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evecircleM 02-06-2002 05:50 AM

I am planning to sail to Block Island. Has anyone been there? Could someone give me some info on the island?

kimberlite 02-06-2002 03:54 PM

what do you want to know, when are you going, where are you coming from?

evecircleM 02-06-2002 05:34 PM

I am thinking about going this summer. I would like to know what there is to do on the island. I am coming from the jersey shore. Thanks if you can help me.

kimberlite 02-06-2002 06:50 PM

there are a number of marinas in block. champlains rafts you off as many as 6 deep.
i prefer block island boat basin you get your own slip. many times you need to make a reservation months in advance
check out

the harbor can get very very crowded so
make sure you have good ground tackle and a dinghy if you want to anchor, since you could be anchored out in the back 40.
there is slow launch service.

i think the beauty of block island is that there isnt much to do. there are a few bars and good restaraunts, but not much else.

the island is a very natural non commercial place and is one of the nicest places you can stay in new england.

will you be going straight to block or down the sound?

halyardz 02-06-2002 08:39 PM

Is Block, during weekdays, less crowded in the summer? I know that''s a relative term butI''m one that doesn''t fancy rafting.

bmcald 02-07-2002 02:50 AM

I don''t have enough experience at Block to say if there''s ever a time when you can get a slip and not have someone else (or two or three) tied up to you. I''d called in advance and was told a reservation wasn''t necessary, but when I got there, found that reservations weren''t needed because they have mastered the art of fitting as many boats as possible into tiny places. But there''s plenty of good anchorage available in New Harbor, and for $2 bucks or so you can get picked up by the harbor water taxi; or take a dinghy. Old Harbor right in front of the town might be worth checking out too--saw very few boats in there, but coming and going might be more exciting than you''d like. I took some pictures of the anchorage that you can find in my article here about returning from BI, and there is a Web camera overlooking New Harbor that you can use to check out conditions from, although it seems to be out of commission right now.

hamiam 02-07-2002 12:25 PM

We visit Block Island several times a year on our 35'' sailboat. (We sail from Newport, RI) You have 3 options for accommodations: 1. Dockspace - Block Island Boat Basin is the only marina that does not raft. If you intend to stay there, contact them NOW and return to them the dockage request form and a deposit. They do not take bookings over the phone. Dockage is expensive. Both Champlins and Payne''s raft DEEP if necessary. Champlins is approx. the same cost as the Boat Basin but they do have a pool and some other amenitites. They take reservations and have a min. number of nights. Payne''s is cheaper than the other two and does not take reservations. I have never managed to get a mooring; they are inexpensive and tough to come by. Anchoring is NOT that great. In a blow, I have seen numerous boats bust loose.

Block Island is great for its natural beauty coupled with a relatively low number of people. I would strongly suggest that you either bring a bike or rent one on the island (you can rent them right at the Boat Basin or Champlins). Depending on what you are into, the island has numerous excellent beaches, several lighhouses, and some nature reserves. You can also go horseback riding, rent a canoe or a kayak, go scuba diving, and they tell me the fishing is good. Plan on being outnumered by powerboats 50 to 1. Strangely enough, many/most of these folks never seem to leave their boats! Shopping is fair at best. Restaurants vary from poor to excellent and are generally expensive for what you get. There are a few decent bars and you can usually catch a good live band most nights. One warning: I would strongly suggest making the approach to the New Harbor channel during the daylight and good visablility. Study your charts as the breakwater on the southside of the entrance is actually south of the actual channel. Good luck and have fun.

Lahr 02-07-2002 01:12 PM

I spent almost 2 weeks last summer with Block Island as headquarters on our 42 ft. sailboat, with "slip" space at Champlins. I would never go back to Champlin''s during the summer. Their raft-up program in place to maximize income makes it virtually impossible to consider daysails once you are in a "slip".It''s hard to call the time tied up as "quality time" with the overflow of stacked-up boats. But the Island in fun, interesting, well worth the visit. Jack

bporter 02-07-2002 03:52 PM

During the week is less crowded of course, but the last time ther we decided, after reviewing the slip that the Boat Basin had to offer, to go anchor.

I just didn''t feel like trying to back a 37'' boat into a slip with 6" of clearance off the barnacle encusted posts on either side and fenders from the neighbor encroaching, in a 15+ knot cross breeze. I took one pass and realized I really didn''t feel like repaintg my boat that year.

Anyway, the anchorage we stayed in held OK, but it was fairly deep, around 25'' or so at low tied. Seeting enough scope out let out all of the new rode, but we discovered after that 15+ knot breeze died in the middle of the night that our neighbor had a lot less scope out than we did. No entanglements with the neighbor, but we had an edgy night.

The prior visit to Block we stayed at Champlins - again creative docking. They had 37'' of boat in a 20'' slip or so that we had to back in to. No rafting that weekend though.

Plan on a long walk, or a cab/bike ride to get anywhere from the New Harbor. There is a little cluster of places at Champlin''s but not much; you can rent a bike and get VERY basic supplies. Didn''t think too much of the restaurant there, except it was pricey and not very good. The little bakery counter there did have these KILLER coconut & chocolate things though.

There are some pretty decent restaurants in the main part of town, and some interesting shops.

hamiam 02-08-2002 09:46 AM

I feel the need the chime in again here. There is no comparision between docking at the Basin and at Champlins. I would agree that the slips at the Basin are tight. That being said, it is far better to have your own slip at the Basin vs. being rafted in with 100 powerboaters at Champlin''s.

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