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Fabulous Ferryboat on San Francisco Bay

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,600 sq ft
Property type house boat
Minimum Stay 2 - 4 nights


About the property

Three bedrooms, two bathrooms (sleeps 6)+ convertible bed

One of the world's most spectacular homes is now available as a vacation rental. This is the American equivalent of renting a castle in Spain or an ancient stone villa in Tuscany. Yet with the luxury and conveniences of a five star hotel.

The SS City of Seattle (Yellow Ferry) was originally launched in 1888. She is the oldest surviving ferryboat on the West Coast. The Ferry combines luxury and convenience in a spectacular and memorable setting. Surrounded by open water, she is simply the best houseboat in the best berth. Suitable for couples, or families, the Yellow Ferry offers the vacation experience of a lifetime.

The rental suite on the Yellow Ferry is over 2,500 square feet. One enters the Ferry into an open great room that is over 1,000 square ft, but divided into separate areas for dining and lounging. Surrounded by floor to ceiling windows looking out to the bay, the main room is both spacious and intimate. The original deck consists of three-inch thick, virgin Douglas Fir, inlaid with Teak. You will quickly find there is a timeless and soothing quality to being surrounded by 120 year old wooden timbers and beams.

Off the living room is huge solarium, surrounded by glass doors. Here you can sit or dine feeling like you are perched over the water, looking at panoramic views of the Bay, the sailboats and Mt. Tamalpais. The solarium is connected the living room via four large sliding doors, which can be opened all the way to make it an extension of the living room.

The carpeted master bedroom features a new, California King bed. Water level views allow you a birds eye connection with the egrets, mallards and harbor seals. Large walk-in closets add to the feeling of luxury. The expansive master bathroom also has bay views and and a tub and walk-in shower.

Down below, the other two bedrooms also have views right above waterline, where seals and waterfowl can swim up and eyeball you.

The kitchen has been remodeled with an extraordinary Wolf six-burner range, with a gas grill and huge oven. The set up is perfect for gourmet meals or reheating your leftovers from one of the many excellent local restaurants. The kitchen is abundantly stocked with all the necessary pots, pans, utensils and appliances. There is a full table setting for 10 and uncharacteristically for a rental, all the knives have been freshly sharpened.

The float containing all watercraft is right off the back deck, providing easy access to the three kayaks and three stand-up paddle boards.

The Ferry is conveniently located between the natural beauty of the northern coast and the cosmopolitan charms of San Francisco. You can attend almost any event in the City and be home at the Ferry before you would find a parking place in San Francisco. A small library adjacent to the kitchen is stocked with books and tip and local attractions,

There are an infinite variety of diversions to be found within a 30 minute drive of the boat. But often the best thing to do is simply sit by the bay with a good book, occasionally looking up to see the harbor seals or migrating waterfowl.

The Ferry is owned by the same couple who own the harbor. We live on the Ferry is a completely separate unit with its own entrance and can be there to assist with any of your questions.

Please be aware that when then you stay on a houseboat, you are a guest in a close knit community of fellow houseboaters. These home owners have chosen to live on the water because of a shared love of nature and a considerate community. It is essential that you respect the community rights to peace and privacy and conduct your residency the same way you would expect from a next-door neighbor. It is absolutely critical that you read the rules and regulations that will be linked when you book. If you have trouble finding the rules and regulations, please confirm with me and I will send you the PDF separately.

Also, the entire ferry is 8,000 square feet. We could not find our keys in our own 2,600 sf side, so we could never imagine filling that kind of room. Therefore be aware we live next door, separated by relatively sound proof walls. There is also a full harbor shop down below that serves the maintenance of the marina, which we also own.

As a final note, the Ferry is not available for birthday parties, cocktail parties, weddings, business retreats, or other large gatherings. We tried that from time to time and it is just too crazy and takes a toll on our home.

More Details

Chris or Nate Tellis
Member since: 2012
Speaks english
Response time
Within 2 days
Response rate
Calendar last updated:
23 July, 2018

About Chris or Nate Tellis

The Tellis family adopted the City of Seattle in 1956, when we discovered her beached and abandoned along the Vallejo estuary. We brought her back to Sausalito, fixed her up, and in various configurations we have been living here for the past 55 years. The boat is now owned and maintained by Chris Tellis and Isabella Kirkland who live at the other end the boat. Both of us have careers in the arts and environment. We love living on the water and are delighted to be able to share this magical setting with others from around the world.

