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On the North Shore, summer means boating, and whether you’re cruising out to Crane Beach, sailing down the Merrimack through Newburyport, or fishing in Gloucester Harbor, there are plenty of marinas with offerings and amenities for every type of mariner. Here’s our down-the-coast list of some of what the Northshore has to offer.

North Shore Marinas

Newburyport Marinas, Newburyport

42.8120° N, 70.8660° W

Marinas along the Merrimack River. Photograph by Denis Tangney Jr./shutterstock, 

Newburyport Marinas operates four full-service marinas along the Merrimack River—Newburyport Harbor Marina, Hilton’s Marina, Windward Yacht Club, and Newburyport Boat Basin—with just under 500 slips. It also hosts another 100 or so guests at its Summer Club program at Newburyport Boat Basin, which provides an affordable alternative to dockage, allowing boaters to keep their boat on land and use the boat ramp to launch anytime. Marine services include free Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers, repairs and haul-outs, electricity, and winter storage, among many other amenities. A public fuel dock at the Newburyport Harbor Marina is especially useful, too, and marina guests get fuel at a discount. “We are the first fuel dock when you come into the harbor, and we’re the last fuel dock exiting the harbor, so it’s a very convenient location,” says marinas office manager Amanda Holcroft. They also offer ice and bait right on the fuel dock as well. Plus, guests get perks in Newburyport itself. “All of our guests receive a preferred guest card, which gives them various discounts at restaurants and shops in town,” Holcroft says.

Bridge Marina, Salisbury

42.8168° N, 70.8708° W

Overlooking downtown Newburyport from across the river in Salisbury, Bridge Marina is the oldest maritime facility on the Merrimack River and offers a wide range of services for recreational boaters as well as affordable dockage for commercial fishermen, says general manager Kristen Corbin Santiago. Boaters can find gas and diesel fuel for the public (offered at a discount for Boat Owners Association of the United States members), showers, repair and other marina services, and winter boat storage, as well as an onsite store stocked with everything from paint, rope, and fiberglass mesh to bait, tackle, gear, and ice. In addition, the marina’s restaurant, The Deck, is popular not only with boaters but the public, too, thanks to its specialty cocktails, fresh seafood and other dishes, and live music. “It’s pretty fantastic,” Corbin Santiago says. “And the views don’t get better.”

The Essex River is the backdrop for Essex Marina. Photograph by Pete Tschudy

Essex Marina, Essex

42.6328° N, 70.7762° W

The gently flowing Essex River and the surrounding area make the prettiest backdrop for Essex Marina and its family-oriented services and atmosphere for recreational boaters. “I serve a lot of local families, which is what’s great about our marina,” says Curt Bergeron, owner of Essex Marina and the Riversbend Restaurant. “Not just from Essex but also surrounding towns, such as Ipswich, Gloucester, Hamilton, Wenham, Topsfield, you name it, in the local area.” With about 140 customers on the property, the Essex Marina offers slips, mechanical repairs, winterization shrink wrap, storage, and even a valet service that will launch customers’ boats for them. “It takes the anxiety out of backing a boat up into the water,” Bergeron says. The marina’s onsite Riversbend Restaurant is also a hit with families, whether they’ve spent the day on the boat or not, serving what Bergeron calls “the best pizza on the North Shore” along with burgers, sandwiches, and specialty cocktails.

Photograph by Lauren Poussard

Cape Ann’s Marina Resort, Gloucester

42.6127° N, 70.6799° W

A perennial BONS winner, Cape Ann’s Marina Resort in Gloucester offers marina services and then some, according to managing partner Tobin Dominick. “Anything boat-related, we sell it, and we service it,” she says, from boats and engines to trailers, electronics, accessories, and life jackets. The marina also offers a fuel dock, pump-out services, bathrooms and showers, a locker room, and an indoor pool and spa for both its seasonal customers and visiting boaters passing through Gloucester, to or from places like Boston, Maine, Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard. People looking to stay longer or experience more of Gloucester can do so at Cape Ann’s Marina Resort’s onsite hotel and its restaurant, Mile Marker One, which offers not only indoor and outdoor dining (its colorful igloo dining has been especially popular during the pandemic), but also “dock and dine” services, where boaters can order ahead via their radios. In addition to the Annisquam River views and great food and drinks, diners also enjoy watching the crew from the TV show “Wicked Tuna”—Cape Ann’s Marina Resort is the home port to some of its boats, captains, and crews.

Tuck Point Marina, Beverly

42.5408° N, 70.8814° W 

Located at the mouth of Beverly Harbor, Tuck Point Marina is the last marina before the no-wake zone, says marina manager Paul D. Richardson. “A lot of people like our marina because we are so close to the open harbor,” he says. And unlike other marinas that might be farther upriver, there are no “bridges to deal with,” he adds. In addition, it’s a deep-water marina—there’s 23 feet of water at low tide—“so people don’t have to worry about mud flaps,” Richardson says. Its slips, bathroom facilities with showers, water and electric hookups on all the slips, ice, and easy access to neighboring fuel docks make it popular with boaters traveling up and down the coast. Plus, it’s close to downtown Beverly, making it easy for boaters to access the city’s great restaurants.

What is your favorite North Shore marina? Let us know with a comment below!