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Old 02-03-2015, 17:18   #1
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"Cruising" Maine

A little different kind of cruising... but I hope someone can advise.

After good trips trailering our wooden skiff up to the Thousand Islands, L Placid, and the Saranac Lakes, and then more recently, down to SW Florida and SE FL, we are wondering if we would have fun trailering up to Maine this summer and doing the same. We will have with us two dogs, which usually complicates things.

One concern is the huge tide range which I would think precludes anchoring off a beach (which may not be available there anyway) and wading in.

Does anyone who has been there think this would be a good idea? Any suggestions or alternatives? Talking about up to a week time period, staying at a cottage or hotel, or maybe two different "bases".

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2015, 18:49   #2
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

That sounds like great fun. The Waterway Cruising Guides have been a big help to me in planning trips. They have one that covers your proposed area:


http://www.waterwayguide.com/shipsto...roducts_id=216


Quote:
WATERWAY GUIDE Northern 2015
Updated annually, WATERWAY GUIDE's Northern 2015 edition is the indispensable cruising companion for boaters exploring the Atlantic coast from Cape May through Maine, as well as the Hudson River, Long Island Sound and Cape Cod Bay. The guide features mile-by-mile navigation information, aerial photography with marked routes, marina listings and locater charts, anchorage information and expanded "Goin' Ashore" articles on ports along the way. Helpful cruising data like GPS waypoints, detailed planning maps, distance charts and bridge tables help get cruisers there safely. Flexible spiral binding and heavy laminated covers with bookmarker flaps ensure durability and easy use in the cockpit and at the helm

I have no connection with the company other than as a satisfied user of the ICW and Southern Guides
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Old 02-03-2015, 19:00   #3
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

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Originally Posted by ggray View Post
Does anyone who has been there think this would be a good idea? Any suggestions or alternatives? Talking about up to a week time period, staying at a cottage or hotel, or maybe two different "bases".
!
Good heavens, yes, that's a good idea. Maine is top quality cruising.

Don't be concerned about the tides. They're not dominant or anything. Just keep them in mind routinely.

Carry good bug repellant. I use 98% DEET when they get serious.
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Old 02-03-2015, 20:07   #4
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

Thanks!

So I wouldn't have trouble finding places to dock a small outboard? Get out and walk or explore? Parks that allow dogs?

A number of places saw "No pets!", but quite a few are welcoming.

I don't want to get up there and realize that all we could do is drive around in circles.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:24   #5
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

The coast of Maine is a pretty big and diverse area.

We anchor all the time. You do have to be aware of tides and put out appropriate scope, as well as know the height of tide when you arrive, and what it will be at low.

The Waterway Guide is good. So is Taft's. We find we're using Active Captain a lot lately, too.

Another option for smaller boats is to join the Maine Island Trail Association. Their guide book is full of publicly-accessible day stops, camping spots, ramps and put-ins, along with a few anchorages.

If you're interested in staying shoreside, I've heard good things about Samoset Resort, which I know has moorings, so I assume you could bring your boat. Maine's motto is "Vacationland" so I don't think you'll have any problem finding a place, if you can't stay on board.

As for destinations, the list is almost endless. Casco Bay and Penobscot Bay offer lots of protected and semi-protected waters to explore. Then there are all the rivers. From the Boothbay area, you can hit the Kennebec, Sheepscot and Damariscotta Rivers, as well as all the connecting rivers, bays and guts. Starting from the Mount Desert area, you can do Jerico Bay, Blue Hill Bay, and Frenchman's Bay. A day in Bar Harbor is a must if you're up that way. Northeast Harbor is a great home base for this region. If you want to really get away from it all, shoot for Eastport. Not much to do ashore, but pretty wild cruising grounds, which includes parts of maritime Canada.

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

Edit: Saw your last post. Dogs are welcome almost everywhere. A dinghy or kayak is really handy if you're anchoring out or using moorings a lot, or if you want to visit some of the undeveloped islands, but many towns have a "town dock" where you can tie up for a while. But cruising Maine isn't about going into town. That's just for necessities.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:35   #6
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

Just make sure you have a copy of the Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book.
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Old 03-03-2015, 13:24   #7
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

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................. but many towns have a "town dock" where you can tie up for a while. But cruising Maine isn't about going into town. That's just for necessities.
Not that I'm likely to be cruising Maine any time soon, but for me, a big part of cruising is going into town. Meeting people, visiting interesting and/or historic places, eating in different restaurants, checking out the local shops and stores, etc.
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Old 03-03-2015, 13:40   #8
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

Popular locations have dockage (booth-bay, kennbunkport, Camden), but they are limited, we found moorings your best bet, might want to stock a raft to get back and forth. Great cruising area.
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Old 03-03-2015, 15:48   #9
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

+1 on MITA. Join up and get their guidebook. It has a list of all the islands you can camp on. You could spend years just visiting MITA islands.

