In the next episode of New England Boating TV, airing Monday at 7:00 p.m. on NESN, the crew visits Hingham, Massachusetts, to check out this boater-friendly town just south of Boston.
Along the way they’ll show you what you need to know as a boater when visiting Hingham, including a rundown on the area’s launch ramps, marinas, fuel docks, transient moorings and more. They’ll also take you on a tour of the Hingham Shipyard Marinas, grab a bite to eat at Union Fish, hike around World’s End, kayak the Weir River, fish for winter flounder in the Boston Harbor Islands, and learn to pour the perfect pint at The Snug pub.
While you’re waiting, here’s more to whet your appetite for boating in Hingham!
Hingham Harbor, on the South Shore of Massachusetts, is ideally situated for boaters seeking fast, convenient access to Boston Harbor, the beautiful 251-acre World’s End reservation and the many islands of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. However, the town itself contains plenty to do and see (Eleanor Roosevelt once described Hingham’s Main Street as the most beautiful she’d ever seen). There are many good restaurants and shops near the waterfront, and the quaint downtown area is just a short walk from the harbor. A bit farther west, near the Weymouth border, you’ll find a sprawling mixed-use complex at the Hingham Shipyard Marinas and Village on Hewitts Cove.
On the east end of Hingham is World’s End, a wonderful place to explore via kayak or skiff (as well as on foot or by bike). Forming the protective eastern arm of the harbor, the peninsula was landscaped by Frederick Law Olmstead and now is owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations. It offers spectacular views of the harbor and Boston skyline.
The small cove on the east side of World’s End once served as a popular anchorage, offering depths of 7′ and excellent holding ground, but was made off-limits in 2010 to make room for town-managed moorings (available for $35 per night at from the Harbormaster by CLICKING HERE). However, plenty of boaters anchor and raft up here for the day, and there are numerous places to beach a small boat and go ashore for a stroll or picnic on the peninsula.
For a truly unique boating experience, consider camping on Grape, Bumpkin, Peddocks or Lovells Islands, all part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. Boaters can grab a public mooring or anchor just offshore then access the wooded interior and hiking trails via the Park’s complementary dinghy. You can also beach your own dinghy or kayak along the shore. All of the camping islands have docks for loading and unloading gear, campsites with picnic tables and fire pits, and are staffed by rangers from Memorial Day to Labor Day. With planes roaring overhead on their approach to Logan Airport and phenomenal views of the Boston skyline, harbor camping is pretty surreal, but it’s an adventure you won’t forget! You can make campsite reservations and get more information online through the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Most of the islands in the Harbor Islands Park—including the islets in Hingham Harbor—are open to the public and can be accessed via kayak, skiff or dinghy. There is excellent inshore fishing throughout the islands as well; available species include striped bass, bluefish, mackerel and flounder.
Other good daytrip options out of Hingham include a visit to Fort Warren on Georges Island, or the Harbor Islands Education Center and marina on Spectacle Island.
Hingham has a large boating community, and the local waters can be quite busy in season. Transients can generally find a mooring in the harbor, except on busy weekends, by contacting the harbormaster. (Note: Anchoring room is virtually non-existent except for shallow-draft vessels.)
West of Hingham Harbor, but still within the town of Hingham, is Hewitts Cove, home to the aforementioned Hingham Shipyard Marinas and the Hingham Shipyard Village. The latter is a 27-acre complex of apartments, condos and townhouses set among restaurants, a marina, a movie theater, shops, a grocery store, miles of walking and biking paths, and an outdoor amphitheater.
Hingham Shipyard Marinas (formerly the Hewitts Cove Marina and Landfall Marina) offers 500 slips and 100 moorings, slips, service, fuel and transient dockage for almost any size vessel. You can also tie-up at the marina for a small fee as you visit the local shops and restaurants.
Small-boaters and paddlers can also venture south to explore the protected Back River, which begins just west of Hewitts Cove and Stodders Neck (a nature preserve and park) and forms the border between Hingham and Weymouth. Pass under the Route 3A span and you’ll see Bare Cove Park to port. On the right is Weymouth’s Great Esker Park, featuring trails and a nature center.
To see a listing of Hingham marinas, launch ramps, harbormaster contacts, kayak rental shops, restaurants, shops, places to stay, historic sites, fishing options and more, CLICK HERE.