Visit Islands, take advantage of public moorings and anchorage sites, or simply enjoy views of the Islands as you cruise through the harbor.
The Boston Harbor Islands offer a wealth of opportunities for boaters to enjoy the harbor using their own vessels. Launch from downtown Boston, or one of several public boat ramps throughout the harbor, cruise among diverse Islands and peninsulas, or take advantage of public mooring sites within the park.
Visit our FAQ’s below for details on park moorings, launch sites, and important policies to be aware of before you travel to the park.
Be aware that Boston Harbor is home to many active shipping channels. Boaters and paddlers should use extreme caution when traveling in or near major shipping routes. Sea and weather conditions can change quickly and can vary greatly between islands that are closer to shore and the outer islands. Check the marine forecast before you depart to ensure a safe and successful trip.
Public moorings are available on Spectacle, Peddocks, Georges, and Gallops Islands (with no Island access at Gallops), and there is a marina on Spectacle Island. Moorings and slips are available for reservation on the DOCKWA Marine Reservation System. DOCKWA is a simple app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone or accessed online.
The Hingham Harbormaster manages four moorings located on the east side of Worlds End, and two moorings at Langlee Island in Hingham Harbor. Click here for reservations.
Three moorings are located off of Thompson Island and are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Note that there is no public access to Thompson Island from these moorings.
Visitors may also anchor off of Park Islands for free and at their own risk.
Most piers (including those at Spectacle and Georges Islands) allow passenger pick-up and drop-off, and may have a dinghy available for public use. Boaters are permitted to bring their own dinghies or inflatables to shore to be stored in a designated area after mooring or anchoring.
Always yield to public ferries, state and emergency vessels.
Private boaters may not land on Thompson, Moon, Long, or Gallops Islands.
The Boston Harbor Islands are a carry-in, carry-out park. There are no trash cans. You must bring all your trash out of the park when you leave.
Boston Harbor is designated a No Discharge Zone, and all treated and untreated boat sewage must be pumped from boaters’ sewage holding tanks into either a pump-out facility or pump-out boat. There are a total of 35 pump out facilities in Boston Harbor.
Communities around Massachusetts have free public boat ramps with parking areas. Parking areas may carry a small daily fee.
The following are the closest local boat ramps to the islands:
· Winthrop: 649 Shirley Street
· Boston: 600 Morrissey Boulevard (gravel ramp)
· Quincy: 137 Bayview Avenue
· Hingham: 5 Otis Street
· Weymouth: 92 Beach Road
· Hull: 180 Main Street (gravel ramp)
Gravel ramps are not recommended for all vehicles at low tide.
Visit the Massachusetts Office of Fishing and Boating Access for detailed information on public boat launch sites throughout the state.