Author Archives: Shane Ellis

Three Days with a Wilbur 38 Flybridge Cruiser

LOCATION: Various Locations around Southwest Harbor departing from the Claremont Hotel

VESSEL: “Ariel’s Song” – Wilbur 38′ Flybridge Cruiser

NARRATIVE: We had three great days aboard Ariel’s Song, doing day trips with two wonderful skippers, Mike and Christian. We had one passenger with mobility issues, and Mike and Christian, along with the great dock crew at the Claremont Hotel, were incredibly sweet and helpful with her. There are many great spots in that area to cruise, go ashore for lobster lunch, and anchor or moor for a swim. The water up in Somes Harbor was 65 degrees warm, which was considerably better than out in the open water, and we borrowed a mooring and had a glorious swim in that tranquil spot, surrounded by pretty boats, in clean clear water.

PHOTO: Wilbur 38 “Ariel’s Song” at the dock in Southwest Habor

Ellis Boat Charters – a top notch organization

LOCATIONSouthwest Harbor

VESSEL: “No Altitude” – Ellis 28 Express

NARRATIVE: I wanted to charter a nice boat for a family vacation with my son and my grandkids. I was not disappointed. Right from the first contact, Shane and the crew at Ellis Boat Charters were nothing less than top-notch. I have been sailing and boating pretty much my whole life and have done bareboat charters in various locations from Maine to the Caribbean and Ellis Boat Charters is at the top. From the charter arrangement at the front end to the checkout and return was seamless. The boat was delivered as promised and the return was as expected. If you want a quality boat from a trustworthy and well-run organization, Ellis Boat Charters is the one.PHOTO: Family on the Ellis 28 out of Southwest Harbor

Finding a Maine Gem on our Ellis Charter

LOCATIONS: Eggemoggin Reach, Buck’s Harbor, Castine, Camden, Stonington, Billing’s Yard, & Bass Harbor 

VESSEL: “Hathor” – An Ellis 36 Express Cruiser

NARRATIVE: We were a little daunted by taking on a boat 11 feet longer and geometrically much larger than we’re used to. A day with a captain, to get used to the controls, handling, and navigation systems, was well worth the investment in time. On our first day on our own, we headed south out of Southwest Harbor to eventually head north toward Eggemoggin Reach. Seas were quite choppy and the wind was “on our nose”. Hathor comfortably handled the chop at about 17 knots. We were happy to make the turn north toward Eggemoggin and have a following sea. Eggemoogin Reach was a beautiful ride up to Bucks Harbor, where we moored for the night. We had time to go ashore and take a walk around and explore. The next day we continued north a bit to Castine where we tied up for a couple of hours to explore a town rich in Revolutionary War history. An unplanned visit to the Castine Historical Society was a pleasant mix of art and history. Next, we were off to Camden just down Penobscot Bay. Smooth sailing the whole way. We tied up for the night before heading off to Stonington. We were a bit conservative in our approach to Stonington and probably went further south than those with local knowledge of the waters. Once in Stonington, we had the good fortune to tie up at Billings – a first come first serve boat yard. After several days of being on the move, we stayed in Stonington for two nights. Since the boatyard was on a first come first serve basis, we didn’t have to leave. Stonington is another Maine gem (shhh – don’t tell anyone!). Alas, the trip had to end as we made our way back to Southwest Harbor, again perhaps a little too conservative on the approach, but what’s not to like about being on the water? We soon found ourselves at Bass Harbor, where we stopped for lunch, the only meal all week we didn’t cook for ourselves.PHOTO: Stonington, Maine – Looking out over the many offshore Islands to the Southeast.

Afternoon Cruise from The Claremont Hotel

LOCATION: Claremont Hotel out of Southwest Harbor

VESSEL: “Downeaster” – An Ellis 36 Express Cruiser

NARRATIVE: Shane at Ellis is super responsive and he set up a great day for us. The boat was spacious and had a nice swim platform off the back. We toured around the Southwest harbor and other harbor areas for the afternoon – very pretty.

