Contact the Harbor Master
The phone number for the Harbor Master office is 401-643-0137.
Use this email for any issues relating to Harbor Master business.
Harbor Master Ordinances
Harbor Master Services & Responsibilities
The Harbor Master for the Town of Portsmouth is a full time police officer with the Portsmouth Police Department. The Harbor Master is a full time assignment from May through September, during the active boating season. His responsibilities are to patrol the waters that surround the town and to enforce all applicable State Laws and Local Town Ordinances on the water.
The Harbor Master is also responsible for handling the assignment of all moorings throughout the town, including Prudence and Hog Islands. There are approximately 1,500 moorings in the Town of Portsmouth. With over 50 miles of shoreline, Portsmouth has the most shoreline of any town in the state which includes patrolling Prudence, Patience, and Hog Islands. The Harbor Master is also assisted by members of the Portsmouth Police Department who have been trained in boating safety and patrolling the waters of Portsmouth.
All residents in the town are required to have their boats registered to their Portsmouth address to qualify for resident status. Renewal emails / mailing will be sent January 15 of each year. It is required that your mooring be renewed annually no later than March 15 or a late fee will be assessed. There is a $5 administration fee assessed to all mooring holders for each mooring, including residents, this fee pays for the on-line permit program.
Please go to the mooring website to apply, renew, or to be placed on a waiting list. You can upload your documents and photos if you like rather than mail them and pay on-line utilizing the secure website; this is the preferred method of payment. If you choose to mail in the application rather than utilizing the on-line payment method, please mail the downloaded application form. Any incomplete paperwork or failure to renew on time will result in a late fee.
Your boat can be registered through this RIDEM link.
Bellow is a list of vendors who sell, install, and service moorings in Portsmouth waters. The Portsmouth Police Department does not recommend any one vendor over another, and does not guarantee any work performed by the vendors on the list. The list is provided as an aid to persons who are seeking assistance in installing and/or servicing their moorings.
Mooring Vendor’s list
Aquidneck Mooring Company (401) 851-1212
J&K Mooring Service (401) 353-0864
New England Diving Service (401) 855-6567
King Marine (401) 247-5464
Pirate Cove Marina (401) 683-3030
Rhode Island Mooring Service (401) 295-2502
Shaw’s Water Taxi (401) 683-2021
Standish Boat Yard (401) 624-4075
Straight Answer Marine Service (401) 253-5760
The Mooring Man/Scott’s Boat service (401) 828-2393
Ray Wells Moorings (401) 837-6986
D. Blount Maritime Services (774) 994-0852
The Harbor Master holds the insurance binders on file for the above authorized vendor’s. The Harbor Master does not recommend any one vendor over the other. This is an aid for those mooring holders and new applicants requesting guidance.
Fines & Violations
The Harbor Master, as well as other police officers, patrols the many areas of town waters and issues fines for violations committed per Title 46-4-6.13 and the Town of Portsmouth Ordinance. Some fines are the No Wake zones in the Sakonnet River Basin (Tiverton Basin), Can 17 to Stone Bridge, Blue Bell Cove and Potters Cove. Lists of these fines are available at the State of RI website if you have any questions or need to refer to a violation you've received.
Currently there is a waiting list for Sandy Point Beach, Blue Bell Cove in Portsmouth (Sakonnet River Basin) and Potters Cove at Prudence Island. To be placed on the waiting list please log in to the mooring website and apply for a new permit, I will then place you on the waiting list that you may view at any time. If your contact numbers change for any reason, please update your application data or you will be at risk of losing your position on the list.
There are no public moorings in Potters Cove, or any other locations in Portsmouth. All moorings in Potters Cove are privately owned. There is a $100 fine for being on another persons mooring without authorization. Boaters are permitted to anchor within the cove provided they stay well away of moorings and vessels on moorings.
Minimum Mooring Specifications
Nylon Dacron Line
|36-40||500||3000 or 2x1500||3/4||1/2||7/8|
|41-50||600||4000 or 2x2000||3/4||1/2||1|
|51-65||750||5000 or 2x2500||1||1/2||1-1/4|
All applications must be filled out completely.
Applicants seeking a mooring for a vessel over 65 feet in length must meet in person with the Harbormaster and the installing vendor. The only acceptable anchors allowed for moorings are mushroom anchors, concrete blocks with reinforcing rods, and Helix moorings.
New applications will not be accepted until May 15 each year.
Renewal applications received after March 15 will be assessed a $100 late fee.
Return application form, application fee, late fees and copy of active boat registration and check made payable to the Town of Portsmouth, RI.
Any questions regarding marine safety, RI boat regulations, Portsmouth Harbormaster Ordinance or this application, please contact Detective Burns, or 401-643-0137.