33░50.4'N - 118░23.7'W
Redondo Beach, California
|With over 1,450 slips, King Harbor and the
surrounding recreational areas, have evolved from the first
commercial wharf built in 1888 to very busy place, attracting
both locals and visitors. And for some, that
entrepreneurial spirit lives on!
King Harbor is a small craft harbor at the southern end of Santa Monica Bay, about 17 miles
southwest of downtown Los Angeles. The harbor extends approximately 4,000 feet along
the coast and is roughly 2,000 feet wide at the widest point. The harbor is separated into three basins, two large
and one small, with a large entry channel. The
boating basins consist of 4 marinas, two yacht clubs and the
Portofino complex which houses offices, a hotel, apartments,
restaurants, a conference center and the fuel docks. This
area is surrounded by restaurants, parks and the pier, all
within walking distance. The only drawback to visiting the
harbor is that there are no public guest docks. The yacht
clubs do offer reciprocal overnights however.
|The harbor entrance is 600 feet wide, which is adequate for navigation of residential
vessels but inside waters tend to get congested during summer weekends
and holidays as does harbor access road traffic. Though protected to a great degree by the north and south breakwaters, during winter storm conditions, the harbor experiences increased
wave activity, which in turn, increases the potential for damage to vessels in the entrance and navigation channel.
800 foot 'Y'-shaped pier was built in 1888 at the foot of Emerald
Street but it was demolished by a storm a short time later. In
1889, Wharf No. 1 was constructed by Captains Ainsworth and Thompson on the location of their previous
'Y'-shaped pier and the first vessel, the Eureka, docked at Redondo Beach.
This was the beginning of the commercial harbor of Redondo Beach, which
in the late 1800's, handled sixty percent of all water traffic in and out of Los
Angeles County. In
1895 , Wharf No. 2 at 1200 feet, was constructed at the foot of Ainsworth
Court and in
1903, Wharf No. 3 at 650 feet was completed at the foot of Sapphire Street.
Two storms, one in
1914 and one in
1915, caused an estimated $100,000 in damage and prompted
the construction of a rudimentary sea wall and the City of Redondo Beach acquired the tidelands title from the State of California.
By 1916, Wharf No 2 was demolished, mainly due to storm damage. By
1926, Wharf No. 3 was obsolete and construction was started on the present
300 hundred foot long Monstad Pier and completed in 1938. In
1930, the Municipal Pier, also known as Horseshoe Pier, was constructed.
A breakwater was begun in
1939 but only partially finished. The early 40's saw a lot
of storm and washout erosion and in 1947 a temporary breakwater was
1953, a temporary seawall was constructed along North Beach following the worst storm since 1915.
Finally, in 1958, a permanent breakwater was built with rocks from
Catalina's quarry as well as inland quarries and King Harbor became more
than a dream. Since the 50's, the Army Corps of Engineers
have waged a constant battle against the encroaching seas, but with a
lot of fill dirt, have persevered.