On the southern shores of Hawaii's Oahu island, Ala Wai Harbor is almost seven nautical miles (5.1 kilometers or 3.2 miles by air) from Honolulu Harbor and almost 11 nautical miles (14.5 kilometers or 9 miles by air) from Pearl Harbor. Located at the entrance to the Ala Wai Canal between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, Ala Wai Harbor is Hawaii's biggest small boat and yacht harbor.
Before Ala Wai Canal was completed, the area around Ala Wai Harbor was a swamp. In 1922, the canal was built to drain rainwater from the mountains above Waikiki. Today, the canal drains some 150 inches of rainwater through Ala Wai Harbor to the Pacific Ocean.
Photo by Travis Thurston
When the canal was finished, the land was reclaimed to create one of the world's most famous beach areas - Waikiki. A well-lit walkway runs along the canal. The waterway is lined with golf courses, the Hawaii Convention Center, condominiums, and apartments.
Ala Wai Harbor contains 699 berths and 85 moorings. With 22 dry storage spaces and a boat ramp, Ala Wai Harbor can handle vessels to 25.9 meters (85 feet) long. Amenities include vessel wash-down, pump-out, restrooms, showers, and a fuel dock. The current waiting list for slips in Ala Wai Harbor involves a 10-year wait.
Two yacht clubs make Ala Wai Harbor their home: the Waikiki Yacht Club and the Hawaii Yacht Club. These clubs hold fishing tournaments and sailing races, and they host junior sailing clubs. Ala Wai Harbor provides yacht club and state berths as well as fuel dock berths to boats from all over the world.
Ala Wai Harbor is the end point for the popular TransPacific sailing race that begins in Los Angeles. Held every other year, the TransPac is one of the oldest active ocean races in the world. The TransPacific ends at Honolulu's Diamond Head Lighthouse. Starting in 1906, the 2225-nautical-mile (4121-kilometer or 2560-mile) TransPac has attracted competitors from around the world.