Portsmouth is a great walking city and this location puts you at the heart of the waterfront. The marina docks lead right onto Bow Street in the city center which is truly a pleasure to visit. Downtown Portsmouth is rich with history, arts, entertainment and numerous restaurants and pubs.The city is a destination in and of itself. Your slip is a great place to watch the commercial ships and tugboats pass by as the sun sets over historic Badger’s Island, Maine’s southernmost point.
Marina at Harbour Place is just passed the new Memorial Bridge, which can be reached on VHF Channel 13, or wait for the preplanned opening every half hour during the daytime. Please note the current is strong here. But, it is parallel to the docks so if you just stem the current, even a beginner can make a perfect landing every time. For the easiest approach do not attempt to dock with a following current. If you are able, plan to arrive during slack tide.
Amenities listed for this marina were not onsite. This is not a marina - it is an urban dock that is not in a no wake zone. The dockmaster is not available on Mon or Tue, so we were assisted by a friend of his. Although amenities were claimed, no map or signage was evident. I was assigned the most upstream end of the dock. It was a time of extreme tides and currents were probably in the range of 5 knots at this end. Wakes in excess of 2 feet hit the boat at the dock. I left after one night due to safety concerns for my boat or crew if they should fall overboard. The location for the town is great, but it is hard to enjoy it when your boat and crew are at risk. They did refund the second day.
It felt like a bait and switch. This is not a marina in any sense that I've understood before. It says there are bathrooms and showers. There was one bathroom with a shower inside a parking garage. Really in a garage. The wifi didn't exist. We were charged more than was quoted although the difference was refunded when we pointed it out. Very tricky location due to current and bridge. The access to town was great. That's why I'm giving it 3 stars. My husband would give it 2.
It's super-convenient to downtown Portsmouth, which is nice, and the facilities themselves are fine. It's not sheltered, though, and the wakes make for a somewhat bouncy stay. Strong currents (2+ kt) can make docking tricky, so slack water is best, but what's when everybody else wants to dock also. Marina staff are friendly , competent, and helpful. I'm on a 30' sailboat; I suspect bigger boats don't get knocked around quite so much. One caveat: if you just want plain old groceries, the Hannaford's is a mile away. Lyft is your friend here (nobody should ever use Uber; but you know that, right?). On the other hand if you just want some great oysters, walk a couple hundred yards up Bow Street to Surf. Friendly staff, casual atmosphere, good food.
Great power, nice people, close to town
There is no arguing that this is a fantastic location for accessing the downtown Portsmouth area. But it is a spot in the river where the current and boat wakes make for an unpleasant experience on board. Dave, the Dockmaster, is very helpful and accessible. He splits his time with the Badger Island East Marina which is not a bad thing. In fact, he was able to bring me a block of ice from the other marina in the skiff that he runs back and forth. Although there are gates, I would not say that the marina is secure. But we had no problems with strangers on the dock. Aside from the dockmaster and the folks that we traveled with, we never saw any other people at the marina.The docks and utilities are good and we loved wandering around Portsmouth. I think that if I were to return, i would stay at the Badger Island marina and just take the ten minute walk into Portsmouth over the bridge.