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chefuno 01-25-2013 11:12 AM

Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
Hello All, Can anyone tell me how far up the Piscatiqua River I can sail a Grampian 30 and what my options are for places to build a mooring? It's Stored up in Bath now and I live in central NH. The Piscatiqua would be much closer to us than The Kennebec.

misfits 01-25-2013 12:45 PM

Re: Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
You have to get on the mooring waiting list w/ the NH Port Authority.
I was on it once for 15 years, didn't even get close. Unless you own water front property your chances of being able to put a mooring in are pretty slim.

Great Bay Marine has moorings at a decent price. It's about 6 miles up the river. There's a yacht club on the Maine side over by the mouth of the river, they have mooring also but are very expensive

chefuno 01-25-2013 02:05 PM

Re: Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
The Harbor Master said he has room at Fox Point or Adams Point. After looking over the charts my only concerns are the bridge clearances. Any thoughts? My mast is 40' above the deck...

Chart 13285

Tim R. 01-25-2013 02:17 PM

Re: Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
Just an observation but it seems like a long way down the river before you get to decent sailing. And that river has awful currents so you will have to time your passages. And then there are not too many gunk holes in that area. I know Bath is not much different but you would be better off getting a mooring in Portland or Falmouth where you could sail right off the mooring and be at a nice secluded island inside of 2 hours.

CarbonSink62 01-25-2013 02:34 PM

Re: Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
I have a mooring at the boat club on the Maine side (Great Cove Boat Club) it is a little over $1500/season and is 4 miles up the Piscataqua from the harbor entrance. As of last year Great Bay Marine was renting their moorings for $1200/season but they are at least 7 miles up the river. I really like GCBC and think they are worth the money; GBM is also a first-class operation, it's just too far to transit when I want to sail.

Yes, the currents do demand some respect, but I've done ok.

I don't expect to live long enough for the mooring field lists to do me any good.


misfits 01-25-2013 03:01 PM

Re: Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
I had wondered where on the river you kept your boat Carbon Sink. I'll have to keep that marina in mind if I ever get my boat in the water....

Chefuno, the sullivan bridge is something like 52' at low tide so you'd find yourself playing the tides, which isn't a bad thing but it does create inconvience at times. The other issue will be access. Where would you leave your taxi?

As Tim pointed out it is a long ride up river but it is pretty quiet up there which in itself is refreshing. Must be an hour ride in a sailboat to hit the mouth & you'll have to time the bridge openings. I did this type of 6 mile hike on the Merrimack River for a couple of years before moving down to Newburyport. It does suck when it's 90 degrees out.

Your in central NH, how far would it be to Portland? I'm in western NH, it takes me close to 2 hours to get to the coast or I would consider Portland.

CarbonSink62 01-25-2013 04:08 PM

Re: Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
Hi, misfits.

Yep. That's where I am. I like that my dinghy ride is only about 100yds and well away from the current. My brother was (is?) looking at renting a mooring (privately owned) that is between the lift bridges. Seems to be a good location once he is on-board, but a helluva dinghy ride, like a mile and a half, and he needs to bring the dinghy back and forth in his vehicle. GCBC has a dinghy dock.

chefuno - the river is dredged to 35' until just above the entrance to Great Bay (under the Sullivan Br). It is also plenty deep well into Great Bay, but there's not much fun to be had for a large boat in the bay. You should be able to sneak under the Sullivan Br (you'll need some Valium*) but you'll be waiting for the lift bridges to get out on the big water.

The Piscataqua is not a perfect river for a sailboat, but I have ties to the area (I grew up in York, ME) and it really pleases me to be sailing the same water where my dad used to take us boating (he's a stinkpotter, but I still love him). I also rode submarines in the Navy, so cruising past the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is pretty cool.


*I needed it and my air draft is 5' less.

CarbonSink62 01-25-2013 04:20 PM

Re: Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
chefuno - I just re-read the thread and caught your air draft as 40' above the deck (not just 40'); if the Grampian 30 is the boat I recall it has a tall coachroof, so 40' off the deck might be too tall (45'? 47'?) unless the tide is really low. Not like 'once a month' low, but certainly during low tide. I have to time my transits to slack tide and that's not too bad; if I had to wait for low tide... that might be too much. Your Mileage May Vary

I also forgot to mention that Portsmouth is a kick-ass little city. Lots to do.

GrahamO 01-26-2013 04:20 AM

Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
We had a mooring in Kittery Yacht Yard last year. It is behind the Navy shipyard and an awesome location, great shelter, no wake issues and fifteen minutes to the ocean BUT it was, as I recollect, about $3200 for the season.
We live in Portsmouth (which is a great little town) but we have moved our boat up to Georgetown Maine because the sailing is so much more interesting. Sailing to the Shoals and back can get old after a while....
I would look at Portland or beyond. There are some delightful spots and a mooring there makes for a pretty cheap weekend 'waterfront' property.


chefuno 01-26-2013 12:27 PM

Re: Moorings on the Piscatiqua River?
Hmmm.. lots to think about. You guys are great. Just the type of info and opinion I was looking for. I'm kind of new to this. The ride from here (New London) to Bath is over three hrs. Not to mention gas and those f***ing tolls.
I spend $100 dollars round trip. Fox Point on the other hand is only an 75 minutes away. We are thinking that we would rather spend the time on the water rather than driving (saving $$ too). Any thoughts on the cost of having a mooring placed ??? These things are keeping me up at night. Spring can't come fast enough !
Thanks so much for all the advice and feel free to keep it coming on this particular thread.

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