News from Our Coasts (Week of 4/20/2020)

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: To help our coastal community weather the pandemic, US Harbors is now posting weekly news summaries of updates and announcements received from our coastal community, including timely information on the status of harbors and marinas around the country. The deadline for submission is Thursday, 11PM ET. Items received after that time will be put in the next week’s summary. Please let your harbormaster and/or favorite marine-friendly business know about this service.

NEWS & UPDATES :: Week of April 20th, 2020

Updates on Boating and Fishing During COVID-19

  • See updates from your state’s Fish & Wildlife Department:
  • Bald Head Island Marina, NC – We are still under a state of emergency from the Village of Bald Head Island until at least April 30.  We have no foreknowledge of whether they will lift the ban on short term rentals at that time, or choose to extend it, so as of now we cannot take any transients.  Our fuel dock is open, until 3:30pm or by appointment.  We are looking forward to knowing more this next week!  Thank you all so much for being patient with us during these trying times.
  • Bucks Harbor, Brooksville, ME – The floats for the town dinghy dock at Betsy’s Cove are now in the water and ready for use. Currently, Bucks Harbor Market is open for call in take out supplies, including pizza weekend afternoons and evenings, and hot soups and fresh sandwiches daily. We are still asking folks from “away” to self quarantine for 2 weeks, on arrival, to keep the virus from spreading in our small community.
  • Crescent City, CA – Here at the Crescent City Harbor District, our public restrooms, shower facilities and fish cleaning stations are closed under order of our County’s Public Health Officer. Our County Health Officer has also directed that our launch ramp can remain open for recreational fishers who are family groups residing at the same address but charter operators who bring individual clients or groups out to fish are no longer allowed to use the launch ramp due to State of California stay-at-home and social distancing directives. The three restaurants located at the Harbor can only serve take-out meals – no indoor seating or seating at picnic tables at the restaurants  is allowed.  Our two RV Parks cannot accept any short-term space rentals in compliance with the directives of the local Health Department. – CEO/Harbormaster Charlie Helms
  • Neptune Township, NJ – Harbormaster Ed Finlay let us know the marina is open for business. They are launching boats and the ramp is being utilized with social distancing is in place. “Be safe and we’ll get through this.”
  • Padanaram, MA (2019 BEST HARBOR) – Harbormaster Steve Melo sent the following update: We anticipate the routine opening of Padanaram Harbor for the 2020 boating season with the strong recommendation that all follow CDC distancing guidelines and minimal contact with common surfaces. I anticipate that we will receive additional guidance prior to the usual start of holding tank waste removal services in late May.  Our Maritime Center, a municipal building with shower/toilet facilities, will remain closed to the public in accordance with the current emergency declarations.  The decision of when, and how this boating facility may be safely re-opened for public use will be made in accordance with state and local determinations under existing pandemic conditions.
    Seasonal mooring service is proceeding as weather allows.  Commercial marina services will be determined by the individual entities in accordance with governmental guidelines. The Arthur F. Dias State Public Access boat launch facility at Apponagansett Point has been commissioned for the season and remains open for launching activities.  The fee for use is $7.00 per calendar day, or $60 for the season with instructions at the end of the pier. Cuttyhunk Island, a popular near island destination, has announced that it remains closed to transient visitors at into the month of June.  We have posted to Cuttyhunk Island prohibitions on our website to assist those departing Dartmouth consider alternate float plans.
  • Portland, ME – Captain Kevin J. Battle, Harbormaster shared the following: BOATING SEASON IS ALMOST HERE! Make sure you have what you need!
    PLUGS: every year we get calls of boats taking on water due to missing plugs! Please check, recheck and check once again! The water is still Wicked cold!
  • Rockland, ME – Harbormaster Matt Ripley plans to install the docks in mid-May after re-evaluating closer to that date. Cruise ships have postponed until at least June 4th, 2020.
  • Saint Paul, AK – Saint Paul Island Harbor is closed to all vessels, except those vessels
     – Whose home port is St. Paul
     – Carrying cargo or fuel for delivery to the community
     – Delivering snow crab; picking up or dropping off crab pots
     – Owned and operated by the federal or state government
    Effective thru May 14, 2020 – Victor Clary
  • San Diego Bay, CA – Todd Rattan of the Harbor Police Department provided the following information regarding the prohibition of recreational boating on San Diego Bay. This order was issued by the County of San Diego Public Health Services, and the Port of San Diego is acting in compliance with that order, and the Governor’s Shelter in Place Order. I am sure you can understand that many people who use San Diego Bay, including many Port of San Diego employees, are anxious to get on the water again, and we are receiving many calls asking when that might be possible. As of now we have no timeline; in the interim, we are asking that members of our boating community make good decisions and stay off the water unless absolutely necessary. San Diego Bay is home to thousands of personal watercrafts, and most of the activity is recreational. SD Bay will very quickly become a public gathering place if this restriction is lifted. Individuals in violation of this order may be cited.

