Maine has 3,500 miles of stunning coastline, at least 6,000 lakes and ponds, countless islands and breezes that won’t stop blowing. If you’re a sailor, what’s not to like?
Inland Maine provides plenty of opportunities, especially for small-boat sailors. Getting your boat onto the water is easy; just consult the State’s comprehensive list of boat launches. Didn’t bring your boat? An outfitter like Sebago Sailing, Inc. provides rentals and lessons as well. Sailors towing larger boats can dip into freshwater in Maine’s big lakes including Sebago in the south and Moosehead in the north.
Maine’s long and varied coastline has long been a magnet for sailors internationally. In the south, The Maine Beaches region provides long, sandy bays and classic beach towns. Moving north, Casco Bay is a compact sailing ground with a constellation of islands anchored by the state’s largest city, Portland. The shoreline of Maine’s MidCoast & Islands region is wrinkled and folded with outcroppings and peninsulas and peppered with islands. In the DownEast & Acadia region, Maine’s coast becomes rockier and wild, incorporating the popular Acadia National Park and the remote ‘bold coast’ of northeastern Maine. To help sail successfully throughout Maine’s maritime regions, sailors often turn to the Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast.
Want to learn to sail? Go to class in Maine, either as a beginner or to brush up on skills. The Abbot Fletcher Sailing School on Orr’s Island and MDI Community Sailing Center can provide those lessons.
Many sailors don’t bother bringing a boat. One of the most popular sailing activities in the state is voyaging aboard Maine’s fleet of windjammers - large, historically rigged vessels. Visitors can also sign up for shorter trips on historical ships such as the Anna R. and Bufflehead in Rockland, the Frances in Portland, the Olad and Owl in Camden, the Sarah Mead in Boothbay Harbor and the Surprise in Southwest Harbor.