Fleet Week Boating Safety | Modern Sailing

Fleet Week Boating Safety

Year after year, Modern sailors are enthusiastic to get on the water during San Francisco Fleet Week. To help keep all of you safe, here's some essential information and advice to follow when you're out on the water during Fleet Week.

Maintain Proper Lookout

We expect the Bay to be very busy during during Fleet Week, so we strongly encourage (as always), that skippers and crew remain mindful of Coast Guard Rule #5: 

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full
appraisal of the situation and risk of collision.

Know the Rules of the Road

Be sure you fully understand the "Rules of the Road" and know when to maintain course ("stand on") and when to change course ("give way") to other approaching vessels.

Monitor the VHF Radio

At all times when underway, monitor VHF channel 16. If necessary, you can utilize channels 12 and 14 to get details on traffic or to call SF Vessel Traffic for information.

US Coast Guard Restrictions

If you've chartered a boat to experience the spectacular US Navy, Marine Corp, and Coast Guard practice sessions, exhibitions, and festivities from the water any time during October 2 through 10, please be informed that some areas of the San Francisco Bay that will be rigorously restricted by the US Coast Guard during the Air Shows and Parade of Ships.

Below, find the text and images adapted from the US Coast Guard's Fleet Week 2023 Boat Public Notice (PDF). This notice advises the areas you must avoid and when during Fleet Week events. If you are sailing during Fleet Week, please download and print the PDF to take with you.

FLEET WEEK 2023 BOATING SAFETY

This year’s on-water Fleet Week activities will be held October 2nd through the 10th. To ensure the safety of participants and spectators on San Francisco Bay, the U.S. Coast Guard has enacted regulated areas, published in the Federal Register and advertised by Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and law enforcement vessels will be patrolling the regulated areas to ensure all Fleet Week events are conducted safely.

ACTIVITIES AREA CLOSURES

To see the official federal rules regarding Fleet Week navigation, visit Code of Federal Regulations § 100.1105 San Francisco Bay Navy Fleet Week Parade of Ships and Blue Angels Demonstration.

This year’s on-water Fleet Week activities will be held October 5th through October 8th.  To ensure the safety of participants and spectators on San Francisco Bay, the U.S. Coast Guard has enacted regulated areas, published in the Federal Register and advertised by Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.  Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and law enforcement vessels will be patrolling the regulated areas to ensure all Fleet Week events are conducted safely.

NAVY PARADE OF SHIPS

Regulated area “Alpha,” which is depicted on “Chart 1,” will be enforced on Friday, October 6th between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  Traffic will be restricted throughout most of the Central San Francisco Bay from the Golden Gate Bridge, south of Alcatraz, to just south of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.  This is to accommodate the Navy Parade of Ships as they pass under the Golden Gate Bridge to their assigned moorings in San Francisco.  No vessel will be permitted to cross the parade line or interfere with the safe transit of the parade participants in any way. A 100-yard protective zone will also be enforced around each naval vessel the entire time they are in the port.

BLUE ANGELS DEMONSTRATION

Regulated area “Bravo.” which is depicted on “Chart 2.” will be enforced during the dates and times as noted on “Chart 2.”  The enclosure to this flyer depicts the boundaries and coordinates of the most significant regulated areas.  Federal Aviation Administration regulations require that these areas be clear of all vessel traffic during the specified times for scheduled air shows.

WATCHING THE SHOWS

The best areas to observe the air shows and the Parade of Ships are:

  • North of the “Alpha” box for the parade and North of the “Bravo” box for the air show
  • East of Blossom Rock Buoy
  • From the shore

For schedules and additional information on Fleet Week 2023, please contact the San Francisco Fleet Week Association at info@fleetweeksf.org , or visit the San Francisco Fleet Week website.

CHART 1

Regulated Area “Alpha” for Navy Parade of Ships

  • Friday, October 6th 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


CHART 2
Regulated Area “Bravo” for U.S. Navy Blue Angels Activities

  • Thursday, October 5th, 12:00 to 7:00pm
  • Friday, October 6th, 11:30am to 5:00pm
  • Saturday, October 7th   11:30am to 5:00pm
  • Sunday, October 8th   11:30am to 5:00pm

 

Temporary buoys for the Air Show Box will be installed by October 4th and will be removed on the 9th. The buoys at the center and northwest corner point will be partially obstructing the east bound traffic lane and the buoys at the northeast and southeast corner will be partially encroaching upon the precautionary area east of Alcatraz Island. The locations of the temporary buoys are listed below:

Air Show Box
SW Corner: 37°48.612 N / 122°26.786 W
NW Corner: 37°49.113 N / 122°26.868 W
NE Corner: 37°49.389 N / 122°24.354 W
SE Corner: 37°48.888 N / 122°24.272 W
Center: 37°49.008 N / 122°25.590 W

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