MauiPunter

Sailing to Kennebunkport, Maine

Recommended Posts

Has anyone here visited Kennebunkport by sailboat?  I am thinking to stay at DiMillo's, which seems like a good local near the center of town.   Is that a good location?  How is the current up in that area?  Anything to be concerned about getting up there?  Any recommendations are appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, MauiPunter said:

Has anyone here visited Kennebunkport by sailboat?  I am thinking to stay at DiMillo's, which seems like a good local near the center of town.   Is that a good location?  How is the current up in that area?  Anything to be concerned about getting up there?  Any recommendations are appreciated.

 

Keep a good lookout for lobster pots, they will be freaking everywhere!!  Some places a seagull can practically hop from one to another they are so close.  In 2011, I did a bunch of deliveries on a Tripp 50, Katrinka, that was competing in the Paneara (sp?) Series.  Probably crossed the gulf 4 or 5 times, since Home Port was Brooklin Boatyard, and we saw a shed load of whales.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know what the current is like up there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's some current on a falling tide, but it's manageable; the river isn't that big. Most of the shops & restaurants etc. are on the other side of the river from Dimillo's; not far to walk. Driving and parking are nightmares.  Be sure to check out Allisson's Restaurant.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/23/2019 at 10:16 AM, MauiPunter said:

Has anyone here visited Kennebunkport by sailboat?  I am thinking to stay at DiMillo's, which seems like a good local near the center of town.   Is that a good location?  How is the current up in that area?  Anything to be concerned about getting up there?  Any recommendations are appreciated.

Lioness was based out of Portsmouth, NH 2000-2006, and we sailed Casco and Penobscot Bays. 

Never bothered to go into Kenebunkport; tides are here, the Piscataqua River  in Portsmouth currents could be sporty on an Ebb with the Great Bay behind it, looks like you would have less of that in Kennebunkport.

You generally didn't need a depthsounder if you keep at least one lobster pot between you and the shoreline. 

 

image.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep a bit of current during tides... Plan for it.  I crewed for Schooner  Elenor and the trips were planned with the tide.

Federal Jacks is good,   Allison's as previously mentioned is very good (spent some time there.)   Arundel Wharf with the outside deck is great for an afternoon.

Its a nice pace, I spent 4 summers there on Detail with Bush 41... 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Decent tide there for sure.  As lioness said though, nothing like the mighty Piscataqua.    

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Kennebunk river is pretty tiny. The tidal section ends right about at route 1. If you have a canoe or a pulling boat you can go all the way up there. Its fun or used to be. But it doesn't have much volume or any of that large river extreme amplification like the Delaware or etc.

But my perspective on the parking and docking is 30+ years old and mostly winter. I think I have a distorted sense of the business.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, eliboat said:

Decent tide there for sure.  As lioness said though, nothing like the mighty Piscataqua.    

 

I don't remember what river it was, but the last time we were up there, I spotted a reverse waterfall of the incoming tide entering a smallish river, pretty cool!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, PaulK said:

Also worth checking out is The Landing School : https://www.landingschool.edu  Always something interesting getting built there.

 

Brooklin Boatyard always has some awesome boat porn lying about!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, billy backstay said:

 

I don't remember what river it was, but the last time we were up there, I spotted a reverse waterfall of the incoming tide entering a smallish river, pretty cool!

There are a few.  Horseshoe cove at the top of Penobscot Bay, right before the Eggemoggin reach has an awesome reversing fall that you can ride with your dinghy.  Also in Blue Hill there is another one between Brooklin and Blue Hill 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PaulK said:

Also worth checking out is The Landing School : https://www.landingschool.edu  Always something interesting getting built there.

 

If you row up the Kennebunk river, when you get to a bridge, pull your boat up in the weeds, and walk north 1/8 mile on that road. Voila--The Landing School. (That's why it is named that).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, eliboat said:

There are a few.  Horseshoe cove at the top of Penobscot Bay, right before the Eggemoggin reach has an awesome reversing fall that you can ride with your dinghy.  Also in Blue Hill there is another one between Brooklin and Blue Hill 

 

IIRC, the one I saw was just north of Brooklin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

Brooklin Boatyard always has some awesome boat porn lying about!

If you're headed that far up...  WoodenBoat 

https://www.thewoodenboatschool.com   On the way up there is also the Lyman-Morse in Tennant's Harbor, the Apprenticeshop in Rockalnd, Rockport Marine, and French & Webb in Belfast.

but they're certainly a ways from Kennebunkport.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that one is easy to spot on the road to Brooklin right as you go over a little bridge with Blue hill bay on one side and a large salt pond on the other. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, PaulK said:

If you're headed that far up...  WoodenBoat 

https://www.thewoodenboatschool.com   On the way up there is also the Lyman-Morse in Tennant's Harbor, the Apprenticeshop in Rockalnd, Rockport Marine, and French & Webb in Belfast.

but they're certainly a ways from Kennebunkport.

 

LM is no longer at Tenants for several years now - but...the St George river is a narrow, but wonderful and unspoiled river.

My favorite river name in Maine is the Bagaduce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PaulK said:

If you're headed that far up...  WoodenBoat 

https://www.thewoodenboatschool.com   On the way up there is also the Lyman-Morse in Tennant's Harbor, the Apprenticeshop in Rockalnd, Rockport Marine, and French & Webb in Belfast.

but they're certainly a ways from Kennebunkport.