PHOTO: The Claremont Hotel – located at the entrance to Somes Sound in Southwest Harbor. Their Moorings, Dock, and launch services make this the ideal place to land when not out on your Ellis Charter vessel. The Claremont Hotel offers wonderful dining experiences at the Little Fern restaurant and Batson River Fish Camp (at the boathouse on the dock). 

Day Trips with a Hinckley Picnic Boat

LOCATIONSouthwest Harbor

VESSEL: “Lab Adore” – A Hinckley 36 Picnic Boat

NARRATIVE: The Hinckley 36-foot boat was just a perfect boat. Though it was 20 years old it seemed brand new and functioned like it. Shane and everyone at Ellis were super gracious and my orientation on the boat which has jet propulsion with a jet stick that I’ve never used before was an hour and a half well spent. By the second day, I was totally comfortable doing anything with the boat. Initially, we just tooled around as everyone had just recovered from Covid and we were tired. Late-day sunset cruises were a must but dawn breaking was fabulous. We spent whole days visiting the outer islands which are not touristy at all. One thing we do every trip is motor over to Little Cranberry Island and have dinner at the Islesboro restaurant. Service, food, and docking are all excellent and we recommend it.

PHOTOS: Some family photos from our day trips with “Lab Adore” and photos from our ocean-side rental (with a private dock) in Southwest Harbor.

Maine Trip July 2022

Poet Louise Bogan wrote Maine is: Where shell and weed wait upon the salt wash of the sea, And the clear nights of stars swing their lights westward to set behind the land.

Words and photos reveal the Maine coastline but experiencing Maine on the water is extraordinary. The beauty of the Penobscot Bay islands accented with white clouds is God’s artistry at its best. There are so many options to explore but just to name a few. Find some time to stop at Little Cranberry Island for Islesford Dock restaurant and Historical Museum. Pick up a mooring ball in Burnt Coat Harbor on Swans Island to take an afternoon hike to the Lighthouse, then be sure to view the brilliance of the night sky. Buck’s Harbor Marina provides excellent facilities with a friendly family staff. Enjoy a morning walk to the town for the Farmer’s Market and a delicious selection of bakery choices at the Bucks Harbor Market.

Our Ellis charter out of Southwest Harbor on Ariel’s Song left us wanting to return again. All furnishings listed were provided, as well as an outdoor grill. The sleeping bags were lightweight so for more warmth will bring our own next time. Big thank you to Darin for his expertise and at ease manner.

Professor Andrew and the Hinckley T40

LOCATIONS: Somes Sound, Northeast Harbor, and Penobscot Bay (Hurricane Island, Castine, and Dark Harbor)

VESSEL: Hinckley Talaria T40 “Timbuktu”

NARRATIVE: My husband and I rented Timbuktu for a week after Labor Day. On the first day, we spent an afternoon with Captain Andrew, on Somes Sound, learning the ins and outs of this beautiful Hinckley T40. It was like taking a class in a subject you love with a friendly and engaging professor. After class, we spent the night in NE Harbor, a favorite from last year. Timbuktu was comfortable and well-appointed. We took five friends out on the following day. The boat was made for this type of cruising. Lots of room in the stern for people to enjoy the scenery, and plenty of room for a comfortable lunch.   We spent the rest of the week cruising Penobscot Bay. We picked up a mooring at the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, a beautiful spot. The boat is very fast and handles lobster pots and a good chop equally well. We loved our cruise up to Castine, where we spent a day with family cruising to Dark Harbor on Islesboro. Hurricane Larry had kicked up some seas, causing a small craft advisory. Shane Ellis checked in with us knowing we had a bit of a ride back to SW Harbor. He arranged for us to follow in a friend of his from Castine, who was cruising to Manset on an Ellis boat. In retrospect, Timbuktu easily handled the seas, and really the only big rollers were in Bass Harbor. But we will be ever grateful to Shane for his understanding and support, and for introducing us to his friend Ned – a terrific guy.

