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When you live, work, or play (or all of the above) by the ocean, it can almost become commonplace. But as locals well know, even when it’s a daily sight, the deep blue of the sea and the sound of waves lapping against the shore never quite get old. Along the North Shore, the water is an integral part of so much, which is why everyone from residents to day trippers takes full advantage of all it has to offer. From fishing trips to sunset sails to kid-friendly jaunts, it’s all here.

The schooner Lannon was built in 1997. Photograph by Wangkun Jia/shutterstock

If an authentic sailing experience is what you’re after, the schooner Ardelle is a stunning 58-foot, 45-ton, 49 passenger vessel ready for your next voyage. The Ardelle is mainly constructed of timber from local discarded trees and its spars, rigging and systems were appropriated from another schooner. The Ardelle carries out daily public and private sails under the expert tutelage of Captain Burnham and crew.

Also based out of Gloucester, the schooner Lannon is  one of the area’s most beautiful sails, so don’t delay in booking if it’s on your summer to-do list. Captain Heath Ellis, president of the schooner Thomas E. Lannon, and the rest of the team are thrilled to be back out on the water for another beautiful summer at sea. The Lannon is a majestic 65-foot schooner, built in 1997 in Essex and designed by Captain Harold A. Burnham, whose family has been in the boat-building business in Essex since 1650. The schooner is named after Ellis’s grandfather, who fished out of Gloucester from 1901 to 1943. 

Yankee Clipper offers scenic harbor tours from Newburyport. Photograph by SEND IT STUDIOS/KRYIN 78

Interested in chasing that sunset? In Salem, Sunset Sail has everything from day sails, sunset sails, private charters, and more on Salem sound. Sunset Sail’s vessel, the When and If, is well known in the area for its beauty. Built in 1939 it makes you feel as though you are sailing through history. Whether it’s for a private booking, a family reunion, a wedding or something else, you are sure to make special memories to last a lifetime. 

Built in 1939, the When & If sails from Salem.

If you want to get out on the water with little ones but you’re worried it might be an arduous task, you’re right! Booking a whale watch or a shorter boat trip to introduce kids to being on the water can be a great way start. The 7 Seas Whale Watch or the Captain’s Lady fleet in Newburyport are fun places to consider, as are the trips run by Yankee Clipper Harbor Tours.

Go Fish!

Can you really say you’ve experienced a North Shore summer if you haven’t tried your hand at fishing? We say it’s a critical part of the New England experience. 

Manolin is a 24-foot fishing charter. 

Manolin Charters, Salisbury

Captained by Chris Valaskatgis (president of the Northeast Charterboat Captain’s Association) the Manolin is a 24-foot semi-custom boat with an open deck layout. While fishing is no doubt a highlight, a day on the Manolin does not overlook all of the rich local history and scenery, and an enjoyable day on the water is the name of the game. All trips depart from the Bridge Marina in Salisbury.

Two Captains offers deep-sea fishing charters. 

Two Captains Charters, Newburyport

Two Captains Charters offers deep sea fishing in addition to inshore fishing, tuna fishing, and day cruises. The boat is run by Ed and Jeff Fontes, both USCG-licensed Captains who belong to the Northeast Charterboat Captains Association. The Reel Easy is a custom, 35-foot Eastern Down East boat with a large fishing platform as well as ample cabin and deck space. Two Captains Fishing is booking charters for the 2022 summer season by phone only. Contact information is available on the website. 

Get Set to Sail

Sailing is a lifelong sport, and one that you can learn as a child or as an adult. All it takes is one trip out on the water and we promise you’ll be hooked.

Manchester Sailing Association, Manchester by the Sea 

All aboard! The MSA is committed to growing lifelong sailors and striking the right balance between having fun, learning to sail, and excelling at racing. With classes for children and adults, the MSA wants to help turn even the most complete novice into a competent sailor. With new racing and sailing boats in the lineup this year, it’s a great time to check them out. This is MSA’s 51st year of sailing and the association gets more than 200 sailors out on the water each summer.

American Yacht Club, Newburyport

The American Yacht Club sailing school holds classes for both adults and children, ages 9 to 17. The club currently sails Hunter 140s on Joppa Flats, and the instructors are encouraging and welcoming to new and experienced sailors alike! Classes are held at the American Yacht Club, the oldest continuously running private yacht club in the United States, and all instructors are certified by US Sailing.