Chris or Nate Tellis purchased this house boat in 1956

Why Chris or Nate Tellis chose Sausalito

I have lived on the Sausalito waterfront since 1953. There is no place like Sausalito and southern Marin Couty. Even after seven years on the East Coast and two years in London and various other watering holes, I could not imagine living anywhere else. The Bay Area provides the perfect synthesis of intellectual stimulation and sybaritic diversion. I love New York, Europe and Asia, but in the end I would always want to come back to the water here in Sausalito, Chris Tellis

What makes this house boat unique

Living on an majestic ship, surrounded by history and beautiful wood, watching the sailboats, the harbor seals, the pelicans and migrating birds, there is nothing like this anywhere else. With the quiet of the Ferry, you feel you are miles away, yet just out the window is a water wonderland and a short drive away is one of the world's great cities. It is astonishing that a place can feel so removed yet be so close to a cultural epicenter.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house boat rental in Sausalito, California

Property Type:
  • house boat
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 2600 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
  • The Ferry is large, but it is an historic home and should not be confused with an event space. Please do not not expect to host large parties.
  • The floors are made of Douglis Fir and are relatively soft. Please do not wear sharp shoes or drag any of the furniture. Also the roof is off limits.
  • Please respect the peace and quiet of the neighbors in the Harbor.
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Alarm Clock
  • Backpack
  • soap
  • Broadband Access
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Computer Available ...
  • Filtered Water
  • Fireplace
  • Gas Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Local Maps
  • local restaurant guide
  • Macintosh Computer
  • mobile phone
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Shampoo
  • Sofa Bed
  • Telescope
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , bath (no shower) , shower enclosure , bidet
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower enclosure
  • The master bathroom on the Northern end is large and elegant with a set of windows looking over the bay. It has a private toilet and sink in its own cubicle, a walk-in shower, claw foot tub and double sinks. The upstairs bathroom is normal size and and efficient with large shower, toilet and sink.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 extra lg. double bed
    Bedroom 3 - 1 double bed
    Bedroom 2 - 1 large double bed
  • The walk in closet adjacent to the master bed is vast and could easily be fitted with a child's bed. In a corner of the Living room there is a pull out bed that can be screened off to accommodate two guests.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books
  • books - fiction/non-fiction
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Balcony
  • Binoculars
  • Boat Dock
  • Boat with Paddles
  • Deck / Patio
  • Inflatable Boat
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Large Cooler
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Small Cooler
  • Walkway to Water
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • 2 garden chairs
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • arboretum
  • bay
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • racquetball
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing
For further information go to the owner website at


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(48 traveller reviews)

93% Complete
4% Complete
0% Complete
2% Complete
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Fabulous Ferryboat on San Francisco Bay
average rating of 4.8958335 based on 48 reviews

A Magical, Mysterious Getaway!

  • 5 of 5

Our vacations seldom surpass our expectations, however the Yellow Ferry was truly a one of kind experience, from the spacious, artfully decorated interiors to

the spectacular views of Sausalito and harbor life. Even though the Ferry provided a convenient hub for side trips, we found ourselves more than happy to nest in the comfortable atmosphere of the harbor. Our gracious hosts provided everything we needed and we look forward to another visit.

  • Review Submitted: 28/05/2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Ahh shucks. You guys are too nice. It was wonderful to have you as guests on the Ferry, and we are delighted that you so appreciated life on the water. Chris and Izzi and Nate
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0 0
Yorba Linda, California

You’ll love it!!!

  • 5 of 5

My family absolutely loved our experience on the big yellow ferry. The pictures don’t do it justice. It offered every comfort of home and more. The kitchen is stocked with plenty of dishes, flatware, utensils, spices and everything you could possibly need to cook an outrageous meal to enjoy while taking in the beautiful view!

We had a blast with all the great water features including the paddle board, kayak and row boat. The harbor seals were awesome entertainment and made us envious of their lazy days soaking in the sun on the dock.

Sausalito is the perfect location to enable a quick trip into SF while allowing a quick retreat back to the serenity. Try Progress if you find yourself hungry and in the city.

We kissed the yellow ferry as we departed and promised to return.

  • Review Submitted: 19/06/2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

Beautiful accommodations in a beautiful location.