PHOTOS: Capt. Andrew and Timbuktu in Southwest Harbor

A New Experience in Maine Waters with an Ellis 36

LOCATIONS: Southwest Harbor, Rockland, Duck Harbor

VESSEL: The Ellis 36 “Liberty”

NARRATIVE: This part of Maine was an area we had not experienced by water and it was stunningly beautiful! We spent the first night at Dysart’s marine and had dinner at a fabulous restaurant, Little Fern, inside the Claremont Hotel. It was one of the top 5 restaurants we have eaten in. On our last night back before returning the boat we had dinner at the Marina at the top of the hill restaurant – known for their burgers. On the second day, we headed out for Rockland and docked at Safe Harbor. Again, a winner with a special marina that offered all services plus a beautiful shower, laundry area, restaurant, and free use of a SUV for touring! We had planned to stay only 2 nights but ended up canceling our Camden moorage and stayed there another night. There are 2 premium restaurants in Rockland. Primo (go early and walk around the farm to table gardens) and “In Good Company Downtown” – a small but also farm-to-table restaurant. Last night was spent in Buck’s Harbor, a jewel of a spot! Small tucked-in cove that is quintessential to Maine. A film crew from Portland and LA were filming while we were there to promote travel to Maine so get there before it becomes discovered! They also sell Lobster and scallops right off the dock and the little local market is 1/2 mile away with fresh pastries, deli, and take-out. 

INSIGHTS: Chartering from Ellis Charters was a great experience as well. Any questions that we had on the boat were promptly addressed. It was also nice to have the first-night dockage at the Marina to get familiar with the boat.

An Incredible Experience with the Wilbur 38 Flybridge Cruiser

LOCATIONS: Isle Au Haut, Stonington, Schoodic Penninsula, Winter Harbor, Frenchmans’s Bay, Somes Sound, Northeast Harbor, Suttons Island.

VESSEL: The Wilbur 38 Flybridge Cruiser “Ariel’s Song”

NARRATIVE: We had a fabulous time on our 5-day, 4-night charter with Ariel’s Song! Our prior boating experience has been with smaller powerboats, so we hired a captain. This turned out to be a very wise choice for us because not only were there many things we had to learn about handling a boat of this size but also because Captain Andrew knew many beautiful and uncrowded spots to visit. The highlight for us was a trip to Isle Au Haut, where we did the Western Head hike with breathtaking views along the shore. (Be aware of your timing though — it is a somewhat challenging hike and takes at least 2 hours). Captain Andrew docked us at the ferry landing, which made it easy for us to get on the trail. Prior to that hike, we visited Stonington on Deer Isle, which is quite picturesque. Another day we boated over to the Schoodic Peninsula and had the best lobster rolls of our entire Maine stay at a pop-up lobster shop in Winter Harbor. We also boated to the northern edge of Frenchman’s Bay and up and down Somes Sound. One day, when the weather was a bit cloudy with a chance of rain, we boated into Northeast Harbor and docked by the Thuya Gardens. They are gorgeous and well worth a visit! From there, you can also walk over and visit the Asticou Gardens. On the last morning of our charter, we boated over to Sutton Island and hiked across it, through a very verdant trail in the woods. No one else was there and it seemed sort of surreal. Our boating venture was an incredible experience and we plan to do it again!

INSIGHTS: If you are not a very experienced boater, I highly recommend getting a captain. The waters around Mt Desert Island have unexpected shallow areas and other things you need to watch out for (like lobster trap buoys). Also, you might want to plan ahead where you want to spend your nights. We hadn’t done that planning, and we ended up spending all 4 nights at the marina in Southwest Harbor. It made it much easier in terms of going out for dinner each night. (Just walk out on the deck and into town or to our car). But if you want to experience sleeping on the boat in other harbors, you should probably plan it out beforehand, or at least have an idea of which harbors you want to visit and do a little calling ahead for mooring availability (call the harbormasters or a local boatyard for each harbor).

