Want to catch a mooring line in Avalon Harbor?

We have been to Catalina multiple times with our boat and they have a very unique, and very efficient, mooring system unlike most moorings.  The following video will show you how to grab and tie off to the mooring field on Catalina Island.  This system is the same throughout all the Catalina moorings.

There are a few tips and tricks that you will find useful.  First, the mooring field fills up very quickly on the weekends during the summer months.  Usually by Thursday morning if you haven’t arrived your chances of getting a mooring are pretty slim.  To avoid making the 80 mile trip from San Diego only to find you are out of luck, I found a website that provides live updates as to mooring availability.  (Note that the moorings at Avalon are first-come, first-served.  However, the moorings at Two Harbors can be reserved ahead of time).

The website for the current mooring availability is http://www.cityofavalon.com/content/3310/3871.aspx

The moorings are arranged by length.  The longer your vessel, the farther from shore your mooring will be.  You can usually get a mooring one size larger than you need if yours are all taken.  As of this writing, the moorings were $45 per night for our 40’ vessel.  These moorings are all privately owned, so if the owner of the mooring decides to visit you will be moved to another spot.  The Harbor Patrol will inform you by 9 in the morning if you have to vacate your spot and move.

The link for the mooring field information, and basic information on how to contact Harbor Patrol, marine services, shore boat service and a mobile pumpout company, are here:  http://www.cityofavalon.com/filestorage/3182/3209/Avalon_Harbor_Brochure_FINAL_2020-2021_rev_090220.pdf

There is a fuel dock at Avalon, as well as at Two Harbors.  There is a free pumpout dock in Avalon.  As of the date of this post (September 28, 2020) the pumpout at Two Harbors is not operational.  There is also fresh water available at the Avalon pumpout dock.  It is $.25 for about 20 gallons of water, so you can refill your fresh water while you pumpout.  If you prefer, there is a mobile pumpout service.  Trash pickup is daily and free of charge – simply leave your bagged trash on your stern and it will be picked up.

There are three dinghy docks in Avalon – one on the “Pleasure Pier” (the green dock in the middle of the harbor), one in between the Tuna Club and the Yacht Club, and one by the Casino.  There are public showers that are very clean and are $3 for five minutes.  Bring your own soap, shampoo and towel.  There is a Von’s grocery store in town that has virtually anything you need in the way of food and drink.  They even carry my beloved Almond Champagne!

The town of Avalon is charming!  There are no national retailers there, only locally owned shops.  While we were there, the CoronaVirus had all indoor dining shut down, so at 5:00 in the evening the beaches closed to sunbathers and the restaurants moved their tables and chairs outdoors for outdoor dining.  It created a wonderful vibe that we hadn’t seen before.  I hope they continue this after the COVID restrictions are lifted – we even contacted the Mayor to voice our extreme approval!  It was wonderful to eat lobster with your toes in the sand!

I hope this information encourages you to visit Catalina if you have never been before.  We plan on making an annual trip there.  We were there for three weeks this time (cut a bit short due to battery issues), but will plan on a month next time.  I certainly wasn’t ready to leave!


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