 

Fun Fact: F & W both taught at the LS long ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

I don't remember what river it was, but the last time we were up there, I spotted a reverse waterfall of the incoming tide entering a smallish river, pretty cool!

Seen that on the Benjamin river in Sedgwick. Being from the lakes i was shocked at the amount of tide.   Neat place to sail, the Lobster pots were a pain. It was like a mine field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I chatted with the marina people at DiMillos and they said the peak current at mid tide is 6kts.   My boat motors at around 6kts comfortably.  lol.  I guess I will avoid mid tide for sure  shoot for high slack tide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

I chatted with the marina people at DiMillos and they said the peak current at mid tide is 6kts.   My boat motors at around 6kts comfortably.  lol.  I guess I will avoid mid tide for sure  shoot for high slack tide.

I doubt this is actually the case.  The Piscataqua river is 4-4.5 kts sometimes a bit stronger at the end of a falling tide.  The river in Kennebunkport is nothing compared to the Piscataqua, in which I regularly motor against the tide.  My engine is underpowered and I’m lucky to get 6 kts through the water.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you park yourself right at the little bridge that you cannot navigate, the current will probably be 6 knots. In the main stream where the tennis courts are, no, I don't remember 6 knots there. Then again Global Warming. It's been 35 years since I watched that river ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, eliboat said:

I doubt this is actually the case.  The Piscataqua river is 4-4.5 kts sometimes a bit stronger at the end of a falling tide.  The river in Kennebunkport is nothing compared to the Piscataqua, in which I regularly motor against the tide.  My engine is underpowered and I’m lucky to get 6 kts through the water.  

I'm in the same boat.  My boat was for racing when it was built and they put a smaller engine in to save weight.  Can't get to hull speed (8kts).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used to have a mooring at Kittery Point Yacht Club: about where the 59 foot sounding near "Goat I" label is. Note the pinch point just to the East at the #9 buoy (Seavey Island is the Naval Shipyard, Square tower is the naval prison, "Alcatraz of the East" Pier no etc are the Attack Submarine repair stations) image.thumb.png.d12e315ff6260254759c5d223854bc13.png

 

image.thumb.png.fefc9da323906508eb2183e5a541d3c8.png

Joys of the lower Piscataqua: 

  • The starboard side of the bottom was ablated about 2x the port due to the speed of the ebb. Kind of funny to have a boat that was red on one side and green (marker layer) on the other.
  • On a spring Ebb, the mooring ball would occasionally submerge, I think we had a 10,000 lb block of granite in about 50 feet and they replaced the chain every few years due to elongation from corrosion 
  • If you went on multi-day cruise, you could guarantee the painter would be wrapped in a ball around the chain, the swivel was too stiff to pivot without a signficant load  
  • We a 15 hp for the RIB with a console as you sure were not going to row against that, and coming alongside at that current speed made it an adventure every boarding if you were steering with the tiller 
  • There was a nice standing wave a few feet off the stern that was on a direct line to the dinghy dock, always a nice splash to be had
  • Didn't need a diver there, so some compensation  for carrying 400' of anchor line and  40' of chain in case we ever had to anchor in that mess, between the two upstream bridges (one in image)  that open at 15 min intervals with an overheating engine.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too much fun for my liking.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

Too much fun for my liking.  :)

Portsmouth/New Castle & Kittery are lovely place to visit (best by car) and up river there are several good boat yards should you need a services or a haul. 

the Upper river  was even more fun: 

Our first mooring was about 5 miles up river, by Dover Point (top left corner), we had a 50 clearance bridge (Rt 4) with a 51' VHF between it and the boat yard/fuel & dinghy dock.

Then you go down the chute accelerating as it narrows with a SOG on an ebb towards the Rt 1 Bypass  "Sarah Mildred Long" bridge > 10 kts, trying to time the opening ( It opened on either the 30's or the quarter hours, )then there's a 0.5 mile sightline to the bridge.and they would not start to open for recreational until they saw you, then the next bridge Rt 1 "Memorial Bridge" to Badger's Island was staggered by 15 mins. Leading to you steaming into the current and sucking into the eddies where you could off the Tugboats on the Portsmouth Waterfront... Going against the tide was brutal, though the side eddies could be a great help. 

 

image.thumb.png.b58797c6c8b1606c2530cb06ed8f14c1.png

image.thumb.png.d568977dce1f220fb02648595c83afe0.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I teach sailing at the arundel yacht club in kennebunkport, there can be some weird rollers at the mouth of the river at the wrong tide. Dimillos is walking distance from all the shops and everything and pretty easy to dock at

There is some real current when the tides moving but not unmanageable.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/24/2019 at 5:11 PM, LionessRacing said:

You generally didn't need a depthsounder if you keep at least one lobster pot between you and the shoreline. 

 

I know this is probably hyperbole but don't take it seriously. Lobster boats draw maybe 2-3' and the fishermen know the shore well enough to get closer than a visitor ever should.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jessus said:

I know this is probably hyperbole but don't take it seriously. Lobster boats draw maybe 2-3' and the fishermen know the shore well enough to get closer than a visitor ever should.

Has nothing to do with Lobster boats,  (though they tend to have large props on straight shafts and deeper draft than that.). it as to do with Lobsters... Traps are generally set in a minimum depth of about 10 feet. as shallower doesn't yield

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now