Sailing & Boating

block island race week

Sailing to, from or around Block Island? Find a marina to dock your boat. If you are vacationing on BI and looking for that perfect day on the water or a sunset cruise, try Passion for Sail Charters Old Harbor, 401-741-1926.

Learn the How-To's at The Block Island Club on Corn Neck Rd. 401-466-5939. They offer classes several times a week plus a camp for kids. Very kid-friendly also is the Block Island Maritime Institute at Smuggler's Cove, (401)466-7938. They offer group & private lessons. Beginner lessons daily 9am-12am & 1pm-4pm all ages welcome.

Each year, the summer kicks off with Block Island Race Week, a national event. Usually the third week of June the island is flooded with competitors who come here to race and have a good time. Join in on the festivities or watch the daily parade of colorful sails from the shore.

Occasionally, Tall Ships of Rhode Island make their appearance in the waters off Block Island. These giant, floating pieces of history are certainly a sight to see. The Tall Ships Festival takes place in Newport, RI.

For information on making it across Block Island Sound you may visit Sailing New England. This site is the real deal for wooden boat enthusiasts and the serious New England seafarer.


There are other ways to get yourself and your family out on the water for the day. The Block Island ferry is the first chance most of us have for being out on the water. After all, that's how you get here. A few times on the shoulder season the ferries offer sunset dinner cruises, usually for some island charitable event and open to the public.

Bobby & Sara over at Block Island parasail offer sunset cruises, banana boat rides and various water sports. Check them out at the old harbor commercial boat dock next to Ballards.


Boaters looking to cruise into a marina and possibly anchor, moore or dock should call the harbormaster at Block Island harbors department

Office Telephone: (401) 466-3204

Summer Hours 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Winter Hours 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

VHF Radio - Ch12 7AM - 9PM - All Calls 9PM - 7AM - Emergency Only

Fax: (401) 466-3219


boat basin

Looking for a rental or a marina? BI has docks in it's two harbors: old harbor, where the island's only town is, and new harbor, in the great salt pond. The old harbor town docks have limited facilities. The dock is small and so are the bathrooms. It is very convenient and easily walkable to town and beaches.

Better recommended for families is new harbor, Payne's Dock, The Boat Basin, or Champlin's Marina. Of the three, Champlin's Marina has the best family facilities. As with rental houses, preference is given to returning boaters at these private marinas. Mid January you should be able to secure dock space for your boat.

If you can't make your plans in advance you may either take a chance on dock space when you arrive or you may anchor in the pond or in old harbor. The pond runs a free launch ready to take you to Champlin's for some food, entertainment or a shower.


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