If you’ve ever driven east along Route 195 in southeastern Massachusetts, passing over the Acushnet River between New Bedford and Fairhaven, you’ve no doubt noticed the big, blue building bearing the words “Moby Dick Marina” (perhaps a white paint job would have been more appropriate). I must have driven past this local landmark a thousand times over the years, but it wasn’t until last September that I bothered to take a closer look.
After exiting the highway and hanging a right on Howland Road, then another right on River Avenue, I was suddenly there, parked in the shadow of the monstrous metal structure. Waiting to greet me were 2 of the marina’s owners John and Gia Zolotas, who, along with Gia’s brother Arion Anezis and his wife Candace, bought Moby Dick in 2004 after John retired from his North Shore electrical business (the Zolotases also have a summer home on Fairhaven’s Sconticut Neck).
As the John an Gia explained, and I could see for myself, Moby Dick is a quiet marina, especially on weekdays. It’s host to an eclectic mix of boats, including trawlers, sailboats, lobster boats, runabouts and sportfishermen.
Two of the marina’s major benefits are its well-protected location (“We had a lot of friends during Tropical Storm Irene,” John laughs) and proximity to Route 195 (it took me less than 2 minutes to reach the marina from the highway).
Another plus is Moby Dick’s prices, which are a good deal lower than the facilities closer to the harbor entrance.
By John’s estimate, it takes most boaters around 20 minutes to cover the 2-mile distance to the New Bedford hurricane barrier, the gateway to Buzzards Bay. He told me that many of Moby Dick’s customers stop along the way, or on their return, to fuel up at Sea Fuels— just north of New Bedford’s state pier—which offers the best on-water prices in the area.
Once clear of the hurricane barrier, it’s a straight shot to many great daytrip and weekend destinations, including Martha’s Vineyard (18 nm), Cuttyhunk (11 nm) and Block Island (32 nm). The fishermen who call Moby Dick home love the marina’s proximity to great fishing spots in Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound and the offshore grounds south of the Vineyard (The Claw is some 35 miles south of New Bedford).
As for amenities and services, Moby Dick offers floating docks with electric, water and WiFi. Boaters can also choose to stay on a mooring, or opt for the indoor rack storage and valet service (weekends only). At the end of the weekend, they’ll pick up the boat and put it away inside the big blue building.
Moby Dick also offers dockage and moorings for transient boaters looking to stay for just a few days or as long as a month. There’s also a launch ramp onsite, allowing customers with trailerboats to haul out or put in whenever they want. The ramp can also be used to launch kayaks and canoes for those who wish to explore the Agawam River.
Moby Dick really appeals to the do-it-yourself boater, as it still allows its customers to work on their boats in the yard or storage building, which is open on weekends during the winter. The Zolotases have installed video cameras for 24-hour surveillance of the docks, parking lot and building, and the facility is fenced in and locked after hours (customers can access the marine via a security code).
Overall, I came away with the impression that Moby Dick is a laidback, intimate marina where the boater is sure to get lots of personal attention. Visit the place yourself and see what that big, blue building is all about. It might become your boat’s next home.
Indoor Valet Rack Storage Details:
Moby Dick Marina’s state-of-the-art indoor rack storage facility can hold boats up to 28′ and 10,000 pounds with valet service on weekends.
Benefits of rack storage include:
Keeps your boat out of the sun and salt.
- No bottom paint needed!
- Upon haul-out your boat is rinsed from the rubrail down.
- Fisherman-friendly service.