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Calling on Quissett

By Joe Myerson; Photography by Tom Richardson

This cozy and protected Buzzards Bay harbor is beloved by boaters seeking a place to relax and unwind.

Many boaters, especially those cruising the coast, know Quissett Harbor as a good spot to wait out the current change in nearby Woods Hole Passage or the Cape Cod Canal. However, many choose to linger, given the harbor’s scenery, historic Cape Cod ambience, and spectacular sunsets.

The anchorage is well protected from the turbulence of Buzzards Bay by a spit of land that ends in a dramatic granite outcropping called “The Knob.” Officially named the “Cornelia L. Carey Sanctuary,” the Knob and the trail leading to it are open to the public from dawn to dusk. The Knob affords spectacular views of Buzzards Bay and the Elizabeth Islands, and small beaches can be found along the inner arm of the peninsula, ideal for families with young kids.

A local boating institution is the Quissett Yacht Club, which is steeped in small-boat sailing tradition. The club is home base to a fleet of Herreshoff-designed H-Boats, also called “12 ½’s”, as well as Herreshoff S-Boats.

Providing service to many local boats is the Quissett Harbor Boat Yard, which offers a small dinghy dock, limited temporary tie-up space, ice and water (but no fuel dock). It also has a vintage working marine railway.

Temporary moorings are available through the yard on a first-come, first-served basis. Rental moorings are white with a blue stripe and are marked “QBY.” Simply tie up to an available mooring a yard employee will come by to collect a fee, either at sunset or in the morning. Outerharbor moorings run $35 per night. Scarcer moorings in the inner harbor cost $50 per night. Note that transactions are cash-only, and that the yard does not run launch service; however, a pump-out boat is available on request.

Quissett has no restaurants or shops, but is not far from either Falmouth Center or Woods Hole. During the summer season, visitors can take the Whoosh Trolley to both places for $2 per person. The trolley stops at the intersection of Quissett Harbor Road and Woods Hole Road, about a quarter-mile from the harbor.

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