Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-03-2021, 11:15   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Rhode Island
Boat: 1999 Catalina 36 MKII
Posts: 12
Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

I'm getting ready to leave my marina in East Greenwich, RI to cruise around RI and MA over the summer before heading South. I did some shakedown and day-trips over last summer. I have a general anchoring question.

Can I anchor overnight at any place the charts show good holding ground and free of cables, pipes, and other obstructions, or are there additional laws I need to account for in these states? Do I need permits for overnight anchoring, for instance?

What is the etiquette for anchoring near private mooring fields (all good anchorages seem to be filled with private moorings here), or off the shore of someone's property?

I'm going to be cruising and living at anchor, occasionally renting a mooring ball in a few of my favorite re-provisioning spots; Jamestown, near Warwick, etc.

I suppose it's obvious I'm new to the East Coast living on the hook lifestyle. Please be gentle.
crafoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 12:02   #2
Registered User
 
fourlyons's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD
Boat: 39' Custom built junk rigged cat ketch
Posts: 157
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

I think the most accurate, legal answer is... it depends on the legal representative you are asking, Federal, State, or Municipal (probably others too), and they won't all agree. This comes up in the courts again and again.

The practical answer is as long as you don't anchor in a channel, or the places you mentioned (though you can actually anchor in a number of them), or within, say, 100' of a private dock, you won't be bothered.
Especially if you're only there for a few nights.
fourlyons is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 16:03   #3
Registered User
 
Cthoops's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Bahamas
Boat: Bristol 29.9
Posts: 560
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

I can only speak to Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island, but it’s not like Florida or Georgia. There is the occasional spot where you are limited in the number of consecutive days you can anchor (Newport, RI and Coecles in Long Island come to mind), but no flat out prohibition that I’m aware of.

Enjoy! We’ve been up and down the East Coast for almost three years now and sailing in New England is hands down our favorite area.
__________________
Our blog: https://www.adventuresontheclub.com
Cthoops is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 16:38   #4
Cruiser
 
DMF Sailing's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Boat: THEN: 1972 Halsey Herreshoff Bristol 22 Caravel. NOW: Other people's cruisers. ALWAYS: Shopping
Posts: 442
Images: 2
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by crafoo View Post
I'm getting ready to leave my marina in East Greenwich, RI to cruise around RI and MA over the summer before heading South. I did some shakedown and day-trips over last summer. I have a general anchoring question.

Can I anchor overnight at any place the charts show good holding ground and free of cables, pipes, and other obstructions, or are there additional laws I need to account for in these states? Do I need permits for overnight anchoring, for instance?

What is the etiquette for anchoring near private mooring fields (all good anchorages seem to be filled with private moorings here), or off the shore of someone's property?

I'm going to be cruising and living at anchor, occasionally renting a mooring ball in a few of my favorite re-provisioning spots; Jamestown, near Warwick, etc.

I suppose it's obvious I'm new to the East Coast living on the hook lifestyle. Please be gentle.
For Massachusetts, without getting into the law, common sense and courtesy in my experience are the rules.

No private owner can stop you from anchoring off shore of their property. This state is very persnickety about allowing public access to water, with laws dating back to the 17th century to protect the rights of fishermen. (You are also allowed free access to the beach between the high and low-water lines. Commonwealth law! PITA if you own waterfront land, as I once did.)

With mooring fields, I like to stay out of them. Most of the big harbors— Plymouth, Provincetown, Gloucester, Salem—have plenty of places to anchor for various wind directions; when in doubt, ask the harbormaster, or look for the proliferation of cruisers.

There are plentiful anchorages off the Boston Harbor Islands (as well as buoys you can rent for $10 on Dockwa) and you can always find a spot that is not exposed to wind and wave (there are that many islands.) I can share my favorite ones if you want. If you want to go into the city, there are anchorages off Rowes Wharf at the edge of Boston Harbor Sailing Center; It's choppy much of the time there, but not terrible. I've spent plenty of nights on moorings there. Across the harbor in East Boston there's a place where you see a lot of cruisers near Boston Harbor Marina. Pretty well protected.