Erwin and I on the Ellis 28 “No Altitude”

LOCATIONS: Camden, Rockport, and some of the nearby Islands

VESSEL: Ellis 28 “No Altitude”

NARRATIVE: For the second summer, I rented a boat from Ellis Boat Charters. The experience was terrific – as it was last year. The boat was in fabulous condition and handled wonderfully. Plus, the staff at the Ellis Boat company were incredibly responsive and helpful. I felt like I could take No Altitude anywhere. We were able to travel north to Castine and to several of the islands – Islesboro, North Haven, and Vinalhaven. We especially enjoyed Vinylhaven where the Homeport Family Restaurant was a great lunch spot. Plus, our dog, Erwin, loved every minute of her. After 2 years with No Altitude, I can assure you we will be back for a third.PHOTO: Erwin on Deck

Family Vacation with a Hinckley T40 in Frenchman Bay

LOCATIONS: Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay – Private Dock at a rental home

VESSEL: Hinckley Talaria T40 “Timbuktu”

NARRATIVE: Beyond happy with the vessel. She was a joy to drive utilizing the Jet drives. Quiet, stable in all seas, shallow draft, easy to dock/steer and navigate. Very much like a Volvo EPS Pod drive would be. We went all over Frenchman Bay and utilized tender for getting to remote island stops for lunch or moorings. Felt very safe in this boat – an excellent design from Hinckley. Shane at Ellis was awesome to work with and very accommodating for our limited experience. We worked with an excellent captain for 1.5 days and were cleared to operate the boat on our own and now we feel very comfortable after spending a full week with it. We have decided to do this again in 2022. Well worth it and a treasure trove of memories with our family!

LOGISTICS: Be patient with the jet drives–once you learn them though they are a joy to drive.

PHOTOS: A few photos from our time with “Timbuktu” in Frenchman Bay

The Trip of a Lifetime on an Ellis 36 called Liberty

LOCATIONS: From Southwest Harbor, Stonington, North Haven, Camden, Castine Harbor, Bucksport, Hunts Harbor, and Burnt Cove Harbor to Camden with many beautiful harbors

VESSEL: The Ellis 36 Express Cruiser “Liberty”

NARRATIVE: The Ellis Charter boat company is the best. Beautiful boat, fully equipped, ran great! After several days of fog, we took off to cruise Somes Sound which was a gorgeous trip. We returned to the marina and left the following day for our adventure with the first stop to little Cranberry Island – a small quaint island where we saw many seals. Then on to Stonington – a gorgeous town with stunning scenery. We stayed at Billings Marina in Stonington which is the Lobster capital of Maine. The next stop was beautiful North Haven where we picked up a mooring. Lots of interesting places to dingy around here! Then on to charming Camden where we picked up a mooring from Lyman Morse Marina. The marina offers a courtesy car for 2 hours so you can restock and see some scenery. Curtis Island is a short dingy ride from the boat with trails around the perimeter and a beautiful lighthouse. From there we cruised to Castine – a very beautiful and friendly small-town, but not the best place to moor or anchor. On to quiet, scenic Bucks Harbor which is the ideal place to anchor or pull up a mooring. Not much of a town but we had a nice walk and did laundry at the marina. We loved scenic Hunts Harbor in Frenchboro which is on Long Island where we picked up a mooring. Lots of places to hike here! The last night of the cruise was in Burnt Cove Harbor on Swan Harbor. Interesting harbor, very low-key. This was really the trip of a lifetime!! We enjoyed it and highly recommend it!!

PHOTO: Curtis Island Lighthouse

Local Cruising near Southwest Harbor

LOCATIONS: We had a wonderful week based on a remote island with trips to Blue Hill, Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Bass Harbor, Little Cranberry. We also spent one day exploring the Eggemoggin Reach.

VESSEL: An Ellis 36 Express Cruiser

Morning coffee (and some remote work) on our Ellis 36 Express Cruiser

NARRATIVE: We have found a perfect solution for our desire to get out and explore the beauty of Acadia and the Islands of Mid-coast Maine. Ellis is a trustworthy reliable company that has a fantastic fleet and great employees.

LOGISTICS: Follow your charts and be prepared to use radar in the event of fog. 

