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d73p68mail 03-06-2013 09:27

New England Itinerary
So i'm chartering a boat our of Buzzards Bay starting August 10 for 7 days and not having much experience sailing in these parts, I'm looking for itinerary suggestions. Would like to visit Newport, Cuttyhunk, Block Island, maybe the Vineyard or Mystic. Would welcome suggestions. Also, how necessary is it to reserve moorings in advance or can one reliably find a place upon arrival?

chrisjs 03-06-2013 09:44

Re: New England Itinerary
Where are you starting from? What sort of boat? Do you anchor? How many hours per day at sea?

d73p68mail 03-06-2013 09:47

Re: New England Itinerary
Beneteau 361, 4 - 6 hours, Marion MA, would rather not have to deal with anchoring though could if had to

djmarchand 03-06-2013 09:57

Re: New England Itinerary
You can do all of your destinations on moorings if you have to. You definitely can reserve one at MV, Edgartown.

If you go to Mystic, reserve a slip at the Seaport. After the exhibits close for the day and people go home, you have the run of the place. It is almost magical to walk through the seaport at dusk.


CarlF 03-06-2013 10:15

Re: New England Itinerary
Newport - can't reserve moorings but a good chance at finding one since the Folk Festival and Jazz Festival are over. This can be a long upwind trip from Marion. If you get tired go into Cuttyhunk.

Cuttyhunk - Can't reserve but leaving Newport early should get there in plenty of time. Try to avoid weekends.

Tarpaulin Cove on Naushon - No moorings but easy anchoring and lovely uncrowded harbor after the picnic crowd goes home.

Vineyard Haven - In my experience there are always moorings available outside the breakwater and easy anchoring too. While open, it's very comfortable in normal summer weather (e.g. not good in a strong northerly). I much prefer Vineyard Haven to Edgartown where there's always stress over moorings even if you have a reservation.

Nantucket - Reserve a mooring online (Nantucket Moorings). Nantucket is more fun to visit than the Vineyard since it is a more walkable island. It can be a zoo ashore but you can retreat to your boat.

Hadley's Harbor - No moorings but easy anchoring

Trying to do both Newport and Nantucket in one week is hard. For a first trip I'd probably skip Newport and spend two nights in Nantucket. A second plan would be to go to Newport and Block Island (Block has moorings first come - first serve but packed on weekends)

sailorboy1 03-06-2013 10:20

Re: New England Itinerary
skip Cuttyhunk, there isn't anything there

Jsol 03-06-2013 10:25


Originally Posted by d73p68mail (Post 1251277)
So i'm chartering a boat our of Buzzards Bay starting August 10 for 7 days and not having much experience sailing in these parts, I'm looking for itinerary suggestions. Would like to visit Newport, Cuttyhunk, Block Island, maybe the Vineyard or Mystic. Would welcome suggestions. Also, how necessary is it to reserve moorings in advance or can one reliably find a place upon arrival?

Your itinerary is certainly doable, but it depends on how much time you want to spend on land at each destination and of course weather. As far as moorings, it is a good idea to reserve moorings where you can. MV is almost a must. Cuttyhunk is one of our favorite places and well worth the visit. A couple of things to know. Moorings are first come and you really want to get there before noon to insure a spot. The moorings are a bit unique in that there are no pennants on the moorings. They have eyes at bow height and you supply your own pennant via a dock line. Easier than it sounds. There is an anchorage with good holding, but it gets crowded. Another place to consider is Hadley Harbor...hope this helps....

Sandero 03-06-2013 10:25

Re: New England Itinerary
Too many destinations.First stop Cuttyhunk. Anchor/moor for the night. Not a lot ashore so it doesn't take much time. Site see the island in the AM and sail through one of the cuts and do a lunch stop at Tarpaulin. Make your way to Hadley Harbor if you have a fair tide / wind situation for stay for the night. Nothing ashore. Lovely place. If you can't do Hadley spend the night at the Vineyard... Oak Bluffs. Lots to see ashore, Can't do it in a day. In favorable winds you can anchor off the beach between Vineyard Haven and Edgartown too. Next stop is Nantucket. Lots to see, moorings, and slips (hard to come by) and anchoring. Two nights. Next stop Edgartown overnight. Take a trip to the other end of the Island to Gay Head.
Next night Hadley Harbor if you missed it on the way east.
If you are facing strong SW do the last night in Cuttyhink and then return the boat the following day.

And there's Wood's Hole-Falmouth and Hyannis on the Cape as alternates.


chrisjs 03-06-2013 10:27

Re: New England Itinerary
I think from Marion you either head south towards Newport and Block, could take in Cuttyhunk (I think overrated!) and perhaps end of Long Island and Fisher's Island.
Alternate would be to go Wood's Hole to Hadley (anchor), Marthas' Vineyard (easy to anchor here), Nantucket (must reserve), Chatham/Stage Harbor (reserve mooring/anchor), Tarpaulin Cove and back to Marion. Another good option is Menemsha but you will probably need to anchor outside in the bight (OK in reasonable weather).

antoha 03-06-2013 10:30

Re: New England Itinerary
check out . this is perhaps not an immediate suggestion for itinerary entries, but registration is free, and you get pretty up to date info on facilities, approaches, etc. browse the charts, lay your course, etc. navionics also has an iphone app which is handy for (approximately) planning your routs (was free to boatus members at some point, otherwise you have to pay - but not a ton; more expensive for ipads but probably also more usable).

