About Captain Heather 

Heather Richard is a US Coast Guard licensed (100 ton) captain for hire on San Francisco Bay. Interested in classic schooners or racing catamarans? Teak or carbon fiber? A gentle cruise or a rip-roaring ride? Learn to sail lessons or private coaching? America’s Cup spectating, sightseeing, whalewatching, crabbing or sipping wine on the Bay… Captain Heather can find you the right boat and the right experience. Almost every day is a fine day for sailing on San Francisco Bay, so call to discuss the possibilities!

Heather grew up on the East Coast and has been sailing since the age of 4. She raced competetively on the Boston University team while earning a BFA in sculpture, and worked on charter boats and in community boating programs in Boston. She also worked for the US Navy in Japan, Sail Carribean Voyages and the Saint Francis Yacht Club coaching young sailors.

She currently lives aboard with her three children in a maritime co-op. In the off season she can be found in her art studio and is active in her community volunteeering with youth programs and bringing waterfront access to underserved populations. She is working with a group of volunteers to start Sausalito’s first community boating program at Cass Gidley Marina. Www.cassgidley.org

For the 2013 sailing season Heather was captain of the Schooner “Gas Light”, in 2014 she added her own vessel “Carodon” to the charter fleet as well as sailing with the America’s Cup Yacht USA 76 and Prosail 40 catamaran “Tomcat”. In winter of 2018-2019 she took her children on a 5000 nautical mile round trip to The Sea of Cortez in Mexico and back and plans to do more long-distance cruising in future off-seasons. She is able to book your ideal sailing experience on a variety of sailing vessels up to 50 passengers and also offers private coaching to new boat owners, consultation and yacht delivery service.

Here are some testimonials from Heather’s clients:

Five reasons why you should hire Captain Heather Richard to deliver your yacht

1) Captain Richard skills are anchored in experience. By definition, a USCG licensed captain is the result of an especially important and formal process. Some captains come out of this process more preoccupied with the theory of it all. These captains tend to spend a lot of their time in list building and pedantic minutiae and less in the enjoyment of sailing. Heather (who is a 100 ton licensed captain) possesses this wonderful balance of both where the formal elements ensure safety while her vast experience provides a resourcefulness in all sailing situations that makes for on the go decision both fascinating and fun to watch.
2) If you decide to not only have Heather deliver your ship but to also accompany her on the cruise, you will find that she is an educator extraordinaire. She shares all the how’sand why’s of every navigational and operational decision or consideration and how they are based on her many experiences. This makes her explanations very practicaland so very easy to grasp. Rarely have I learned as much on a six-day sail. This is a great way to “learn” your new boat!
3) Heather sails no less than 200 days in a year. This means she has tested a ton of different products and solutions to most issues that arise on a ship. She shares freely the results of those findings. You will find out that applying those recommendations will enhance your enjoyment of your ship and in some cases save you a lot of money. It turns out that when it comes to efficiently outfitting your ship “you pay for what you get” is not always a sufficient consideration.
4) This point number four is short but really important: In the hands of Captain Richard: Your ship, whether you decide to join in the delivery or not, will be perfectly safe at all times.
5) If you do decide to join Heather in the delivery you will learn more than in any sailing class you have ever takenand you will enjoy the learning experience more tan in any class you ever signed up for. This will be a custom “curriculum” based specifically on your boat and how to best handle it. Between the very practical recommendations and the fact this all about your boat the learning will feel highly relevant to you, the owner. Heather has a deep sense of the sheer fun of sailing that is contagious and will ensure you have the most fun learning experience available on the seven seas!

Heather conveyed our 48 foot sailboat from San Francisco to Long Beach, CA with both of us onboard

– Pierre & Jana Askmo, summer 2020

I setup the sunset sail for my parents and it could not have gone any better! It was easy to coordinate with Heather and meet her near the docks; she was communicative and friendly. My parents cannot stop singing Heather’s praises. Even though the weather was a bit overcast, they loved exploring the bay and Heather is an expert captain and historian of the bay area. If you’re looking for a unique SF experience, this is it!

– Nathan, March 2020

Just amazing! If you’re thinking about doing it, don’t think anymore just BOOK IT ALREADY! It was a perfect private cruise where I got to surprise my fiancé and he loved it. It was just the two of us and it was perfect to get away from the larger crowds. Even though there was fog around the Golden Gate (it is San Francisco) it was still a spectacular sight to see the sunset over the hills of Sausalito and the fog rolling over the bridge. This is an experience I would definitely book again! Thank you Heather x

– Kylene, November 2019

Wow! What an amazing experience we had. I decided to surprise my husband for our one year wedding anniversary with this private sailboat ride and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. We had the most amazing time! Heather provides excellent service! This is truly a memory we will never forget. The experience is only something you can dream about. Thank you Heather for making this something we will never forget

– Jarisa, November 2019

I surprised my husband with a private sunset sail for his birthday and the entire experience could not have been more magical. We have travelled the world and this two hours were still tops for us, between Heather’s expertise and warmth, her beautiful and well-appointed boat, and the chance to see the beauty of the Bay up close. Cannot wait to do this again with visitors—there is no better way to celebrate San Francisco!

– Elizabeth, August 2019