Boating, Fishing, and Travel Information for New Haven, CT
Boating in New Haven, CT Map View
Morris Cove, on the east side of the main channel just above Lighthouse Point, affords good anchorage and is used by yachts, but is rough in westerly and southerly winds. In 1981, isolated, uncharted 40-foot spots were reported in the cove. Caution is advised when anchoring. New Haven Coast Guard Station is on the north side of the jutting point, about 1.5 miles northward of Lighthouse Point.
An anchorage basin on the west side of the main channel southward of New Haven Long Wharf is sometimes used, but considerable shoaling is gradually extending into the anchorage from westward. A sunken barge with 5 feet over it is in this anchorage about 550 yards southward of New Haven Long Wharf. In 1985, depths of 10 to 5 feet were available in the anchorage basin with lesser depths along the edges.
Small craft and scows may anchor northward of the New Haven Long Wharf (Naval Reserve Pier), northwest of the main channel where depths range from about 5 to 6 feet.
No special regulations prescribe the limits within which vessels must anchor, except that the dredged channels must be kept clear.
There are excellent facilities on the east and west sides of the harbor and on West and Quinnipiac Rivers.
Click the “Map View” button above to see a chart of this harbor.
New Haven Harbor, an important harbor of refuge, is about 68 miles from New York, 179 miles from Boston via Cape Cod Canal, and 171 miles from Nantucket Shoals. It comprises all the tidewater northward of the breakwaters constructed across the mouth of the bay, including the navigable portions of the West, Mill, and Quinnipiac Rivers. It is about 2 miles wide. The inner harbor, northward of Sandy Point and Fort Hale, is shallow for the most part, except where the depths have been increased by dredging. The main entrance channel, between Middle Breakwater and the East Breakwater, leads northward to Tomlinson Bridge at New Haven.
On the approach from well offshore in clear weather, the prominent landmarks are: on East Rock (41°19.7’N., 72°54.4’W.), the Soldiers and Sailors Monument; in New Haven, the Knights of Columbus Building, a tall rectangular structure with circular pillars at its corners; the lighted stack of the powerplant on the east side of the harbor opposite City Point. The lights on the ends of the breakwaters, the aerolight at Tweed-New Haven Airport, and the abandoned tower on Lighthouse Point are also prominent.
Southwest Ledge Light (41°14’04″N., 72°54’44″W.), 57 feet above the water, is shown from a white octagonal house on a brown cylindrical pier at the westerly end of East Breakwater. A sound signal is sounded at the light.
A Federal project for New Haven Harbor provides for an entrance channel 35 feet deep to a point just below the junction of Mill River and Quinnipiac River. The channel is well marked.
The West River, marked by buoys, is located on the west side of the main channel about 3 miles above Southwest Ledge Light. A Federal project provides for a depth of 12 feet to a point about 100 feet south of the first highway bridge (Kimberly Avenue Bridge), thence 8 feet to about 0.1 mile above the bridge; an anchorage area on the south side of the channel about 0.9 mile above the entrance has a project depth of 6 feet. Principal waterfront facilities are at City Point.
The Mill River, on the west side of Fair Haven about 4 miles above Southwest Ledge Light, is entered from the main channel through a dredged entrance channel that branches into an east and west fork to the Grand Avenue Bridge, 0.6 mile above the mouth. In 2000, the controlling depths were 6.2 feet (8.2 feet at midchannel) to the Chapel Street Bridge about 0.25 mile above the entrance, thence 9 feet through the east bridge opening and 6.3 feet through the west bridge opening, thence 6.5 feet to the junction with the east and west forks, thence 1.4 feet at midchannel in the east fork for about 320 yards and 4.9 feet at midchannel in the west fork for about 480 yards, thence in 1980, 1 foot at midchannel in the east fork and 1.5 feet at midchannel in the west fork to the head of the channel.
The Quinnipiac River, on the east side of Fair Haven about 4 miles above Southwest Ledge Light, has a dredged channel to Grand Avenue Bridge, about 1 mile above the mouth. In 2000, the controlling depth was 15.7 feet at midchannel to the Ferry Street Bridge about 0.5 mile above the mouth, thence 8.4 feet at midchannel to the Grand Avenue Bridge.
The Tomlinson Bridge, at the head of the main harbor at the confluence of Mill and Quinnipiac Rivers, has a vertical lift span with a clearance of 13 feet down and 61 feet up. Just above this bridge is a fixed highway bridge with a clearance of 60 feet. The bridgetender of the Tomlinson Bridge monitors VHF-FM channel 13; call sign KXJ-688. An overhead power cable with a clearance of 91 feet crosses the channel just above the fixed highway bridge.
Over Mill River, about 0.3 mile above the entrance, is the Chapel Street Bridge with a swing span having a clearance of 7½ feet. The fixed highway bridge at Grand Avenue has a clearance of 6 feet over the east fork and a clearance of 2 feet over the west fork. Bridges above this point have minimum clearance of 2 feet. Small unmasted boats go as far as the bridge at State Street, 0.5 mile above Grand Avenue. Overhead power cables crossing the west fork have a minimum clearance of 80 feet.
The Ferry Street Bridge over Quinnipiac River, 0.6 mile above the Tomlinson Bridge, has a bascule span with a clearance of 25 feet. The Grand Avenue Bridge, 0.5 mile farther upstream, has a center-pier swing span with a clearance of 9 feet. Above this are several fixed bridges and trestles.
The Kimberly Avenue Bridge over West River has a fixed span with a clearance of 23 feet.