Boothbay Harbor

43° 51′ 8″N , 69° 37′ 41″W

Boothbay Harbor

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Photo: John Buie – Flickr

Heading north past Fisherman’s and Squirrel Islands, you’ll find the buzzing metropolis of Boothbay Harbor, where you’ll be well-served by several marinas and a big shopping center where you can find all kinds of delights. Many cruisers find the range and depth of services a welcome choice after visiting remote anchorages; a few find the pace frenetic when the goal of a vacation is to unwind.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Cuckhold Light by Ashley Frill, Flickr

Approaching from south, west, or east is easy and straightforward. Just be aware of heavy traffic in the vicinity — fishing vessels, yachts, ferries, and daysailors abound.

If you’re arriving across from Muscongas Bay or Damariscotta River just to the east of Boothbay, it may be easier to leave Fisherman’s Island to port between it and Ocean Point. There are 3 red nuns inside Fisherman’s, which should be left to starboard. Leave Squirrel, Burnt, and Mouse Islands to port and enter Boothbay Harbor on the east side.

You can also approach Boothbay easily from either the Sheepscot River to the west via Townsend Gut or from seaward, leaving Fisherman’s Island to starboard and passing to either side of Squirrel Island, observing red lighted buoy #4. Head for red lighted buoy #8 off Tumbler Island, leaving Burnt Island and its lighthouse and Mouse Island to port. Leave the lighted green buoy #1A to port off the end of McFarland Island, and the harbor is a straight shot ahead of you.

Cuckhold lighthouse on rocky ledge

Click the chart to open Navionics

Not to be used for Navigation .


Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Just to the right as you enter the harbor, the first marina is Carousel, which usually has plenty of guest moorings available, plus showers, fuel, water, and a restaurant. It’s not a far hike from Carousel into town, where your kids will go wild with the temptations of ice cream, souvenirs, and anything one can imagine in a Maine summer revelry. Call Carousel Marina (207-633-2922) or via VHF Ch 9; alternatively, the next marina on the right is Brown’s Wharf, Ch 9 & 16 (207-633-5440). Other marinas offer dockage and moorings, but we do not have recent experience with them. A complete list is provided at the bottom of this page. Expect price increases in 2022 versus prior years.

Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club, on the far left (port) side of Boothbay Harbor, welcomes visitors, offering rental moorings at $50 (that’s up $10 in 2022)  per night for boats up to 60 feet, plus launch service, Wi-Fi, showers, laundry, tennis, bar, and dining room access — all described via the link above.

Limited anchorage can be found in 24 to 42 feet in the outer harbor northward of Tumbler Island and off McKown Point. The inner harbor has depths of 6 to 24 feet. Megayachts anchor south of Tumbler Island between Mouse Island and Spruce Point.

The Boothbay Harbormaster is Peter Ripley at 207-380-7283.

 

VHF

All marinas – Ch 9 BH Yacht Club – Ch 9

FUEL

Carousel, Hodgdon

WATER

Carousel, Brown’s, BBH Marina, Tugboat, Hodgdon, BHYC

ELECTRICITY

All marinas

SHOWERS

Marinas & BHYC

LAUNDRY

Some marinas

WIFI

Nearly all marinas Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, 4 Oak Street

PUMP OUT

Several marinas Harbormaster at Town Dock

SERVICES

Hodgdon, BBH Shipyard,

TRASH

Most marinas

MEDICAL

MORE BOAT AMENITIES

There are many excellent boatyards in the Boothbay area. One known to us is Hodgdon Yacht Services at Southport Island  (207) 633-2970. It is located in Ebencook Harbor (described below), a modest distance by water from Boothbay.

Staff of Hodgdon Yacht Services clustered on a dock.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Public Landing at Boothbay by “Miss Ninja Girl”

It’s easy to use the dinghy dock around the back of the main dockage at Carousel Marina or head up to the inner harbor, and you’ll find the public landing (aka Town Dock) just south of Fisherman’s Wharf.

Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club allows the use of its docks to mooring customers along with launch service.

Entrance of Daffy Taffy Factory with open door.

Photo: Daffy Taffy by Paul VanDerWerf – Flickr

Provisioning
Plates with breakfast food.

Photo: Courtesy of Maine Foodie Tours

Dine Out
Large white home of Boothbay Region Historical Society.

Photo: Boothbay Region Historical Society by Geoff Ingalls

Hikes

Hiking to and around town and exploring the many delights of Boothbay is great entertainment for cruisers of all ages. Click here for a walking map.

Boothbay Region Land Trust has many preserves on the peninsula, many with hiking trails.

Large wooden troll statue with arm wrapped around tree.

Photo: Courtesy of Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

Other Things To Do

The Boothbay Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a must-see with its giant troll statues created from recycled wood by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. Amazing! And the Butterfly and Moth House are gothic-style buildings with caterpillars and butterflies from all over New England.

Other Places To See – West of Boothbay proper, you can ride the tide under the swing bridge through Townsend Gut, a narrow stretch of water connecting the Sheepscot River and Boothbay Harbor. The bridge allows vehicles to cross over onto Southport Island from the mainland. Townsend Gut is a

Swing bridge with sailboat approachingbusy thorofare, fun to transit along with local fishing vessels as well as hundreds of pleasure craft. The bridge will open on demand every half hour between 6 am and 6 pm.

Just to the west of Townsend Gut and a short hop to the south around the top of Southport Island, you’ll find Ebenecook Harbor, which leads you into quaint and cozy Love Cove, a favorite cruiser’s anchorage just around the corner from the Hodgdon Yacht Services Southport Boatyard, a good pit-stop much less hectic than Boothbay proper. You can often find empty moorings in Love Cove, and anchoring is easy.

Other Nearby Anchorages – East Boothbay/South Bristol & Christmas Cove — all close by.

Marine Research Labratories – They offer tours and educational programs and are well worth visiting (call ahead): NOAA Marine Fisheries Lab and the Bigelow Lab.

Boothbay Harbor Marinas & Docks for Getting Ashore

From Right to Left (Counterclockwise)

Name Dockage Moorings VHF Fuel Water Shower Wi-Fi Other
Carousel yes yes Ch 9 yes yes yes yes many
Brown’s Wharf yes yes Ch 9 no yes yes ? many
Various Inns & Motels Most have docks Inquire locally
FOOTBRIDGE
BB Hbr Marina yes no Ch 9 no yes yes yes many
Town Dock dinghy no Ch 9 no ? no no pump-out
Tugboat Inn yes yes Ch 9 no yes no some restaurant
BBH Shipyard limited no no no no no no repairs
Hodgdon YS yes yes ? yes yes yes yes repairs
BBH YC no yes Ch 9 no yes yes no restaurant
Hodgdon YS at Southport often yes ? yes yes yes yes repairs

 

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