Boaters’ Guide to Visiting Cape Charles
Whether you’re arriving to Cape Charles via boat or bringing your boat along on your Eastern Shore vacation, you’ll find that the town is very boater-friendly. Here’s what you need to know about bringing your boat to Cape Charles.
Where to dock your boat in Cape Charles
There are a few options for docking your boat in Cape Charles. Cape Charles Yacht Center is known as the premier Chesapeake Bay marina and boatyard. Its 18-foot-deep channel can accommodate vessels of all sizes, including megayachts. Cape Charles Harbor, managed by the Yacht Center, hosts commercial and recreational vessels with 1200 feet of dock space and 95 slips. Another option is the Oyster Farm Marina, which boasts 124 fully cushioned slips that can accommodate vessels up to 150 feet.
Boat launches near Cape Charles
Just looking to launch your boat in or around Cape Charles? There are plenty of places to begin your exploration of the Chesapeake Bay, whether you’re looking to do some fishing or just taking a pleasure cruise. You can find a list of all of Northampton County’s boat ramps here.
- The Wise Point Boat Ramp is located within the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge. If offers access to both the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Virginia Inside Passage.
- There is a boat ramp at Kiptopeke State Park offering easy access to the legendary fishing around the park’s concrete ships.
- Launching and hauling boats from the ramp at the Cape Charles Harbor is free. The ramp gets busy during warmer months, and boaters should also plan in advance for parking and trailer storage.
- If you’re heading offshore to explore the Barrier Islands, Oyster Harbor is a great place to start. There’s no fee to launch from here.
Boating safety around the Eastern Shore
The tidal marshes, underwater grass flats, and strong winds that are common in the area can present a challenge to even experienced boaters. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather as well as the tides to avoid getting caught out in the open by a storm, or being stranded by the tides. If you’re exploring the Barrier Islands, the best time to do so is on a rising tide. Also keep an eye out for “No Trespassing” signs to avoid landing on private property, and be aware that some islands may be closed periodically to protect nesting birds.