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. The inner harbor is a very busy place, chockfull of pleasure-boaters and charter captains.
- The Boothbay Town Dock offers 3-hour tie-up on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the harbormaster (207-633-5281, VHF 16) for information on availability.
- Carousel Marina, (207-633-2922; VHF 9): Offers roughly 400′ of transient dockage for boats up to 80′, plus deep-water moorings and gas and diesel.
- Brown’s Wharf Marina (207-633-5440; VHF 9): Offers 50 slips, 15 of which are set aside for transients. They also have 10 moorings, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Brown’s offers showers, a laundry, and a popular bar and restaurant overlooking the harbor. Call for marina reservations and info, (207-380-5491).
- Tugboat Inn and Marina (207-633-4434;VHF 9): Offers dockage for roughly 30 boats, depending on the length of boats taking up dock space. Ice, showers, pumpout, WiFi.
- Boothbay Harbor Marina (207-633-6003; VHF 9): Offers transient slips and moorings for large vessels, plus showers, laundry and electric.
- Fuel is available at Carousel Marina and the Boothbay Lobster Wharf (207-633-4900). If you need mechanical work, you’ll have to look a bit farther afield for help, as the largest boatyards that service transients are in East Boothbay and Southport. Ocean Point Marina (207-633-0773) in East Boothbay offers haul-out and mechanical and rigging services. On Southport Island, Boothbay Region Boatyard (207-633-2970) can help with any repairs.
- The 2 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 2 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, well out of the Gut’s currents.
- If you’d rather not deal with those currents, head over to Linekin Bay and in the northwest corner 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 over to Boothbay Harbor, where you can always tie up at the town dock 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 fourth anchorage is located 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)
- There is a town ramp near the town pier in downtown Boothbay, 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 second public ramp with good parking is located at Murray Hill Ave. in East Boothbay, at the head of Linekin Bay. No fee.
- Tidal Transit Kayaking (207-633-7140): Offers kayak and equipment rental on the harbor.
- Bobo’s Coastal Cab (207-380-4182)
- Platinum Plus Taxi (207-443-9166)
- Tidal Transit Bike Rental (207-633-7140): Offers bike and kayak rental near the harbor.
Boothbay Harbor is home to many quaint bed-and-breakfasts, inns and motels, among them:
- The Five Gables Inn (800-451-5048): A beautifully restored Victorian Inn overlooking Linekin Bay.
- The Topside Inn (207-633-5404): A 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 and Inn (207-633-5440): Boothbay Harbor’s premier waterfront hotel, family owned since 1944. Western exposure across the harbor, all are waterfront rooms with balconies, restaurant, bar and marina.
- For a more complete listing of places to stay, contact Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce, (207-633-2353).
- The Hannaford’s (207-633-6465), on Route 27, is your best bet for extensive provisioning.
- For hardware, stop by Grover’s Hardware (207-633-2694) at 47 Townsend Avenue.
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.
- The Ebb Tide (207-633-5692): Serves breakfast all day, as well as homemade goodies.
- China by the Sea (207-633-4449): Chinese food and cyber cafe.
- For lobster in the rough, try Boothbay Lobster Wharf (207-633-4900) and The Lobster Dock (207-633-7120).
- The historic Boothbay Harbor Shipyard (207-633-3171) features a number of ongoing boatbuilding and restoration projects.
- The Maine Department of Marine Resources Aquarium, (207-633-9542), at McKown Point, is full of marine plants and animals that inhabit the local waters. The interactive tidal pool and dogfish touch tank exhibits are kid favorites. Visitors are allowed to tie up to the public dock located 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) at 70 Oak Street, has rotating exhibits that provide insight into Boothbay Harbor’s seafaring past.
- Boothbay Railway Village, (207-633-4727) is open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and makes a great rainy-day excursion. Located on Route 27 and accessible via the trolley, the museum features a small-gauge railway, antique car exhibit and other historical exhibits.
- The Opera House at Boothbay Village (207-633-6855) features a variety of concerts all season long. Check the website for a full calendar.
- Boothbay Region Chamber of Commerce, (207-633-2353)