PHOTOS: A beautiful day on a Maine Island.

A Maine Coast Boating Guide

We would like to recommend “A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast” for dreaming, scheming, and general Maine Coast vacation planning – it is truly a great resource. This is the kind of book you will want to purchase IN ADVANCE of your soon-to-be Ellis Charter. UPDATE: As of Early 2023 these are OUT OF PRINT. 

(note – may be out of print)

IF OUT OF PRINT: Check out the New England Cruising Guide (see below)

Every Ellis Charter Boat includes MAPTECH charts and a copy of MAPTECH’s New England Cruising Guide, which is a very useful guide for finding specific information on each Maine AND New England harbor. If you would like to view a copy of the New England Cruising Guide in advance, you can purchase their ebook version HERE.

A Four-Day Maine Cruise Aboard The Ellis 36 “Hathor”

We, three septuagenarian veterans of sailboat cruising in Maine, were curious what a power-boat charter would be like. So, when we saw a four-day window in Ellis Charter’s schedule, we thought that would be a perfect opportunity to sample the experience. We are accustomed to sailing at speeds between four and six knots while steering clear of lobster pot buoys, so the prospect of cruising at 15 knots without needing to be wary of pot buoys was very appealing. It would allow us to get between destinations expeditiously and enjoy exploring the many shores and hiking trails of outlying Maine islands.

Our cruise aboard “Hathor”, an Ellis 36 Express Cruiser, brought us much sunny weather to enjoy our shore excursions, punctuated with periods of rain, fog, strong winds, and choppy seas as we moved between stops. We welcomed the sense of shelter and robustness that Hathor provides, compared to the exposure to the elements aboard a sailboat. In our 96 hours with the boat, we made stops in the following places, as described further:

• Lunt Harbor, Frenchboro/Long Island (mooring) – pictured below
• Burnt Coat Harbor, Swans Island (mooring)
• Southern Harbor, North Haven Island (anchor)
• Duck Harbor, Isle au Haut (anchor)
• Seal Bay, Vinalhaven (anchor)
• Merchant Harbor, Merchant and Harbor Islands (anchor)
• Islesford, Little Cranberry Island (mooring)
• Northeast Harbor, MDI (dock)
• Southwest Harbor, MDI (dock)

Looking back at Mount Desert Island from Lunts Harbor – Stop #1

Day 1: After a boat-handling check-out from an Ellis technician that covered docking and picking up moorings, we left Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island for Frenchboro, Long Island in the early afternoon. Continue reading

A few great Maine Boating Destinations

As I sat down with my tax accountant a couple of weeks back (that time of year). I did not necessarily expect a conversation to ensue beyond the invariable discussion of tax codes, liabilities, and write-off potentials. However, as it turns out, my tax accountant is an avid boater with some valuable boating opinions. He discussed many “friendly need-to-see harbors”. Continue reading

Fox Island Thoroughfare

Thanks for the charter of “Queen of the Cove”, We had a great time and will book again sometime in the future. The boat was comfortable, easy and fun to operate and with the electronics, easy to navigate. Maine is beautiful and the weather the week of our charter was perfect. We particularly liked Fox Island Thoroughfare. That’s the location of the photo with my “Queen” the bow pulpit of “Queen of the Cove”.


Historical Port Tours

LOCATIONS: Primarily exploring old historic marina’s and ports: Castine, Camden, Rockport, Searsport, Belfast, Boothbay Harbor

VESSEL: The Ellis 36 Express Cruiser “Liberty”.

The Ellis 36 “Liberty” on Charter in 2019

NARRATIVE: From Camden, you can take ‘day trips’ (to and back) to Rockport and Searsport. Camden’s inner harbor ‘floating docks’ are unique (to me). It is less expensive and easy to take your own tender or you can use the ‘launch service’ back & forth. Make sure you visit the many fantastic Maritime Museums such as Bath’s Maine Maritime Museum and Searsport’s Penobscot Marine Museum (20 min walk from pier). Also, Castine has a great city tour on a golf cart – “Scarlett”

A Successful Trip in the Maine Fog

Our week with family visiting was much more memorable with the addition of Ellis’s Too Priceless to enjoy. It comfortably held 10 of us for many day trips to show our South Carolina cousins where the real beauty is – the rocky Maine coast! We are currently in-between boats and this 36’, while a bit larger than we were used to, was a great size and very easy to maneuver.

