On The Waterline


Greetings boaters.  It’s December, and there’s a lot going on to report from the Harbormaster’s office in Manchester right now.  Let’s get to it.

Dinghy and Kayaks: Cut Off Here For Town Racks

Dinghy and kayak owners, you must remove your vessels from town racks and docks. December 1 is the cutoff date. Any dinghy or kayak owner who fails to remove their vessel at the appropriate time will lose privileges for next year.

Update On Harbor Projects

Phase II of Tuck’s Point will begin with a survey of conditions around the rotunda. Replacement of dilapidated pilings and raising the facility to protect it from storms and sea rise are the goal.

Grants for Phase II of the Reed Park Transient docks are under review, Final word on awards and funding will be announced in February and if successful will pay all costs for Phase II.

The Fishermen’s Facility project grinds on with final proposed design still to come.

The cost estimate for the next dredging project will be revised up from $3.4 million, new estimates will be shared once received.

Harbor Master Plan

Much like a master plan for the town a master plan is used by many communities to chart a course for the future planning and management of a harbor. Use of Manchester Harbor has increased and the ways in which it is used have changed over the last decade. Several residents have promoted the development of a plan for Manchester. Urban Harbors Institute (UHI) is a leading provider of guidance in the development of master plans for Massachusetts harbors. UHI will provide a proposal for this project. The timeline for a harbor master plan is between twelve and twenty-four months.

Santa Claus Is Coming!

Saturday, December 3 at 1 p.m., Masconomo Park.  Be there!

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 me, your 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

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Bridge at “Mile 1.0” in Manchester has been operating as follows: the draw shall open from Memorial Day thru September 30 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.  From Memorial Day and from October 1 to November 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.

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 paying thousands in towing fees. 

Think about it and plan ahead.

Harbormaster Hours

Harbormaster office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Wednesday.  Hours will vary depending on training, Safe Boating classes and meetings.  Feel free to call before coming to the office.  

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

watercraft, ships, boats, waterline