Nantucket Harbor

Nantucket Harbor

Nantucket, Massachusetts United States
Lat: 41° 17' 58.93''
Lon: -70° 5' 51.01''
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Marinas near Nantucket Harbor

NameReviewsMax LOAVHFDock DepthGas / DieselLift / CraneWifiAmps
Nantucket Yacht Club-


66Low 15.0'High 0.0'








Old North Wharf-

0.0 m

-Low 0.0 mHigh 0.0'----
Nantucket Town Pier-


14Low 9.0'High 0.0'




Island Marine & Restoration (Formerly Grey Lady Marine)---Low 8.0'-


Great Harbor Yacht Club--9-----
Madaket Marine-


78Low 6.0'




Edgartown Memorial Wharf-


74Low 15.0'High 0.0'----
Safe Harbor Edgartown-


-Low 0.0 mHigh 0.0'----
Edgartown Yacht Club--72-


Englewood Beach on Lewis Bay-



Nantucket Harbor offers an excellent and well-protected harbor with some of the finest marinas on the U.S. East Coast. Every year, thousands of boaters flock to Nantucket to experience the history and wildness of the island while mooring in the harbor or tying off at one of the town's many marinas. The town of Nantucket and Nantucket Harbor are located 20 miles east of Martha’s Vineyard's Edgartown Harbor and 25 miles south of Cape Cod’s Hyannis Harbor separated by the Nantucket Sound.

There are five marinas in the immediate Nantucket Harbor area and three of them offer space for transient guests. The largest, by far, is the Nantucket Boat Basin, which has transient slips, Internet access, gas and diesel fuel, showers/restrooms and a complete laundry facility. All of the moorings in the harbor are maintained by Nantucket Moorings, Inc., and prices are best described as “premium.” There is anchorage space in a designated area, but most of this area has already been covered with moorings. If you are in need of repair, Gray Lady Marine is located in the far-south portion of the Harbor and has a series of nun and can buoy that lead customers in past the shoals.


The history of Nantucket’s settlement did not begin in earnest until 1659 when Thomas Mayhew sold his interest to the "nine original purchasers:” Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Richard Swayne, Thomas Bernard, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleaf, John Swayne and William Pike – "For the sum of thirty Pounds…and also two beaver hats, one for myself, and one for my wife."

At this time, the true demise of the island’s Indian population began. The English presence drastically changed the healthy Indian population and, over the next century, the Wampanoag would be weakened by disease, alcohol, and debt servitude.

For nearly 100 years – from the mid-1700s to the late 1830s – the island was the whaling capital of the world, with as many as 150 ships making port in Nantucket Harbor during its peak. Within decades, however, the new wealth from whale oil drastically took a turn upon the advent of petroleum in 1838 when it began to replace whale oil as an illuminant, and the sperm whale itself had been harder to find. In 1846 a fire struck that destroyed most of the town. With the decline of whaling the population dropped and left the island undeveloped for quite some time.

It was not until around 1880 that the American tradition of summer vacations was firmly established, and it was then that Nantucket was discovered to be just about the ideal spot for vacationing. Once entrenched, tourism became the principal source of income for island residents.

Information courtesy Nantucket Chamber of Commerce.

Navigating the Water:

Use NOAA Charts 13241 and 13242.

Red and white Morse (A) buoy “NB” marks the location of the initial approach channel into Nantucket Harbor and is located at an approximate waypoint of N41 19.018 W70 06.231. Brant Point Light (26 feet above water occulting red four seconds) makes an excellent range when arriving at night.

Once you have picked up red and white Morse (A) buoy “NB,” set an approximate course of 181 degrees magnetic for .4 mile until you come upon green can “1” and flashing red buoy “2” (both visible in the image above). Flashing green Nantucket East Breakwater Light “3” comes next, and can also be seen in the image above just left of the departing ferry. Also note that most all of both the east and west jetties are submerged. Although the water is shallow on either side of them, more than one boat has made the mistake of foregoing the proper entrance marks and found themselves up on the rocks.

Having safely negotiated your way in past the breakwaters, set a course of around 177 degrees magnetic for .4 mile to intercept red nun buoy “4” and green can buoy “5.” Past red nun buoy “4” and green can buoy “5,” set your sights for green can “7” and red nun buoy “6,” and farther on to red nun buoy “8” and green can buoy “9.”

At this point you should be able to see Brant Point Lighthouse to starboard. Continue in toward the harbor, making sure to pick up red nun buoy “10,” green can buoy “11,” and then green can buoy “13” just off Brant Point. Welcome to Nantucket! The last remaining aid to navigation in the harbor is green can buoy “15,” sans a small privately maintained entrance channel on the south end of the harbor.

Click here to see a map of Nantucket Harbor

Local Notices to Mariners:

Local Notices to Mariners are available online from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Our Favorite Places to Visit:

Nantucket Harbor is a great destination for tourists with many historic and fun attractions. There are so many great places to visit and to see during your vacation.

Here are a few of our favorites nearby Nantucket Harbor:

  • Nantucket Whaling Museum - 13 Broad Street

  • Sankaty Head Light - Baxter Street, Siasconset

  • Nantucket Shipwreck Museum - 158 Polpis Road

  • The Old Mill - 50 Prospect Street

  • Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum - 49 Union Street

  • Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge - 107 Wauwinet Rd

Where to Eat, Drink, and Shop in Nantucket:

Nantucket Harbor provides access to some of the most amazing dining and shopping available in New England. Downtown is just steps away from Nantucket Harbor and can get quite crowded during the summer months.

Here are some of the best places to eat, drink, and shop nearby Nantucket Harbor:

  • Black-Eyed Susan's (Breakfast) - 10 India Street

  • Something Natural (Sandwiches) - 50 Cliff Road

  • Provisions (Lunch Cafe) - 3 Harbor Square

  • Straight Wharf Restaurant (Fine Dining) - 6 Harbor Square

  • Bartlett’s Farm Market (Produce, Plants & Flowers) - 33 Bartlett Farm Road

  • The Gazebo (Drinks) - Harbor Square

  • Cisco Brewery (Drinks) - 5 Bartlett Farm Road

  • Chicken Box (Nightlife) - 16 Daves Street

  • Murray’s Toggery Shop (Clothing Store) - 62 Main Street

Annual Events:


Nantucket Wine and Food Festival

Figawi Sailing Race


Nantucket Film Festival


4th of July Parade & Fireworks

Nantucket Yoga Festival


Boston Pops Concert on Jetties Beach

Nantucket Race Week

For a full listing of events, please see the Nantucket Calendar of Events

Helpful Links:

Nantucket Chamber of Commerce

How to Get to Nantucket

Nantucket Calendar of Events

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