Saving Travis Marina

Cozy lounge of Presidio Yacht Club | photo from | post by Larry Clinton

“One of Marin’s best-kept-secret views of the Golden Gate Bridge is through the windows of an unassuming-looking building that sits behind the Discovery Museum on the shore of Horseshoe Cove at Fort Baker.” That’s how Marin Magazine described Travis Marina, home to the Presidio Yacht Club at Fort Baker.

Presidio Yacht Club was first established in 1959 as a quality-of-life facility providing recreational opportunities to active duty military personnel and retirees. The club was granted permission to use an old military boat repair facility. The former lumber loft was converted into a wood paneled lounge complete with a bar, dance floor, and tables. Existing windows in the south wall on both floors were enlarged to provide stunning views of the Golden Gate.

In 1972 East Fort Baker was included in the new Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), but well into the 1980s the club and its members continued to operate as a semi-private yacht club within the boundaries of a National Park.

By the mid-1990s, the U.S. Army announced that the Sixth Army would not remain at the Presidio but instead would be inactivated. The Presidio Yacht Club would have to find another military post as a sponsoring agency if it was to retain its military status. In late 1994 Col. David Peixotto, President of the PYC Advisory Council, wrote the U.S. Army asking if it was possible for Travis Air Force Base to take them over after base closure. Final approval for a 5-year agreement was granted in April 1995.

At the termination of the original 5-year agreement, oversight of the Yacht Club was turned over to the National Park Service (NPS), which has continued to grant a permit to the Travis Sailing Center and Marina on a year-to-year basis. The small bar and grill are open to the public, and occasionally feature live music.

Now, the NPS is looking at developing plans for the Fort Baker waterfront that may include transforming the yacht club from a semiprivate marina to a day-use facility similar to Ayala Cove at Angel Island State Park.

A group of concerned locals, who want to keep the marina and yacht club accessible to its loyal community, and to preserve it for military families, has started a campaign to save Travis Marina in its current, funky form as an alternative to the upscale Farley Bar and Murray Circle restaurant at the nearby Cavallo Point Lodge. A community-led petition to keep Southern Marin’s Travis Marina Bar and waterfront with Travis Air Force Base has garnered more than 8,450 total signatures.

Friends of Travis Marina are gathering from 4-6 p.m. this Thursday, February 20 at Travis Marina Bar to hear an update, learn what else you can do to save Travis Marina, and have some fun. The bar and grill will be open and live music will follow at 7:30 p.m.