How to Choose a Good Anchorage

June 25th, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine



What boater hasn’t dreamed of dropping a hook in some secluded cove to go for a swim, enjoy a sunset or spend the night under the stars? Of course, there’s a lot more to it than just releasing your anchor any old place you want. Here are a few tips to help you pick out a great anchorage.

Do Your Homework. If your plan is to just stumble upon a good anchorage, think again. Choosing an anchorage on the fly, when you might discover there is not a suitable one available, is a recipe for disaster. Pick out your anchorage ahead of time. You’ll discover tons of great information in guidebooks and online. Check your charts, and be sure to pick two or three options in case your first anchorage is crowded or has problems.

Look for Protection. When picking an anchorage, you want a place that will give you the most protection from wind and waves. You won’t have a peaceful night on the hook if waves are knocking your boat around. Consider the direction that wind and waves will be coming from, and tuck into a harbor or behind an island where you’ll be shielded from rough conditions.

Consider Potential Hazards. Be sure to consider any possible hazards you might encounter in the anchorage. Are there many dangerous rocks or changing currents? How about shoals? Is it crowded with boat traffic, and will you be dodging freighters or ferries? Are there cables or chains at the bottom?

Look for Good Holding. While it can be hard to know for sure what is at the bottom, you’ll often find bottom conditions noted on charts, with an “S” for sand and an “M” for mud. Think about your type of anchor when considering where to drop your hook, as some anchors work better in soft mud while others are better in hard sand. Also, be sure to avoid sloping or grassy bottoms.

Choose the Right Depth. What seems like a perfect anchorage at high tide can be a disaster if, come low tide, you find yourself sitting in mud. Check the area’s tidal range to make sure you won’t end up grounded. Also, make sure the water isn’t too deep, or you’ll have trouble holding.

Give Yourself Room. Your boat might be anchored, but it is still moving. Even with just a little breeze, your boat could swing around on its line. Be sure to give your boat enough room so it can swing in a circle around the anchor. And make sure not to anchor upwind of another vessel so you don’t end up over their anchor.

Here’s Your Big Chance

June 24th, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine
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June 23rd, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine

Osterville 5 (1)

Oyster Harbors Marine is in the process of expanding the rack storage options that we offer. We are planning to add racks that will accommodate boats up to 28’ (32’ LOA) for the 2016 season. Hours of operation will be 7 am-630 pm, 7 days a week, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Please let us know if you would like to reserve a rack for the 2016 season. Your non-binding reservation will help to determine the storage capacity needed to accommodate interest in this service offering. For more information and availability please contact 

Matt Carstensen at or 508-367-9999

The Magical Maneuvering of SeaStar’s Optimus 360

June 18th, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine

If there’s one thing that gives boaters more anxious moments than anything else, it’s probably docking in tight spaces. While boating is fun and relaxing, the experience is often bookended by tense captains holding their breath as they pull away from or return to the dock, hoping not to damage their boat, or worse – somebody else’s.

The fact is, no matter how fancy and expensive your boat might be, once it’s in the water it’s certainly not going to have the responsiveness of a sports car.

But it can.

Optimus-360-mainIf you’ve never heard of the Optimus 360 by SeaStar – and, like all boaters, you’ve had your own tense moments at the dock – you need to check it out. Using state-of-the-art electronics, the Optimus 360 gives boaters easy 360-degree maneuvering capabilities when they’re docking, negotiating crowded areas or even loading a boat onto a trailer.

The Optimus 360 has an easy-to-use joystick that is intuitive for boaters, so even novice boaters will find it simple to move the boat in all directions: forward, backward, diagonally. It can rotate your boat on its own axis and even move it sideways, making a tricky docking situation no problem at all.

Oyster Harbors Marine is the official SeaStar Solutions Technical Dealer for New England. So if you’d like to learn more about the Optimus 360 by SeaStar, or see for yourself how easy it is to use, come visit us in Osterville. You can also give us a call at 508-428-2017 or email us at

The Charm of Essex, Connecticut

June 9th, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine



One of the benefits of working in the boat business is you often find yourself surrounded by beautiful, captivating waterfront destinations. One of the best, most charming destinations in all of New England is Essex, Connecticut, where Oyster Harbors Marine is lucky enough to have a location.



