On The Waterline


Greetings boaters.  We’re already heading into July, and there’s a lot going on to report from the Harbormaster’s office in Manchester right now.  Let’s get to it.

Safety Requirements & Police Officers

The Manchester Police Department will be a visible presence on the water this summer, if summer ever arrives.  Safety inspections and boardings are already occurring.

All vessels must be appropriately geared up and registered if motorized.  All state and federal laws apply and will be enforced.  The goal here is to promote safety by enforcing the laws put in place to protect you.  When things go wrong on a boat the situation can go from bad to worse in the blink of an eye.

If you have any questions about requirements, you can find the information in the brochure rack outside the Harbor office.  You can also go to the Environmental Police Safe Boating website for more information.

I am grateful to have the officers on the water.  The Police Department is the appropriate agency to help with the large number of boaters that visit Manchester and to ensure that people are taking all the steps required to be a boat owner in Massachusetts.

A change for the good of the harbor and its boaters.

Kayak Rack Spots

Spots are available at Tuck’s Point for residents.  Contact the Harbormaster and secure a spot today.

Safe Boating Classes

Thank you to Arthur Steinart and the Manchester Yacht club for hosting a Massachusetts Environmental Police Safe Boating class!  Seventy people passed the course and are certified in all states that require certification.  We appreciate the space as well as the coffee and donuts!

Thanks also to the club for hosting boat inspections and a flare lighting demonstration.  A busy time as we get ready for the summer.

There are two options to complete a boating safety education course.  The Massachusetts

Environmental Police offer an online Safe Boater course in addition to the traditional classroom-based education course.  Anyone going out in boat as a passenger as well as paddle sport enthusiasts are encouraged to take this course.  Safe boating isn’t just for sailors and power boaters!

Boater Parking

The Town Clerk issues parking passes for non-resident mooring holders.  Each mooring holder may have no more than one (1) pass per mooring.  It may be used in anyone (1) vehicle at a time.

Anyone found to be making copies of passes to allow additional unapproved parking will lose parking rights in Manchester.  Enforcement is likely to include a ticket along with loss of parking privileges.


Sea Scouts to be Rescheduled.

The Cape Ann Sea Scouts will visit Manchester on July 17 from 4- 6 p.m. to present a program for families with younger children.  They will gather in the shelter of Morss Pier in Masconomo Park.

Bret and Cindy in the picture above, two very early and unwanted tropical systems coming off Africa.  Bret is the earliest system on record to form in this manner.

In New England the water is still too cold to sustain tropical storms, I will hope not to be proved wrong.  As the water warms our risk goes up, this is why storms that hit here are later in the summer and fall when the water is warmest.  What is more likely, if the storm tracks into the Atlantic, is for swells and riptides to affect us.

Currently Bret is projected to cross the Caribbean Sea to Central America and then Cindy is projected at this time to turn into the Atlantic Ocean and move northward.  It is possible that the Northeast could see some ocean effects from Cindy as we get into late next week.

This is a good opportunity to get a weather app on your phone if you don’t already have one.  Windy is a good one.  Sign up and be an obsessive weather follower like all good captains everywhere.

The Sea Scouts will demonstrate knot tying, shell painting, and sextant use.  They will also give a short presentation on oysters, repropagating native oysters in our local waters, and other citizen science activities.

The Scouts will be hosted by the Manchester Harbor Boat Club and our oyster upweller on the harbor will be open for viewing.  The Boat Club will provide refreshments.  Please join us for this free event on Manchester Harbor.

Safe Boating Classes Offered

There are two options to complete a boating safety education course. The Massachusetts

Env.  Police offer an online Safe Boater course in addition to the traditional classroom-based education course. Use the convenient QR code and get to the website sign up page today!

Anyone going out in boat as a passenger as well as paddle sport enthusiasts are encouraged to take this course. Safe boating isn’t just for sailors and power boaters!

Marine Mammals

A beached whale, dolphin or porpoise should be reported immediately and left alone pending further instruction. Call the NOAA 24-hour Marine Animal Hotline: (866) 755- 6622.  Please leave your name and a phone number where you can be reached.

Sea turtles in our region do not typically come ashore unless they are seriously debilitated.  Call the 24-hour Marine Animal Hotline: (866) 755-6622.

Seals belong on the beach. It’s normal. What should you do if you spot a seal on the beach?

Keep people and dogs 150 feet away from the seal.

Does the seal look injured or unhealthy?  If so please call (866) 755-6622 or call the Harbormaster.  All marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  This law makes it illegal to touch, disturb, feed, or otherwise harass marine mammals without authorization.

Manchester Draw Hours 0f Operation

Manchester Harbor. Effective: Tuesday, November 01, 2011 The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Bridge at mile 1.0 in Manchester shall operate as follows: 

The draw shall open from Memorial Day thru Sept. 30 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. From Memorial Day and from Oct.1 to Nov.1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. At all other times, the draw shall open on signal with at least four hours of notice.  Call (617) 222-6114

Towing Policy

Manchester Harbormaster only tows those vessels that are in immediate danger or present a potential environmental hazard.  Please contact a towing or salvage operator should you need to be towed.

Harbormaster Hours

June through August, hours are Thursday - Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hours will vary depending on training, Safe Boating classes and meetings.  Feel free to call before coming to the office.

Be vigilant and notify the harbormaster of any missing or off station aids to navigation.  The latest Manchester Harbor Rules & Regulations are posted on the Harbormaster website.

Towing Insurance

What happens when you breakdown or run out of gas or some other unforeseen event that ruins a perfectly nice boating day?  If you are lucky enough to be in an area where the community allows towing by the harbormaster help is nearby and probably free.  Many communities including Manchester do not allow towing unless there is risk to life or property involved, otherwise you will pay large sums for towing service.

It would be wise to consider the purchase of towing insurance from your insurance company, Seatow or Tow Boat US.  For a reasonable rate you will potentially avoid thousands in towing fees.

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