Boating and Navigation


  • Mooring wait list is long (though it moves faster than in the past). 
  • Is there a possibility of new or expanded mooring fields or new community docks for small boats? 
  • Part of the issue for new or expanded mooring fields is landside access. Additional parking could open other areas of the harbor for moorings and boating. 
  • The need to accommodate multiple uses of the harbor is a consideration in establishing new mooring areas. For example, there are 35-40 acres of aquaculture grants at far end of the harbor and near Polpis. 
  • Some efforts that have increased availability of moorings: • Waterfront property owners have a right to moor in front of their properties, which opened up moorings they may have had in the fields for others to use. 
  • Some mooring handlers accommodate a time-share arrangement. 
  • Harbor Master considering possibility of installing a line (held by anchors at each end) from which a number of individual mooring lines would rise. Each would be an individual permit for mooring small boats such as 15-foot Whalers. This is an efficient use of water area and could free up some dinghy space for other boats. For purposes of Corps of Engineers permitting, would only counts as one or two moorings. 
  • People on the mooring list have to renew each year which serves to keep the list fresh. 
  • There is some deep water at the east end of the harbor that might be suitable for moorings for larger boats. 
  • Some people have multiple permits. Maybe there should be a limit on how many an individual can have. 

Vessel Speed and Safety

  • Concern over unrestricted operating speeds in the harbor, especially larger boats. Intensity of harbor use, e.g., kite boarders, kids swimming, exacerbates the problem. 

Boat Ramps

  • Is a second boat ramp possible? It has always been a priority. • Tried to have the Great Harbor Yacht Club (GHYC) put in ramp, but too little water. 
  • At Sayles Seafood next to bulkhead of GHYC? Would need to be dredged. 
  • Maybe somewhere near jetties. The area near the Coast Guard station considered, but town doesn’t own the land. 
  • Could the bulkhead at the GHYC be extended? 
  • Maybe the Steamship Authority redevelopment could include a new boat ramp. 
  • Perhaps the site of the former Skipper restaurant on Steamboat Wharf could be a ramp, though there is no space for trailers. Could be useful when need to evacuate boats from harbor. 

Shoreside Facilities and Water Access

  • The Nantucket Land Bank purchased a 6-acre property on Polpis Harbor formerly owned by Reid White that will afford additional water access. Will be building a new dock, but not looking for dredging. 
  • Dinghy space is maxed out at the Nantucket Land Bank’s existing Holly Farm property at the end of Polpis Harbor Road. 
  • Could Town Pier be expanded with floating docks in the water off Land Bank property to the right of the pier? Will probably take four years to get permits, but good idea. 
  • Could Land Bank property at Petrol landing provide facilities for commercial operators? There is already Department of Environmental Protection permit for dinghy docks off this site. 
  • Critical infrastructure: the site near the USCG station was also looked at for a possible second commercial pier to provide an alternative should an emergency prevent access to the main commercial piers. Put a solid fill pier just inside the jetty. Move the building back and use land as parking lot. Maybe spot for boat ramp too. 
  • Increase the anchorage area by bringing it to second point. Safer. Transient anchorage in first bend. 


  • Can this plan include a recommendation to try to determine a carrying capacity for the harbor? Understand this could be difficult to do, but should be able to characterize and quantify the current uses of the harbor, e.g., number of moorings, number of trailered boats, number of visitors, etc. 
  • The Nantucket data platform has information on how many people come to the island every day. 
  • There are plans for a new Harbor Master building, but the cost to construct is higher than anticipated.