adventures

Royal Treatment: Boating Yarmouth, Maine

Text & Photography by Tom Richardson
A large, all-tide launch ramp can be found at the head of tide just minutes from Rte. 295.

Many travelers bent on reaching the retail-outlet mecca known as Freeport, Maine, pass right over the Royal River and never know that a very different world awaits if they simply take the next exit.

The Royal River is home to three marinas.

Those who do will find ready access to a lovely and diverse coastal boating area in southern Maine, beginning at the public landing just minutes from the highway. The Town of Yarmouth maintains an all-tide, two-lane ramp with courtesy float and lots of parking on Shipyard Road, at the head of tide. The daily fee is $20 for boats; $10 for canoes and kayaks. Overnight parking with permission of the harbormaster is $10 per night. An attendant is on duty to make sure all runs smoothly during the busy times.

The Royal River Grill House welcomes diners who arrive by boat.
After launching, you can make your way towards the open waters of upper Casco Bay, passing former shipbuilding sites dating back to the mid-1800s. Some boaters never make it past the delicious smells emanating from the Royal River Grill House, which specializes in Maine seafood and grilled meats.
The Chebeague Island Inn on Great Chebeague Island makes a great overnight destination for boaters, and also has a golf course.

If you wish to explore further along the well-marked channel, you’ll soon find yourself at the confluence of the Muddy River and Redding Creek, both worth exploring on a rising tide if you happen to be in a paddle-powered craft. Continue east and you’ll enter Casco Bay, home to a plethora of interesting islands to visit, among them Great Chebeague Island, which features a large and lovely inn, as well as a nine-hole golf course. Harpswell, South Freeport, and Portland are all within easy reach of powerboaters at this point.

You can learn about Yarmouth's rich boatbuilding past at the Yarmouth History Center.

Yarmouth Boating Facilities

Yarmouth Boat Yard (207) 846-9050
Full-service marina and dealership near the head of navigation.

Royal River Boatyard (207) 846-9577
Full-service marina and yard with slips. Offers gas and diesel, pump-out, shore power, water, WiFi, access to a courtesy vehicle, shower and laundry facilities.

Yankee Marina (207) 846-4326
Full-service facility with transient slips, haul-out, service, and repair. Also has laundry, showers, and restrooms.

Landing Boat Supply (207) 8460-3777
At Lower Falls Landing, this store sells all types of marine gear, including apparel, hardware, electronics, dinghies and more.