay, Marina del Ray is right in the middle of Los Angeles’ West Side and sandwiched in-between Santa Monica Pier and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). With a great variety of shops, dining and a beautiful local park, you’ll have a hard time imagining that you are in the city of Los Angeles once you get into Marina del Ray (ignore the departing flights from LAX, though).
The harbor is mainly a recreational one, but there are also hundreds of squid and fishing boats that depart the harbor every night to harvest the Pacific. The squid boats are easy to spot: Look for the boats with big huge lights on their masts. These lights are used to attract the squid, which are then netted into the boat. A few local services provide marine repairs; inquire at the harbormaster’s office for more information.
Navigating the Water:
Use NOAA Chart 18740.
Keep in mind that this chart represents depths in fathoms. One fathom is equal to 6 feet in depth.
Santa Monica Bay is easy to navigate and certainly much more absent of the busy commercial traffic and activity of San Pedro Channel and San Pedro Bay to the south. The project depths for the marina itself are 10 feet, while the entrance channel is maintained to 13.5-foot depths.
The inlet has a breakwater in front of it that runs parallel to the shoreline in order to protect it from incoming Pacific swells. The north side of this breakwall is marked with flashing green “2,” and the southern end with flashing green “1.” Either entrance is fine to use. Once inside follow the long entrance channel into the basins that make up the marina.