Moorings and berths in the harbor are under control of the harbormaster, who can be reached on VHF Channels 9 and 16 or by calling 978-546-9589. A speed limit of 4 miles per hour is enforced within the harbor limits. There are no guest moorings, but one can usually be arranged through the harbormaster.
In 2004, a depth of 7.6 feet was available in the southwest basin and 7.2 feet was available in the northwest basin. The basin on the southeast side of the town wharf is used to moor small sailing craft and the northwesterly basin, or commercial basin, is used by fishing and lobster boats. A town ramp, dry at low water and with 3 feet at high water, is at the head of the basin.
The first wharf, in the northwest part of the harbor, is a private wharf locally known as Tuna Wharf. The second wharf, locally known as Bradley Wharf, has overnight berthage which can be arranged through the harbormaster. In 1979, 6 feet was reported alongside Bradley Wharf, with no services available.
The town float landing, with 6 feet reported alongside, is at the head of the town wharf; sewage pump-out is available. Party fishing boats operate from the landing in the summer. Parking is available on the town wharf.
On the southeast side of the head of the town landing is the Sandy Bay Yacht Club, which has float landings with 6 feet alongside. The club has restrooms available to visiting yachtsmen. Water, electricity, and ice are available at the floats.
Click the “Map View” button above to see a chart of this harbor.
Rockport Harbor at the southwest end of Sandy Bay is reported to be open to strong northeasterly to easterly winds, but can be entered at any time. The harbor is protected by two breakwaters, one of which extends eastward from Bearskin Neck on the northwest side of the harbor.
The other breakwater extending in a northerly direction from The Headlands is a short one.
The harbor consists of an outer basin and two inner basins which are separated by the town wharf. In 2004, the outer basin had a least depth of 8 feet, the northern inner basin had depths of 4.5 to 8.0 feet and the southern inner basin had depths of 6.1 to 8.0 feet.
Straitsmouth Island, low and grassy, is marked on its eastern end by Straitsmouth Light (42°39’44″N., 70°35’17″W.), 46 feet above the water and shown from a white cylindrical tower, near the northeast end of the island. A sound signal is at the light. The radio tower and buildings of a former Coast Guard station are conspicuous on Gap Head, the peninsula westward of Straitsmouth Island. A standpipe on the summit of a hill south of the harbor is also prominent. Passage should not be attempted between Straitsmouth Island and Gap Head at low water without local knowledge.
Rockport Breakwater Light 6 (42°39’38″N., 70°36’42″W.), 32 feet above the water, is shown from a skeleton tower with a red triangular daymark on the end of the north breakwater.
The entrance channel between the breakwaters is about 26 yards wide with depths from 8 to 10 feet. It is not advisable, however, to enter with drafts greater than 7 feet without local knowledge.
Flat Ground, a dangerous ledge 0.5 mile long covered 3 to 15 feet, is 1 to 1.5 miles north-northeastward of Straitsmouth Light. The ledge is marked by a buoy at its south end and a bell buoy at the north end.
Dry Salvages is a bare ledge about 15 feet high near the middle of a reef about 500 yards long in a northerly direction. A lighted bell buoy is 0.5 mile northeastward of the ledge.
Little Salvages is a ledge showing well bare at low water and with parts awash at high water. It is about 500 yards westward of Dry Salvages. Shoal water extends out a little more than 200 yards from the western side of the bare part of the ledge, and a rock bare at lowest tides and a sunken wreck are between it and Dry Salvages.
Harbor Rock, covered 2 feet, is about 130 yards northeastward of the end of the north breakwater at the entrance of Rockport Harbor; a buoy is about 0.1 mile northeastward of the rock. Inshore of the rock, a shelving unmarked ledge extends 75 yards northeastward from the end of the north breakwater.
The edges of the harbor are shoal and foul, with ledges near the shores, particularly on the north side northward of a line between the end of the north breakwater and the end of the first wharf on the north side. All except light-draft craft should stay out of that area.