Tiverton

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Welcome to Tiverton

A skiff heads toward the Sakonnet River after leaving Nannaquaket Pond.
Photo by Tom Richardson

TIVERTON DOESN’T APPEAR ON THE LIST OF “MUST-VISIT” PORTS OF MOST YACHTSMEN, BUT THIS LITTLE TOWN ON THE EAST BANK OF THE SAKONNET RIVER HAS ITS SHARE OF CHARMS FOR INTREPID BOATERS WILLING TO CHECK OUT THIS EASTERN OUTPOST OF RHODE ISLAND. WHILE THE NORTHERN HALF OF TIVERTON BORDERS MOUNT HOPE BAY UP TO THE MASSACHUSETTS BORDER, BOATERS WILL BE MOST INTERESTED IN THE SECTION BEGINNING AT THE SAKONNET RIVER/RT. 24 BRIDGE AND RUNNING SOUTH ALONG THE SAKONNET RIVER TO FOGLAND POINT.

Tiverton Chart

But first the bare boating facts: Tiverton has 2 small marinas, a yacht club and a couple of waterfront restaurants, plus a few more eateries within easy walking distance. There is no public landing, although this should be forthcoming in the next few years following completion of the Sakonnet River/Rt. 24 bridge project. In the meantime, transients can find overnight accommodations at Standish Boatyard and the Tiverton Yacht Club, both located in the “basin” just south of the bridge. And while anchoring is not permitted in the basin, there are some good options nearby, and visiting boaters can make landfall at Grinnell’s Beach, the yacht club or the marina.

SAT map

By “marina” we mean the venerable Standish Boatyard, the largest marina in Tiverton, which sells both gas and diesel and offers transient slips and moorings. Next door is the distinctly non-yachty Tiverton Yacht Club, which is currently in the process of rebuilding its clubhouse (destroyed by fire in 2003). The club offers occasional transient slips and moorings when its members are away.

Coastal Roasters is a great place to grab a gourmet coffee.
Photo by Tom Richardson

A short walk south along the waterfront will bring you to Coastal Roasters, the best place to grab a gourmet coffee and pastry before hitting the water. Across the street you can grab a bite at the newly renovated Stone Bridge Restaurant.

Tiverton is a wonderful spot for kayaking. While the Sakonnet River is better suited to experienced paddlers due to its fetch, strong currents and boat wakes, beginners will feel right at home in protected Nannaquaket Pond, a sheltered salt pond off the main river.

Standish Boatyard, just south of the Rt. 24 bridge, is a full-service marina.
Photo by Tom Richardson

Nannaquaket can be accessed by shoal-draft powerboats via the channel leading from the Sakonnet River northeast of Gould Island. Inside the inlet, on the east bank, is a dock next to an abandoned 2-story shingled building where boaters can tie up temporarily (space permitting) to purchase fresh seafood from a small store on Main Road. South of this dock, at the northern end of Nannaquaket Pond, is a bridge with a clearance of 10 to 14 feet (depending on tide). On the pond’s east bank you’ll find Evelyn’s Drive-In restaurant and Don’s Marine, a boat dealership. Small boats can tie up to the docks at Evelyn’s and enjoy the restaurant’s signature seafood dishes, grilled fare and ice cream. It’s an idyllic summer boating stop.

Nannaquaket is also a great anchorage (at night) and a popular spot for waterskiing during the day. There is no speed limit inside the pond outside of the mooring areas.

Continuing south, kayakers, windsurfers and kiteboarders can access the wide lower portion of the Sakonnet River farther south at Fogland Point. This is also a great spot for fishing, both from shore and in a boat (see related article on Fishing Tiverton). The protected area just north of Fogland Point is a popular and protected anchorage for transient boaters.

GETTING THERE:
Charts: NOAA 13226, 13221

Tiverton Chart

Boaters approaching Tiverton and Portsmouth from the south via the Sakonnet River will find the main channel well marked. Pass on either side of Gould Island (a foul-smelling cormorant rookery), but keep clear of the big rock on the west side of the island if you choose this route. Also, be aware that the current flowing between the Stone Bridge jetties as you approach the “basin” between Tiverton and Portsmouth can be quite swift, especially at peak tide. Boat traffic through this passage can be substantial in summer. Boaters must observe a strictly enforced 5 mph no-wake zone from the red/green can south of the Stone Bridge north to the green can C “17” opposite the Boat House restaurant.

When approaching from points west through Mount Hope Bay, follow the deep and well-marked channel past Common Fence Point before turning south toward the Sakonnet River/Rt. 24 bridge and the “basin.” The channel from Fall River and points north is wide and deep, and free of obstructions. Be sure to keep C “17” to starboard when approaching the Rt. 24 bridge, as the water shallows rapidly at this spot. Again, be aware that the current can steam through the narrows directly below the bridge, especially at midtide. Sailors may need to use auxiliary power here.

Dockage, Moorings & Service:


  • Standish Boatyard (401-624-4075): Full-service marina offering fuel, slips, haul out, repair and more.