Our most memorable trip was, well, a memory for many reasons. It was a perfect day and we set off from Western Bay, destination Little Cranberry Island, otherwise known as Islesford. The intention was to visit the museum, artisan shops, the quaint churches on the island and of course, lunch at the Islesford Dock Restaurant where the food is delicious! We did manage to accomplish all that but not before dealing with a typical Maine “suddenly-from-out-of-nowhere” fog bank on the way over. It just came rolling right at us as we came around the bend just before Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. AND hung with us for the rest of the trip over, clearing out only just as we approached the island dock. While some rental operations might be skimping on bare-bones equipment, this Ellis was fully equipped with sophisticated computers that really did save us that day.

bassharbor-0174Photo of Bass Harbor Lighthouse courtesy of

While waiting for our table for 10, we did all the stops we had wanted to see. After leaving the church which allowed time for reflection, we had a good laugh over what each of us secretly pondered while reflecting in that quiet chapel. Let’s just say all the thoughts tied to “thanks for a safe trip over here” to “please let us have a safe trip back” or “please let the sun burn this fog off while we eat”. Prayers were answered and the trip home was crystal clear so our company could really enjoy the beauty of the islands and Park mountains from the south side of the area.

P.S. The team at Ellis is great as well. I would know. I recently published a customer service satire, critical of the lack of high service standards in many establishments these days. Ellis will never make it into book II unless I change my tactic and pen a book about how it should be done!

A Maine Charter with “Too Priceless”

I wanted to take a minute and tell you how much we enjoyed our charter on the 36’ Ellis “Too Priceless”. She is truly a proper yacht and in Bristol condition. We were impressed the moment we walked down the dock – the boat was spotless – incredible condition for a charter boat. And the boat was set up with all the “right stuff” as well. The maintenance was spot on. We had a flawless week of charter – the boat performed way beyond our expectations. I truly feel privileged to have spent a week on Too Priceless – it was one of our best vacations ever!!!IMG_0771We really can’t say our favorite place as the entire Penobscot Bay Area is absolutely incredible – so many wonderful places. If we had to choose a favorite place it would probably be the area around Vinalhaven – so many secluded anchorages.

I would highly recommend Ellis Charters to others and no doubt we will be a repeat customer – everything so so professional.

Here are a few photos from our Trip.


Local Boating Destination Ideas near Acadia National Park

Here are some “destination ideas” as you put together your plans for chartering with Ellis Boat Charters.

The perfect Maine day. Merchant’s Row is a collection of islands right off the coast of Mount Desert Island that includes some of the most beautiful islands on the East Coast. Treat your group to a day on the water by setting off from Southwest Harbor or Northeast Harbor in your Ellis Boat charter, motoring by the famous Bass Harbor lighthouse, and casting anchor close to one of the islands.

Baker’s Island is part of Acadia National Park and home to the famous Baker Island Lightstation, which marks the entrance to Frenchman’s Bay. The famous Baker Island “Dance Floor” is a series of huge slabs of granite found on the south shore, smoothed flat by the tides. Explore this historic island and enjoy a picnic lunch, while overlooking Mount Desert Island’s rugged coastline.

Dock your Ellis Charter boat at the storied Islesford Dock Restaurant, where you can enjoy classic Maine fare, as well as the works of local artists at the Islesford Artist’s Gallery.

Explore what is arguably the only Fjord on the East Coast. It is a body of water running deep into Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. Its deepest point is approximately 175 feet (50 m), and it is over 100 feet (30 m) deep in several places. The sound almost splits the island in two. Somes Sound was named for Abraham Somes, who was one of the first settlers on the island. Ask your captain to bring you here to view beautiful ocean-front houses and Acadia’s mountains.

