Cruising to Martha's Vineyard- Specifics

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,811
3,084
Edgewater, MD
I searched for this and found many threads saying "go to Martha's Vineyard" or "I've been to Martha's Vineyard" but nothing specific on the best place to dock/anchor/moor a cruising sailboat or the approaches and hazards.

I'm guessing Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven? Which is preferable?
When are less crowded times of year to visit? (Not totally offseason but not peak season)
What methods are available for getting around on the island for tourists with no vehicle?

I understand that MV is touristy and expensive. I'm only looking to spend a day or two. I'll make a confession... I'm a "Jaws" junkie and I'd like to visit the island and some of the key locations and buildings from the movie. I thought it would be really cool to do it by sailing there.
 

LionessRacing

Super Anarchist
4,351
592
Myrtle Beach,
Vineyard Haven is a lovely place. Last visited back in '04 or so, but doubt it changed much. Check with harbormaster regarding moorings, and what channel to call when you get there and if there's launch service (after labor day). If you can swing it, take bikes, or rent them to explore island. Currents in the sound can be strong and there are some significant shoals down then middle, so depending on where you come from you will need to be alert.

If you can arrange it, transit Woods Hole in the Fog on a mid tide for a religious experience. Familiarize yourself with the buoys, the do come up fast, and there's a few turns you will need to make,.
 

sailforbeer

Member
215
28
Here
snip ... "Jaws" junkie and I'd like to visit the island and some of the key locations and buildings from the movie. I thought it would be really cool to do it by sailing there.
You might consider Edgartown which was the stand in for the town of Amity. It's gentrified but parts of it are recognizable from the film, especially the Chappy ferry -- which in the movie does a u-turn during the scene shot on the ferry. Once you understand just how short the ferry ride really is, that scene is actually pretty funny, since they start and end at the same dock. Sort of not the point of a ferry... but it works for the movie and if you are paying attention to the background of the scene, you can make out the u-turn.

You could rent bikes in Edgartown and ride to the bridge to Oak Bluffs where the scenes were shot when the kids are playing and Bruce swims into the pond.

Most of the Quint scenes were filmed in Menemsha, I think, which would be a really long bike ride, but you could do a night in Menemsha, then sail around the north side of the island, past Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs, to Edgartown, in a day. Don't transit the south side of the island; shoaling and actually pretty boring sailing, and it's not much shorter.

In season, Edgartown is a touristy mess but in the shoulder seasons, it is much quieter and there will be moorings available in the inner harbor. You can dinghy to shore and the dinghy dock won't be too packed. It's a pretty harbor. Menemsha is more of a working fishing harbor and mooring/docking locations are limited but doable especially after the high season.
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
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3,084
Edgewater, MD
@sailforbeer Is there any sort of taxi or Uber that would drive us to Menemsha from Edgartown?
Block Island has no Uber but they do have taxis that were very reasonable.
 

sailforbeer

Member
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Here
@sailforbeer Is there any sort of taxi or Uber that would drive us to Menemsha from Edgartown?
Block Island has no Uber but they do have taxis that were very reasonable.
oh for sure, taxi or uber is possible. not sure on the fares. Also the Vineyard bus service is good and as I recall, it's been a while, but you can get a one day pass for the bus. Definitely some inland transport options to get around the island.
 

Kris Cringle

Super Anarchist
3,090
2,642
We've had several good nights anchored in Edgartown outer harbor, just off the inlet. Right weather, it's calm, good beaches, dinghy access to shore, etc. We've always enjoyed the privacy of your own boat at anchor, knowing you're on one of NE's most popular islands.

Vineyard Haven is more down to earth, very busy, fun also. We've usually picked up a mooring there.

Lake Tashmoo is a favorite to spend a couple days. Feels remote, and it is from provisioning or other boat needs.

Menemsha is a favorite too. We spent a couple nights on one of the inner moorings. It was great! You may have to raft up but that's worth it. Great fish/clam shacks around the harbor. And I think a Jaws scene or two might have been shot there.

You're right in the middle of it as you see by our boat here in 2011

Menemsha Christmas moored.jpg


It has a nice fishing vibe ala Jaws.

Menemsha MA sunset.jpg
 

DrewR

Utility Infielder
1,216
47
Buzzards Bay, MA
Vineyard Have is my preferred anchorage on MV, I go there often. There is still plenty of places to anchor that haven't been turned into a mooring field. There are rental mooring available and last weekend there were plenty available on both Fri and Sat nights. Take a walk thru Gannon and Benjamin boatyard, its worth it.

MV bus service is great and still relatively cheap. You can get almost anywhere on the island.

Menemsha is also good but the anchorage is a little bit more exposed especially with any northerly wind.

Edgartown is full of rental moorings but the anchorage is outside the harbor.

Oak Bluffs is a hot mess in the summer. Multi boat raft ups with strangers boats is the rule and no anchorage. But it is the place to go by bus for nightlife.

Tashmoo entrance is shallow and I can no longer get in there. My fiends go all the time, they've recently (in the past few years) designated more of the anchorage as protected eel grass (I think its eel grass) and reduced the anchorage size considerably. I don't think there are any rental moorings. Rumor has it that the wealthy Tashmoo residents have been pushing to exclude anchoring and the reduction in the mooring field and the more frequent harbormaster patrols are aimed at accomplishing this.

It's still a great destination...
 

DarthSailor

Super Anarchist
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346
Skip all that and go to cuttyhunk if your draft allows. nice and quiet but if the phonebooth is still there do not move the large rock that is inside the phonebooth, it upsets the local(s) to a excessive degree.
 

DrewR

Utility Infielder
1,216
47
Buzzards Bay, MA
Cuttyhunk is great but this year is a little different. The street are/were torn up and no fuel available. Just an odd year for cutty.
 

ChrisJD

Member
255
172
Boston, MA
We spent two nights in Cuttyhunk last week and had a fantastic time. Mooring field was 2/3rds empty heading into Labor Day weekend but the shellfish boat was still up and running and we felt like we had the beaches and back lanes to ourselves.

That said, have been there after Labor Day before and felt like I was visiting Brigadoon. There’s pleasantly empty and there’s too, too empty.
 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,811
3,084
Edgewater, MD
Skip all that and go to cuttyhunk if your draft allows. nice and quiet but if the phonebooth is still there do not move the large rock that is inside the phonebooth, it upsets the local(s) to a excessive degree.
I've done Cuttyhunk, it was great and I plan to go back.
 

hopsaddict

New member
I can't say much about dockage or Martha's Vineyard, but the last time I was in Nantucket, I biked around. The island is small and it doesn't take that long to bike anywhere you'd want to go. Obviously, the weather is the issue (and the number of drinks you've had!). Anywhere near a ferry terminal will have a bike rental place in walking distance. I can't imagine MV isn't the same.
 

Howler

Member
177
170
Tides and currents are weird. You'll want an Eldridge Tide and Pilot book. Lots of specific local knowledge distilled into specific rules of thumb that would take a long time to work out on your own, e.g. "For a passage between point A and point B, to get favorable currents, time your passage to arrive at point X 3 hours after tide is high at point Y" http://www.eldridgetide.com/buy
 




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