You’ll probably spend a lot of time on the water after buying real estate on Cape Cod, so it’s a good idea to learn about the various places to store your boat. The good news is that there are marinas everywhere, both on the ocean and rivers, providing you with plenty of choices depending on where you live and which body of water you wish to frequent.
Weigh your options carefully because each area on the Cape has its advantages. For example, many marinas on the Upper Cape have access to Buzzards Bay, which leads north to the Cape Cod Canal or south toward Martha's Vineyard. From the canal, you can head into Cape Cod Bay, so effectively, marinas in this area provide access to both sides of the Cape. Likewise, you can head right into the deep Atlantic Ocean from some marinas on the Outer Cape.
In the end, the choice is dependent on the type of boat you have and which activities you see yourself doing on a regular basis. Here are some of the largest marinas on Cape Cod and what they have to offer residents.
Kingman Yacht Center
Sitting in Cataumet Village, which is part of Bourne, and right on Buzzards Bay, is Kingman Yacht Center. This center is the largest full-service marina on Cape Cod and offers a variety of seasonal and year-round services. There is an on-site yacht club at the marina, which might be advantageous to join if you plan on using these services frequently.
Services available at the center include laundry facilities, free parking, high-speed internet, showers, and boat repairs. There is also a restaurant, in addition to a store selling marine equipment. Seasonal mooring is available, and you can also use the marina's winter storage if you don't want to transport your vessel after the summer. The center’s proximity to the Cape Cod Canal makes it possible to explore either side of the Cape from this marina.
Falmouth Inner Harbor
Falmouth's Inner Harbor has numerous marinas on both sides, all of which open up onto Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound. There are also two ferry terminals running boats to Martha's Vineyard, along with a yacht club.
First, there is Falmouth Marine, a full-service marina offering moorings, slips, storage, hauling, launching, and winterizing. They also do plumbing and electrical work in addition to detailing and painting of your boat. Falmouth Marine is a small marina with limited dock space, although its winter storage area provides more availability for boat owners.
Across the harbor from Falmouth Marine is MacDougalls’ Cape Cod Marine Service, which is far more extensive and has extra services available, including transient slips, showers, Wi-Fi, and a fish cleaning area. There is also a marine store with dockside fueling, which you don't have to be a member to use. This facility has winter storage and a variety of painting and repair services, making it a full-service marina.
North of MacDougalls’ sits East Marine, which dates back to 1952 and is one of the largest marine fuel providers on the Cape. The fuel dock is open every day from morning until night, and the marina also offers dockage for vessels up to 50 feet in length. Both indoor and outdoor winter storage is available at East Marine, and they provide mechanical and cleaning services, as well.
Back on the west side of Falmouth Harbor is Pier 37, which offers services like repairs, maintenance, and parts for your boat. The marina also extends winter storage and provides an out-of-water valet rack service. Since there is limited dock space at the marina, they will store your boat on a rack, rather than in the water, and because this is a valet service, they’ll launch the vessel for you. There is also an on-site restaurant at the marina called The Boathouse that is a popular nightspot thanks to its live music and DJs.
On Provincetown Harbor, on the northern tip of Cape Cod, is Provincetown Marina. The marina is extensive, with 100 slips and 85 moorings, serving both transient and seasonal boaters, and it can accommodate vessels that are up to 300 feet long. If you own a super-yacht, this is the place for you. Much of the dock at Provincetown Marina is new, having been renovated and expanded in 2017.
Amenities at Provincetown Marina include a lounge, free Wi-Fi, on-site parking, showers, laundry, and a fuel dock. The marina is in the heart of downtown Provincetown and provides easy access to Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, making it very appealing for residents.
Hyannis Inner Harbor is home to boat tour companies, a ferry terminal, numerous restaurants, a scenic lighthouse, and, of course, Hyannis Marina. With over 180 slips that can accommodate boats up to 200 feet in length while providing both seasonal and transient dockage, this is an unquestionably massive marina. Since the marina is right on the harbor, you can quickly get out into Nantucket Sound and some of the Cape’s best fishing.
Hyannis Marina is a full-service venue featuring a swimming pool, two restaurants, a marine store, and a gift shop. Marine services like repairs, maintenance, hauling, launching, and both indoor and outdoor winter storage are available at Hyannis Marina, as well, so you can be confident that every aspect of boat ownership is taken care of here.
Bass River Marina
One of the most popular summer destinations on Cape Cod is Bass River, which provides access to both Nantucket Sound and Follins Pond. Bass River Marina is comprehensive, with more than 4,000 feet of docks and 160 seasonal wet slips available. There are another 120 dry slips for rent, both inside and outside the facility, and hauling, launching, and winter storage are also available. In addition, the marina provides award-winning repair and maintenance services.
Once at the marina, you'll find plenty of free parking, showers, a store, a large showroom with boat sales, and a marine fuel dock. There is an on-site bar and restaurant called the Summer Shanty that is well worth checking out after a day on the water.
Oyster River Boatyard
Once a summer sailing camp, Oyster River Boatyard became its current embodiment in 1967. Today, the boatyard can accommodate vessels up to 34 feet in length, while providing both slips and moorings to customers. There is also an on-site fueling dock, docking assistance, and a launch service both to and from your vessel. Transient and seasonal rentals are available and mooring rentals at Stage Harbor Marine, which is nearby, can be arranged.
The boatyard’s location is convenient because you can enter the Atlantic or Nantucket Sound after exiting Stage Harbor. On-site features at Oyster River Boatyard include parking, restrooms, valet options, and a picnic area. Other available services include hauling, repairs, winterization, storage, and parts sales.
Coming full circle, we'll return to the Cape Cod Canal area and Sandwich Marina. The Town of Sandwich operates this venue, which has 140 seasonal slips, 24 transient slips, and 42 commercial slips available, in addition to a boat launch. Yearly passes for the boat launch ramp are available. There is also a fueling dock and showers at the marina and a few unaffiliated restaurants in the surrounding area.
Since this marina is on the Cape Cod Canal, you can head into Cape Cod Bay or Buzzards Bay from this location. The marina’s location also makes it very popular, so they highly recommend that you contact them to make reservations before your arrival.
Finding Your Cape Cod Marina
As you can see, there is no shortage of dock and mooring space on Cape Cod, and this list highlights only a few of the marinas in the area. Other well-known venues include Northside Marina on Sesuit Harbor in East Dennis, Nauset Marine near Pleasant Bay in Orleans, and Millway Marina by the Great Marshes in Barnstable.
Once you buy property on Cape Cod, find a marina that is close to your house that has the amenities you’re looking for to ensure that you’re happy with your decision.
There is nothing better than being able to drive down to a local marina and have your boat waiting for you in the water, as it allows you to spend more time exploring the sights, fishing, or participating in other activities on the water, and less time transporting your boat and getting it in the water.