Great Island hiking and a wonderful less-known sand beach, with a picturesque cove (Sand Cove) for anchoring. Take the tender ashore for a short picnic on the beach. If you want a bigger adventure, book the boat for two days with a Captain and camp out on the island overnight. Your captain can pick you up the next day to continue your adventure. Details about booking campsites on the island are here:

Want to check out Bar Harbor but take the scenic route? Tour along the Eastern part of Mount Desert Island and up to Bar Harbor, where she can dock while you explore Bar Harbor. If you have plenty of time, you could even stop by Schoodic Point or Winter Harbor.

The waters around Mount Desert Island are filled with spectacular wildlife viewing. If you’d like to search for whales, porpoises, or various birds, look no further!

Maine Harbors, Islands, Docks, and Passages…

LOCATIONS: Schoodic Peninsula, Ocean Drive, Eggemoggin Reach, Bucks Harbor, Frenchman’s Bay, Mount Desert Island Area…

VESSEL: The Ellis 36 Express Cruiser “Salty Furlough”.

I. For the nature lover head northeast to the Schoodic peninsula. Take the inside route passing Mark Island to starboard. Enjoy the scenery along Grindstone Neck and this less frequented region of Acadia National Park. Continue on to Petit Manan for bird watching. If you’re lucky you’ll see the elusive Puffin.
II. From SW/NE Harbor head north along the eastern shore of MDI. Enjoy seeing the magnificent turn of the century mansions. Continue north along Ocean Drive and consider how lucky you are to be on an Ellis as you observe the hoards of crowds and vehicles attempting to catch a glimpse of the Maine coast.
III. Cruise north and west to cross Eggemoggin Reach of your list of “must-sees” on the Maine coast. Sail into Bucks Harbor for fuel or an overnight assisted by the friendly dock and convenience store staff.
IV. Don’t forget Frenchman Bay for excellent deep water cruising and great views of the MDI mountains. While there check out Bald Rock for eagles and seals. Travel north to view the former terminal site for the Mount Desert Ferry where the trains met the steamers for the final leg of the rusticator’s journey to Bar Harbor and points beyond.
V. Short trips:
a. We visited Islesford and their Dock Restaurant for lunch and dinner.
b. We dropped the hook off Eagle Island for a nice lunch spot.
c. We stopped into Bar Harbor a couple of times for lunch and dinner.
d. We cruised around Baker Island for a different view of the MDI mountains.
e. We cruised to the end of Somes Sound for spectacular “inner-island” views.

PHOTO: Islesford Dock Restaurant, from

LOGISTICS: Bar Harbor – Check in with the harbormaster for the possibility to tie up for a few hours. We were able to accomplish this at no charge. Islesford Dock Restaurant – call ahead for reservations. Stock up on snacks and water for the week or longer to minimize provisioning trips.

Share your own Maine Boating Experience: HERE

Maine Boating Destination: To Rockland and Back

LOCATIONS: Nancy and I started in Southwest Harbor and, over a period of a week, visited Camden, Rockland, Castine, Little Cranberry Island, and Somes Sound. During our passages, we covered the Casco Passage, the Deer Island Passage, the Fox Island Thoroughfare and the Eggomoggin Reach (photo).

VESSEL: Queen of the Cove– A beautiful and very well equipped Ellis 36. The boat was easy to handle, very comfortable in all the sea conditions we experienced. In addition, the boat received several nice comments along the way from others at the docks.

NARRATIVE: We were given a nice reception in Southwest Harbor by Shane and the crew at Ellis Boats. Zach gave us a thorough briefing on the boat including a great tutorial on docking. It turns out the Ellis 36 handles very nicely at docking speeds – I was a bit nervous at first about docking the boat – but was comfortable after two approaches. We choose to use the services of a captain for the first day just to familiarize ourselves with the region. I have wide boat experiences but Nancy does not – and she felt very secure after the first day. The captain sat down with us and helped to work out a great itinerary for the week ahead. The trip started with a passage to Rockland Harbor in windy, bright sun conditions. We decided to stay at harbor docks when possible – and did so in Rockland, Camden, and Castine. The towns are very unique and we got in a lot of walking – exploring each area. The people we met, including the dockmasters, could not have been nicer – we just had a ball. We found the boat to be very comfortable and used either the generator or shore power most nights. The boat was fully equipped with bedding, paper products, galley equipment, etc.. In addition, the boat had a full complement of operational safety gear – very professional. We will do this again next year. Both Nancy and I are happily surprised that Ellis has developed this unique service – we had a great time.

