In terms of protected harbors, you would be hard-pressed to find a better one than Red Brook, tucked in behind Bassetts Island in Cataumet (a village of Bourne) in the southwest corner of Buzzards Bay. Located between Wings Neck and Scraggy Neck, Red Brook Harbor serves as a convenient stopping point for cruisers passing through Buzzards Bay and a great place to catch one’s breath either before or after navigating the Cape Cod Canal.
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Of course, many boaters choose to stay here all season, especially given the top-notch service and accommodations of the harbor’s largest full-service marina: Kingman Yacht Center. Kingman has it all, from deep-water slips and moorings to haulout, service and fuel. Plus it’s home to The Chart Room restaurant—a Buzzards Bay boater’s institution.
Just south of Kingman is Parker’s Boatyard, a smaller full-service yard that’s been around since 1948. Parker’s normally has around 20 transient moorings, as well as transient dockage. It sells both diesel and gas, ice, CNG and has an on-site ship’s store.
Many Red Brook sailors love the harbor for its easy access to Buzzards Bay and its predictable southwesterlies, while fishermen appreciate its proximity to the Elizabeth Islands, Martha’s Vineyard and Vineyard Sound, as well as the offshore waters south of the islands. Of course, the inshore fishing in Buzzards Bay can be outstanding as well, especially in the early season (see Fishing Red Brook Harbor). Another draw for folks who keep their boat in Red Brook is that it’s located closer to the Bourne Bridge, so midsummer traffic is less of an issue.
One of the natural highlights of Red Brook is Bassetts Island, a barrier island that’s open to the public and frequently the site of beach parties and raft-ups. Bassetts is easy to reach via dinghy, skiff, kayak or small sailboat from several points in the harbor, and offers a long, sandy beach and great swimming (but no public restrooms). If you don’t like crowds, plan your trip here on a weekday, and beware the poison ivy that grows thickly just beyond the dunes.
About the only knocks against Red Brook are the long no-wake zone and its winding channel. Be sure to stay inside the buoys, as the channel is bordered closely by shallow flats, plus there are a few rocks to make things interesting.
In terms of anchorages, there are at least 3 excellent spots in the harbor, as long as you find room. See the Names & Numbers sidebar on this page and the accompanying chart for details.