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Photo: Courtesy of Jonesport Shipyard

Jonesport Harbor is located at the eastern end of Moosabec Reach and is a hardcore fishing town with only a few resident pleasure boats.  It is most famous for the 4th of July lobster boat races.  Because of the sizeable fishing fleet, it does have significant marine/cruising support facilities although none are "at your fingertips."  This is a well-protected harbor due to its substantial breakwater and is a good place to ride out a blow.

Jonesport offers a dependable base of operations for extended exploring of the Roque Island Archipelago with its dozens of islands and the Bay of Fundy, including the towns of Machias and Cutler. Chances are any anchorage you choose will not be overrun with a press of other cruisers.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: S/V Dog Star by R. Rubadeau

A quintessential Maine joke concerning strangers asking for local directions is surprisingly applicable for a cruising boat with tall masts cruising the western approaches to the town of Jonesport: “A’yuh, ’tis right over there, but ya’ can’t get there from here.”

The Beals Island bridge spans Moosabec Reach and has a vertical clearance of 39 feet with a mean tidal range of 12 feet. Not many sailboat masts fit under this causeway. Cruising folks coming in from the west entrance of Moosabec Reach must time their approach carefully. The causeway has significantly narrowed the channel, and at mid-tide, the current often reaches 6-8 knots.

Two significantly less challenging approaches for sailboats heading for a stop at Jonesport on their way farther Downeast are also available. Each of these routes avoids passing under the Beals Island bridge. Proceed east past Sea Horse ledge and the Mud Hole Channel entrance. Enter Mistake Island Channel, marked by the Moose Peak Light, which begins an intricate buoy-to-buoy navigation journey with tight twists and turns leading north to Sequin Passage.

A more straightforward approach involves rounding Head Harbor Island for a run up Chandler Bay with Roque Island to starboard before turning to port at Mark Island and joining the entrance of Sequin Passage and Moosabec Reach to approach the town.

S/V Dog Star, a black ketch, sailing along a Maine shore.

CAUTIONS: Each of these entrances becomes a challenge on the frequent days of dense fog and requires respecting every mark without any comfortable margin for errors.

The entire Moosabec Reach and the spider-web of attendant waterways off Jonesport are busy thoroughfares with lobster and fishing boats moving very quickly in all sorts of weather with their hefty advantage of hard-won local knowledge. Keep an eye on them when they’re fishing, as they might not be aware of your presence.

Click the chart to open Navionics

Not to be used for Navigation .

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

The Jonesport Town Marina is on the west side of Sawyer Cove. The first set of docks, when approaching from the east along Moosabec Reach, is the town’s dockage. The docks only have 5 feet at low tide, but you can often tie alongside at mid to high. You may be able to anchor outside the moored boats in 7-9 feet at low, but be wary of mooring lines and the tight current and wind-driven swing-room limits. Trash bins are located at the head of the dock (Town Marina: 207-497-5929).

The Jonesport Shipyard (207-497-2701) is a rare treasure this far Downeast of Schoodic and stands alone as a high quality, friendly, family-run full-service boatyard with repair, storage, and hauling services available. The yard is located in the northwest corner of Sawyer Cove and run by Jon and Ann Johansen. The mooring field (reserve through Dockwa) off their facility offers two floating docks on mooring balls (#26 & #28) that can hold four boats up to 45 feet in length and 6 feet of draft. The balls are white with a blue stripe and are labeled Jonesport Shipyard. Guests are asked to tie up into the wind on either side of a floating dock, then take the extra available mooring line from the float deck and pass it through your own boat’s bow chock as if you were mooring without the float. This will allow for proper swing room and reduce chafing. The moorings are $30 per night, and the shore-side amenities include showers, restrooms, some marine supplies, hardware trash disposal, and laundry. There are also three moorings in the Mud Hole.

Jonesport’s harbormaster is John Church (207-930-9419). He will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have.

West Jonesport, where the Coast Guard facilities are located, does provide a fairly reasonable anchorage that is mostly out of the tidal fracas in 16 to 24 feet off the northern mainland shore near the Coast Guard pier. (USCG: 207-497-2200)


Channel 16 for the Jonesport Shipyard


O. W. Look Lobster Wharf (207-497-2061) is located a short distance to the west of the town docks in the blue building. Fuel is available, but the docks are only approachable by keelboats at half-tide or better. Kindly call ahead for the best time to approach.


