Cruising the Maine Coast by boat is THE Best. Whether by sailboat or powerboat, even kayak or canoe, the views of Maine’s coastline from the water, sandy beaches to rugged granite cliffs and lighthouses perched above the splashing waves are magnificent. The Maine shoreline is also expansive, with countless inlets, peninsulas, hundreds of islands, bays and harbors to explore by water. Exploring Maine by water rather than by car provides an amazing perspective – stunning, serene and powerful.
A great destination for boaters in the Mid Coast and Boothbay Harbor region is Robinhood Cove where you can rent a mooring, get a dock slip or even rent a houseboat at Derecktor Robinhood Marina. From the southern coast of Maine, it’s a straight shot toward Boothbay. We made it in two hours, 50 nautical miles from the Kennebunk River, cruising on our powerboat at 22 kph, passing east of Halfway Rock and Casco Bay with distant views of Two Lights and Portland Head Light.
As you pass the dramatic mound of Seguin Island with its grand lighthouse, the coastal contour becomes more unpredictable with smattering islands, extensions of land jutting out to sea and frequency of seals, porpoises, osprey and cormorants are more common. We even spotted a sea turtle off Seguin on our journey. You can moor off the western shore of Seguin, take your dinghy in and tour the lighthouse to see the amazing $7 million Fresnel lens, then picnic on this spectacular island located two miles off shore from the mouths of the Kennebec and Sheepscot Rivers.
Sheepscot Bay is a broad river mouth west of Cape Small that offers gorgeous scenery and sparkling granite coast, a pretty passage for sailors or cruisers. Eventually the bay tapers to the Sheepscot River. Your first opportunity for a mooring is Five Islands to your west, a pretty fishing village with town docks, a yacht club, a lobster shack, and Sheepscot Bay Boat Company for fuel and chandlery. This is a great place to pick up a mooring for lunch in the midst of the Five Islands.
Continuing up Sheepscot Harbor is Goose Rocks Passage to the west, a stunning spot lined with granite shores and peaceful camps and cottages as you enter Riggs Cove, home to Robinhood Cove and Robinhood Marine Center. This is a great port for the night – extremely well protected, with 40 slips and 70 moorings for rent in a calm harbor. The friendly, full-service Robinhood Marina has dockhands, repair service and a clever little seaside compound with a library, sail loft, gazebo and grilling area for marina guests, plus WIFI and showers.
One of the best amenities at Robinhood Cove is the Osprey Restaurant overlooking the marina and the giant osprey nest near the docks. The Osprey serves delicious fresh seafood in a casual setting with a bird’s eye view of the harbor. You can sit indoors or out, or enjoy a drink and oysters, lobster or fish tacos at the bar, known as The Tavern at Riggs Cove. Robinhood is one of those unique Maine ports where life moves more slowly, and 24 hours of relaxing here lingers with you much longer.
From Robinhood Cove you can continue up through Lower and Upper Hell’s Gate, known as the Inside Passage connecting Boothbay to Bath. We have yet to travel this challenging 11-mile boat adventure that features low bridges, swift tides and narrow spots. Instead, we made our way back out to Sheepscot Bay and continued on through the interesting Townsend Gut to the east, under the Southport Island swing bridge (which opens on the half hour for large vessels and tall sailboat masts) on to Boothbay Harbor.
We have sailed and cruised along much of the Maine coast, and are happy to provide some tips and travel recommendations for the best Maine anchorages, marinas, and protected harbors to visit when cruising Maine’s ruggedly scenic coast. These boating tips are not meant for navigational purposes, so be sure to consult your chart, GPS and Maine cruising guidebooks. Demonstrating our experience cruising to Robinhood Cove is just a travel suggestion as you plan where to sail or boat to on the Maine coast.