Five crew members were awake and jumped into the water when flames burst out around 3:15 am. They were rescued by a nearby pleasure craft.
A total of 39 were on board, officials said, leaving 14 yet to be recovered and presumed dead.
Both a stairwell and an escape hatch leading down to the lower deck where passengers were sleeping appeared to have been blocked by the inferno, Brown said.
On Tuesday, emergency officials began attempts to stabilize the boat so that divers can safely enter it and retrieve remaining victims.
Mourners gathering at the Santa Barbara docks set up a makeshift memorial, attaching large, colorful bouquets of flowers and messages of condolences to a fence along the waterfront.
One photo of a young woman, surrounded by candles, contained the note “I Love you Allie,” while another card simply said: “Wishing you peace.”