In coordination with the Sonoma County Health Order, the Bodega Marine Laboratory has suspended visiting hours and public tours until further notice.

Bodega Marine Laboratory and Bodega Marine Reserve are open to UC Davis affiliates who must review and submit appropriate documentation, see COVID-19 Safety Plan & Operating Procedures.

Small Boat Operation

Cape Horn & Ted Frantz

To become a small boat user: BML's small boats are available for research and can be checked out for individual use. To become a BML small boat user, it is required that you:

  1. Complete the Small Boat Application
  2. Complete a boating training course, such as offered by the Department of Boating and Waterways, Power Squadron, or Coast Guard Auxiliary. See UCD/BML Boating Safety.
  3. Have current CPR and First Aid certification
  4. Complete a check out ride with qualified Marine Operations personnel
  5. Review the Small Boat Guidelines

To reserve a boat once you are on file as a user:

  1. Check availability on the small boat calendar.
  2. Return the Small Boat Application to who will add your name to the calendar.
  3. If necessary, check out a truck to launch and retrieve boat (see Alex, x2019).
  4. Once prepared to go, file a Float Plan or Multi-Day Float Plan either with the BML front office during business hours or with an appropriate responsible party after hours.

During your trip, if you had any incidents, accidents, injuries or equipment problems, WE NEED TO KNOW. Please return a Vessel Incident Report to or Marine Operations personnel are here to help. If you have special requirements, let us know and we will work with you to meet your needs. Contact BML Vessel Operations with boating questions or comments.

See Guidelines for Small Boats

BML Small Boat Hourly Rates


BML owns several kayaks that are available for researcher and student use. To check out a kayak, you must:

  1. Be checked out in advance by either the Boating Safety officer James Fitzgerald, David Dann, or designated proxy.
  2. BML Float Plan or Multi-Day Float Plan with the BML front office during business hours or with an appropriate responsible party after hours.
  3. Always wear flotation.
  4. Preferably go with a buddy unless pre-approved to kayak alone.
  5. Never kayak after dark.
  6. NEVER use a kayak on the open coast or mouths of waterways, such as the Bodega Harbor mouth or Tomales Bay mouth.

All Kayak equipment must be returned rinsed and cleaned with fresh water and re-stowed back into the boathouse. To ensure availability, kayak reservations can be made in advance (at least 48 hours) through the Boating Safety officer James Fitzgerald or David Dann. Consideration of use will be given on a case by case basis. Kayaking in our local waters can be dangerous and must be approached with an adequate understanding of the risks. We will discuss with you your accident management plan, contingency plans, environmental and other hazards, etc. before releasing vessels.