Another good one, less known, is the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (Maine Coast Heritage Trust). They have a number of islands you can hike on and camp on, like Whaleboat Island near Harpswell.

Having said all that . . . I'm not sure what the situation is with dogs. Maybe allowed if on leash? Or banned entirely. . . . It may vary by island. Also -- most islands are tick city. Make sure the dogs are Frontlined or wearing a tick collar.

Whenever I can't get our whole family up to Maine with the large boat, I head up there with our 8-foot sailing dinghy on the cartop and cruise Casco Bay with a tent. I do love that place! Dragging even my small boat above the high tide mark is a pain, especially if you happen to arrive somewhere at low tide. I plan to make a demountable wheel that fits into the gudgeons for such hauls.

I'm not sure if your skiff is too big for considering that. (How big is it?) At the very worst, just time your arrivals for mid- to high tide, unload the boat, set up camp, and leave the boat on an anchor. It'll be aground for low, and floating for a few hours a day. . .

You will love it, and will spend much of the ensuing years planning how to get back there!
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Old 03-03-2015, 17:10   #10
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

Lot of good information here. I'm trying to join MITA (thanks!) -- having a little trouble, but can be resolved I'm sure. And the Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Our skiff is 18 1/2 feet long; too big to carry and too small to moor and sleep on. We would need to dock, if possible, for an hour or two. We do have an inflatable kayak, so maybe we should carry that with us.

So I'm very encouraged by what I read here; looks like a wonderful place to go. I'm just preparing myself to deal with what I find there.
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Old 14-03-2015, 18:16   #11
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

This is the book you want:

http://www.mainecoastguide.com/guides.html

Very well laid out by region. Anchorages, harbor entrances, sights to visit, marinas and mooring fields, phone numbers and websites, distances between points, hurricane holes, etc.
Tons of information and they have published their 5th edition so it's up to date.



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Old 14-03-2015, 19:37   #12
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

We have just started to explore New England last year, and Maine has definitely been impressive so far. We are also trailersailors with a 23' Aquarius, and the two trips we've done in Maine so far are:

Casco Bay:
Yarmouth, ME has a decent boat launch on the Royal River that allows overnight parking. You need to go to the police station/city office in town to get a permit first, but it was either really cheap or free. Takes a bit of motoring to get out into Casco bay, but it's a pretty cruise down the river. Jewel Island has camping, and a sheltered anchorage that can get crowded and lively, but with shallow draft ( we do about a foot ), you can always find a spot. If you sail up to the lobster fisherman pulling traps they'll sell you lobsters for $5 a piece, so bring a large pot.. Jewell also have some really tasty little oysters and mussels as well. We also found Chanterelles, and ate like royalty. There's some spooky world war 2 underground bunkers and watchtowers that were fun exploring. Don't recall seeing dogs, but would be shocked if they didn't allow them.

Acadia National Park
Southwest Harbor has a boat ramp out by the Hinckley yard. Call the harbor master ahead of time and ask nicely and he'll probably let you park there overnight. Little Cranberry Island was a hoot. There's a makeshift minigolf course that a guy set up in his front yard to raise funds for the local churches. Really well done with mostly "found" stuff and he invited us up for a tour of the 5-6 story tower/lighthouse on top of his house. The kids loved the Jelly Belly themed floor. Although deep and a bit breezy, Valley Cove was a highlight as well, mostly because of the hike up the peak towering above it (can't remember the name). Bar Harbor was run over by cruise ship passengers. Kids liked the ice cream, and we had a forgettable lunch at a tourist trap. I'm sure we could have done better there, but I wouldn't make the effort going back there personally.

We've also done a couple of trips out of Mass and Rhode Island. The hardest part in general is finding places to leave the truck and trailer overnight, but it can be done...
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Old 15-03-2015, 05:53   #13
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

For Casco Bay, the South Portland launch ramp is excellent. $10 to launch, and no charge for leaving your car and trailer . . . even for weeks. You do start out right in busy Portland harbor, but it's manageable, and plenty interesting.

Monstads -- did you ever find a launch spot in Rhode Island that allowed overnight car/trailer parking? I've been hoping to find one for Block Island trips. Last year I used the Barn Island launch ramp in Stonington, CT, which was fine, but I'm always on the lookout for more. Another great one is Wellfleet on the Cape.
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Old 15-03-2015, 06:23   #14
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

Thanks for all this information. We are studying it all.

But we are trailering an 18 ft skiff, for day trips only, so unfortunately we can't take advantage of all the suggestions!
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Old 15-03-2015, 06:46   #15
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Re: "Cruising" Maine

Been taking our dog cruising in Maine for 16 years. Never had an issue finding a place to go ashore.
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