Boothbay Harbor Names & Numbers
January 12, 2017
Charts: NOAA 13296, 13293
Boothbay Harbor is located on Maine’s midcoast, roughly 35 miles northeast of Portland and 40 miles southwest of Camden. Entering the harbor from the east or west is easy, with the approaches to the harbor being deep and well marked. If approaching from the west, keep the Cuckolds Lighthouse (43º 46.8´N, 69º 39.0´W) off Southport Island to port; tiny Newagen Harbor at the end of Southport Island can be trickier than the charts indicate. You can pass either east or west of Squirrel Island and enter Boothbay Harbor past buoy “8” (43º 50.3´N, 69º 38.2´W), just west of Tumbler Island. If approaching from the east, find red-and-white bell “HL” (43º 48.4´N, 69º 34.8´W) at the entrance to the Fisherman Island Passage. When cruising through the passage, heed red nuns “4,” “6” and “8” before heading northwest toward Boothbay Harbor.
- Boothbay Town Dock: Offers three-hour tie-up on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the harbormaster (207) 633-5281, VHF 16) for more information.
- Carousel Marina, (207) 633-2922; VHF 9: Roughly 400 feet of transient dockage for boats up to 80 deer, plus deep-water moorings, gas and diesel.
- Brown’s Wharf Inn & Marina (207) 633-5440; VHF 9: Transient slips and moorings. Also offers showers, laundry and a popular bar and restaurant overlooking the harbor. Call ahead for marina reservations.
- Tugboat Inn & Marina (207) 633-4434; VHF 9: Dockage, ice, showers, pump-out, WiFi.
- Boothbay Harbor Shipyard (207) 633-3171: Haul-out, repair, repowers, systems work, design.
- Boothbay Harbor Marina (207) 633-6003; VHF 9: Transient slips and moorings for large vessels, plus showers, laundry and electric.
- Hodgdon Marina (207) 632-5427: Transient dockage and moorings in East Boothbay, within walking distance of the local shops and restaurants. Full marina amenities. Special rates for groups and clubs.
- Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club (207) 633-5750; VHF 9: Transient moorings open to all boaters. Groups welcome. Water and electricity available at dock. Launch service provided.
- Fuel is available at Carousel Marina and the Boothbay Lobster Wharf (207) 633-4900.
- The two main anchorages within Boothbay Harbor are jammed tight with moored boats in July and August, and dropping a hook on the edge of these mooring fields can be a rolly, unsettling experience. But the two nearby options work quite nicely:
- Up Townsend Gut, just northeast of a green nun “6” is a bottle-tight cove with room to anchor just east of the charted ledge and well out of the current.
- Another good anchorage can be found inside Linekin Bay. In the northwest corner of the bay (marked “Bayville”) are some tiny islands marked “Fish Hawk Island” on the chart. You’ll usually find room in the lee of these islands and, like the Gut’s anchorage, it’s just a short hop to Boothbay Harbor, where you can always tie up at the town dock (space permitting) for up to 3 hours of downtown fun.
- Yet another anchorage is the small area west of McKown Point, in 6′ to 25′ of water, although space is limited.
- A fifth anchorage is just north of Tumbler Island in 20′ to 40′ of water, although winds and swells from the south can make this a rolly spot, especially at high tide.
- (207) 633-5281; VHF 16
- A town ramp is adjacent to the Boothbay Harbor Fish Pier on the east side of the harbor, but parking is not available. No fee.
- A larger public ramp with ample parking is located at Knickercane Island Park, northwest of Boothbay. No fee.
- A third public ramp with parking is located off Murray Hill Ave. in East Boothbay, at the head of Linekin Bay. No fee.
- Tidal Transit Kayaking (207) 633-7140: Kayak and equipment rental on the harbor.
Boothbay Harbor is home to many quaint bed-and-breakfasts, inns and motels, among them:
- Topside Inn (207) 633-5404: Former 19th century sea captain’s home that has been converted to an inn. Located in the center of Boothbay Harbor village, it sits atop McKown Hill and overlooks the town and the harbor.
- Brown’s Wharf & Inn (207) 633-5440: Boothbay Harbor’s premier waterfront hotel; family-owned since 1944. Also features a restaurant, bar and full-service marina.
- Five Gables Inn (800) 451-5048: Beautifully restored Victorian Inn overlooking Linekin Bay.
- For a more complete listing of places to stay, contact Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce.
There is no shortage of restaurants serving a variety of foods at a variety of prices. Almost all of the hotels open their restaurants to the public and many feature ocean views.
- Thistle Inn (207) 633-3541): Great food and drink within walking distance of the harbor. Indoor and outdoor seating with harbor views. Open year-round.
- Kaler’s (207) 633-5839): Dock-and-dine restaurant specializing in lobster, crab, and other seafood.
- For lobster in the rough and other traditional seafood delights on the harbor, try Boothbay Lobster Wharf (207) 633-4900).
- China by the Sea (207) 633-4449: Chinese food and cyber cafe.
- Boothbay Harbor Shipyard (207) 633-3171: Traditional shipyard featuring a number of ongoing boatbuilding and restoration projects.
- Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (207) 633-800: One of the state’s biggest tourist attractions, these magnificent ornamental gardens occupy 128 acres of coastal land. Can be accessed by land or sea, as the Gardens maintains a small dock for dinghies, as well as a deep-water mooring for transients, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Maine Department of Marine Resources Aquarium (207) 633-9542: This intimate aquarium at McKown Point is full of marine plants and animals that inhabit the local waters around Boothbay. The interactive tidal pool and dogfish touch tank exhibits are kid favorites. Visitors are allowed to tie up to the public dock directly behind the aquarium facility for short periods of time. There are only small floats there, so a dinghy is best. There are tie-ups for larger vessels close by. Call the harbormaster for more information.
- Boothbay Region Historical Society (207) 633-3462: Rotating exhibits that provide insight into Boothbay Harbor’s seafaring past.
- Boothbay Railway Village (207) 633-4727: Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located on Route 27 and accessible via the trolley, the museum features a small-gauge railway, antique car exhibit and other historical exhibits.
- Boothbay Opera House (207) 633-6855: Hosts a variety of musical performances all season long. Check the website for a full calendar.
- Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce, (207) 633-2353