Rockland is situated on PenobscotBay’s southwestern shore at the head of a 4-square-mile harbor, protected on the east by a the nearly mile-long Rockland Breakwater.
Rockland is situated on PenobscotBay’s southwestern shore at the head of a 4-square-mile harbor, protected on the east by a the nearly mile-long Rockland Breakwater. Formerly a major fishing and fish-processing center, this popular yachting port has a Coast Guard station and “every single boat facility boaters need and more,” says Rockland harbormaster Ed Glaser, former owner and captain of the passenger schooner Isaac Evans.
Owls Head Lighthouse marks the headland south of the harbor entrance. Boaters enter between Owls Head and Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, which stands on the end of the granite breakwater. Keep in mind that the breakwater may be almost submerged at high tide.
The well-marked channel bisects the field of 400-plus moorings, then splits into two channels near the Coast Guard station on the harborfront peninsula. To port, the southern channel leads to Rockland Public Landing (the municipal marina) and The Landings Marina. Farther south are Rockland Marine (shipyard), HurricaneIslandOutwardBoundSchool and the public boat ramp. The northern branch leads to starboard to Journey’s End Marina, Beggar’s Wharf, Maine State Ferry Terminal, Knight’s Marine, North End Shipyard, Rockland Harbor Boatyard, Prock Marine and Ocean Pursuits Boatyard.
Rockland Town Landing and the private marinas offer overnight slips at floating docks and rental moorings. All monitor VHF channels 9 and 16, and all are downtown, within a block of Main Street. Rockland Public Landing doesn’t take reservations, but private marinas and mooring services recommend them in season.
Moorings are available from the harbormaster, The Landings Marina, Journey’s End Marina, and Knight Marine Service (including services noted below) for $25 a night. Beggar’s Wharf — (207) 594-8500, www.beggarswharf.com — has $25 moorings, with showers, fuel, propane and free Internet service. Moorings from Rockland Harbor Boatyard — (207) 594-1766, www.rhby.com — and Two Toots Harbor Launch, Mooring and Towing Service — (207) 594-2891 — are $20 a night.
Boat and dinghy tie-ups at the public landing are free for two hours as available, then $5 an hour. The Landings Marina charges from $6 to $17.50 an hour for temporary dockage, depending upon boat length; dinghy tie-up is $5 a day.
Anchoring is permitted in the three designated anchorages. The northern one, just inside the breakwater, is the most protected. Beggar’s Wharf and Two Toots run harbor launches. Knight’s Marine, Rockland Harbor Boatyard and Ocean Pursuits Boatyard — (207) 596-7357 — offer full repairs.
Rockland has divers, mechanics, sailmakers, boatyard marine stores and well-stocked chandleries, including Hamilton Marine. Rockland Marine and Prock Marine are full-service yards for commercial vessels; North End Shipyard handles the windjammer fleet. Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, Shaw’s Supermarket and other chains are three miles north on U.S. Route 1.
Crew changes are convenient, since Rockland is on Route 1, has a range of lodgings — from motels to elaborate bed-and-breakfast inns — and is served by Greyhound bus and regional airlines at nearby KnoxCountyAirport. Rental bicycles and cars, taxis and airport shuttles are available.
NOAA chart 13305 (PenobscotBay, CarversHarbor and Approaches) covers the approach to Rockland. Chart 13307 (Camden, Rockport and RocklandHarbors) gives more detail. Chart 13302 (PenobscotBay and Approaches) might be helpful.
Where to stay
South of the Coast Guard station:
• Rockland Public Landing — (207) 594-0312— has dockage for boats to 165 feet in depths to 12 feet at mean low water for $2 a foot per night, plus water and electricity. Internet access, $2 showers, laundromat and ice are on site. Free pumpouts are offered.
• The Landings Marina — (207) 596-6573 — accommodates boats to 150 feet in 12-foot depths at mean low water, with cable TV and phone, plus water and electricity. Rates vary: $1.65 a foot per night for boats from 20 to 45 feet, $2.25 for boats from 46 to 75 feet, and $2.85 for boats 76 feet and larger. Pumpout, fuel, showers, laundromat, ice, marine supplies and restaurant are on site.
North of the Coast Guard station:
• Journey’s End Marina — (207) 594-4444, VHF channel 18, www.journeysendmarina.com — has slips for boats to 225 feet in 12-foot depths at mean low water. Rates vary: $1.60 a foot per night for boats to 45 feet, $2.25 for boats from 46 to 75 feet, and $2.75 a foot for boats larger than 75 feet, including power and water. Pumpout is $5. The marina offers fuel, showers, ice, Internet access, marine supplies and full repairs.
• Knight Marine Service — (207) 594-4068, www.midcoast.com/~knightma — has slips for boats to 82 feet in 12-foot depths at $2 a foot per night plus power. The marina offers fuel, $2 showers, laundromat, ice, Internet access, marine supplies and full repairs.
• The City of Rockland, (207) 594-8431, www.ci.rockland.me.us .
• Rockland-Thomaston Chamber of Commerce, (207) 596-0376, www.therealmaine.com .
• Maine Resource Guide, www.maineguide.com/rockland .
• State of Maine, www.maine.gov .
• Thursdays from May to September: Farmer’s Market, BuoyPark, (207) 596-0376.
• July 15-16: North Atlantic Blues Festival, with concerts, jam sessions and workshops in various venues around town, including a “Blues Club Crawl” to 15-plus clubs, (207) 593-1189, www.northatlanticbluesfestival.com .
• July 20-22: Friendship Sloop Days, annual regatta with races, demonstrations and visits aboard vessels, www.fss.org .
• Aug. 2-6: Maine Lobster Festival, with exhibits, lobster dinners and other food, craft vendors, music, crowning of the Sea Goddess, street parade, harbor cruises, visits to Navy and Coast Guard ships, (207) 596-0376, www.mainelobsterfestival.com .
• Aug. 11-13: Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show, with more than 100 boats, food, music, architecture, arts, crafts, fine furniture, maritime demonstrations, windjammer parade, marine gear, Boatyard Dog Trials and more, Rockland Town Landing and Harbor Park, (800) 565-4951, www.maineboats.com .
• Sept. 16-17: Rockland Harborfest, with music, entertainment, food vendors, arts and crafts, windjammer tours, day cruises, (800) 562-2529,www.therealmaine.com