If you decide to visit Freeport, Maine
If you decide to visit Freeport, Maine
The mouth of the Harraseeket River in upper Casco Bay forms South Freeport’s capacious, well-protected harbor. Harbormaster Jay Pinkham says to follow the well-marked channel through Broad Sound, then pass to port of Pound of Tea Islet. (The owner of the islet likens living there to “living on the I-95 median” because locals often take a shortcut to starboard.)
“Inside Pound of Tea, you have to make a hard right, then head due north into the harbor,” Pinkham says. “Be careful that the strong tidal currents don’t set you on the ledges. Old charts show more channel markers than exist now.” Tidal range is about 9.5 feet.
South Freeport rises on the ridge to the west of the harbor. Entering the harbor, you’ll find the Harraseeket Yacht Club, then Strouts Point Wharf Co., Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Co., the Freeport town dock, and Brewer South Freeport
Marine along the western shore.
Three hundred fifty moorings fill the harbor, leaving no room to anchor. Reservations are strongly recommended. Pinkham suggests that cruisers without reservations first contact the marinas for a berth. As a last resort he may be able to “scare up a privately owned mooring. We try to help visiting boats,” he says.
Moorings are available from Brewer, Strouts Point Wharf, and Ring’s Marine Service, all full-service repair yards that sell marine supplies. Brewer and Strouts also offer dockage, gas, diesel, pumpout, showers, ice and picnic areas. Ring’s, on Smelt Brook Cove south of the yacht club, also rents kayaks and canoes.
Brewer offers launch service to all moorings, though you can dinghy ashore. “I try to accommodate dinghies short-term at the town dock, which is usually packed,” Pinkham says. “However, big-boat tie-up is limited to 30 minutes, and someone must stay on board.” Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster’s docks serve local fishing boats but have no transient space.
A deli is within three blocks, downtown Freeport about three miles. Taxis are available, and marinas will help arrange for transportation. South Freeport is convenient for crew changes, located about three miles from I-295 and about 20 miles north of Portland International Jetport.
NOAA chart 13290, Casco Bay, covers the South Freeport approaches and harbor, while chart 13288, Monhegan Island to Cape Elizabeth, provides a larger view.
Where to stay
• Brewer South Freeport Marine, (207) 865-3181, VHF channel 9, www.byy.com, has moorings for $20 a night including launch service, plus slips for boats to 150 feet at $2 a foot per night for vessels under 50 feet ($2.50 for boats larger than 50 feet) including electricity. The facility also has a laundromat, lounge and Internet access.
• Strouts Point, (207) 865-3899, VHF channels 16 and 9, www.stroutspoint.com, has moorings for $30 a night including dinghy tie-up, plus slips for boats to 100 feet at $1.50 a foot (11 to 22 feet) and $1.75 a foot (longer than 22 feet).
• Ring’s Marine Service, (866) 865-6143, VHF channels 16 and 9, www.ringsmarineservice.com, offers moorings for $20 a night, with dinghy dockage.
• Harraseeket Yacht Club, (207) 865-4949, www.hyc.cc, offers moorings and dinghy dockage for members of reciprocating yacht clubs. Reservations are required.
• Harbormaster Jay Pinkham, (207) 865-4546.
• Maine tourism, www.visitmaine.com.
• Freeport Historical Society, (207) 865-3170, www.freeporthistoricalsociety.org.
• July to early September — L.L. Bean Summer Concert Series, Saturdays 7:30 p.m., L.L. Bean Discovery Park, (800) 559-0747, Ext. 37222.
• July — Fourth of July festivities, blueberry pancake breakfast, parade along Main Street, firemen’s muster, fireworks at dusk, (800) 865-1994.
• September — Labor Day weekend sidewalk sale. Townwide sales, (800) 865-1994.
• Sept. 11 — Sept. 11 tribute, (207) 865-3414.
• Mid-September — Fall in the Village Art Festival, L.L. Bean Discovery Park, (800) 865-1994.
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