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Delightful decisions in New England coast

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,756
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
So I'm faced with the delightful decision making process of when and where and how to sail the New England Coast from the North fork of Long Island with final destination Maine.

I would love to get thoughts, suggestions and other advice on when, where, places to see, East Coast events not to miss (Newport Jazz festival comes to mind).

Free anchorages are a big plus. We must have a number of members that know this coast well. I would really welcome any and all advice.

dj
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,947
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
There are so many options. Start from Coecles Harbor in Shelter Island. 8'controlling depth. I've sailed from there to Mystic River on a single tack. There is an anchorage at the Seaport. It is pretty small but usable. Use the Watch Hill Passage to exit Fisher's Island Sound. Well marked but study the buoyage ahead of passage. There are four other passages past the reef East of Fischer's Island. So there are a lot of buoys around and you don't want to get confused. It is well worth the time to stop at Fisher's Island West Harbor. There are moorings and you can anchor further out. Well sheltered from the the prevailing South West sea breeze. It's a hop from there to Block Island, and on to Newport and then Cuttihunk. That's as far North as I got in one week cruises.
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,232
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Cuttyhunk, Nantucket and MV are distinctively different, all worth visiting with options for anchoring or mooring. Newport is Newport. Going through the Canal is interesting if you’ve never done it. From there north of Boston, it’s largely personal preference and there are too many little harbors along the Maine coast to list. All somewhat unique. Make sure your radar is reliable.
 

PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
747
Sabre 402 Southport, CT
New Bedford has recently redone its harbor front, and offers a lot of marina options. You can visit the whaling museum AND pick up any parts you need from Edson. Hadley's Harbor is a lovely place to explore in a dinghy. Woods Hole is interesting too. En route to&from Maine we've put in at Gloucester, but Salem, Manchester and Marblehead are also nice to visit. You could spend the entire season hopping up along the coast - there are hundreds of harbors between Long Island and Maine.
 

dmax

.
Jul 29, 2018
440
O'Day 35 Buzzards Bay
Some great suggestions, others to consider: Sag Harbor (anchoring allowed), Westport Harbor (MA, anchoring allowed), Hadley Harbor (MA, free), Waquoit Bay (MA, free), Nantucket Harbor (free), Lake Tashmoo (MA, anchoring allowed, can be crowded), Vineyard Haven (MA, anchoring allowed), Vineyard Haven Lagoon Pond (MA, free), Edgartown (MA, anchoring allowed outside of harbor, somewhat protected), Lewis Bay (MA, anchoring allowed), Pocasset Harbor (MA, anchoring allowed), Plymouth Bay (MA, anchoring allowed).
 
Jul 19, 2013
300
Pearson 31-2 Boston
Some great suggestions, others to consider: Sag Harbor (anchoring allowed), Westport Harbor (MA, anchoring allowed), Hadley Harbor (MA, free), Waquoit Bay (MA, free), Nantucket Harbor (free), Lake Tashmoo (MA, anchoring allowed, can be crowded), Vineyard Haven (MA, anchoring allowed), Vineyard Haven Lagoon Pond (MA, free), Edgartown (MA, anchoring allowed outside of harbor, somewhat protected), Lewis Bay (MA, anchoring allowed), Pocasset Harbor (MA, anchoring allowed), Plymouth Bay (MA, anchoring allowed).
Some comments on above.
Nantucket - while there's a big bay past the mooring area, the bottom is all grass and repeat visitors willing pay the mooring rental fees to avoid spending any nights worrying about dragging. Get mooring reservations as early in the season as possible.
Lake Tashmoo - the entrance channel is very shallow, with even five feet draft I'd only pass near high tide.
Vineyard Haven/Edgartown/Haldey Harbor - some limited anchoring, OK provided there is no strong north-to-east wind in the forecast.
Lagoon Pond - best anchoring spot in forty miles
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,637
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
All good suggestions. The anchorage off the Ida Lewis YC has room for several boats and is a great place to watch it all go by in Newport. We stopped there in 2012 for an overnight, and again in 2018. Public dinghy dock nearby.
Anchored Ida Lewis, Newport.jpg


Also a good free anchorage, Mystic Seaport Museum. There is a snug anchorage off the innermost docks (background in this photo).

Xmas Eve docks.jpg


There's a convenient dinghy dock for the museum open for the anchorage (you pay a fee to see the museum, worth it!). Check what's going on there while you're in the area. We stayed on the docks for an Alden show in 2018.

We've used the Isle of Shoals countless times for an overnight between Maine and Southern NE. Always found a mooring available.

Isle of Shoals hotel.jpg



Good luck with your new boat!
 
Oct 2, 2008
3,528
Pearson/ 530 Strafford, NH
We’ve wintered in the Chesapeake and at least eight boats are planning to travel to Maine this summer. If only one boat from every marina does the same, there may be limited availability of favorite spots. A friend of mine who has been working at a marina in Maine said they will be maxed out the whole season. The lines will be long at my favorite lobster shack. Have fun, I’ll leave the light on for you.
 

RoyS

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Jun 3, 2012
1,118
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Many well protected places to anchor around the Boston Harbor Islands. No restaurants or other facilities but you can walk on the islands. Our dog loves to chase the deer and turkeys on these islands.
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,756
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
Just a FYI, while I'm following this, I'm commissioning my new-to-me boat and am really busy with both work and that going on at the same time. As the saying goes, work just so gets in the way of the things one likes to do...

Once I get some time, I'll be posting more specific questions here. The boat had an old wind generator, original from the boat in 1984, and I'm putting a new one on. The book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" comes to mind.

I'm also going to put on wind steering - I'm going with a Hydrovane. Don't know if that will arrive in time for this summer, but I do need that wind generator up and running. Once I've time, I'll pull up OpenCPN and walk through everyone's suggestions. I really appreciate all the input so far.

dj
 

Bob S

.
Sep 27, 2007
1,678
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA
Tarpaulin Cove If you decide to sail up Vineyard Sound. Sailing up Buzzards Bay , Cataumet behind Bassetts Island are both beautiful free anchorage’s