This is another one of those less than fully reliable Dock and Dine venues. I have been there a half a dozen times and never been turned away, but I’m always a little nervous. Of course that’s what makes Buzzards Bay Dock and Dine a bit of an adventure.
I discovered this when a friend of mine told me about the Sail Loft Restaurant. We had headed down to the Back Eddy in Westport on a Thursday and after getting Tripps Marine to give us a slip for a couple of hours, we learned that despite what it said on their website, the Back Eddy is not open for lunch on Thursdays!
Now starving and heading back north to Buzzards Bay, my friend Steve King called The Sail Loft and discovered they have some sort of partnership with South Wharf. Just to be sure, I just went to the Sail Loft Website and found this posting:
Now, I’m not sure this means two hour tie ups for boats or dingy’s. I have called them and been directed to a slip or floating dock and greeted by dockhands anxious to help.
I have also gone in a few times, gotten no one on the VHF, and just tied up at the floating pier.
The good news is IT’S FREE. Of course if dockhands show up to help, you better have a fist full of $5 bills ready to tip.
When you enter the mouth of New Bedford Harbor, head as far left as possible and look for lots of sailboat masts. South Wharf sits just north of the New Bedford Yacht Club.
By the way, Active Captain has a number of reviews for the NBYC that report that they are very accommodating to transients. It’s not clear that they extend this courtesy to everyone or just reciprocal yacht clubs members, but if for some reason you can’t tie up or grab a mooring at South Wharf, it’s worth a call (NBYC – 508-997-0762).
I’m assuming since the Sail Loft sits right in the middle of the boatyard that they have the same owners. Mrs. Horne and I were there last Sunday and after lunch at the Sail Loft we walked downtown and noticed a couple of other restaurants.
We both wondered about tying up at South Wharf and eating somewhere other than The Sail Loft. I suppose you could do it, but why? The Sail Loft has great food and it just doesn’t seem right to take advantage of people who are offering a free Dock and Dine!