Posted Aug 07, 2019 | By Brittney Hendricks
It is the fifth largest harbor in California for small-craft recreation. And, it has some phenomenally recognizable vessels traversing its waters.
Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard is expansive, picturesque and horse shoe-shaped, containing 166 acres of water, split into nine distinct marinas. It offers waterfront recreation and dining opportunities as well as overnight accommodations at Hampton Inn Channel Islands. It is the fifth largest harbor in California for small-craft recreation. And, it has some phenomenally recognizable vessels traversing its waters.
Last year, a 1996 Duffy Cat 16 electric boat was modified to resemble a turquoise 1967 Volkswagen 19-window Kombi Van replete with a smoke machine to replicate exhaust and a license plate that reads "H20 BUS." The H20 bus/boat, owned by Frank Laza of Central Coast Electric Boats, can be seen cruising around in the waters of the Channel Islands Harbor, in addition to a few other hard-to-miss float craft.
Gondola Paradiso is a harbor favorite for paramours looking for an hour of romance. The gondola, authentically crafted in Venice, launches from Seabridge Marina by appointment only. Competitive gondolier Mark Schooling takes you on a tour of the harbor – Italian style! Be sure to request a song when passing beneath Seabridge Marina's bridges, where it' almost a requirement that lovers share a kiss.
Local real estate professionals Arlene & Keith Beckwith can be spotted putting around the harbor in their Tiki Bar Boat, an 8-bar stool tiki bar built atop a motorized floating platform. Although solely for private use, this boat is a fun addition to Oxnard's dockside neighborhoods.
Looking to host an unforgettable event? The Scarlett Belle, a double-decker paddlewheel river boat similar in appearance to Disneyland's Mark Twain, can be booked for private events for up to 150 guests. With two fully stocked bars, a dance floor and a booming sound system, it's the perfect venue for private parties.
The oldest vessel in the harbor, Muggs is a 38-foot wooden powerboat built in 1931, named for the original owner's wife. The boat, owned by June and Graham Wilson, is an annual star at Oxnard’s annual Classics by the Sea: Father’s Day Wooden Boat Show in Channel Islands Harbor. Muggs is a member of the prestigious Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club and is moored in Seabridge Marina.
Each year in late January to early February, Gray's Harbor Historical Seaport sends topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain from Lahaina, Maui, to dock at Oxnard's Channel Islands Maritime Museum, welcoming visitors aboard for vessel tours, adventure sails and natural history sails. During Oxnard's Tall Ships Festival, come check out the ship, meet her crew, join in a sea shanty, and enjoy beautiful sailing as its been done for hundreds of years.
There are so many unique cruisers, catamarans, schooners, hoppers and more in Oxnard's Channel Islands Harbor; consequently, we may have missed one. Do you know of any that aren't mentioned? Send us a message! We might just add it to the list.
Southern California native Brittney Hendricks is a travel writer and marketing professional who lives locally with her husband, son and dog. A retired pro dancer and dance instructor, she enjoys staying active by jogging and bicycling the promenades of Oxnard’s beaches.send email