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Old 26-12-2017, 20:41   #1
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Massachusetts Marinas

Presently, I live in Albany, NY. Last year I sailed out of Mamaroneck, NY, which is about as close as I can get to water worth sailing. The commute took about 2.5-3 hours.

Recently, friends have suggested I keep the boat in Massachusetts, somewhere near Mattapoisett such that I could expand my cruising grounds a bit. I have always wanted to get to Block, MV, Nantucket, etc. Always too far for the time I have which is usually 3-4 day weekends.

I am considering changing home harbors. If I tolerate another half hour of drive time to the boat, I can choose almost any harbor along the north coast of the sound ie. NY/CT/RI/MA up to the canal.

I've run across some interesting options just googling, and I've searched a bit for threads here.

Any recommendations? I'm looking for a mooring with seasonal launch service and winter haul out. Free parking for me and my crew. Better wind, more access to MV, less NYC vibe. Proximity of places to buy stuff not important at all.

Mamaroneck has been good to me and I hate to complain. But I suspect there might be a better harbor for me. I'm in a bit of a parking lot now, with LOTS of company and lots of smell/sound from the marine service companies around me. Derektor is a few hundred yard away as is a large but well disguised sewage treatment plant. Forget about swimming...

I already feel NY/CT/RI is too expensive. My boat is 46' on deck, 52' with a bowsprit. Draws 7 feet. Any suggestions? For the 2018 NE season.
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Old 27-12-2017, 06:04   #2
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

I bought my boat in NY and kept it in RI for the first season. Cheap/expensive are relative terms but I didn't find anything in New England that met my definition of cheap. I found in general the farther I went up Narragansett Bay the less expensive it was. Of course that adds a bit to the trip headed to LI Sound.

A friend moors his boat in Essex CT up the CT River. In the past there was a multi year waiting list for a mooring but I think he said several moorings have opened up in the last year. They have a launch service and it isn't too far down the river to the sound. Only impediment is the RR bridge that occasionally closes for Amtrak.
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Old 27-12-2017, 09:38   #3
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

Many thank for the info. There's another thread here with lots of info about the CT river but I can't seem to find it again.

I have a friend with a boat at the top of the Severn River. It takes us an hour or so to sail down the river to Annapolis. Doesn't bother him at all. I don't think it would bother me either.
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Old 27-12-2017, 13:46   #4
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

Talked to my buddy in Essex today. Two options there. He has a mooring with the town of Essex but also Brewers Boatyard Essex has moorings. If you can get a town mooring it's really cheap. More or less $100/year for the permit and $200-$300 to pull and drop the mooring fall and spring. You do have to supply your own hardware.

He suggests you call the Essex city hall for information.
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Old 27-12-2017, 14:18   #5
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

Salem Harbor in MA has a bunch of large mooring fields for each of the 7-8 towns surrounding it. Each has some form of launch service. Some have waiting lists for the mooring permits, others don't. Best to call each town's harbormaster directly and they will put you in touch with the right people to talk to.

When I was looking for a spot for my boat 12 years ago I looked far and wide as I am somewhat inland and other than downtown Boston and immediate areas close by (which were not a good fit for me for number of reasons, $40/day parking among them) everything else was at least an hour away. So I considered SE part of MA, incl. RI, North shore and up to Portsmouth,NH. Salem Harbor won hands down as it is almost half way to many weekend destinations. 50nm to P-town, 15nm to Rockport, 60-70nm to Portsmouth, 15nm to Boston, etc. Basically you can do weekend trips to most places and long weekend ones to some others. I am still trying to put together a crew for Bar Harbor trip but am having a tough time getting my sailing buddies to commit for a full week.

