Harbormaster

Mayor Kim Driscoll welcomes you to Salem, a waterfront community on the rise.

Salem harbor is a mixture of commercial and recreational vessels. There are over 1600 permitted recreational boats in Salem waters. Between Salem and the adjacent waters of Beverly, Marblehead, Manchester and Danvers, there are an estimated 8000 moored or slipped recreational boats using the waters of Salem Sound.

Salem is the second deepest of the five ports in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mariners should expect Deep Draft vessels as well as Tug and barge units transiting the Federal Channel for berthing and cargo transfer at the Power Station dock. A vessel that can safely navigate only within the channel has the right of way over all other craft inculing sailboats.

 Scuba diving is permitted anywhere in Salem except the channels. A diver would not survive if a deep draft vessel transited in close proximity.  Each diver is required to have his own individual flag unless specific permission is obtained from the Harbormaster.

Transient vessels are welcome to drop anchor on the Marblehead side of the inner harbor just short of the mooring field in approx position 42.31.00N, 070.52.20W. Pickering Wharf Marina and Hawthorne Cove Marina both have transient dockage available. Hawthorne Cove also offers transient moorings.

There are no public fuel docks in Salem and the closest is Port Marina in Beverly, which offers gas and diesel. The Salem Willows Yacht Club and Palmers Cove Yacht Club, located deep inside the inner harbor do not have fueling facilities. F.J. Dion's Yacht Yard, Brewer's Hawthorne Cove Marina and Winter Island Yacht Yard are all equipped with travel lifts and are available for repairs.

Public docks with available water and boat ramps are located at Winter Island Recreational Park at the mouth of the harbor and Kernwood Marina which is located up the Danvers river. Other public docks are located at the Willows pier in Salem Willows Park and at the Congress Sreet bridge, located next to Pickering wharf. All have 20 min. tie up limits, which are strictly enforced.

The Harbormaster Dept is unique in that it is a separate City department under control of the Mayor of Salem but it is also a sub-division of the Police Dept. answerable to the Chief of Police. The Harbormaster is a full-time position held by a USCG licensed Professional Mariner with an extensive background in all aspects of the maritime industry. He is aided by a staff of 15 Assistant Harbormasters who are trained in a combination of maritime and law enforcement skills.Our boats respond to any emergency and operate 24 hrs per day.

In the event of an emergency while in Salem waters hail Salem Harbormaster on CH 16. or call 978-741-0098. A mayday call in dire circumstances will bring response from all local harbormasters and the U.S. Coast Guard station in Gloucester. In the event of failed radios call the Harbormaster Dept. at 978-741-0098 or the Salem Police Dept at 978-744-1212.

Staff Contacts

Name Title Phone
Captain Bill McHugh Harbormaster 978-741-0098
Patrick Mulligan Deputy Harbormaster 978-741-0098
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