The Harbormaster's Office is dedicated to the boating interests of the citizens of Barrington. The Harbormaster is an ex-officio member of the Town's Harbor Commission where issues concerning the use of Barrington's water resources are discussed in the context of Town Ordinance Chapter 148 - Use of Public Waters. The Harbormaster also maintains a dialogue with the U.S. Coast Guard in Newport, Bristol and Providence for concern of Port Security, water rescue and aids to navigation.
About the Harbormaster and Harbor Patrol
The first concern of the Harbormaster's Office is to promote safety on the water.
The most visible activity is the Harbor Patrol. We maintain a seven day a week active mission on all Barrington waters throughout the prime boating season of Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are also weekend patrols in May and September.
The Town acquired a new 24.5 ft. rescue/patrol boat through a Federal Homeland Security Grant in 2005. In 2009 the Town replaced an aging Ocean Scout patrol boat with a 19' Sailfish for the Barrington River that fits under the bridges. This combination of boats provides the capacity to perform rescue operations 24/7 in any weather in the upper bay or shallow waters.
The Patrol operates from the municipal Dock at Police Cove. This allows the Boat to be ready for a rescue mission when needed. We maintain a 24-hour standby in conjunction with the Fire Department and Coast Guard Rescue services. The Town also maintains cooperative assistance agreements with the nearby rescue services of Warren, Bristol and East Providence.
The second major task is the management of mooring fields and mooring assignments in the Town Waters.
There are currently 240 mooring assignments in the Town. One hundred of them are in the Main Harbor where the waiting list is approximately 45 with about a 5-year backlog. Management of the mooring fields requires an annual audit of the use of moorings and enforcement of the Town Ordinances that control them. There is also monitoring of the required biannual mooring inspections and administering of the annual registration process.
New moorings are easily assigned where there is space in front of their waterfront home or where there is a right of way to the water. Space assignment in the Harbor or Police Cove is dependent on the waiting list and size of a boat with the spaces available.
Note there is a 5 MPH speed limit in the Harbor, Police Cove, and parts of 100 Acre Cove and Bullock's Cove.