Safe Harbor Essex Island
Safe Harbor Essex Island

Welcome to Safe Harbor Essex Island

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Safe Harbor Essex Island is located five scenic miles from the entrance to the Connecticut River, from Long Island Sound. Offering a unique boating destination, Essex Island Marina's thirteen-acre property is just a short ferry ride from downtown historic Essex.
Slips Transient Slips Mean Low Water Max Length/Beam Fuel Pumpout Hauling Capacity Winter Storage

125 fixed & floating docks

60 fixed & floating docks




Available at Dauntless

Available at Dauntless

30 tons

Indoor, Outdoor & Wet

In recent years, Essex has been labeled the "Perfect Small American Town," as well as being selected as one of "The 100 Best Small Towns in America," and has also been chosen as one of the "1,000 Places To See Before You Die"!

Essex Island Marina offers a quiet, nature-packed respite from the shops, restaurants, and quaint - but bustling - village atmosphere. The "resort" marina provides plenty of family fun, too, with an oversized swimming pool, picnic area, wheelhouse customer lounge and plenty of family recreation areas, including volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, badminton, ping pong, bocce, and more.

The talented service team are part of the Dauntless Brewer Service Yard – with many years of experience, industry-certified credentials, and a year 'round, full-time schedule.

An ideal location for rendezvous gatherings, yacht club activities, waterfront weddings, and boat manufacturer raft-ups, our facilities can comfortably accommodate large groups.


  • Electric
  • Water
  • Cable TV
  • Clean Heads & Showers
  • Swimming Pool
  • Lawn Games
  • Laundromat
  • Propane Weber Grills & Picnic Areas
  • The Deck - Area for yacht rendezvous, functions, and company events
  • Essex Marine Group
    Brokerage specializing in motoryacht and sportfish. (at the Shipyard)
  • Essex Yacht Sales
    Brokerage specializing in assisting private clients to buy and sell fine yachts, power and sail. Locally owned and operated by Leslie Quarrier, CPYB, with over 25 years’ experience in Essex.
  • Oyster Harbor Marine
    Since 1987, Oyster Harbors Marine has provided customers with outstanding service. Our award-winning sales team has more than 170 years of new boat and brokerage sales experience. They’ve seen it all and can expertly navigate the often complicated waters of a boat sale.
  • Eastland Yachts
    Eastland Yachts celebrating over 50 years of new, used and brokerage boat sales. Specializing in quality built sail and powerboat brokerage. Dealers for Hallberg-Rassy sailboats. Put Eastland Yachts knowledge and experience to work on the sale of your current boat, or that move from sail to power (or power back to sail).
  • Prestige Yacht Sales
    One of New York/New England’s finest yacht brokerage firms for over twenty-five years—now has three locations: Norwalk, Essex and Mystic, Connecticut. We are proud to be appointed the exclusive dealer for Beneteau Sail, Hunt Yachts and Southport Boats. The Essex office is conveniently located at Safe Harbor's Dauntless Shipyard location. Call: 860-767-0528(at the Marina)
  • Griswold Inn
    Fine old fare dining, in walking distance.
    (860) 767-1776
  • The Black Seal Tavern
    New England Pub in the village of Essex.
    (860) 767-0233
  • Olive Oyl's Carry-Out Cuisine
    Creative carry out cuisine.
    (860) 767-4909
  • Sweet P's Ice Cream
    Charming ice cream shop on Main Street.
    (860) 767-7805
  • Village Provisions Company
    A complete convenience market, with deli meats, groceries, beverages, bicycle rentals and laundry service.
  • Abby’s Place
    Casual waterfront dining overlooking the marina and the Connecticut River. Sit on the deck, or dine inside, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Open year round.
    (860) 767-0560
  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car
    Old Saybrook, CT
    (860) 395-0758
    Will deliver and pick up the car at the marina free of charge.
  • 9 Town Transit
    Bus service from Old Saybrook to Chester
    Runs along the Connecticut River
    Will pick up and drop off at the marina with a reservation
    (860) 510-0429
  • Essex Taxi
  • Chester Airport
    Chester, CT (10 minutes)
    Charter and small craft available
  • Tweed New Haven Airport
    New Haven, CT (35 minutes)
    Express flights for commercial carriers
  • Bradley Airport (BDL)
    Hartford, CT (50 minutes)
    Commercial aviation
  • Amtrak Northeast Rail Services
    Old Saybrook, CT (10 minutes)
    Washington – Boston line

About the Area

One of the oldest settlements in Connecticut, ‘Pettipague’ was established in 1648. The village’s primary business was the marine trades. Shipbuilding started in 1720, producing schooners for the West Indies trade. The first warship owned by the United States - the 24-gun Oliver Cromwell - was built here. By the early 1800s, its reputation as a major shipbuilding center attracted the attention of the British, who chose to raid the town during the war of 1812. The village sustained large economic losses, but, by promising not to resist the British militia, were able to save their homes and cause no harm to the townspeople. Shortly afterward, the name of the town was changed to Essex.