  • Sandwich, MA – Harbormaster Mike Dunning provided the following info: The Harbormaster Office is closed to the public and we hope to open again on May 4th.

    Our staff will be working remotely to ensure we address the needs of our customers. Any questions, concerns, and/or marina business can be addressed Monday-Friday from 7am-3pm by phone or email: [email protected] phone: 508-833-0808

    With this closure, the following are in effect and are subject to change: Summer Reservations: We will begin taking reservations on May 13th @ 0800. All other reservations can be requested by email or calling the office number.

    Fuel Dock: OPEN from 8am-2pm,  Monday – Friday by appointment ONLY, Office Building: CLOSED, Marina Playground: CLOSED, Ramp: OPEN  by Honor System

    Please check our website or social media for updates:

  • Warren, RI – Harbormaster Ed Cabral provided the following useful info for any RI boaters – As the summer season approaches, many of you have started placing docks, providing boat service to ready vessels to be placed in the water, and installation and preparation of mooring fields. Although these are non-essential and elective, these operations are an important part of our economy and way of life. We are asking that the following measures be utilized so that this work can continue.In response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, the State of Rhode Island urges operators of marinas and yacht clubs to adhere to the following parameters to match the health and safety guidance from the CDC:
    1. Yards at marinas and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by the owners / operators.
    2. In the event an owner or other persons wish to work on their vessel, they should be cautioned about social distancing and monitored to ensure no groups form. This is important to protect your employees as well.
    3. Any sales at your stores must be curbside pickup only.
    4. Limit use of facilities to seasonal slip holders only. Use of facilities by transients and out of state boaters should be prohibited.
    5. In the event that a vessel arrives at your facility, they must be provided with the Public Health documents being provided to all out of state travelers. They should also be directed to the RI Department of Health website site to fill out the required information. See attached link you can add to your web pages.
    6. Gloves must be worn while pumping out or fueling.
    7. Moorings may be installed and serviced per local harbor management plans.

    For more information regarding business guidelines during the COVID-19 crisis, visit

News & Events from Our Partners

Chesapeake Light Craft

While boating restrictions are in place, Chesapeake Light Craft can offer a couple of good ways to pass the time. If you’ve burned through everything appealing on Netflix, you can learn boatbuilding basics or pick up some great pro tips from a safe distance by binge-watching how-to videos like Nick Schade’s awesome series on strip-built kayak construction or our classic “Zen of Wooden Kayak Building.” There are even some adventure videos, too, from our friends. If reading’s more your preference, CLC Owner/Managing Partner John C. Harris has been keeping an entertaining blog on a wide range of boat- and boatbuilding-related topics for years. Explore the intricacies of small boat design with him, learn something about marine plywood or the geometry of rowing, explore repair solutions for an aging wooden boat, and more. Stay indoors, wash your hands, and tuck into some edifying entertainment.

South Wharf Yacht Yard 

South Wharf Yacht Yard Press Release. Now more than ever, we look forward to quality time on the water to relax and enjoy the solitude that boating brings. There is no better way to social distance safely than on your boat! Let us help you be ready to escape to the water once boating opens this season.

To help our local boating community during this difficult time, we are offering complimentary hauling services to our local customers. Our team will bring your boat to our yard for any service or repair you may need. Once the work is complete, we will launch from our marina at South Wharf. Contact us at PHONE: 508-990-1011 Email: [email protected]

Our factory-trained and certified technicians are available for any type of service your boat may need and have extensive capabilities in yacht outfitting, repair and customization and can address almost any marine repair or modification. Whether you need complex engine work and repairs, electronics installation or repair, canvas and upholstery, fiberglass repair, or boat detailing, our team will work quickly and efficiently to get you on the water.


Whats a Boater to Do at Home - BoatUS For recreational boaters who are staying off the water during the coronavirus pandemic, there’s certainly more free time during what should be the busy spring launch season. So if boaters can’t get to their boats, what are they to do? Here are eight ways to keep the love of boating alive that could also make you a better, safer boat operator.

Formula Boats

We are hearing great things about the speed and handling of the brand new 380 SSC Outboard!
 Indiana’s stay-at-home order has been extended:

Updates From Our Coastal Business Community

Rockport Charters – Unfortunately, Rockport Charters is not operating charters this summer or doing mooring and dive work. A combination of factors regarding my health, ability to scuba dive, business sustainability and the effect of the pandemic has led to this reality. There is a possibility that the charter business will be sold and I am in the process of transferring mooring customers to other service providers. I want to thank everyone who has supported Rockport Charters and given me the opportunity to work in such an amazing place for many years. Thank you and have a great boating season.

BareBoat Sailing Chartersis offering some “Staycation” sailing charters to Newport, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and a number of other secluded East Coast destinations. Avoid the crowds, hotels and traffic! Plan your summer “Staycation” now!

