Charter Destinations: Cape Cod and the Islands

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
Cape Cod & Islands

You’ll most likely start and end your charter in Newport

There’s a reason New England sailors are so dedicated; New England is simply one of the world’s best cruising grounds. The southern side of Cape Cod and its off-lying islands—Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, the Elizabeth Islands and Block Island—are a cruiser’s dream. The weather is usually benign, there is almost always a sailing breeze, there are plenty of anchorages and, in a cruising area encompassing Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay and Mystic in Connecticut, there is plenty to do ashore.

September is a great time to explore by charter boat

September is a great time to explore by charter boat

Leaving Newport early one sunny June morning, we sailed close-hauled past the shoreside mansions and then eased sheets as we passed the Benton Reef buoy. Reaping the blessings of a good breeze and a fair current, we were relaxing on a mooring in Cuttyhunk by early afternoon—and lunching on oysters and clams, thanks to the Raw Bar boat that you can hail on the VHF.

Another beautiful day of sailing, averaging 6 knots in a mild southwesterly, saw us anchored in Vineyard Haven the following evening and dining ashore. Next day we rented bikes and spent a happy few hours pedaling around the island. That night we discussed the possibilities for the remaining four days of our charter and, with northeasterlies in the forecast, the vote was unanimous—we would depart at dawn and take advantage of fair current and a following breeze to head for Block Island, 45 miles away.

Block Island’s Great Salt Pond is well sheltered and through the boat shied to the gusts next night like a skittish horse, she was snug on her mooring. After that, with the week was nearly over, we elected to spend the next two nights in Narragansett Bay, one in Wickford and one in Newport, before reluctantly handing the boat back.

I’ve sailed this area many times since, but the memories from that first experience are still vivid and help to pull me back there at least once every summer.

AT A GLANCE

Getting there: With T.F. Green airport close by in Providence, RI and Logan Airport not much farther away in Boston, the area is extremely easy to get to.

When to go: The season starts in mid-May, though New Englanders count themselves lucky if their boats are in the water by Memorial Day. September is my favorite month for New England sailing; the crowds are gone, and the weather is still good.

Where to go: Cuttyhunk, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, Newport.

Charter options

Bareboat Sailing Charters bareboatsailing.com

Bluenose Yachts bluenoseyachts.com

Swift Yachts swiftyachts.com

March 2017

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The double range  Every skipper knows about ranging two objects in line to keep the boat on track in a cross-current. What’s less obvious is monitoring both sides of a gap such as a harbor entrance. ...read more

FamilyCruise

Bareboating on Puget Sound

Depending on where you are, Puget Sound can look no bigger than a mountainous version of the Intracoastal Waterway. That’s what I thought when I first laid eyes on it from the lighthouse at Mukilteo Park on a sunny day last July. Then I went to the top of the iconic Space Needle ...read more

Bali4point1

Boat Review: Bali 4.1

Coming fast on the heels of its predecessor, the Bali 4.0, the Bali 4.1 adds a number of improvements, many of them inspired by feedback from owners and charterers. She’s an evolution of a concept that has already proven popular and very many benefits from its builder’s ...read more

Headsail

Ask Sail: Silencing A Rattling Headsail

Q: Our Pearson 26 has a 110-percent jib that tends to rattle very noisily at the top hank. We only bought the old boat recently, but it must have been happening for a long time, since there’s a deep groove worn inside that bronze hank. The jib has an unusually large and wide ...read more

Alerion2048x

Alerion Yachts 33, the 90 Minute Get Away

Easy to sail, luxurious, and swift; the Alerion 33 is the solution to your busy life. The intuitive, simple rig design, easy set-up, and put-away mean there’s no need to wait for crew to enjoy a weekend, a day, or an hour out sailing. Her beauty and comfort are evident in the ...read more

anchor

Know how: Ground Tackle

Your ground tackle is like a relationship—the more you care for it, the longer it will last. So, how do you enhance the relationship? First up, think of the accommodations—a damp, salt-rich, often warm environment, just the kind of thing to encourage corrosion. What can be done? ...read more

DSC_7522

Boat Review: Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

The Beneteau sailboat line has long represented a kind of continuum, both in terms of the many models the company is offering at any given moment and over time. This does not, however, in any way diminish the quality of its individual boats. Just the opposite. Case in point: the ...read more