SE area is also nice as you can reach Block Island, MV or even Nantucket on a weekend trip.
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Old 27-12-2017, 15:07   #6
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

$55/ft for a mooring on the Thames River in New London. 2 1/2 hr ride on the highways...
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Old 27-12-2017, 15:16   #7
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

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$55/ft for a mooring on the Thames River in New London. 2 1/2 hr ride on the highways...
In case of OP (52'LOA) it's almost $3,000. Is it to buy outright or rent for the season?
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Old 27-12-2017, 17:14   #8
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

Remember RI is the only one that is tax free if that makes a difference. You will get hit with use tax and local excise tax in mass over 90 days
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Old 27-12-2017, 17:18   #9
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

Sorry state tax might be 90 day's but local can be as little as 14 day's.
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Old 27-12-2017, 19:00   #10
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

It makes me cringe every time I see someone use an apostrophe to indicate plural meaning. What goes through someone's mind to screw up such an elementary concept?
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Old 27-12-2017, 19:10   #11
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

The sales and use tax in Massachusetts is only for a recent purchase. It’s a complicated subject but if you’ve owned the boat for more than a year you won't have a problem.

There is a tax to the local town. For your boat it would be about $250

Massachusetts is one of the few states that does not require documented boats to also be state registered

Rhode Island has no sales tax or excise tax on boats but the registration for your size boat is about $200/yr and required even if the boat is documented.
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Old 27-12-2017, 19:39   #12
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

Ask about a mooring at Dutch Harbor Boatyard in Jamestown RI. Beautiful quiet villiage just a few hour sail from the pagentry of Newport or a quick water shuttle ferry. But the big advantage is sailing location. It’s right at the entrance to Narraganset Bay for daysail distance to Block Island, Cuttyhunk, Marthas Vineyard, and Buzzards Bay. Nantucket in a long weekend. If the weather’s snotty, sail up the bay to Bristol. Good road access.

Haven’t been there for years and heard there’s a new owner as of a few years ago (retirement).

If you want a slip, look at South Warf Yacht Yard in even prettier Padanaram. Friendly yachtclub next door with great kid sailing program. I’m sure it’s not cheap but you’d love spending time there.
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Old 28-12-2017, 03:10   #13
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
In case of OP (52'LOA) it's almost $3,000. Is it to buy outright or rent for the season?
That's the rent for the season; May through October or longer.
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Old 28-12-2017, 04:32   #14
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

Some pluses and minuses to each of the locations mentioned.
  • Essex is nice to visit but is 6 miles upriver, and wind against (reversing) current often makes the boats rub against the mooring balls, or even spin around and round. To avoid bumping, placement is critical in relation to other nearby boats (and type of nearby boats). 6nm = 1 hour just to get to open water to sail.
  • If you like the CT River area, check out Old Lyme Marina. It's got less current, and it's 2nm closer to the mouth of the river.
  • Narragansett Bay is great sailing and known for its generally good winds, but crowded with tacking daysailors and races. You can't relax your watch more than a minute or two on a summer day. Convenient to Buzzards Bay and the nearby islands, but if you want to sail to BI or Eastern LI it can be a rough slog against steep chop in the prevailing SW winds on an southbound tidal flow.
  • The Mystic/Stonington area is great, but expensive. Easy reach to points east in the prevailing SW. Sheltered sailing nearby in (crowded) Fishers I Sound.
  • Watch Hill is well protected but also expensive, and again it's a 6nm motoring trip in a narrow channel through (shallow) Little Narragansett Bay to open water (near Stonington).
  • Westport MA is a wonderful place, but the entrance is tricky and can be dangerous if a big swell is running. There are VERY strong reversing currents that can sweep you broadside to the channel and shoals. This is a place where you need to watch the buoys and local knowledge can keep you out of trouble. If you go there, get to know the harbor master and watch for changes in local buoys. (If you're just visiting it would be prudent to call him before entering to ask about any advice.) That said, it's a wonderful, beautiful, quiet harbor. Expert repairs available and good service at FL Tripp. Nice people.
  • In Buzzards Bay, also look at Marion, MA (Sippican Harbor) and Wareham. I don't think I've ever seen more sailboats than in Marion -- they're both at a wider part of BB which makes for better daysailing (out and back on a reach in the prevailing W winds). (Leaving BB is the same issue as leaving Narragansett Bay -- they're both known for a steep chop on an outbound tidal flow.)
Lot's of options. Have fun looking.
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Old 28-12-2017, 05:29   #15
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Re: Massachusetts Marinas

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That's the rent for the season; May through October or longer.
And that's not a bad deal for the area. I paid over $4000 for a 42' boat in Bristol RI and it was the best deal I found at the time.
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