Essex is quintessential New England. A popular travel guide even called it the perfect American small town. It is steeped in history, with beautiful streets lined with Colonial and Federal architecture. It has lots of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. And it is ideal for boaters, from the area’s great fishing, to the scenic cruising opportunities along the Connecticut River, to the plenty of slips and facilities in town ready to welcome visitors.

You’ll find Essex on the western shore of the Connecticut River, 5 nautical miles north of Long Island Sound. Follow channel markers up the river to G C “26,” and be sure to observe the no-wake zones along the way. Also, pay close attention to channel markers off Hayden’s Point, as rocks extend underwater right to the edge of the channel.

Essex has no shortage of boating facilities. You’ll find the town landing and launch ramp along Main Street. Among the marinas in the area is Brewer Essex Island Marina (860-767-2483; VHF 9), which maintains 80 transient slips and offers fuel, electric, WiFi and more. Brewer Dauntless Shipyard (860-767-0001; VHF 9), is another full-service marina with transient slips. You can find a small anchorage just east of Nott Island, and another in Hamburg Cove, opposite Brockaway Island.

The scenic Connecticut River is ideal for cruising and is teeming with wildlife. Thousands of birdwatchers flock to the area each year for a chance to glimpse bald eagles, ospreys and the fall migration of tree swallows. The river also has many small creeks and coves worth exploring by small boat. If you need to rent a kayak, check out Action Sports in Old Saybrook.

On land, Essex has many attractions worth exploring. You’ll enjoy just walking the scenic streets, enjoying the architecture, perusing the many shops and art galleries, and dining at the area’s many fine restaurants. While in town, be sure to visit the Connecticut River Museum, which explores the history of the river with exhibits, educational programs and special events. The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat tours – featuring a 65-foot replica paddlewheeler – are a favorite among kids. Another great way to see the area is aboard the 54-foot boat Riverquest, which offers scenic cruises along the river.

While you’re in Essex, be sure to stop by and say “Hi” to us at Oyster Harbors. You’ll find us at 9 Novelty Lane and can reach us at 860-581-8067. We’d love to see you.


CLICK HERE to watch New England Boatings episode on this beautiful New England town.

A San Juan Yacht Makes a Splash at our Docks

May 29th, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine


May has been an exciting month for us at Oyster Harbors Marine. Not only is it the beginning of the long-awaited boating season, but one of our new, exciting projects has just hit the water.

Throughout winter and early spring, we’ve had a 48-foot San Juan Yacht in one of our bays, up on stands, surrounded by four walls and sawdust as our carpenters worked their magic on it. But recently it returned to where it belongs – the water – where it bobs alongside our dock, glistening in the sun while our crew puts the finishes touches on it.

Even before we went to work on it, this 48-foot San Juan was a boat that already turned heads. Designed with an eye toward luxury, it features the attractive lines of a Maine lobster boat and the engineering of a high-performance sports car. It’s not a boat you’d trust with just anybody.

But in the capable hands of our skilled carpenters, even a beautiful vessel like this can be improved. Our crew added a gorgeous teak deck, complete with a unique, attractive kingplank in the bow. They also gave the boat’s windows an elegant touch by adding teak trim. The result is a stunningly beautiful look that harkens back to classic yachts.

And that’s just the beginning. As this attractive yacht enjoys the early summer sunshine, our crew is busy creating an equally attractive interior. But you’ll have to wait until they’re done to find out what kind of magic they worked in there.

5 Tips for Successful Catch & Release

May 19th, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine
Photo by New England Boating/Tom Richardson

Photo by New England Boating/Tom Richardson

For any fisherman, knowing good catch and release practices is as important as knowing how to find hungry fish and what bait to use. In New England, almost every fish species has rules and regulations regarding the size and number of fish you can catch. But catching and releasing fish is also important for conservation and helps preserve and improve fisheries populations. After catching a fish, you always want to release it quickly and unharmed. Here are five tips on how to do that.

1. Use Appropriate Tackle – You want to land your catch fast, as the longer a fish fights the more exhausted it gets, dramatically decreasing its chance of survival. If your tackle is too light, it will prolong the battle. Make sure it’s strong enough to bring in your fish fast.

2. Use Circle Hooks with Bait – Circle hooks, when used with natural bait, help reduce fish deaths because the design allows the hook to slide out of the fish’s throat and lock around the jaw hinge as the line tightens. Other styles of hooks often lodge in a fish’s stomach or gills.