  • Riverside Marine (401-625-5181): Small, seasonal marina just north of the Rt. 24 bridge. Does not offer transient slips or moorings.
  • Tiverton Yacht Club (401-625-5745): Small, “family-oriented” club located next to Standish Boatyard. Offers sailing programs in the summer, as well as limited slips and moorings. Transient slips and moorings are sometimes available.
  • Don’s Marine (401-624-3464): Boat dealership on Nannaquaket Pond. Outboard repair.

Anchorages:

  • Anchoring in the basin between Mount Hope Bay and the Stone Bridge jetties is prohibited. However, a protected anchorage in 3′ to 4′ of water is located inside “The Cove,” on the Portsmouth side of the basin. To access this anchorage you must pass below a fixed bridge with a clearance of 25′. A good spot to drop the hook is the south side of Spectacle Island, where visitors are welcome to go ashore.
  • It is also possible to anchor in the Sakonnet River south of the Stone Bridge jetties. The area just north of Fogland Point offers good holding ground and protection from southerly winds, although it’s a long dinghy ride from the Tiverton waterfront.
  • While there is no public landing in Tiverton, boaters can make landfall at Grinnell’s Beach during the day, or at Standish Boatyard or the Tiverton Yacht Club if space is available. Call ahead.

Launch Ramps:

  • A public ramp is located below the Rte. 24 bridge in Tiverton. Other nearby ramps are located in Portsmouth (Aquidneck Island), and in Bristol, at the Mount Hope Bay Fishing Area.
  • Kayakers and windsurfers can launch at Grinnell’s Beach, next to the Stone Bridge. Parking is available (fee charged).
  • Kayakers, windsurfers and kiteboarders can also launch at Fogland Point to the south. This site features a gravel beach, parking (small fee required) and access to the Sakonnet River. There is also a small concrete ramp at the base of the Fogland Point (on Fogland Road) where small skiffs and PWCs can launch at high tide. Parking is available at the Fogland Beach lot.

Harbormaster:

Boat & Kayak Rental:

Getting Around:

  • Yellow Cab (401-674-3000)

Provisions:

  • No information available

Where to Eat:

  • Evelyn’s Drive In (401-624-3100): Located off Main Road (Rt. 77) on Nannaquaket Pond, Evelyn’s is a low-key, seasonal restaurant offering dock-and-dine for small vessels and seafood, fried and grilled fare. If arriving by boat, note that the bridge spanning the inlet to Nannaquaket Pond has a clearance of 12′, and that the depth inside the pond is only 1′ – 3’at low tide.
  • Boat House Restaurant (401-624-6300): Upper-scale restaurant located just north of the Rt. 24 bridge. Offers excellent views of Mount Hope Bay, as well as outdoor seating and access to a nearby state-maintained public dock.
  • Coastal Roasters (401-624-2343): Great place to grab a coffee and a pastry. Located at the southern end of town.
  • Black Goose Café (401-816-0882): Located at the head of Nanaquaket Pond, the Black Goose serves award-winning sandwiches (including a breakfast panini), as well as other breakfast, lunch and dinner items.
  • Red Dory (401-816-5001) reddoryrestaurant.com: Western Mediterranean cuisine near Grinnel’s Beach.

Things to See & Do:

  • Chase Corey House (401-624-4013 or 401-624-8881): Located at 3908 Main Rd., Tiverton Four Corners Historic District. This gambrel-roofed building is owned by the Tiverton Historical Society, and offers special exhibits throughout the season. Open May-Sept., Sunday 2:00-4:30 p.m., and by appointment.
  • Fort Barton: Located on Highland Road, the fort is an original redoubt built during the American Revolution. It was the troop-staging area for the invasion of Aquidneck Island and Newport and the eventual Battle of Rhode Island. Features an observation tower and 3 miles of trail walks. Open year-round, sunrise to sunset.
  • Reucker Wildlife Refuge (401-949-5454): Seapowet Avenue. This Audubon Society of Rhode Island sanctuary comprises 48 acres and 1.5-mile trails that wind through woodland, meadow and salt marsh. Open daily, dawn to dark.
  • Fogland Beach: Bathing beach with lifeguards (in season), toilets, picnic tables and parking (fee required). Fogland is an excellent windsurf- and kayak-launching area. The cove area north of the beach is a protected anchorage. Amenities include changing rooms, showers, and a playground.
  • Grinnell’s Beach: Beach with lifeguards at base of Stone Bridge abutment. Offers toilets, picnic tables and  parking (fee required).

Where to Stay:

  • Bonniebield Cottage (401-624-6364): Small rental cottage south of town.
  • Ferolbink Farms (401-624-4107): Old Victorian house in the middle of a working farm. Four bedrooms, one suite with private bath. Tennis court. Beaches and horseback riding nearby.

General Information:

Photo Gallery

Power and sailboats linger at the docks of the Tiverton Yacht Club through November. Photo by Tom Richardson

Tiverton is still very much a rural seaside community. Photo by Tom Richardson

Boaters can tie up temporarily alongside this dock in the inlet to Nannaquaket Pond to buy seafood from a nearby market. Photo by Tom Richardson

This antique antiques shop is one of many places worth checking out along Rt. 77 in Tiverton. Photo by Tom Richardson

The Black Goose Cafe serves award-winning sandwiches on Rt. 77 (Main Road). Photo by Tom Richardson

A variety of boats swing on private moorings in the Tiverton “basin”. Photo by Tom Richardson

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