Pillar Point Harbor is administered by the San Mateo County Harbor District and under the control of a harbormaster. The harbormaster’s office is at the head of the L-shaped pier in the marina. The harbormaster can be contacted on VHF-FM channel 16 or telephone 650-726-4382.
There are only private mooring floats in the harbor so transients must anchor. The harbormaster should be consulted before tying alongside piers.
An L-shaped pier, 590 feet long with 13 feet alongside the 275-foot outer face, is on the N side of Pillar Point Harbor. Water, ice, and electricity are at the pier, and gasoline and diesel fuel are pumped at the landing. A skiff hoist is on the end of the pier. Marine railways are in the harbor W of the marina and are capable of hauling vessels up to 50 tons.
The 660-foot pier W of the L-shaped pier has about 5 feet at the outer end. A surfaced launching ramp and parking area are near the inshore end of the E breakwater.
Pillar Point, 18 miles S of San Francisco entrance, is the S extremity of a 2.5-mile low ridge. Several black rocks extend over 300-yards S of the point; from N these appear as three or four, but from S as only one.
Half Moon Bay comprises the bight from Miramontes Point on the S to Pillar Point on the N.
Pillar Point Harbor, in the N part of Half Moon Bay E of Pillar Point, is used by fishing vessels and pleasure craft. The harbor is well protected by breakwaters. The entrance, 200-yards wide, is between the E and W breakwaters. A light marks the end of the E breakwater, and a light and sound signal are on the end of the W breakwater. The entrance has a depth of about 20 feet with depths of 2 to 17 feet inside the harbor. Shoaling has been reported along N side of the breakwaters inside the harbor. The harbor provides good holding ground for anchored and moored vessels. Two breakwaters and a detached breakwater, protect a marina on the N side of the harbor. The detached breakwater is marked by lights on the E and W ends.
Several buildings and a white radar antenna at the U.S. Air Force radar site about 0.2 mile N of Pillar Point are conspicuous when approaching the harbor. The lights of the radar site are conspicuous at night. A rotating aero beacon located 1 mile NW of the marina is visible from the south.
Caution is necessary in approaching Pillar Point Harbor because of the foul ground off the entrance. Rocks and reefs, marked by kelp and a lighted bell buoy, extend SE for over 1 mile from Pillar Point. Southeast Reef, extending from 1.5 to over 2 miles SE of Pillar Point, is covered 4 to 20 feet and has a pinnacle rock awash at extreme low water at the SE end.
Vessels from the S approach the harbor E of the lighted gong buoy marking Southeast Reef; vessels from the N use the buoyed opening between the Pillar Point foul ground and Southeast Reef.