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Milford CT: The welcoming harborfront

Milford Landing Marina at the head of the harbor.
Milford Yacht Club (203-877-1261) punctuates the entrance to Milford Harbor, providing a welcoming and very busy presence to port. They run a number of small boat races so take care not to interfere with vessels heading out to the race course - the current can wreak havoc with the fleet. Shortly after, you'll beging to see boats moored fore and aft along the length of the channel, with floating docks, and marinas stemming from them as you enter the harbors recesses. The harbor has a distinct New England charm, with Nantucket style graying clapboard buildings, gazebos along the waterfront, and a mix of classic and modern vessels. The harbor is deceiving at first, as it goes a long way in to the head of the harbor which is closest to the center of town.

The waterfront itself is very neat. There are small parks and areas where boater's can congregate. There is a one-man submarine on display that is fascinating to observe. It belonged to an ingenious pioneering submarine engineer, Simon Lake. He is alse described as an oyster fisherman, and he used his tiny Explorer to see what he was doing when he dredged for oysters.

There are five marinas in the harbor. Four of them are along the West bank closest to the center of town and the fifth, Spencer's Marina, is across on the opposite shore of the Wepawaug River. Milford Boat Works has a fairly well stocked chandlery. The Harbor Management Commissions jurisdiction includes the municipal boat ramp and dockage, the Maritime Park and Milford Lisman Landing Marina located at the Head of the Harbor, Milford Harbor waters and moorings and the East Side of the Housatonic River adjacent to the City of Milford waters and moorings.

The Evacuation Route marker would measure height of the water above mean sea level during a storm. The infamous hurricane of 1938 swept a religious retreat right off Charles Island.

At the head of the harbor is Milford Landing, a small all-transient marina designed to attract cruisers to Milford. This publicly owned transient marina is located at the north end of Milford Harbor on the west side of the channel.  This facility provides dockage for 35 transient vessels and for 5 local commercial fishing vessels up to 65 feet in length.  The minimum dredged depth is 7 feet at mean low water.  Available amenities include trained dock staff to assist in your tie-up, free pump out with an overnight stay, 30 amp and 50 amp electrical service, ice and water, a laundromat, handicap accessible shower and restroom facilities, barbecue/picnic area, car rental and bicycle rental nearby, tennis courts and concierge service.  Reservations are a must for weekends during the season.  They monitor VHF Channel 9.

The grounds are impeccably maintained, with a flagstone patio that has tables with umbrellas, picnic tables and grills, park benches along the walk, and a lovely rose garden. The marina has finger piers and plenty of services. The historic brick building contains heads, showers, dressing rooms, and a laundry. They provide complimentary coffee and newspapers in the morning, charcoal for the grills, and an ice cream shop on the premises. The marina is also home to several shellfishing boats that provide clams, oysters, and lobsters direct to the cruisers. A wrought iron bridge leads to tennis courts, a basketball court and a pavilion with dozens of picnic tables - great for that rainy weather day or a club cruise event.

A public boat launch facility, used by residents and non residents alike is located at the Head of the Harbor behind Milford Public Library and is a short distance to Long Island Sound.  The concrete paved ramp is approximately 100 feet wide, divided into three bays by two 80 foot long guide floats.  In addition, there are floats at the northern and southern sides of the ramp for temporary tie up, loading and unloading.  A private contractor operates a food vending stand next to the ramp.

The city dock, located on the west side of the harbor at the end of a narrow right of way adjacent to the Milford Boat Works, is a small and limited facility. The dock is suitable for short term tie up by vessels loading or unloading passengers or supplies for emergencies and is accessible to the public for fishing or viewing.

The very ingeneous submarine Explorer developed for oyster dredging by a local resident Simon Lake.

There are approximately 130 moorings available, by application, in Milford Harbor.  They are located to the east and west sides of the federal channel from the Head of the Harbor to the mouth of the Harbor.  We are not aware of any transient moorings in the harbor.

The road leading up the hill to town is lined with shops and restaurants. Try Archie Moore's hamburger joint for a comfortable meal. It's actually a CT chain of 5 restaurants. We've only actually eaten in the restaurant for lunch. We've had burgers, nachos and of course, buffalo wings! I am a "wing nut" and highly recommend them. Really cool is the new Daniel Street Club across from the Stonebridge Restaurant. Check it out, just a short stroll from Milford Landing Marina, Daniel Street provides lite dinner fare and live entertainment including comedy acts, DJs, and live music including blues every Wednesday.

Milford was once a deep water port and the town still maintains its old seafaring heritage. The Wharf Lane complex of historic homes is maintained by the Milford Historical Society (203-874-2664). Among the homes are three built in the 1700s. Today they house an impressive collection of more than 4000 Native American artifacts.

Useful links and numbers:
Deputy Harbormaster:
Larry Bodick
203-882-5049 Operations Director:
Ray Swift
FAX:(203) 874-1619
Telephone:(203) 874-1610
Monday-Friday 8am-3pm
37 Helwig Street
Milford, CT 06460
website link
Milford Yacht Club 203-877-1261 Private club with reciprocal priviledges for members of other clubs, including slips, moorings, a pool, and a lovely clubhouse.
Milford Boat Works 203-877-1475 VHF ch 68
Milford Landing Marina 203-874-1610 VHF ch 9
no website
Port Milford 203-877-7802 VHF ch 9, primarily a boat yard
Spencer Marina 203-874-4173 Has an occasional transient slip - red brick two-story structure on eastern shore
The chandlery at Milford Boat Works.



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