From CruisersWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
WorldUnited StatesMaine
45°30.000'N, 069°00.000'W Chart icon.png
Maine Light House.jpg
Portland Head Light

With approximately 2500nm of coastline, much of it spectacularly beautiful, Maine is justifiably considered one of the world's great cruising grounds.

The North/Eastern third, Down-East Maine, is rocky, tree-covered and noted for appearing much as it did to the early explorers. It has bold coasts, many beautiful, isolated coves for anchoring, small lobster fishing ports, and few marinas.

Mid-coast Maine - from Bar Harbor to Portland - is similar in appearance, but as one enters its harbors it is apparent that this is the coastal Maine of cruising fame. There are both small cove lobster settlements and tourist-focused towns with marinas. Dockage fees generally increase as one cruises farther South/West.

South/West Coast Maine - from Cape Elizabeth to the mouth of the Piscataqua River and Isles of Shoals - is very different in appearance. The rocky, bold coasts of Mid-Coast Maine and Down-East are replaced by sandy beaches with many tourists.

The one constant in all Maine waters is lobster traps in great numbers, with their warps lurking just below the surface to foul the propellers of the unwary. Even when under sail, the habit of connecting a "toggle" float to the warp-terminating lobster buoy can leave a line capable snagging the (spade) rudder of anyone attempting to sail between buoy and toggle.

In Spring with warming air drifting over 50 degree (F) water, in morning fogs, radar - while mandatory for navigation - can't spot lobster buoys.

Nevertheless, lobster buoys notwithstanding, once you've cruised the Maine coast you'll be hard pressed to consider any other waters equivalent.


Entire Maine Coast
Chart No 13260 (Bay of Fundy to Cape Cod)
Down-East Maine
Chart No 13325 (Quoddy Narrows to Petit Manan Island)
Mid-Coast Maine
Chart No 13312 (Frenchman and Blue Hill Bays and Approaches)
Chart No 13302 (Penobscot Bay and Approaches)
Chart No 13288 (Monhegan Island to Cape Elizabeth)
South/West Coast Maine
Chart No 13286 (Cape Elizabeth to Portsmouth)

See the various ports listed below

Chart Sources
Paper NOAA "print-on-demand" charts (up-to-date within last 2 weeks) - about $20 each
RNC Raster files of NOAA Navigation Charts (free - updated weekly)


Give local weather conditions or refer to another page (a region or island group) that covers these conditions.

Sources for Weather forecasts:

Current Weather Conditions:

  • NOAA NOAA databuoys (realtime wind/wave data - offshore buoys in NE US waters)


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.



Also see World Cruiser's Nets


Add any navigation notes such approaches, dangers etc here. If this section does not apply remove it.


See United States.


Down East Maine

Mid-coast Maine

South/West Coast Maine


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)




We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Maine and this page's details validated:

If you provide a lot of info and this page is almost complete, change {{Page outline}} to {{Page useable}}.

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse

Personal tools
Friends of Cruisers Wiki