King Harbor
33░50.4'N - 118░23.7'W 
Redondo Beach, California USA

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.

Originally, an 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 completed.  In 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.
 

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