This is a report I did in 2019. At the time, I didn’t have a slip map – but now I do!
Nantucket Boat Basin Slip Map
With Vigilant’s 2019 launch date less than 2 weeks away, My Buzzards Bay will be swinging back into action by publishing all of the new reviews from new restaurants and marinas we visited in 2018.
Our first big trip of 2018 came in June as we ventured to Nantucket, so we’ll kick off the season with reviews that focus on that special island and begin with one of the best marinas in New England.
Beyond anchoring, you only have two choices in Nantucket for overnight cruising – a mooring or The Nantucket Boat Basin. We picked the latter.
The Best Bargain in the Northeast?
I admit that I don’t know every off-season marina deal in the Northeast, but I know a lot and none are this sweet. And while you’ll seldom find Nantucket and Bargain in the same sentence, when it comes to The Boat Basin it’s true.
Don’t get me wrong, Oak Bluffs ($170) and Vineyard Haven (Black Dog $123) give everyone a break in the off-season. And as I write this in January, Bowens and West Wind in Newport are both showing $235/night for mid-June. I guess this is better than the $300+/night they demand in the Summer, but it’s not quite cheap!
This brings me to The Nantucket Boat Basin and while their peak summer rates are as high as anyone, they literally use predatory pricing to get folks to head over in May and June.
I just went on Dockwa to check out what I’ll pay when I head over for Father’s Day Weekend and sure enough, it’ll be a total bargain at $79.95/night!
And as you can see, it works. Last year we went for 3 nights and this year we’ll be stretching it out to 5! Not only is it a bargain, but unlike most of the Vineyard – which is still in pre-season mode, Nantucket is fully open and ready for business. The big difference is that it’s cooler – due to the 65-degree ocean water, and you can get a dinner reservation on short notice.
The Nantucket Boat Basin Marina
A great May/June dockage fee is one thing, but that’s only the beginning when it comes to NBB. The more you look at the physical marina, the more you can see why people pay $7/foot to tie up during the summer.
A Prime Location
Most of us walk for food, shopping, and fun when we visit a marina. This places a premium on marinas that are located in the center of the action. NBB is absolutely in the heart of downtown Nantucket.
Here are two map views of the area within a walking distance of NBB.
This is the google map view of attractions:
And here’s the map of top restaurants from yelp.com:
Each of those 24 red dots represents a top Nantucket restaurant. Notice how close the #1, #3, and #5 ranked venues are to NBB.
By the way, the CRU bar and restaurant are literally steps from the north dock at NBB (the one we were on in 2018).
A WiFi That Works
If you’re like me, you’re used to arriving at a marina, logging into their “free wifi” and getting just enough bandwidth to send a text if you’re willing to wait. Wireless Routers are pretty much designed for a 3,000-square-foot home. After that, things go downhill fast.
Last season I installed a Pepwave Modem/Router and Apple TV on Vigilant to access the Internet via hotspots or cellular and watch TV in style.
The first attempt came at Bowen’s in Newport. We had a great spot at the end of the long wharf.
Not only could we not stream from the Bowen’s free wifi, but we also couldn’t even see it when we searched for networks!
Anyway, our second attempt was an NBB where we discovered perfect wifi that turned my Apple TV into a first-class home theater. It was Father’s Day weekend which meant 8 hours of the US Open Golf Championship every day. I downloaded the GO FOX app and logged in using my Xfinity account, and viola, we had crystal clear HDTV. It really came in handy on Friday morning when it rained for a few hours!
I recommend you read my full report for details (see A Marina Wifi That Really Works). I will give you two hints – every slip has its own dedicated router and they didn’t build it themselves, they hired an outside contractor who does this for a living.
The Finest Pump Out Service
I know, it’s a topic we seldom speak of in proper yachting circles, but if you’re the captain and you see the level on the holding tank creeping into the red, it can quickly occupy you’re every waking moment (by the way, does anyone know what happens when the tank gets full – I, for one, never want to find out!)
So what makes the NBB Pump Out service so special?
First off, it’s operated by the marina. To schedule service, you call in on the VHF or phone and schedule an exact time.
Second, the setup is truly first-class – let me show you in photos…
Watch The Tides!
I suppose the only thing that might make NBB perfect would be floating concrete docks. Alas, NBB only offers fixed piling.
When first arrived, the dockhands quickly tied us to 4 or 5 pilings. Little did we know that it was near high tide. That is until about 3:00 AM when the creaking of taught lines pulling us against the pilings woke us up.
I didn’t measure the full swing, but I think it was close to six feet; far more than one would normally allow for. This is rather curious in that I’ve never seen anything close to this big a tidal swing at the fixed docks in Edgartown or Oaks Bluff. Anyway, you’ve been warned!
Best In Class SWAG
Shortly after we tied up, the deckhand returned with the finest assortment of SWAG I have ever received. I admit to handing the dockhand a My Buzzards Bay when we first arrived, so it’s possible they were just buttering me up, but nevertheless, I was impressed.
I think everyone gets the bag of goodies, but the welcome mat was a special gift. When our friend Joan saw it she said “how come we didn’t get one of those?”
Well, she asked and she received it!
We’ll Be Back – Father’s Day 2019
We’re hoping to spend 5 nights in Nantucket for Father’s Day 2019. We may also try to get over for a shorter stay during the summer (and eat the $8/foot dock fee).
If you’ve never been to Nantucket by boat, stop wasting time and book NBB for May or June. You’ll have an incredible time and you’re budget will thank you!
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