If you’re thinking about cruising in New England this summer, you’ll want to know about this: Among many other changes, the new owners of Champlin’s Marina and Resort on Block Island are offering seasonal dockage for the first time.
Also, for transients, the marina will not allow rafting up. In the past, the marina had rafted boats three or four deep in crowded periods during the summer. Now, some boats will dock Med-style, stern-to, and occupants will get off on floating wooden docks that adjoin the fixed pier.
Champlin’s, on Great Salt Pond, has been a major cruising destination for more than 70 years. Block Island is a New England favorite, and has always been part of my family’s summer cruising plans, including some combination of stops in Essex, Mystic, Newport, Block, Cuttyhunk, Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. During the summer, you won’t get lonely in any of those places.
Last December, Joseph Grillo, who bought the nine-acre Champlin’s property in 1986, sold it to TPG marinas, a holding company that has upgraded the resort’s 46-room boutique hotel, three waterfront restaurants, and the marina. The new seasonal slip involves dedicated dock space for your boat from June 1 to Sept. 30 at the rate of $2.75 a night per foot. For a 40-foot boat, that works out to $122 a night, or $13,420 for the season.
The marina has 5,000 feet of linear dock space. It also a 35-foot minimum, and it can hold boats up to 250 feet. It offers gas, diesel, water, electric, laundry, restrooms, showers, Wi-Fi and even a dog park. The resort has a swimming pool, and watersport, bike and moped rentals.
The new owners are aware that they need to be sensitive to cruising boat owners. They have renovated the dock bar, overlooking the marina, with its famous Mudslide drinks. But they say this summer they will start the party a little earlier “so we can turn down the lights and music a bit earlier in consideration of boaters at our docks and also those on the hook on The Pond.”
Further expansion of Champlin’s has been an issue in and out of court for many years. In March, the Rhode Island Supreme Court rejected a settlement that would have allowed the marina to add 140 vessels to the 250 already allowed there. Read more: