Stonington Names & Numbers
May 11, 2020
Chart: NOAA 13214
Stonington Harbor—41˚20’10” N, 71˚54’49” W—is easily reached by boat from Long Island Sound and Fishers Island Sound. Located approximately 96 nautical miles east of the entrance to the East River in New York, roughly 120 miles south-southwest of Boston and about 18 miles north of Block Island, Stonington Harbor is well marked and deep, with a mean low water of 10 feet in the middle of the harbor. (Beware: if you go east past Stonington Point into Little Narragansett Bay, the water becomes quite shallow—1 – 5 feet MLW.)
From the west on Long Island Sound, pass north of Ram Island Shoal and Ram Island, between the white day beacon “ER” on Ellis Reef and the red buoy “4” on Cormorant Reef. Head toward red buoy “2” on Red Reef and the flashing green light on the breakwater off Wamphassuc Point—the harbor’s entrance is to port just beyond the light.
From the east and south, enter between Fishers Island and Watch Hill, Rhode Island, and head for the flashing red buoy “6”. From there head toward red buoy “2” in Fishers Island Sound and proceed north, staying well to port of Middle Ground and the breakwater. The harbor’s entrance is straight ahead and to starboard of Wamphassuc Point and the breakwater.
Dockage, Moorings & Service
Dodson Boatyard (860) 535-1507: Located at the head of the harbor, Dodson’s offers slips and moorings. They also run a launch service in the harbor and have an onsite restaurant called The Dogwatch Cafe (860-415-4510).
Stonington Harbor Yacht Club (860) 535-0112: Offers more than 240 feet of transient dockage.
Stonington Marina (860) 599-4730: Small-boat marina offering hauling, service, storage. Also has an onsite tackle shop and kayak rental.
The town offers free use of its dinghy dock for those boaters who prefer to anchor. The anchorage is on the west side of the harbor—to port as you enter—west of GC “7”. “The transient dock is directly opposite, tucked between the Breakwater restaurant and the yacht club.
Trailer-boaters, kayakers, windsurfers and cartoppers can launch at the Barn Island ramp off Palmer Neck Road. This is an excellent state ramp with a large parking area and restrooms. No fee required.
Boat & Kayak Rental
Stonington Marina (860) 599-4730: Boat, kayak and SUP rentals and sales.
Where to Eat
Breakwater: Waterside restaurant and bar with dockage available.
Noah’s (860) 535-3925: Casual fine dining on Water Street. Close Mondays.
Water Street Café (860) 535-2122; www.waterst-café.com)): Well-known for its Sunday brunch.
Where to Stay
Inn at Stonington (860-535-2000
Things to See & Do
Old Lighthouse Museum (860) 535-1400: Restored lighthouse and museum owned and operated by the Stonington Historical Society. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission also allows access to the Capt. Palmer House and the R. W. Woolworth Library, an exhibit and research center.
Barn Island Wildlife Management Area (860) 424-3000: The state’s largest coastal property for wildlife conservation and includes salt- and freshwater wetlands where visitors can paddle, hike, fish and birdwatch.
Dodge Paddock and Beal Preserve: Located off Main Street on the eastern side of Stonington Point, or “the Point.” A walkway meanders through salt marshes and offers great views of wildlife and a prime view of Watch Hill Light, Napatree and Sandy Points, Sandy Point Island and Sandy Point Beach, all on Little Narragansett Bay. On the southwest shore of the Point, you’ll find duBois Beach.