As home to a half-dozen of the most respected yacht clubs in the nation, Marblehead, Massachusetts is an iconic New England boating destination.
This scenic coastal town has a deep maritime history and has been a hub of recreational boating for more than 150 years. Today, boaters continue to be attracted to the area for its gorgeous coastline, its fascinating history and its inviting and interesting shops and restaurants.
The harbor’s entrance can easily be approached from any direction through marked channels. However, boaters should keep in mind that a crowded mooring field and heavy boat traffic in the summer can make conditions challenging. Also, the surrounding waters of Salem Sound have shallow boulders and ledges, so boaters should pay careful attention to channel markers.
The town has a pumpout station and a pumpout boat on request via the harbormaster, and fuel is available at the Marblehead Trading Company (781-631-4650) and the Boston Yacht Club (781-631-3100).
Limited dockage is available at the town-owned Tuckers Wharf and can be arranged with the harbormaster (781-631-2386; VHF Channel 14). The Eastern, Corinthian and Boston Yacht Clubs maintain guest moorings at the harbor entrance, and boaters in need of a temporary mooring can contact the harbormaster to make arrangements. Public dinghy tie-up is available at the State Street Landing.
Marblehead’s beautiful, historic downtown with narrow, winding streets is made for exploring by foot. The Marblehead Chamber of Commerce (781-631-2868), located at 62 Pleasant Street, offers a brochure with a self-guided walking tour.
The Marblehead Historical Society (781-631-1768), located at 161 Washington Street, is a popular stop for visitors. The society runs guided tours of Marblehead’s historic sites on summer weekends. Another place worth visiting is Fort Sewall (781-631-0000), which is a public park featuring sweeping views of the harbor. Built in the mid-17th century, the fort protected the town during the French and Indian Wars and the American Revolution. During the War of 1812, the fort and its surrounding rock-riddled waters became famous for providing safe haven for the U.S.S. Constitution.