Known as one of the great yachting capitals of the world, Marblehead Harbor has been a center of classic shipbuilding and waterfront life since the Revolutionary War. While these days the rocky shoreline is lined with stunning homes, Marblehead still remains true to its seafaring roots. Five yacht clubs line a sheltered harbor full of boats of all types – from fishing dinghies to historic schooners and globe-circling sailing yachts. Local shipbuilders and sail makers keep the art and craft of classic wooden boat-building alive.
Summer in Marblehead Harbor is a bustling scene, as local sailing regattas compete for space with kayakers, paddlers and fishing charters. If you’re not a boat owner yet, you can set sail in one of Atlantic Charter’s well-appointed sailboats for the day, or book a weekend sail around the outer islands. You can even charter a historic Schooner built for Gen. George Patton. Or, dive deep into the local sailing scene by joining the annual Marblehead to Halifax Race. Joining a yacht club will give you access to launches, boat slips, storage, and a clubhouse where you can meet fellow sailors and learn more about local conditions and events.
Photo: Karim Benali, via Sail Magazine
Paddling the Coves
Summer fun on the water includes puttering about Marblehead’s coast by standup paddle board and kayak. Pull ashore on Crowninshield Island, an uninhabited island that marks the entrance to Marblehead’s Little Harbor. Explore the rocky shoreline on the ocean-side, and a sandy beach and salt marsh on the cove-side. Before paddling home, be sure to hike the short loop trail that leads to a great view of the harbor and 17th-century Fort Sewall.
Source: Dakota Donovan
If your family loves paddling or kayaking, check out the Paddlers Membership at the Dolphin Yacht Club. You can store and launch your equipment from the club, and join up with other members who share your love of the water. The club’s waterfront restaurant is a popular local dining spot, with expansive views of the harbor.
Marblehead Harbor’s rocky islands and inlets are just perfect for exploring, and you don’t need your own equipment. Just north of the harbor you’ll find Little Harbor Boathouse. Protected by Crowninshield and Gerry’s Island, it’s an ideal launch point. They sell and rent a selection of Hobie Kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards, and their summer programs will have your kids paddling in no time. Try out their easy pedal-kayaks, or fish the quiet coves from a well-equipped fishing kayak.
Fishing Around Marblehead Harbor
Kayak fishing is quickly becoming a popular sport for anyone who loves to fish. Here you’ll catch striped bass and bluefish while exploring the productive fishing areas in and around Marblehead, known as the best fishing town in New England.
You don’t have to go too far out to sea for a great catch, either. The many rocks and ledges close to shore provide fun fishing for the entire family. Or head further out to troll around the islands for striped bass and tuna, which arrive every June like clockwork. If you live in Marblehead and love to fish, you’ll probably want your own boat; but the local charter fleet is outstanding as well:
- Capt. Fred Christian, Boston Fly Fishing Company (781-631-1262)
- Sigler Guide Service (888-359-5463)
- Capt. John Pirie, On-Line Fishing Charters (978-468-1314)
- First Light Anglers (978-526-4477)
Messing About In Boats
It may begin with your first dinghy as a child, a weekend paddling trip, or a sunset sail; it can end with a lifelong passion for fishing or an annual pilgrimage for the summer regatta season. But life on the water in Marblehead offers every opportunity for what’s affectionately known as “messing about in boats”.
Source: Allison Horrocks
And if all of this activity is too much, you can always take a break at Devereaux Beach, catch some rays and indulge in some ice cream from Lime Ricky’s Beach Shack.
If you’ve always dreamt about living on the coast, don’t wait to live your dream! Marblehead is the ideal community for those who share a love of the ocean. Contact one of our Realtors at (781) 593-6111 to view homes for sale in this beautiful, historic town.