Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Needham, MA
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My parents live on Barnstable Harbor; I have had my 4' draft sailboat in there and had no problem getting to and from the anchorage via the channel, but I wouldn't sail that boat around the harbor. However it's a great place for a small shallow draft boat. You'll see a lot of catboats, and Barnstable Harbor Yacht Club has a dinghy fleet (not sure what kind).
I mostly know the eastern end of the harbor (east of Maraspin Creek), which I believe is a bit deeper than the western end. The key things to pay attention to:
- 9 foot tidal range. At high tide you won't have to worry about the shoals, at low tide if you're out of the main channel you'll probably go aground no matter what you do. However, it's nearly all sandbar so the groundings will be soft. I imagine with the Rhodes c/b you can get out and push off pretty easily if/when that happens.
- Tidal Currents - a lot of water moves in and out of the harbor and around Beach Point (the eastern tip of Sandy Neck). When I had my boat in there, my brother and I had to row our dinghy out to our anchorage against the current (motor was broken), a little over 1 mile. It took 1 1/2 hours. Know when the ebb and flood are taking place. A small outboard would be a good insurance policy to make sure you don't get stuck down harbor on a falling tide/opposing current.
- Sandy Neck is an incredible place to explore. Take the boat over, beach/anchor it, and walk the dunes and sandbars as soon as you have a chance.
What part of the harbor will you be in? Will you be on a mooring/slip or launching from a ramp?