Marblehead Harbor's Harbormaster and its Harbor and Waters Board share responsibility for the areas waterfront. The Harbors and Waters Board develops and executes programs to assure efficient and equitable use of the waters in this busy harbor complex.
Marblehead Harbor has one of the most impressive collections of sailing vessels in the United States. Marblehead Harbor has been the starting or ending port for many international sailing races and other national and international competitions. The race between Nova Scotia's Halifax and Marblehead Harbor began in 1905, and it is still being held each year. The annual mid-summer Marblehead Race Week began in 1889, and it still brings yachtsmen from all over the world.
After the Hanna was commissioned to support the American Revolution, John Glover commissioned four more ships to form "ye navy." Three of the four new ships were captained and crewed by Marblehead Harbor mariners. Marblehead Harbor therefore claims the title of "Birthplace of the American Navy," although other ports dispute that claim.