July Mystery Harbor: Marblehead, Mass.


A rich yachting tradition

When I first glanced at the photo, I immediately recognized the large Italianate house on the right side of the photo. This is Marblehead Harbor, 16 miles north of Boston as the crow flies.

I have sailed out of Marblehead since 1967, first as a crew on a Shields racing sloop, then as a skipper / owner of a Shields, later on a Nonsuch 30 cruising catboat (1987-2005), and since 2005 on a Sabreline 36 Flybridge Cruiser.

Marblehead Harbor is well protected from every direction except the northeast, which can expose the boats moored there to quite a surge during northeast storms.

There are three major yacht clubs (Eastern, Corinthian, and Boston Yacht Clubs) and two smaller ones (Marblehead and Dolphin Yacht Clubs), in the harbor. In addition, there is the Pleon Yacht Club, the oldest junior yacht club in the country, with a sailing program that has spawned generations of competitive young sailors, many of whom have developed into regional, national and world champions in their respective racing classes.

While Marblehead has probably outlived its earlier appellation as the “yachting capital of the world,” it continues to hold its own as a hub for one-design racing, as well as for big-boat racing, as exemplified by the biennial Marblehead to Halifax Race. The race committees of the major clubs are known for their knowledge and skill in race management, and they are often called on to run large fleet regattas, including for the Olympics.

Lea Pendleton

Marblehead, Mass.


A beautiful harbor

I have had the pleasure of sailing into and around Marblehead many times while living in Salem, MA. It was also a joy to sail our Friendship Sloop in several annual regattas hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead. It is a beautiful harbor.

Craig A. Collemer

Marblehead, Mass.


Key boat is near mine

When the sun is setting over Abbott Hall in Marblehead, it illuminates the east side of Marblehead Harbor and the majestic homes that reside along “The Neck.” These homes are between the Eastern Yacht Club to the right and the Corinthian Yacht Club to the left (both out of the picture). This picture was taken from the “old town” side of the harbor, somewhat to the left of the Boston Yacht Club. While the homes were a dead give-a-way, the zebra-striped painted Etchell in the lower right of the photo was the clincher. I have been looking at that boat from my mooring for years!

Kevin Taylor

Topsfield, Mass.


Worked there more than 30 years

That is taken right off the dock where I have worked for over 30 years.

Bob Leahy

Marblehead, Mass.

We tried to make it a challenge

It’s Marblehead! I think it’s cute how you used a view not showing any of the yacht clubs for identification. I’ve sailed and raced out of here for 30 years.

Tom Anderson

Marblehead, Mass.


Birthplace of the U.S. Navy

The harbor of the month is beautiful Marblehead Harbor. Birthplace of the US Navy. Though no yacht clubs (Eastern, Corinthian) can be seen looking east across the harbor to Marblehead Neck, the number of boats on moorings in this tightly packed harbor is very telling. Once when racing IODs, we T-boned a moored boat while attached to our mooring! There’s no swing room here, it’s all dependent on tides and wind directions. The clincher is the distinct zebra painted Etchells in the bottom right!

Maybe the mermaid specialist Dave Roper took the picture?

Brian Corbett



I grew up there

So the answer to the Mystery Harbor is Marblehead, Massachusetts! I knew it immediately. I grew up in Marblehead and graduated in the MHS Class of 1979. I was very fortunate to have grown up there in a sailing family. Our first boat, March Hare, was a wooden sloop that we moored way far out at the mouth of the harbor off from the Corinthian Yacht Club pool. (Now there are so many boats out there and beyond!) During the winter, we kept her either in our driveway or at Parker’s Boatyard, where I would have seen this view over to The Neck many times. Eventually, my parents bought a fiberglass Galaxy 32 sloop, Heatwave which was a lot easier to maintain but came with 13 sails including 3 spinnakers. We had never put up a spinnaker before and managed to do the spinnaker-under-the-hull trick out at the mouth of the harbor our first time one fine summer day for all to see. But, my dad redeemed himself by summer’s end when we threw an anchor off the stern at the mouth of the harbor and he, my brother and I and other friends onboard went spinnaker flying taking turns in a bosun’s chair! What a blast!

I know that view of Marblehead Harbor well, too, for other reasons. I attended sailing camp at the Pleon Yacht Club, a youth sailing club, that is out on The Neck. We sailed by those houses 2-3 times a week for a few summers. Also, any time I was at Crocker Park, on the town side of the harbor, with friends attending a concert at the annual Marblehead Arts Festival, watching the annual 4th of July Harbor Illumination & Fireworks (harborfront property owners picked up flares at the police station and put them out along their seawalls, yard or beach to be lit just before the fireworks started) or swimming off the dock. An amazing Marblehead Harbor winter memory is from The Big Freeze of ’78 when the harbor froze over. I remember my dad, brother and some of our friends walking from the town side over to the Eastern Yacht Club (out of the picture to the right a few properties) on the frozen saltwater – really unsettling but so very exciting!

I am so lucky to have grown up in such a wonderful place in the world with all the opportunities and experiences I had. Fortunately, I get to go back there many times a year because I have family and friends that live there or nearby.

Tammy Bevins

Yarmouth, Maine


That’s our boat

It’s late, late afternoon in Marblehead Harbor. That’s the bow of our Quickstep Fandango nosing into the picture on the right side.

Betsy and Monty Morris

Marblehead, Mass.


Building was featured in movie

This is the view from my mooring on Marblehead Harbor. The red tiled roof house was featured in Adam Sandler’s movie Grown Ups I. Not shown in the photo is the Corinthian Yacht Club to the North (left) and the Eastern Yacht Club to the South (right).

Cahir McCoole

Marblehead, Mass.


Best Mystery Harbor ever

I’ve got this one,

It is Marblehead. The blue boat in the foreground is ours. A North Shore 22 Suzanne. The zebra boat to the right is an old Soling. The picture is taken from the Tuckers Wharf area. The homes in the background are on Marblehead Neck. I know them too. This photo wastaken during a beautiful time of day when the sun is setting near the horizon and casts a shine on all the boats.

Love your magazine.

Stuart and Sarra Tubbs

Marblehead, Mass.


Our apologies to Chuck Roast

Our apologies to the photographer of the June Mystery Harbor. We mis-credited the image of Matinicus Island in last month’s issue. The photographer is an occasional contributor who goes by the pen name Chuck Roast who writes: “That’s my sloop barely visible center-left behind the black fish boat. I used to sail out to Matinicus regularly on the New Moon to catch the Milky Way. It was a sure way of attempting to stay humble. Wheaton Island is dead ahead. The structure is the summer home of the artist Bo Bartlett and his coterie of beautiful women. The original structure was built by John and Lizzie Matelock who settled on Wheaton around 1909. Across from the house, but not visible in the photo is a fisherman’s dock.”