Quaint little crowded harbors like Scituate, Marblehead, or Rockport, you probably need to ask the harbormaster if there's a mooring or slip you can borrow. Depending on the wind and your stomach for rolling at night, there are spots in the latter two outside the protected harbor; in southerlies you're protected.

South of the Cape, Hadley Harbor near Woods Hole is a popular spot to anchor as a free layover. It's well protected, but there are no services and the island it's on is private: You can't go ashore (other than that tidal line; see how it works? Persnickety). Use your tidal charts to get in there; Woods Hole may not be the Salish Sea but 3-4-kt currents are normal.

Here's a CF thread that discusses anchorages in Mass.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ma-182625.html

Pictured: LEFT I got lazy and used one of the free moorings off Little Misery Island in Salem Sound for a quick swim to shore, but if I had been staying the night, I would've dropped the hook, because those moorings look a little sketch. It's a nice spot for overnights in northerlies, but uneven holding ground. You gotta be careful. This was late in the fall; during the summer I'd have been in a crowd and 30 yards further out, on the hook.

RIGHT: Thacher's Island at the tip of Cape Ann is a nice place for a picnic and a swim and (in some conditions) and overnight. The friendly people on shore will give you a tour of the lighthouse for I think it was a small fee (check their schedule; the light was closed last year because of covid, but they didn't close the island). The anchorage is never closed. Good alternative to Rockport.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC08384.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	435.9 KB
ID:	234103   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_7D9D4DC0706A-1.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	210.3 KB
ID:	234104  

__________________

I am here to drink in your knowledge.
Apologies in advance if I spill.
DMF Sailing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 17:09   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 15
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

As others have already mentioned, I've never ran into any sort of issue anchoring in these areas. Common sense and respect goes a long way. Only problem is moorings are taking up a lot of designated anchorages, so less and less availability to anchor in general...thats a whole other topic though.
LeCrux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 18:06   #6
Registered User
 
Island Time O25's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,696
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

Also if the weather is less than ideal some small town harbormasters with mooring fields and limited dockage would rather let you use a mooring for nominal cost or even free than worry about you dragging your anchor close to shore.

Here in MA we still are not at a point of being deluged with "Florida type" boaters to afford most harbormasters the old style civility and common sense.
Island Time O25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 18:53   #7
Cruiser
 
DMF Sailing's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Boat: THEN: 1972 Halsey Herreshoff Bristol 22 Caravel. NOW: Other people's cruisers. ALWAYS: Shopping
Posts: 442
Images: 2
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Also if the weather is less than ideal some small town harbormasters with mooring fields and limited dockage would rather let you use a mooring for nominal cost or even free than worry about you dragging your anchor close to shore.

Here in MA we still are not at a point of being deluged with "Florida type" boaters to afford most harbormasters the old style civility and common sense.
Agreed.

I should add that some of the harbormasters in Mass. also rent their own moorings to transient cruisers, and those are generally cheaper than your average New England resort/yacht club mooring rental, and always safer. Plus the ones I know are good folks who do the little things to help out when they can.
__________________

I am here to drink in your knowledge.
Apologies in advance if I spill.
DMF Sailing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 18:59   #8
Registered User
 
OutOfControl's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
Boat: Key West 2020 CC
Posts: 267
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Here in MA we still are not at a point of being deluged with "Florida type" boaters to afford most harbormasters the old style civility and common sense.
Could you please elaborate. I don't understand what you mean by a "Florida type" boater.
__________________
OutOfControl
OutOfControl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 19:04   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2016
Boat: McCurdy & Rhodes Custom 46
Posts: 1,052
Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

All of the above. If the harbor has a mooring field call the harbormaster on phone or 16. 99% will help you out.
I have not met that other 1% yet.
Even really crowded Marblehead, Salem, and Gloucester have anchorage spots.
Scituate simply has zero room to anchor, but in my experience has always had a transient mooring.
Rockport is REALLY tight. But Sandy bay is right next door.
Boston harbor is stupidly large with room all over as so on.
dfelsent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 19:17   #10
Cruiser
 
