- Category: Moorings, Docks and Deals
- Published on Monday, 02 May 2011 23:00
- Written by George Boase
- Hits: 2748
A real New England destination with FREE docks and moorings!
Location: Waypoints from mouth of Narragansett Bay Chart 13221 off Beavertail.
- Starting at 41 26.9670N -071 24.9545 W head 005 degrees for 6.12 nautical miles. to
- 41 33.0629N -071 24.0882W and head 268 degrees for 1.08 nm
- Enter between breakwater for moorings, docks and marinas. You can also anchor to port outside the breakwater.
Getting Ashore: The only thing missing here is a launch service for the moorings. Take the port channel past Wickford Shipyard to the town dock. It's free for 2 hours for both yacht and dinghy. Since no one mans the dock, the time limit is very loosely enforced.
Shore Facilities: No heads, showers or lounges. Plenty of everything else! Drugstore and groceries are within walking distance of the town dock. Streets are lined with shops of all kinds.
A real bargain!
A closely guarded secret is the 5 free moorings available for 24 hours, and a two hour free town dock located in the park. Immediately to port after you enter the harbor there are five (5) free orange and blue lettered mooring balls. They fill up fast on weekends, but it's usually easy to find a free one weekdays. If they are full and you're just there for a short visit you can always tie up to the town dock for a while and do some shopping. No electricity or water on the dock. There's almost always space there even on weekends. There's a very nice park and parking lot there with several stores and restaurants in short distance.
Another option is to anchor in the cove and wait for a mooring to open up. Decent anchorage for protection, good holding and incredible scenery. The N. Kingstown harbormaster can direct you to moorings, docks and anchorages. If you run into some bad weather, just up the coast past the airfields at Davisville Navy facility is Allen Harbor also under the guidance of the N Kingstown harbormaster. It's one of the most protected anchorages in the bay and safe in any weather, even hurricanes. There is no shortage of things to do, or places to do nothing in.
The town of Wickford was the model for John Updyke's book, The Witches of Eastwick. Boasting period architecture, the streets themselves are a pleasure to stroll. The main street is lined with eclectic stores and great places to eat.
Mill Cove at the north end of Wickford Cove offers almost three miles of wildlife estuary to explore by dinghy or kayak. Kayak rentals are also available if you didn't bring your own. The kayak traffic can actually be a problem on busy weekends. On any given day, the town pier will be lined with people fishing. Mackerel is the common catch here. Several seafood shops can help in case you didn't get lucky.
Wickford Shipyard is the first marina gas dock with fuel, water and ice. I would not recommend Wickford Shipyard as a place to dock even though they are pretty cheap. The aging facilities have not faired well over the years and staff service is next to none.
Further in to the port channel is Brewers Marina. All the standards features of Brewers with pool and other amenities. They are a participating member of Brewers Club. They also have mooring dolphins that line the channel.
Taking the Starboard channel takes you to the Wickford Yacht Club. They are a YCA member with reciprocating membership dockage rates. They do not accept non-member transients.
Just past that is the Pleasant Street Wharf Marina. Pleasant Street is the cheap seats in marinas here in Wickford. Very pleasant and friendly with a small store on site. Cleaning table for fish. Docks and facility is older, but maintained well enough. No fuel dock.
Wickford Marina is a true pleasure to visit. On weekends and holidays they have free coffee and pastry under the yellow and white tent on the upper dock. Large dinghy & PWC dock. Patio with large gas BBQ grill and al fresco dining at tables surrounding flower garden. They supply everything except the meat! No need to bring plates, utensils, condiments or BBQ sauce. Large hot tub overlooks the harbor. Exceptional dock help and staff. The best part is the transient rate won't break the bank, very reasonable. Seasonal dockage has a waiting list and it's wise to call ahead for reservations for overnight transients