Greenwich boasts more than thirty-two miles of shoreline on Long Island Sound. Whether you’re looking to set sail or rev up the motor, paddleboard or kayak, nautical opportunities are plentiful.
For the Fun of It
The gem of our coastline is without a doubt Greenwich Point. Tucked inside Greenwich Point is the Old Greenwich Yacht Club. Membership is open to all Greenwich residents with an interest in boating, regardless of ability, knowledge or boat ownership. This family-oriented club was established in 1943 and encourages residents to enjoy the water via paddle, power or sailboat. Membership fees are minimal and the focus of the club is to promote fellowship among boaters while offering opportunities to cruise, race, learn and socialize.
18–30 years old: $250 annually
30+: $800 ($1,950 initiation fee)
Private and semi-private coaching is available with the club’s sail fleet of Ideal 18s and Cape Cod Mercuries, which can also be used by members who complete a certification program.
Tod’s Point Sailing School
Located in the historic Chimes Building at Greenwich Point, the nonprofit Tod’s Point Sailing School (TPSS) opens this summer, allowing residents to enjoy the water with no membership or boat ownership required. In addition to offering youth and junior sailing lessons, TPSS also offers adult sailing lessons at basic, intermediate and advanced levels. Private lessons are available, as well as a two-hour catamaran course. Rentals are available all summer long to town residents. Reservations are recommended, particularly on weekends and holidays, but walk-ins are welcome. Renters must wear a life jacket and footwear, and the primary renter must be at least eighteen or have a parent’s signature. Each passenger under eight must be accompanied by an adult.
BOAT RENTALS PER HOUR:
Hobies to Catamarans: $38–$76
Double Kayaks: $36
No experience is required to rent kayaks or paddleboards, but sailing experience is required to rent sailboats
We are a boating town, and Greenwich operates three marinas (Byram, Cos Cob and Grass Island) and one boat yard (Greenwich Point)—all of which feature launch ramps and landing floats. The town facilities are open April 15 through November 15. In addition to moorings, tie-up space is available to visitors to the Grass Island Marina by contacting the boating office at Town Hall. Kayak owners can apply for a slot in the year-round storage racks at the Greenwich Point Boat Yard through the dockmaster. The town website includes applications for Facility Use Permits, dockmaster questions, mooring applications and all you need to know about accessing the Greenwich marinas and boatyards.
Take a Cruise
Looking for an island cruise without going far from home? Just two miles off Greenwich Harbor sit both Great Captain Island and Island Beach. Ferries provide transportation from June through mid-September to the islands. There is also the popular Cruise to Nowhere, which is a two-hour cruise along the Greenwich coastline.
CRUISE TICKETS: $20 sold day of the cruise at 10 a.m (maximum of two tickets per customer)
FERRY PASSES: Available for purchase at the Arch Street Ferry Dock and require a resident season Park Pass or a Single Entry Park Pass. Ferry tickets for residents with a Seasonal Park Pass are $6 for adult residents and $5 for children ages five to fifteen. Tickets for Single Entry Pass holders cost $13 for those ages five to sixty-four and $7 for those over sixty-four.
PARKING: Available at the Island Beach Parking and can be paid for at the kiosk in the parking lot.
Set Sail in Stamford
Our neighbors next door at Soundwaters in Stamford invite you to enjoy the beauty of Long Island Sound on two-hour sunset and afternoon sails all summer long. Sunset sails take place Wednesday through Sunday. Pack dinner and cocktails and relax while watching the sun set over the Sound for $45 a person. Afternoon sails take place on Saturdays and Sundays, $35 for adults, children five to twelve are $20.
Soundwaters also makes exploring the Sound by kayak or paddleboard easy with rentals. Located in Boccuzzi Park (200 Southfield Avenue, Stamford) just down from the Crabshell and next to the TGM Anchor Point, the Paddlesports Rental Stand is open weekends Memorial through Labor Day 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last rentals are at 5 p.m. Fees run $30 an hour for a single kayak and/or paddleboard, $45 for two hours and $20 for additional hours. Single and double kayaks are available.
Children under thirteen must be accompanied by an adult and thirteen-to-seventeen-year-olds must have a parent or guardian sign a waiver. Soundwaters requires renters to have adequate skills to handle their rental vehicle and has the right to restrict rental due to skill and water/weather conditions.
Personal flotation devices must be worn at all times. Furry friends are welcome aboard your rental, but even they must wear a life jacket.
There are also group paddles for kayaks and paddleboards during the summer, Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
A fun experience on the water begins and ends with safety. Kick off the season by making sure you know the local boating laws and enroll in a safe-boater course. The Emily Fedorko Foundation website features links to boater safety tips and boating laws by state. In addition to partnering with the Greenwich Point Conservancy in the restoration of the Chimes Building at Tod’s Point, this nonprofit plans to open a boating safety center at the ground level of the building. BoatUs Foundation also offers a website packed with information and links on boating and licensing courses. And Connecticut Boating offers virtual boating courses online.
The course includes a Safe Boating Certificate and Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation & Safe Water Ski Endorsement for $85.
WEBSITES: emsway.org; boatus.org; connecticutboatingcertificates.com
Whether on a paddleboard, kayak or boat, life vests are typically available as part of the rental fee and are required. Consider making an investment in safety and purchase life vests to ensure a comfortable fit that you’ll want to wear. Several online retailers sell affordable vests, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods (dickssportinggoods.com), but for the best fit, swing by a local marine shop such as West Marine (westmarine.com, 401 Shippan Ave., Stamford) or Landfall (landfallnavigation.com, 151 Harvard Ave., Stamford). Landfall and West Marine also sell dog life jackets starting at $30.