Mystery Harbor Winner for December: Bristol Harbor

A word from our winner

I enjoyed seeing your photo of Bristol Marine’s harbor launch, Olivia dropping off passengers at Thames Street Landing in Bristol Harbor, R.I. When we purchased the Bristol Boatyard in 1998, there was no public launch service available and we quickly decided to commission the construction of a Crosby 26,’ and named her after my business partner’s granddaughter.

Early on, she had a bimini cover, but it was removed after a few seasons of getting tangled up in the sporty afternoon southwest breeze that we enjoy throughout the summer. You can just make out our storage shed and main office building with new bathrooms and showers on the far side of the harbor.

Andy Tyska

Bristol, R.I

Rich in history

That’s a view from town looking across to Bristol YC. The launch looks like BYC’s Crosby Tug launch. It’s a great place to visit in the summer, and Bristol’s rich yachting history is still evident. There’s the Herreshoff Museum and lots of quaint shops and restaurants. I grew up sailing and working at Bristol YC.

Mike Hanley

Excelsior, MN


Get ashore to explore

Leaving Block Island and heading toward the Cape Cod Canal, we couldn’t make more than one knot due to the good pounding into the waves in Buzzards Bay. After an hour with little headway made, we gave up and headed to Newport, but it was the Boat Show weekend, and there was no room for us! The wind was out of the north, so we headed to Bristol Harbor to wait for a better weather window. What a gem of a place! The Herreshoff Museum is an amazing place to spend time exploring beautiful boats, and Bristol is a very walkable town with lots of options for a bite to eat. The launch in the Mystery Harbor picture is a great way to get ashore to explore.

Jane Davin

Boxford, Mass.



The first item to catch my eye was the Bristol Marine launch, Olivia. Looking closer, it was easy to confirm this by the Bristol Marine and Bristol Yacht Club’s buildings in the distance. While I am a bit biased, Bristol Harbor is by far one of the best cruising harbors in New England, with very easy access to the town, parks, museums, and public transit, all without the crowds of other coastal towns. It is a great cruiser destination worthy of the few hour’s travel up Narragansett Bay. Plus, the town has just expanded its dockage with very nice new docks.

Keith Duncan

Bristol, R.I.

To the point

The Mystery Harbor in December 2022 is Bristol, R.I., seen from the town side…

 Steven M. McInnis, Esq.

Newport, R.I.

Worth your while

Home sweet home… Bristol Harbor! The center of my universe for the past 45 years. The Crosby launch, Olivia operated by Bristol Marine, was a dead giveaway (the Bristol Yacht Club visible behind the piling sealed the deal). We keep our Freedom 35 in the mooring field and our old Eastern 22 at the town docks.

Bristol Harbor is most welcoming to visiting yachts. Transient moorings and launch service are available at Bristol Yacht Club (very friendly place), Bristol Marine, Herreshoff Museum, and the town’s 15 or so transient moorings. Lots of pubs, taverns, restaurants and activities only across the street from either of the two town dinghy docks. There’s a Maritime Center with showers, laundry, vending machines and the Harbormaster’s Office. The harbor itself is very active in the summer, with two active sailing camps (the Yacht Club and Herreshoff Museum), a good size commercial fishing fleet, and visiting (smaller) cruise ships and classic yachts. The town operates a fuel dock, pump out and transient slips at a brand-new (2022) marina. Worth the trip.

Bob Hamel

Newport, R.I.


From a distance

I believe the mystery harbor is Bristol, Rhode Island, because the photo was taken from condo docks on the east side of the harbor and on the west side is a house that was previously owned by the McDonald family (not mine) and the gray building peeking out from the piling is the Bristol Yacht Club. I kept a boat in Bristol Harbor for 25 years.

David McDonald

Bristol, R.I.