Town Landing (bring your own hose), maybe




Jonesport Shipyard


Jonesport Shipyard






The Jonesport Shipyard (207-497-2701)


Jonesport Shipyard (for a small per bag charge)


Machias Downeast Community Hospital (207 255 3356) ( is the closest hospital. A family practice and other specialist physicians are located in the Arnold Memorial Medical Center in Jonesport (207 497 2363).


The Noreen family, former owners of the Jonesport Shipyard, offer Bluenose Cottage, a two-bedroom bungalow located a short walk from the premises with a wraparound deck and water views; it is available by the week but often books months in advance. A one-bedroom apartment is available for crew changes or a night ashore. Click the link for more information.

The Harbor House Hotel by Umaniii offering guest rooms and a one-bedroom apartment is at 27 Sawyer Square, (888) 711-8169.

Getting Ashore

Photo: T/T Dog Star by R. Rubadeau

The dock at Jonesport Shipyard has 7 feet at mean high tide but dries out at low, so be sure to tip your motor up when you dock.

Seaduck Point, Beals Island


Dinghy pulled up on a rocky shore, with extensive seaweed behind it.

Photo: Pizza from Stewart's


Stewarts Grocery and Take-out (207-497-2404) is a convenience-style grocery and liquor store open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Located on Indian River Road (Rt. 187), a short walk inland off Main Street from the west side of Beals Island Bridge, just one mile from the Shipyard and the Town Docks.

Manaford’s Supermarket is a good 2-mile walk from Sawyer Cove. Turn left off Main Street (Rt. 187) to Indian River Road, and it’s on the left. You will likely be able to arrange transportation one or both ways with help from the supermarket (207-497-2400) or try Slidin’ Thru Limo Service (William “Bimbo” Look), 34 Old House Point, (207-266-9406), which is available for hourly and flat-fee rides to area destinations.

Photo: Dining aboard, Sandy Andrews

Dine Out

The dining out in Jonesport maybe not be glamorous, but there are some reasonable options:

Moosabec Video & Variety 245 Main St at (207) 497-2662, locally known as “Byron’s,” offers ice, breakfast-to-go, crab rolls, baked goods, and convenience food. It is located just off Sawyer Square near the town dock.

Jonesport Pizza Shop, 187 Main St, M-Sat 4am-9pm, breakfast 4am-9am (207) 497-2187

Barney’s Cove Lobster Company, 7 Wharf Rd, Beals, ME 04611 (207) 497-2244

Photo: Courtesy of Maine


The best hiking in the Jonesport area can be found at the Great Wass Island Preserve described in the Mud Hole anchorage description on this site

Photo: Photo courtesy of

Other Things To Do

The community of Jonesport prides itself on being friendly and open for business. Just ask about the other amenities and goods available in town from the residents. A local attraction nearby is the Great Wass Island Preserve, accessible by car.

Jonesport has been the home of the “World’s Fastest Lobster Boat Races” since the early 1800s. The evolution from rowing skiffs to working sail, from Friendship sloops to the high horsepower speedboats of today is woven into the DNA of Jonesport, and a majority of local folks make their living from the sea. Keep a sharp eye and ear open for the thunder of a high-performance engine, and always have a fog horn handy.

Flotsam & Jetsam, Gift Shop and Retail Crafts at 182 Main Street — Ernest Childs is the proprietor.

Art Galleries: 1) Pierce-Kettering Gallery, 344 Main St, Jonesport, ME 04649 (1/2-mile from town dock) | (207) 497-2874

2) Sweet Pear Studio 34 Englishman Bay Rd, Jonesport, ME 04649 (6 miles from town dock) | (207) 497-5739

Hamilton Marine & True Value Hardware (207 497 2778) is located at 174 Main Street, about a mile from the Shipyard, and is open from 7 AM to 5 PM Monday thru Saturday.

There is a Coast Guard Station located just to the west of the bridge. See the Anchorages section for more details.

Jon Johansen, new owner of Jonesport Shipyard and president of the Maine Lobster Boat Racing, offers this background information on Jonesport’s history:

Beals Island and Jonesport are also well-known for the lobster boats they built. In the early 1900s these boats switched from sail to power. Will Frost of Digby, Nova Scotia arrived at this time and developeda  design which was long, thin, with a sweeping sheer and tumblehome. Over the years these boats have evolved to be mostly from 35 to 45 feet in length with a beam of more than 15 feet. Originally built of wood, they now are almost all fiberglass. The original engines were one-lungers, then came marinized gasoline engines and in the 1980s they switched to 100-200 hp diesel engines, which have grown to more than 1,000-hp today. Every year, right around the fourth of July, about 100 lobster boats will race on Moosabec Reach to determine who has the World’s Fastest Lobster Boat for that year.


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