THE WATERLINE: Summer 2020


Greetings boaters.  Another Tropical system passes by with little damage. Two moorings did fail but otherwise all is well. Good job on the part of most getting ready. 

A couple of points.  First, unless you know someone specifically who is willing to let you use their mooring do not expect one to be available.  The Harbor Department does not keep a list of available moorings, as this changes with every storm.  Hoping for an available mooring is not a storm plan.  Second, was your mooring inspected this year?  The photo of the shackle and chain on the left side of the page came off a Manchester Harbor mooring, this week.  Inspection is now required in order to have a mooring in Manchester. If you have not had it inspected by a service company, you must do so. 

Maps from the National Hurricane Center show the current systems on the map today that may affect us going forward.  This is a lot of activity for August.  September and October are not likely to be better. 


New stickers are arriving! If you are expecting a sticker and do not receive it please contact the Harbor Department. Sorry for multiple envelopes. I am working on that. 

You must put your stickers on your boat, dinghy or kayak. 

Dinghy stickers go on the inside of the transom, boats outside on the transom starboard side. Kayaks outside the hull at the stern. Any dinghy or kayak without a sticker will be removed from the dock or rack. Kayakers please fill out your if found sticker and put it inside next to your seat. 

Tuck’s Point 

Core drilling at Tuck’s Point is complete and the engineers are expected to provide findings to the town this week.  The hope is that pilings can be driven to a sufficient depth to support the docks. Final design of the facility will depend on these findings. 

Another issue that has been raised by the engineers is the age of the pilings supporting the rotunda and walkway.  At fifty years old, the pilings are showing signs of significant worm damage and some ice damage.  The life can be extended by wrapping the pilings using one of several methods.  Wrapping will extend the life from the current predicted one to five years to at least ten years. The question becomes what about weather events that may damage the facility at its current elevation. 

Discussion about replacing the pilings and raising the whole structure to a safer height is warranted.  Savings in repairs may well be negated by future storm damage requiring repairs such as that caused by the storms in 2018. 

More information as we get it. 

Vessel Registration 

State law requires that any vessel no matter the size must be registered. In addition, the numbers and sticker issued by the state must be visible on the bow of the vessel. 

Stickers must be three-inch block letters contrasting in color with the hull. 

Registering a vessel in the year of COVID-19 while challenging has not been impossible. Unfortunately, many of the motorized dinghies at the town docks are not displaying numbers or stickers. There has been ample time to address these issues.   

Starting Monday August 17, dinghies without the required documentation in place will be required to be removed from the town dock until compliance is reached. Failure to meet state requirement or removing your noncompliant dinghy will result in the removal of your dinghy at your expense and loss of dock rights. 

Mooring holders

If your vessel is not registered, you will receive a ticket. 

The Harbor Department has been lenient about this and it appears that this has created an appearance that you are not required to comply.  Be assured this is not the case. 

Please address this immediately if you have not. 

There will be no exceptions. 

Launch Service 

Manchester Mooring Service is pleased to announce our new public launch service is operating for the Summer of 2020.  The service’s website is up and running and includes all information on the launch and other services. 

Marine Mammals 

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 your Harbormaster.  

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. 

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 Drawbridge Hours of Operation 

Manchester Harbor, 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 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. 

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 July-August and September Hours  

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.  

Stop by, say hi, and don’t forget your lifejacket. 

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