LOGISTICS: Watch the water levels in the boat – fill up at the docks when you have a chance. The shower in the boat is so good you will use it often.

PHOTOS: Queen of the Cove Yacht Interior Photos

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Maine Boating Destination: To Penobscot Bay and Back

LOCATIONS: Penobscot Bay, Bucks Harbor, Belfast, Castine, Northeast Harbor, Somes Sound.

VESSEL: The Ellis 36 Liberty (formerly Eggemoggin Express)

NARRATIVE: My wife and I just completed a wonderful week cruising the Penobscot Bay aboard an Ellis 36 Express named Liberty (formerly named Eggemoggin Express). The boat was awesome in every way and our destinations certainly exceeded our expectations. The boat was very comfortable and stable and we found the systems very easy to manage and operate. Liberty was well equipped and all we needed was our clothes and provisions. Other than a few windy days, we found our first time navigating the area to be easier than we envisioned and the scenery was amazing. Navigation was straightforward and we found most areas to be very well marked even for first-time visitors. We found wonderful scenic anchorages in Bucks Harbor and Northeast Harbor and fell in love with small towns like Belfast and Castine. We ended our trip on a morning cruise through Somes Sound which was spectacular. Throughout the trip, the wildlife was amazing from the herons and osprey to playful seals that loved darting around our wake. Our week went by quickly and we only touched the surface on possible destinations, so we hope we get to return.

PHOTOS: Here are a few photos from our trip.

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Maine Boating Destination: A Journey to Castine

LOCATIONS: Somes Sound, Little Cranberry Island, Northeast Harbor, Eggemoggin Reach, and Castine at 44°23’14.6″N 68°47’43.4″W

VESSEL: The Ellis 36 Express Cruiser “Too Priceless”.

NARRATIVE: Two summers ago, we chartered an Ellis 36 called “Too Priceless”. We had two full days of cruising in beautiful weather. The first day we had a large crowd of 12-13 and stayed local, going toward Bar Harbor and visiting Little Cranberry Island, Northeast Harbor and exploring Somes Sound and the Western Way. The boat had plenty of room for the large group. The next day three of us made the trip by Bass Harbor up Eggemoggin Reach into Penobscot Bay and docked at Castine for lunch and exploring the town. About a month before our trip, I had read an article about Castine and really wanted to visit. We probably should have taken some extra time and visited Belfast, Stonington, or maybe Camden, but we had plans for an early evening. The boat was a nice ride and easy to handle. We generally cruised at 14-15 knots. We did not overnite on the boat, but I think it would be comfortable for a small group.


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Maine Boating Destination: Sand Cove on Marshall Island

LOCATION: 44°06’27.7″N 68°30’11.4″W – Sand Cove, Marshall Island, ME
VESSEL: The Ellis 36 Flybridge Cruiser “Fulton Blake”.

NARRATIVE: This small uninhabited island is near Swans Island, just outside of Jericho Bay. It sports a great beach, nice hike, and overnight camping locations (although we never camped overnight). The anchorage is stable and the harbor fairly well-protected as long as you do not anchor out too far. The beach is a favorite spot for my kids, of course. And if you plan your trip later in the season, the swimming is nice. Bring a picnic and enjoy! – Shane Ellis, Ellis Boat Company, Inc.

PHOTOS: Here are a few photos from one of our trips a few years ago. The Island shot is courtesy (I could not find any photos that I took of Sand Cove).

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LOGISTICS: You will need to anchor – no moorings. Anchorage has always been solid. No services. Remote and uninhabited.

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