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Safe Harbor Summer Events

Slips / Storage

Summer Slips

Located five nautical miles from the Long Island Sound breakwater, Essex is tucked in a convenient, sheltered, and protected harbor. Essex Island Marina is situated on the west side of the Connecticut River just 100′ from mainland Essex, CT.

Offering 125 slips, with approximately 60 available for transient guests, our slips are located adjacent to the river on the east side of the island, and along North Cove on the west side of the island. For boaters who have a preferred location, be sure to notify us of yours when making your reservation.

Our fixed and floating slips range in size from 30’ to 165’, with a minimum of 15’ width at each slip. At mean low water, the depths in the slips range from 5’-12’. Dockside accommodations consist of tying up to pilings alongside a stationary dock. We have 2.5’-3’ tidal range.

  • 125 seasonal slips
  • Transient slips available
  • 5 – 12′ dockside depth at MLW
  • Free WiFi
  • VHF Info: 9

Request Summer Slips

Winter Storage

When boating season comes to an end, Essex Island, in conjunction with Safe Harbor’s Dauntless Shipyard & Marina, offers winter storage for vessels either: in the water, outside on land, or inside our secure, clean, heated, and fire-protected storage buildings. Our 35-ton Travelift, working in conjunction with our 25-ton hydraulic trailer, can handle your boat with the utmost of care. The staff maintains a regular schedule of checking and inspecting boats throughout the winter, making sure that your boat is properly supported and cradled.

Boat Servicing
Take advantage of your boat’s ‘down time’ to tune up and upgrade for the summer sailing season. Our service team is available to take care of almost every maintenance, repair or improvement – whether mechanical, electrical, finish work, carpentry or rigging.

Request Winter Storage


Partnering with the talented service team at the Dauntless Brewer Service Yard, our year ’round, full-service team is recognized for exceptional and professional skilled service work. From seasonal maintenance to a full restoration of your recreational power boat, or competitive sailing yacht, Essex Island Marina can handle all of your boat’s needs. Working with each customer, a customized plan can be implemented, resulting in a trouble-free boating season – and/or a long-term goal.

Our services include: mechanical, refinishing, electrical, carpentry, & rigging. Our service team receives regular industry training and is ABBRA certified and recognized.

Request Service

Forms & Information

Secure your space for .
Safe Harbor Marinas will make your summer a breeze.

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Essex Island Marina


Safe Harbor Marinas Transient Reservations Cancellation Policy

Marina Winter Storage

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Marina Professional Care

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Marina Submit Float Plan

All fields are required.

Make the good times BETTER. Invite friends and family to join your marina. With the Safe Harbor Referral Program, when your friend signs up for a slip or winter storage, you will both receive a $250 credit towards your slip/storage agreements (see link below for more details). Please contact your marina office to help answer any additional questions you may have about this program.

Referral Program Information

General Inquiries

All fields are required.

Marine Insurance

Our Staff

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    Matt Beer, General Manager

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    Amy Zupan, Island Marina Manager

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    Mike Sonn, Dockmaster


Essex Island Marina

11 Ferry Street Essex, CT 06426
Island Marina Manager:
Amy Zupan
(860) 767-2483
(860) 767-3074
Buoy Ref:
41° 21' 12" N / 72° 23' 6"W
26311.9 / 44044.1
NOAA Chart:
Directions by Sea: Bell "8" marks the entrance to the Connecticut River. Follow the channel markers starting between the entrance jetties to Red Nun "26" taking care to observe the no-wake areas as indicated. (The Old Lyme Drawbridge, if closed, will respond to “Old Lyme Draw” on VHF Channel 13.) Once in Essex Harbor, turn west into the second anchorage fairway marked by the second set of two yellow cans. Essex Island is just North of the iconic Connecticut River Museum building and the Red Essex Boats Works Building.


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11 Ferry Street Essex CT 06426 USA
41.352509 -72.386117