Getting There:

Charts: NOAA 13302, 13309

Castine Chart

Castine and the Bagaduce River are approximately 85 nautical miles northeast of Portland, Maine, and roughly 28 nautical miles south of Bangor, Maine, on the eastern shore of Penobscot Bay. From the south and west head for lighted buoy RW “PA” (44º01.14’ N, 69º00.30’ W) located above the Two Bush Channel approach into West Penobscot Bay. Proceed north to buoy R “12” and then on to buoy C “3” in East Penobscot Bay. It’s roughly 12.7 nautical miles from C “3” to Castine Harbor’s entrance at bell buoy RW “CH” (44º22.50’ N, 68º49.05’ W).

From points east, round the southern tip of Isle au Haut into Isle au Haut Bay. Proceed north into East Penobscot Bay and on to the harbor’s entrance. The Bagaduce River is roughly 10 nautical miles long. Stay within the river’s marked channel and pay close attention to their charts. Caution is needed when navigating areas above the Narrows, located roughly 5 nautical miles from the river’s entrance. Unmarked rocks and shoals severely constrict this part of the river. Also be aware of the number of ledges and islands—most of which are marked by buoys—on the river. The mean tidal range at Castine is 10 feet, and strong currents are evident at the river’s entrance.

Dockage, Moorings & Service:

  • Castine Town Dock (207-326-4502; VHF 16): Visiting boaters can tie up at the town dock floats for 30 minutes from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., space permitting. If space is available, overnight dockage can be arranged after 3:00 p.m. Overnight stays on 1 of the 2 moorings reserved for visiting schooners must be approved by the harbormaster. There is usually room along the floats for dinghy tie-up.
  • Eaton’s Boatyard (207-326-8579; VHF 9): Offers extensive marine services, including electricity and the area’s only gas and diesel fuel dock. Also offers ice, haulout, storage, and cooked and live lobsters delivered to your boat. Eaton’s has plenty transient moorings, as well as lots of space for visitors along its 280-foot dock. Some of the moorings are located on the opposite side of the harbor (8-10 minute dinghy ride). Does not offer launch service.
  • Dennett’s Wharf (207-326-9045; VHF 9): Has a 120-foot dock for transients, including electricity and showers, but is primarily a restaurant.
  • Castine Yacht Club (207-326-9231; VHF 9): Has a limited number of moorings available.


  • Smith Cove is a peaceful and popular anchorage with depths ranging from 17 to 58 feet. Smaller vessels can find plenty of anchoring spots inside the wide bays of the Bagaduce River, where the current is less severe. Dinghy tie-up is available along the town floats.


Launch Ramps:

  • Castine Town Dock (207-326-4502): Good ramp with limited parking.
  • Farther upriver in Penobscot, the South Penobscot boat ramp is a town-maintained cement ramp that launches into Northern Bay.

Getting Around:

Boat & Kayak Rentals:


  • Bayview Market & Takeout (207-326-4882): Located on the Bagaduce River in Penobscot.
  • Castine Variety (207-326-8625): Located at the corner of Water and Main Streets, Castine Variety is an old-time store complete with soda fountain, newspapers and tasty lobster rolls.
  • T & C Grocery (207-326-4818): Stocks all the necessities, plus beer and wine—and an attached restaurant.
  • Four Flags (207-326-8526): A ships’ store on Water Street.
  • Compass Rose Bookstore & Café (207-326-9366): Carries a wide selection of books and CDs, and serves fine coffees and teas.

Where to Eat:

  • Dennett’s Wharf (207-326-9045): With its good selection of microbrews and dockside delivery of menu items, it’s hard to go wrong with Dennett’s. The restaurant sports traditional American lunch and dinner fare, including chicken, steaks, seafood and sandwiches.
  • Full Belli Deli (207) 276-4299): Located near the town dock. Serves sandwiches, pizza, baked goods and more.
  • Castine Inn (207-326-4365): Located on Main Street, the Castine Inn offers upscale multicourse meals.
  • Pentagoet Inn (207-326-8616): Features an array of New England specialties.
  • MarKel’s Bakehouse (207-326-9510): Offers fresh-bread sandwiches, soups and scones.
  • Bagaduce Lunch (207-326-4197): Popular dock n’ dine spot on the Bagaduce River (southeast corner of Herrick Bay). Boaters can tie up to the dock at and enjoy fried clams, lobster rolls and Gifford’s famous ice cream.

Where to Stay:

Things to Do & See:

  • Maine Maritime Academy (207-326-4311): Tours of the training ship “State of Maine” can be had at no charge (if the ship is in port). The 500-foot training ship is home to approximately 200 midshipmen, one of whom will probably be your tour guide. Tour days and times vary, so call ahead.
  • Fort George and Fort Madison: If history is your passion, Castine’s got  you covered. The town’s existence dates back as far as the early 1600s. Fort George on Battle Avenue and Fort Madison on Perkins Street were built in response to Anglo-American disagreements during the Revolution and the War of 1812, and both are open to the public.
  • Wilson Museum (207-326-9247): Offers interesting views of 17th- and 18th-century life. Admission is free.
  • Castine Kayak Adventures (207-866-3506): Runs sea-kayak tours in Penobscot Bay and rents kayaks and kayak equipment.
  • Castine Golf Club (207-326-8844): Located off Battle Avenue, the venerable club is a 9-hole public course founded in 1897.
  • Holbrook Island Sanctuary (207-326-4012): Located just south of Castine, Holbrook Island offers prime hiking and wildlife viewing. On nearby Cape Rosier you can hike to the top of Backwood Mountain.
  • Witherle Memorial Library (207-326-4375): Located on School Street in Castine.
  • Castine Historical Society (207-326-4118): Located in the historic Abbott School building on Court Street.

General Information