The Waterline - June 2021


Welcome to June.  Soon it will officially be summer, and this new edition of The Waterline is all about getting updated on all you need to know for the boating season.  There’s a lot to report from the Harbormaster’s office in Manchester.

Magnolia Pier

Due to storm damage late last summer the float and ramp in Magnolia Harbor are unlikely to be in place for the 2021 season. If there is a change in plan the Harbor Department will send a notice.

Area 4 Moorings

Bow and stern moorings are shaping up in Area-4. There is now a channel leading into Whittier Cove. Remember to always attach both moorings to your vessel. Once converted you are required to use both.

Tropical Storms

Tuesday is the official start to HURRICANE season. Be sure to monitor the weather all season long and be ready to take action. 

Safety Lanyard—USCG Rule Change

Operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length are required to use an engine cut-off switch as of April 1, 2021, as the U.S. Coast Guard implements a law passed by Congress.

Safe Boating

The MEP has waived the in-person requirement for those taking the online Safe Boating Course. You may now receive your certification entirely by taking the online offering.  Full in person classes are still being offered.

Tuck’s Point

The yellow out haul dinghy is in place for the season.  If it seems the floats are further from shore you are not seeing things.  The placement is very close to the newly permitted location.

The Draft DEP license has been issued.  Contracts are signed for pilings and the new ramp.  Interest amongst contractors is exceptional, fingers crossed for an exceptional price.

Second Annual Manchester-by-the-Sea Fishing Tournament

Save the date for the Second Annual Manchester by the Sea Fishing Tournament, from July 29 to August 1.  This year, we hope to bring some exciting changes, like daily winners, tee shirts, a COVID-safe celebration and more.  Organizers are currently looking for volunteers who want to join on in helping make this event happen.  In particular, they can use support on sponsorship and prize donations, celebration planning, and advertising.  Those interested in providing support or giving back can contact Nate Berkowitz at or (518) 210-8362.

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 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.

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 for next year.

Office Hours as of June and through August are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday thru Monday.  Hours will vary depending on training, Safe Boating classes and meetings.  Feel free to call before coming to the office.  And if you do come in, please wear a mask and stick to safe distancing requirements.

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.