Burnt Coat Harbor

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Photo: Doug Bruce

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Maggie Salter

Burnt Coat Harbor on Swan’s Island is a safe anchorage in all but directly southerly winds. The channel entry past the lighthouse at Hockamock Head is well-marked and fog dissipates once you are inside the harbor.

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Anchoring in mud is easy on the western side of the harbor. On the eastern side of the harbor, moorings can be rented from Tim Trafton (207-266-5600 or timtrafton@outlook .com) for $25 each.  These can be slightly exposed to southerly wind coming in the channel by Hockamock Head.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Maggie Salter

There is a Fisherman’s Coop and another wharf that has a sign for “ICE” where you can leave a dinghy. The only market is TIMS (The Island Market and Supply) where a small amount of fresh vegetables and lots of dry goods are available. Swan’s island is dry. There are no restaurants.

Tim Trafton is a lobsterman who cooks lobsters and serves them on a picnic table from 1600-1800 hours with prior notice. Tim rents e-bikes and  will provide car transport as well. There is a quarry for fresh water swimming. Dinghy east past Tim’s dock (also known as Swan’s Island Yacht Club) to the dock at the abandoned fish plant. Walk up the road and bear right to the quarry. It’s heavenly.

Burnt Coat Harbor Light has lovely trails all around it, including the Long Point Beach trail which goes to a lovely south-facing beach. The Keeper’s House apartment in the lighthouse can be rented from Maili Bailey (207-399-2563 or www.swansislandvacations.com). The Fine (pink) Sand Beach is in the northwest corner of Toothacher Cove. You could dinghy over there (but around Hockamock Head from the harbor) at high tide. Coming by land would probably require asking someone for a ride.

The Sweet Chariot Music Festival is held during the first full week of August, with performances Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings in the Community Hall. Folk music, sea shanties, and fiddle music are performed by people from all over the country. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings are the best. Take a dinghy to the Fisherman’s Coop or the Wharf with the “ICE” sign and walk 20 minutes to the Community Building.

A nearby day stop is Marshall Island, a Maine Coast Heritage Trust preserve. The best anchoring according to their website: “The cove near Ringtown Island makes for good holding ground and you’ll find an easy landing beach on the south end. (From here, you can’t miss the trails!) Visitors are also encouraged to anchor off Sand Cove or just west of Long Point.”


dock and buildings at Burnt Coat Harbor


What CCA Members are saying:

My husband and I landed here in the middle of the night after sailing from Jamestown, RI. The next morning we were awoken early by the lobster boats but despite that, still found it fun to explore the harbor by dinghy.

Kate Somers (Web Admin for CCA Guides)

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