  • Review Submitted: 30/03/2018
  • Date of Stay: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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What an amazing place!

  • 5 of 5

Picture yourself at the end of a pier or dock in this case looking out over the water as you watch a beautiful sunrise on the horizon. The Yellow Ferry is spacious and perfect for anyone looking to spend a relaxing, dreamy vacation in total comfort.

My friends and I loved sitting outside on the back deck watching the seals bask in the sun and the geese and seagulls as they flew back and forth while we ate our breakfast or lunch. The swing just inside the house at the back was where I and my friends sat many times while we read or just gazed out over the bay. I could keep going about this place, the open kitchen I loved cooking in and so on, but why? Just reserve the place for your next vacation! You’ll love it. We did.

  • Review Submitted: 24/03/2018
  • Date of Stay: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Trip of a lifetime

  • 5 of 5

For four days we were the luckiest people on the planet. No words for the beauty and majesty of the Yellow Ferry and it’s location. Hosts were lovely. We didn’t need to call them about anything because everything we needed was provided. Gift basket of local food items awaited out arrival and the last morning was spent kayaking in the peaceful bay watching seals and birds. 10 stars

  • Review Submitted: 11/03/2018
  • Date of Stay: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Amazing, unique!! We loved it!!

  • 5 of 5

Spent Christmas on the ferry with our adult children and their partners. Amazing, huge kitchen with 6 burner Wolf range and double oven. We cooked/baked up a storm!! Being right on the water was so peaceful and serene. Loved using the provided binoculars to watch the sea lions. We made great use of the kayaks and paddle board. The beds were comfy, the claw foot tub a destination for all!!! We loved everything about it. Chris and Izzi were there if we needed anything but gave us our space. 5 stars!!

  • Review Submitted: 30/12/2017
  • Date of Stay: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
20 Miles
San Francisco Airport
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Miles
Nearest Ferry
2 Miles
The one you are on, or Sausalito to San Francisco
Nearest Golf
3 Metres
Mill Valley Golf Course
Nearest Motorway
200 Metres
Hwy 101
Nearest Restaurant
100 Metres
Bayside Cafe
Nearest Ski
160 Miles
Sugar Bowl
Nearest Beach
5 Miles
Rodeo (Fort Cronkite)
Car: necessary

The prime berths for floating homes, are those at the end of the docks with a view to open water. With the end berth, in a small, exclusive marina, the Yellow Ferry has the best location in San Francisco Bay. Surrounded by open water on all sides, you can fully experience houseboat living at its finest. If you are interested in water sports, the ferry is fully stocked with kayaks, stand up paddle boards, sailboat, surfboards, boogie boards and fins.

Sausalito itself, is unquestionably the ideal location in the Bay Area. With a perfect, Mediterranean climate, Sausalito will be sunny and warm when San Francisco is covered in fog.

Sausalito is also at the epicenter of a range of activities that can accommodate any taste, from fine dining to high octane sports. Sausalito is often described as the best neighborhood in San Francisco as you are closer to the museums and theater and restaurants than most residences in the city. You are five minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge and fifteen minutes from the Fine Arts Museums. Yet you are also just ten minutes from the beaches, Muir Woods and the National Parks along the coast. Further afield you are 30 minutes from the Wine Country and three hours from Lake Tahoe.

You can surf in the morning and eat in a three star restaurant for lunch. Spend the evening at the ballet, the opera or hear some of the best live music in the country.

Or best of all, just relax in the peace and quiet of the ferryboat.


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday house boat in Sausalito, California

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Summer 2018
2 May 2018 - 15 Sep 2018
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add AU$40 per night, per additional guest
Thanksgiving 2018
19 Nov 2018 - 26 Nov 2018
4 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$40 per night, per additional guest
22 Dec 2018 - 2 Jan 2019
4 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add AU$40 per night, per additional guest
Summer 2019
1 Jun 2019 - 15 Sep 2019
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add AU$40 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add AU$40 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable Damage Deposit AU$674
Cleaning AU$235.9

Rates are subject to change until confirmation is confirmed. An additional air mattress is available (a 4th bed, beyond the three double beds) but this will incur an additional charge of $25/night.
Rentals of two and three days are available if a booking gap leaves less than four open nights.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if cancelled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if cancelled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Contact Owner

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