3. Use Single Hooks with Lures – Using a single hook on an artificial lure generally does much less damage to a fish than a plug with two or three treble hooks. A single hook also makes it easier to release your catch.

4. Keep Them in the Water – Keeping your fish in the water allows its skin to stay moist and provides oxygen to its gills. It also prevents injuries it might sustain from being hoisted aboard or dropped on deck. If you must remove it from the water, do it as quickly as possible. Also, make sure your hands are wet, as dry hands can remove a fish’s protective mucous coating.

5. Don’t Use a Net – Just like dry hands, a stiff, scratchy fishing net can remove the fish’s protective mucous coating, as well as scales. A net also increases the chances your fish will get tangled, which could injure your catch or lengthen the time it is out of the water. If you must use one, stay away from nylon nets. Use a shallow net specifically designed for catch and release. Also, rubber mesh nets are increasingly popular.

Tiara Newsletter

May 19th, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine
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Assembling a Tiara 50 Flybridge

May 12th, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine



Everyone takes pride in a job well done. That’s especially true when it’s a big and delicate job like successfully installing a massive flybridge atop a gorgeous, luxurious yacht.

Our crew recently had the challenging task of assembling a flybridge atop a new Tiara 50 Flybridge in our yard. The Tiara 50 Flybridge is a majestic, beautiful vessel. But, with the flybridge, it would be too tall to ship on roadways. So, we assemble the flybridge here.

The job takes several hours. Our crew is highly experienced, as we do this fairly regularly. But we always have to be on top of our game, as it’s always a challenge to coordinate hoisting anything that big and heavy through the air.

Check out the photos of the assembly process below. Also come check out the finished product of the Tiara 50 Flybridge in our yard in Osterville. With its modern design and intelligent, luxurious layout, it is truly an impressive vessel.


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10 Great Dock and Dine Restaurants on Cape Cod

May 7th, 2015 by Oyster Harbors Marine
9 Ryder
Chart Room Mattakeese Summer Shanty
Trader Ed's Baxter's Boathouse
Flying Bridge
Brant Point Grill


One of the advantages to being surrounded by water is Cape Cod has no shortage of fantastic waterfront restaurants. And at many places you can tie up your boat right at the restaurant’s doorstep, making getting there half the fun of eating out.

Here’s a list of some of the best dock and dine options on Cape Cod.

Pearl Restaurant and Bar, Wellfleet Harbor

Just steps from the Wellfleet town dock, Pearl features fresh local seafood, a wide selection of craft beer, and gorgeous, panoramic views of Wellfleet Harbor.

Baxter’s Boathouse, Hyannis

One of the oldest restaurants on Cape Cod, you can dock your boat right at Baxter’s to enjoy their famous fish n’ chips.

Summer Shanty, West Dennis

Located at Bass River Marina, the popular Summer Shanty is a casual waterfront bar and restaurant boasting an extensive menu, the Cape’s largest music library and beautiful sunsets.

9 Ryder Seaside Dining, Provincetown

Provincetown has an amazing collection of great restaurants. But stay on MacMillan Wharf after you tie up your boat to enjoy 9 Ryder’s imaginative and delicious menu.

The Flying Bridge Restaurant, Falmouth Harbor

Tie up in Falmouth Harbor to enjoy The Flying Bridge’s delicious fresh seafood and beautiful views of the harbor and Martha’s Vineyard.

Mattakeese Wharf, Barnstable Harbor

Located on Barnstable Harbor, Mattakeese Wharf is one of the most scenic restaurants on Cape Cod, featuring stunning sunsets and excellent food.

Chart Room, Cataumet

A Cape Cod favorite known for their delicious food, the Chart Room is inside Kingman Yacht Center in Red Brook Harbor. If you’re headed there for dinner, be sure to make a reservation at this popular restaurant.

Trader Ed’s, Hyannis

A family favorite, Trader Ed’s is located at Hyannis Marina. They feature a fun atmosphere and are renowned for their lobster rolls.

Brant Point Grill, Nantucket

Located at the historic White Elephant Hotel on the Nantucket waterfront, Brant Point Grill offers a menu of fresh seafood, flavorful steaks and artfully prepared dishes.

Landfall Restaurant, Woods Hole

Built with wood from ship wrecks and the boards of old buildings, Woods Hole’s Landfall Restaurant has a unique, seaside feel. Tie up at their dock to enjoy their extensive seafood menu.