DMF Sailing's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Boat: THEN: 1972 Halsey Herreshoff Bristol 22 Caravel. NOW: Other people's cruisers. ALWAYS: Shopping
Posts: 442
Images: 2
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfelsent View Post
All of the above. If the harbor has a mooring field call the harbormaster on phone or 16. 99% will help you out.
I have not met that other 1% yet.
Even really crowded Marblehead, Salem, and Gloucester have anchorage spots.
Scituate simply has zero room to anchor, but in my experience has always had a transient mooring.
Rockport is REALLY tight. But Sandy bay is right next door.
Boston harbor is stupidly large with room all over as so on.
Provincetown harbormaster will give you advice but he won't help you out. He's not a bad guy; it's just that he is there for commercial traffic only. Everywhere else they've been super-helpful. You just have to get past that flinty-hahd New England crustiness with a couple of guys.
__________________

I am here to drink in your knowledge.
Apologies in advance if I spill.
DMF Sailing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 20:09   #11
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,974
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

The only real restriction in New England you can't anchor in a way that you obstruct boats on town licensed moorings, navigation markers, buoyed channels, or fish/shelfish farming areas.

If you do want to anchor in a congested area, do call the harbormaster. In some New England towns the Harbor Master by law ranks higher than the police chief. I once had a new boat built in Bristol. On launching day, the harbor master ordered the police to close the roads for the boat's journey to the water.
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2021, 22:07   #12
Cruiser
 
DMF Sailing's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Boat: THEN: 1972 Halsey Herreshoff Bristol 22 Caravel. NOW: Other people's cruisers. ALWAYS: Shopping
Posts: 442
Images: 2
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
The only real restriction in New England you can't anchor in a way that you obstruct boats on town licensed moorings, navigation markers, buoyed channels, or fish/shelfish farming areas.

If you do want to anchor in a congested area, do call the harbormaster. In some New England towns the Harbor Master by law ranks higher than the police chief. I once had a new boat built in Bristol. On launching day, the harbor master ordered the police to close the roads for the boat's journey to the water.
That is so excellent
__________________

I am here to drink in your knowledge.
Apologies in advance if I spill.
DMF Sailing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2021, 00:47   #13
Registered User
 
Island Time O25's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,696
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by OutOfControl View Post
Could you please elaborate. I don't understand what you mean by a "Florida type" boater.
The good number of yahoos who necessitate extra presence of LEs. Surely you know the type - doing 20-30knts in no wake zones, probably high on a number of stimulants, etc. Not saying that other boating regions don't have their share of those dimwits but Florida seems to attract them at larger percentages.
Island Time O25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2021, 04:34   #14
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Little Compton, RI
Boat: Cape George 31
Posts: 1,748
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

There's tons of places to anchor, and if you use common sense, you can drop the hook in a lot of places. Check out Mt. Hope Bay and the Kickemuit river--I often anchor off the north shore of Portsmouth for a swim; you can avoid crowds by anchoring before Potter's Cove on Prudence Island; Dutch Harbor has some nice options depending on wind; Mackerel Cove is a great day-stop; and you can always wriggle into Newport unless there's a music festival or boat show in progress. Anywhere that isn't in a channel or among someone's fishing gear (there's a few aquaculture operations always in progress).
Third Beach is a great stopover enroute to Cuttyhunk or Buzzard's Bay--there's lots and lots of options.
__________________
Ben
zartmancruising.com
Benz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2021, 07:11   #15
Registered User
 
TheOffice's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Annapolis
Boat: Hylas 44
Posts: 912
Re: Rhode Island and MA Anchoring

Block Island does not permit anchoring. Avoid it weekends in the summer. You can anchor inside the breakwater at Pt. Judith, but I don't recommend it.
TheOffice is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
anchor, anchoring, Rhode Island

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Coast Guard Finds Critical Aids-To-Navigation Shot And Sunk Near Rhode Island IslandHopper General Sailing Forum 36 05-05-2017 16:10
Crew Wanted: Block Island Rhode Island to Norfolk first and then Savannah monkeysee Crew Archives 3 04-10-2016 17:43
Crew Wanted: Offshore sailing class and adventure, Panama Canal to Rhode Island jcb47769 Crew Archives 8 02-05-2015 16:33
Greetings from Massachusetts and Rhode Island Tidetracker Meets & Greets 4 29-09-2009 20:16
Lake Champlain outside and around to Rhode Island GrayGoose Atlantic & the Caribbean 5 04-03-2005 19:37

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:32.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.