Kettlewell 03-06-2013 10:36

Re: New England Itinerary
A week isn't much time to see the area, but here's a suggested bunch of harbors to visit, depending on what the wind and tide is doing. You need to pay attention to what the tidal current is doing in Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound, and especially Woods and Quicks Hole.

1. Marion to Cuttyhunk, pick up a mooring in the Pond. Climb to the top of the hill to watch the sunset.

2. Cuttyhunk to Tarpaulin Cove or to Lake Tashmoo (usually can take 6 feet in there at half tide or better). Tarpaulin is a wonderful day stop, though nights can be rolly. I like to anchor in Lake Tashmoo and walk the mile into Vineyard Haven where there are lots of nice shops and restaurants, and a very peaceful anchorage compared to Vineyard Haven or Edgartown.

3. Hadley Harbor is a beautiful spot with some moorings, and what appears to be almost no room to anchor, but I always seem to squeeze in.

4. Woods Hole is interesting, and worth visiting the various museums, etc. Moorings available, and good eats too.

5. Newport is fun, but is really a long haul into the wind unless you happen to get a moderate north wind. Oldport Marine rents moorings and has launch service.

6. Menemsha is very cute, and you feel like you're in a movie set there. The entrance can be a bit hair raising if there is a strong wind blowing in when the current is coming out. Very tight little basin with moorings. Nice restaurant there. A trip to the Gay Head cliffs nearby is worth it.

Personally, if I had a week I would stay within the Marion, Cuttyhunk, Menemsha, Tarpaulin Cove, Lake Tashmoo, Woods Hole, region. Would make a very nice circuit.

d73p68mail 03-06-2013 18:09

Thanks everyone for your thoughts it is providing me some good insights.

mbianka 03-06-2013 18:51

Re: New England Itinerary

Originally Posted by Don L (Post 1251322)
skip Cuttyhunk, there isn't anything there

That's why I like it!;) It's got a small grocery store. What more do you need?:)

foggysail 03-06-2013 19:04

Re: New England Itinerary
My thoughts===TOO MANY DESTINATIONS (as someone already stated) and impossible to make them all in 7 days. Think about it! Day one you begin your travel, day seven you have to be back where you started. It is HARD DAY'S SAIL and mostly motoring from Marian to Block.

My suggestions--- for what I think will be a better trip. Plan Nantucket for a couple of days, maybe even 3. There is anchoring there but not like it was years ago when we visited. Third point I guess is about the only area to anchor inside and there is a STRONG current there at tide changes. You MUST have very good ground tackle IMHO! There are good facilities there including clean showers and a dinghy dock. Plan to either take a tour or rent a car so you can visit the beaches along with the island in general. Read about places to see before the trip.

Next head for the Vineyard. I do highly recommend anchoring rather than moorings. Moorings can eat your lunch quickly especially at Nantucket where you will be charged an extra day if not gone by 11 AM. At the Vineyard I recommend anchoring inside Lagoon Pond. You need to followt the bridge schedule to get in. It is quite and safe in there but again, have decent ground tackle. A short dinghy ride to the Town dock gets you into Vineyard Haven. PERSONALLY, I RECOMMEND AVOIDING EDGAR TOWN with your boat. Visit there along with Oaks Bluff by bus from the Vineyard. A bus can also take you to the fishing port of Menensha.

Because your time is limited I would avoid Lake TAshmoo which is usually very crowed, a long walk to town and a very muddy anchorage. I would also avoid Tarpaulin Cove---ziltch there. Nothing at Hadley Harbor that I would recommend either. But I do recommend going under the bridge at Wood's Hole into Ell Pond. Many things you can do there and if $$$ is getting tight try instead the yacht club for a mooring and walk to the center at Wood's Hole.

If you get this far your 7 days will almost be up! Leave other visits for next year. A final comment on Edgartown. The beach at Great Pond was breached over ten years ago. There now is a swift and I do mean swift, strong current in the harbor because of that breach. The townies put a stop to anchoring inside so you must take a mooring inside there now. Outside you risk poor weather conditions.

Things to consider--


chrisjs 07-06-2013 12:50

Re: New England Itinerary
I have anchored in Nantucket and also used a paid mooring. Would definitely strongly recommend paying for the mooring. The current is very strong. We were OK with our all chain Rocna but during the 3 days there several sail boats dragged. In my opinion, Nantucket is overrated. Downtown is like Disney World. Much nicer places to stay if you only have several days to cruise New England.

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