Rules & Regulations:
The speed limit in the harbor and entrance channel is 5 MPH.
Resident boaters appreciate the fact that we strictly enforce this ordinance. We also strictly enforce the State 5-MPH speed limit within 200 feet of all beaches frequented by bathers or within 100 feet of any bather.
To keep our harbor and beaches clean and safe, all pollution laws are strictly enforced. All spills should be reported immediately to facilitate containment and cleanup.
All California State Boating Laws apply in the harbor as well.
Ventura Harbor is regulated by Ventura Harbor Ordinance 44 which was adopted by the Board of Commissioners in June 2002. A complete copy of the ordinance can be downloaded in PDF format.
LAUNCH RAMP USE:
The launch ramp has six lanes and about 180 parking spaces. It is accessible 24-hours a day, and a parking fee applies at all times. The fee is paid at a "Pay and Display" machine located in front of the restroom. All vehicles are required to obtain and display a permit.
The Harbor Cove beach is a still water beach located across from the National Park Service. The City of Ventura provides lifeguard services at the beach during the summer. It is illegal to swim any place else within Ventura Harbor.
The areas north and south of the harbor are posted as being hazardous for swimming. Lifeguard services are not provided. Rip currents and the jetties make it very dangerous to swim or even wade in either area. A memorial to Harbor Patrol Officer Paul Korber sits at the base of the South Jetty. He died March 15, 1998 while attempting to rescue a family of three that had been swept to sea by the rip current.
SAFELY APPROACHING VENTURA HARBOR FROM SEA:
Due to improvements in the design of the harbor entrance and frequent dredging, it has never been safer to enter and exit the harbor. Still some "local knowledge" will be helpful.
Enter or exit only via the main entrance, between the two jetties. The area behind the breakwater is designed as a Sand Trap and is subject to severe shoaling.
The entrance buoy "2VU" is located approximately ½ mile off the entrance. The prudent skipper always keeps this buoy to the starboard when entering. This keeps him or her away from the mouth of the Santa Clara River which lies ½ mile south of the harbor entrance. As one of the largest naturally running rivers in Southern California, the Santa Clara River provides a tremendous amount of sand to the local beaches. Unfortunately this can create heavy surf conditions far out to sea.