Mystic, Connecticut

Cruising — July 2002

Cruising — July 2002
By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Mystic, Connecticut

This popular port is a living museum and a window to America's seafaring past.

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• Part 1: Mystic, CT
• Part 2: Mystic, CT continued

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Mystic's lifeblood has been the sea since its settlement in the 1600's. Some 600 vessels were built on its shores between 1784 and 1919, and most of its citizens were shipwrights who worked their farms in the summer and spent the rest of the year building the sloops and schooners that plied the rich New England waters as well as those of the southern states and the Caribbean.

Long an important fishing and whaling port, Mystic changed in 1838 when George Clark and Thomas Greenman set up their shipbuilding business on what would become the site of the Mystic Seaport Museum. Over the next 40 years, the Greenman yard launched almost 100 vessels, including sloops, clipper ships, and steamboats. The nearby Mallory shipyard, now the museum's restoration yard, also built clippers and steamboats.

American's inexorable tie to the sea is nowhere more evident than in Mystic. It's one of my favorite destinations while cruising in New England, and after you stop by, it will surely become one of yours.

The approach to Mystic through Mystic Harbor is clearly marked, but as there are shoals along the serpentine route, you should carefully follow the channel markers. You will need the following NOAA charts for Mystic: 12354, 12373, 13205, 13211-13215.

Don't even think of dropping the hook anywhere. This is a busy area in the high summer and early fall cruising seasons, and besides, those spots that have bottoms suitable for anchoring are too shallow. There are plenty of slips and moorings to pick up, but reservations are a must.
· The Noank Village Boatyard (860-536-1770) can accommodate vessels up to 120 feet, has deep-water moorings and launch service, and is a short dinghy ride away from downtown.
· The Mystic Shipyard (860-536-6588) offers a riverside pool and full-service yard and is a short walk from town.
· The Mystic River Marina (860-536-3123) has 50 transient slips, can accommodate vessels up to 150 feet, and has a pool, haulout and repair facilities, and a clubhouse.
· If you've led a clean and pure life, you may get lucky and find yourself berthed at the famous Mystic Seaport Museum marina (860-572-5391). There are 50 slips for visiting boats, the largest of which is able to accommodate vessels to 175 feet. Your dockage fee includes admission to the museum for everyone onboard, a nice benefit.

Next page > Mystic continued > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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