The Basin

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Photo: Paul VanDerWerf/ Flickr

The Basin is an enclosed anchorage on the east side of the New Meadows River in Phippsburg, ME.  It is surrounded by The Basin Preserve, which at 1910 acres is the Nature Conservancy’s largest coastal preserve in Maine. There are no shore facilities, which makes it a lovely quiet place to spend the night.  

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Mike Timberlake / Flickr

Coming up the New Meadows River, after you pass Small Point Harbor on your starboard side, leave Jamison Ledge, marked by green can #7 to port; then you will come to Sebasco Harbor on the starboard side.  Continuing up the river you will pass Cundys Harbor on your port side.  Cundys is Maine’s oldest lobstering village and is a busy working harbor.  

After passing Cundys Harbor you will pass Dingley Cove, also on your port side, and then just a little beyond Sheep Island Ledge, marked by green can #5, you will begin to see the entrance to The Basin open up on your starboard side.  The entrance is unmarked and it takes a 90° turn to port just before the narrow entrance opens up into The Basin, so it is hard to see until you get close.  If you put a pin in your chartplotter at 43° 48.293′ N, 69° 51.987′ E it will take you to the middle of the entrance.  From there head SE staying equidistant from both shores. Just past the narrowest point (about 160’) stay a little to starboard of center to stay in the deepest part as you make your 90° turn. Friends were in The Basin in June 2021 at dead low tide. They touched bottom with their 7.6′ draft and were told by a nearby lobsterman that 43° 48.078′ N and 69° 51.530′ W marks the edge of the shallow water. So, if entering at low, head for that point then turn to port to enter The Basin.

aerial view of islands on a hazy day

Cautions: The tide runs strong through the entrance. I would not advise entering at mid-tide on an incoming tide nor leaving at mid-tide on an outgoing tide.

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Once in The Basin, find a place to anchor that suits you.  The depth in the middle is about 20’ at low tide.  There is usually plenty of room with a good mud bottom; the only difficulty is finding enough room to swing without swinging over a lobster pot.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Katie Wheeler /Flickr

  • If you have children aboard, you may want to stop for the night at the Sebasco Harbor Resort. They have moorings you can rent by the day (call 1-800-225-3819 for a reservation or fill out their Dockwa form), and a mooring entitles you to the use of the resort facilities, which include an old-time bowling alley, a swimming pool, and the Pilot House Restaurant and The Ledges Pub. 
  • If you’re hungry, find a place to anchor or call Holbrook’s Lobster Grille (207) 729-9050 to see if they can arrange a mooring, then head ashore for some of the best lobster in Maine.
  • The main attraction here is nature.  There are some good hiking trails. Access to the Denny Reed Trail is easy, and there are good places to tie your dinghy to a rock on the east side of Denny Reed Point. The trail is not a loop, so pay attention to which way you turn at the intersections.
  • There is an old Mica Mine on a trail at the eastern end. Bring your dinghy ashore in the little cove on the east side of The Basin, scramble ashore, and climb up to the trail running NW to SE. Turn to your left and walk along the trail until you see a sign for the mica mine. That smaller trail branches off to the right. But don’t do what I did: come in at mid-tide, go for a long hike, then return at low to find your dinghy separated from open water by 100 yards of mud.

Old boathouse with open doors on a small wooded point of land, with placid water reflecting the trees on shore.

Nearby Anchorages

    • Sebasco Harbor Resort is down the New Meadows River two miles farther south. It is somewhat exposed to the SW but has good moorings (reservations recommended and can be made by calling 1-800-225-3819 or filling out their Dockwa form) with launch service plus a couple of pretty decent restaurants.
person bowling in ten-pin alley
Try your hand at 10-pin bowling at Sebasco Harbor Resort.
  • Small Point Harbor is a well-protected narrow harbor nearly four miles south of The Basin, also on the New Meadows River. Click the link to see the separate page for Small Point.
  • Cundys Harbor sits on the west side of the mouth of the New Meadows River — just southwest of The Basin. While there are no marinas in Cundys, you might be able to get fuel and water at Holbrooks Lobster Wharf Grill. You can stop at the wharf for lunch or dinner. This is a wide-open harbor exposed to the east. From the west, simply round the end of East Cundy Point, leaving green can #9 to port and head up-river. Leave the flashing green buoy #1 to port, and the harbor and mooring field will appear in less than a mile. Leave green can #3 to starboard and make your way easily into the mooring field and dock. You may be able to anchor off in about 30 feet or pick up an empty mooring as long as you don’t leave the boat unattended.


What CCA Members are saying:

The main attraction here is nature. and the all-around protection in stormy weather.

Nick Orem

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