SiriusXM — is currently offering our streaming service for free (until May 15th) on our app. Offer lasts through May 15th. Go to:

Buxton Boats Owner Peter Buxton is using this time to continuing work on the restoration of the 1903 Oyster Sloop, Nellie H. We look forward to seeing her back in the water

Image Courtesy of Peter Buxton. is sharing positive stories of how people in the boating and yachting community are helping in the COVID-19 response. We love what the Black Rock Yacht Club is doing in Black Rock and Bridgeport, CT. Click HERE for the full story.

America’s Boating Club — The United States Power Squadrons® America’s Boating Club has been making boating safer and more enjoyable for more than 100 years with our nationally recognized educational catalogue of courses and seminars for recreational boaters. During these difficult times adjusting to social/physical distancing, we are pleased to offer opportunities for your customers and members who are looking forward to, and want to prepare for, the upcoming boating season: America’s Boating Club® online safe boating course and seminars plus instructional videos through our America’s Boating ChannelTM. These programs are the perfect solution and work within the current national and state sheltering-in-place guidelines.

America’s Boating Club members enjoy a 25% discount on our Online Seminars. To learn more, go to

Good Old Boat Magazine In a bid to ensure that all boaters have something to read at this time, Good Old Boat is making the digital issues of their magazine free and available to anyone, through July.

To download the current issue, visit

Image provided by Michael Robertson.
Download your free copy now thru July!

SmartPlug Systems – For boat owners with shore power connections, the part that’s the biggest potential problem is the easiest to change: an outdated twist -type connector. With a Retrofit Kit from SmartPlug Systems, it’s fast and simple to upgrade to the safest and most thoroughly modern 30A or 50A marine power supply equipment available, while reusing the cable and saving money.

Traditional twist -type shore power plugs have thin blades with very little metal-to-metal contact, resulting in a poor electrical connection. Over time corrosion further degrades this contact. This causes high resistance, resulting in overheating and the potential for arcing and fire. The revolutionary SmartPlug is different. Its robust pin and clip design provides over 20 times more contact area to make it the safest solution available.

H2O Captain Eco-Tour Private Boat Excursions has a 100% rating on TripAdvisor!  Check out a review to Shackleford Banks, NC.

H2O Captain is an authorized permittee of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, National Park Service.  They can be reached at

Direct Email.

Jamestown Distributors shared this very helpful video from Total Boat’s Andy Miller.

Andy Miller is continuing to use his time quarantined in his shop providing extra springtime launch tips for boaters who might also be putting this time to good use. Today he gives some advice on how to add nonskid to your gelcoat. He experiments with a few different ways that non-skid additives can be used, and even tries straight-up thickened gelcoat for a grippy coating without adding any of the Soft Sand texture particles.

Always offering some extra tips, Andy finds that gelcoat is harder and more scratch-resistant than using typical tread paint. Looking for the best grip and resistance and excellent durability, Andy compares two great ways to change the look and feel of your tired nonskid decks. Enjoy today’s video from Boatworks Today!

Here at Thomas Bates®, we have converted from making our famous custom belts and accessories to producing PPE.   We are making washable fabric face masks and face shields for greater Boston area hospitals, as well as some of our retailers.  Our website continues to offer lots of patterned accessories, including fun nautical belt designs.  Check us out at

Thinking about boating, grab your Thomas Bates belt!

Churchill Events launched its Churchill Grab ‘n’ Go ( providing meals you can order on-line and pick up at our Portland, Maine facilities the next day between 1 and 5 PM.  Please check out the Grab ‘n’ Go dedicated website to see all of the wonderful single portion meals available…then key in your order…and pick up at our door – you don’t even have to get out of the car.  And don’t hesitate to ask about delivery options.

Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas — Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is personally donating one million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis across the United States.

The nationwide donation comes as supplies for personal protective equipment are in high demand and short supply in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the influx of patients at U.S. hospitals and medical centers being treated for the virus, critical supplies like face masks have been rapidly depleted, leaving tens of thousands of healthcare workers in a vulnerable state as they race to save lives and protect communities.

“We are extremely grateful to our nation’s healthcare workers serving on the frontlines of this unprecedented global health crisis,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “These heroic men and women continue to dedicate their lives to save the loved ones of others, and we are all honored to support them on behalf of everyone at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, and the communities we serve.”

Convoy of Hope is utilizing its national network of partners and volunteers to identify appropriate local hospitals and medical facilities, and help distribute the masks based on area needs and demands. The donation will provide thousands of hard-to-find masks to every local community with a Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s store, boat center, distribution center, and White River Marine Group manufacturing facility – over 200 communities in total. Each community will receive thousands of face masks for area healthcare providers.

Photos of the Week

NOTE FROM OUR EDITOR: Do you have a beautiful or fun photo of your harbor, what you’ve been doing for social distancing, or a project you’re working on? Send it to us!