Charts: NOAA 13238
Note: Vineyard Haven Harbor is a busy place in summer, so keep a close watch for other vessels, especially the large ferries that use the port. When approaching the harbor from the west, stay well north of West Chop and buoy GC “25”, which marks a large rock. Lastly, be aware that currents can be strong off both West and East Chop, and that wind opposing the tide can kick up big seas in both spots, especially when combined with boat wakes.
Roughly 35 nautical miles east of Newport, Rhode Island, and nearly 70 miles south southeast of Boston (via the Cape Cod Canal and Woods Hole Passage), Vineyard Haven Harbor lies between East Chop and West Chop on the north coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The narrow cut into Lake Tashmoo (see below) lies about 3 nautical miles to the west of Vineyard Haven Harbor. Note that heads must be sealed in Tisbury waters. A free pumpout boat can be hailed via VHF 9 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week.
- In Vineyard Haven: The Owen Park town dock (depth 6′ at MLW), just inside the harbor breakwater in Vineyard Haven, allows a free 15-minute tie-up with free water anytime. Boats can also tie up at the end of the dock for an hourly fee, space permitting, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Overnight dockage is only accepted if the local marinas are full. Fees are collected by the harbormaster.
- Dinghies may be docked at Owen Park Town Dock or the Steamship Dinghy Dock, on the north side of the pier. Dinghies may also be beached north of the Owen Town Dock.
- In Lake Tashmoo: A town landing and dinghy dock is located on eastern side of the pond, on Lake Street. There is a restroom and a ramp nearby.
- Town Moorings: The Harbormaster’s Office (VHF channel 9, 508-693-4249) advises on its Website Harbor Information that moorings are “almost always” available, either at the 30 municipal moorings inside the harbor ($30 per night) or on the 35 commercial moorings outside the breakwater ($35 per night), through Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway (508-693-4658), Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard (508-693-0400), Vineyard Haven Launch Service (VHF 72) or Maciel Marine (508-693-4174).
- Black Dog Wharf (508-693-3854, VHF 72): Can accommodate large yachts, and also offers transient moorings and hourly dockage, WiFi, launch service, private showers and restrooms, laundry, ice, beach and a BBQ area.
- Vineyard Haven Marina (508-693-0720, VHF 9): Offers slips and moorings, gas and diesel available, cable, water, electric, dinghy dock, showers, restrooms, laundry, private waterfront boater’s lounge, beach, car & moped rental, restaurant.
- Tisbury Wharf Co. (508-693-9300): Offers fuel, engine repair, cable, water, electric, restrooms, and dinghy dock.
- Maciel Marine (508-693-4174): Full-service marina inside Lagoon Pond. Has a ship’s store and gas. Also offers repair, haulout, storage and more.
- Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard (508-693-0400): Full-service marina offering haulout, repairs and supplies, but no fuel.
- Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway (508-693-4658): Historic shipyard specializing in wooden boat construction, repair and maintenance.
- Tashmoo Boatyard (508-693-9311): Rents moorings on Lake Tashmoo, and can provide information on anchoring spots. Lake Tashmoo’s opening is 5 1/2′ deep at low water. Once past the markers, the waters deepen.
- Anchoring is permitted outside the western breakwater in Vineyard Haven Harbor and along the eastern side of the harbor. Both spots have good holding ground. Be sure to stay outside the ferry channel.
- There is also good holding ground inside Lagoon Pond. Call the bridge tender (508-693-4174, VHF 16 & 69) to raise the bridge that spans the Lagoon Pond inlet. Mean low water in the Lagoon Pond channel is 8′, with at least 8′ inside the pond. Watch out for the shallow ledge, marked by a “rock” buoy, as you follow the channel south.
- You can also anchor in Lake Tashmoo (south of the last buoys), which has an inlet depth of 5 1/2′ but deepens as you get inside the pond. The town only allows a 3-day stay for liveaboards inside the pond. Contact the Tashmoo Boatyard (508-693-9311) if you need more information.
- Two municipal boats offer free pumpout. Call VHF 9 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week.
- (508-696-4249; VHF 9)
- Vineyard Haven: Contact Maciel Marine (508-693-4174) for the current status of the free launch ramp on Lagoon Pond.
- Tashmoo: A public ramp is located at the end of Lake Street on Lake Tashmoo, next to the landing.
- Island Water Sports (508-693-7767): Located next to Maciel Marina. Offers many types of boats for rent, including skiffs, RIBs, kayaks, center consoles and sailboats.
- Martha’s Vineyard Ocean Sports (508-693-8476): Rents 17′ Boston Whalers. Also offers jetski rentals and guided jetski tours.
- Island Spirit Kayak (508-693-9727): Offers kayak rental, tours, lessons and courses.
- Buses of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional Transit Authority provide scheduled service throughout the island. Fares are $1 per town, each way, with 1-, 3- and 7-day passes available. Buses have bicycle racks
Bike & Moped Rental:
- Martha’s Bike Rentals (800-559-0312): Located at Five Corners, in the heart of Vineyard Haven.
- Island Adventures (508-693-1959): Moped and car rental in Vineyard Haven.
- Atlantic Cab (508-693-7110, 877-477-8294)
- All Island Taxi (508-693-2929)
- Martha’s Vineyard Taxi Co. (508-693-8660, 877-454-5900)
- AAA Island Auto Rentals (508-696-5300, 800-696-0233)
- Island Adventure Rentals/Thrifty Rentals (508-693-1959)
- Adventure Rentals (508-693-1959)
- The Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority (508-693-9130): Operates as many as 16 ferries a day out of Woods Hole.
- New England Fast Ferry Co. (866-453-8600): Operates high-speed catamaran service from New Bedford during the summer.
- Stop & Shop (508-693-8339)
- The Black Dog Tavern (800-826-1991): Vineyard Haven’s best-known eatery. The Black Dog bakery sells all sorts of delicious pastries, breads, coffee and tea.
- Beer, wine and spirits are available in the neighboring towns of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.
- Zephrus at the Mansion House (800-332-4112): Serves seafood and grilled fare in a Victorian building that also houses a spa and inn.
- The Black Dog Tavern (800-826-1991): Great food with harbor views.
- MV Bagel Authority (508-693-4152): Bagels and coffee. Also offers carryout lunch and breakfast.
- The Net Result (508-693-6071): Fresh seafood in the rough, and to go, on Beach Rd.
- Vineyard Pizza Place (508-687-9112): Good pizza on Beach Rd.
- Mocha Motts (508) 693-3155: Gourmet coffee, tea and baked goods on Main St.
- Mansion House Inn and Spa (800-332-4112)
- There are numerous B&B’s in and around Vineyard Haven, including:
- Crocker House Inn (800-772-0206)
- Doctors House (508-696-0859)
- Sunset tours of East Chop Lighthouse are available from mid-June to mid-September, courtesy of the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society (508-627-4441).
- To take a daysail or evening charter aboard the vessels Shenandoah or Alabama, contact Black Dog Tall Ships (508-693-1699).