In its early days, Port Annapolis was a busy commercial port. However, it was soon eclipsed by the deep-water Port of Baltimore. Today, Port Annapolis is a popular location for some of the country's nicest yachts and recreational boats.
The 11-member Port Annapolis Maritime Advisory Board is composed of representatives of maritime businesses, the Annapolis Conservancy Board, and city aldermen for four-year terms. Members are appointed by the Port Annapolis Mayor and confirmed by city aldermen. The Maritime Advisory Board analyzes information pertaining to the maritime industry and to pleasure boating in Port Annapolis. The Port Annapolis Maritime Board then advises the City on matters related to the Maritime Industry Economic Development Program and Fund.
The Port Annapolis Harbormaster ensures that the city's navigable waters are safe and support enjoyable use. Port Annapolis waters include Back Creek, Weems Creek, Spa Creek, Annapolis Harbor, and part of the Severn River.
Port Annapolis' Harbormaster's office manages public and transient moorings, annual moorings, the city's 457-meter (1500-foot) bulkhead, 17 City Dock slips, some park docks, and street endings used by boaters. The Harbormaster is responsible for almost 11.3 kilometers (seven miles) of land and 29 kilometers (18 miles) of Port Annapolis shoreline.
Among the Port Annapolis Harbormaster's assigned duties are maintaining the waterfront assets owned by the city, monitoring the Port Annapolis maritime ecology, working with other agencies to ensure homeland security, reporting to the Mayor on maritime issues in the community, and contributing to special events.
The Port Annapolis Harbormaster operates two diesel-powered boats, a multi-functional patrol boat, and a pump-out boat. Two of these boats regularly patrol city waters during the boating season. Moorings and dock space in Port Annapolis are only reserved for city-sponsored special events. Otherwise, they are available on a first-come first-served basis.
Under an agreement with the owners, Port Annapolis' Chandler Dock takes reservations and holds reserved space. Dock space is available in a slip or at the bulkhead by the hour for up to three hours or on a daily rate. The cost is $7 per hour for boats of less than 15.2 meters (50 feet) and $14 per hour for boats that are longer than 50 feet. Electrical hook-ups are included in the fee. Overnight non-reserved space is available for $2 per foot, but electrical hook-ups are not included.
Most moorings in Port Annapolis accommodate boats of 13.7 meters (45 feet) or less for $30 per day. St. Mary's Cove, however, can take boats of no more than 10.7 meters (35 feet) for $25 per day.
The Port Annapolis Harbormaster's office is open in season (from May through October) from 8:30am until 9pm. In the winter, the hours are from 8:30am until 4:30pm. A Watch Commander is on duty at all times.
Known by many as "America's Sailing Capital," Port Annapolis is a popular destination for ocean-going yachts and racers. It is also home to fishing and recreational boats that travel the Chesapeake Bay. Port Annapolis is home to the National Sailing Center & Hall of Fame, a non-profit institution that strives to preserve the history of sailing, to educate, and to honor those who have made exceptional contributions to sailing in America.
Port Annapolis is home to many yachting organizations. Yacht clubs in Port Annapolis include the Annapolis, Back Creek, Eastport, Severn River, and Storm Trysail Yacht Clubs and the Shearwater Sailing Club. Other Port Annapolis sailing clubs include the Servern Sailing Association, the Naval Academy Sailing Association, and the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association.
The full-service Port Annapolis Marina and yachting resort is located off the Severn River on Back Creek. The marina includes 16 acres of grounds, a swimming pool, a pool-side café, and a fully-stocked Ship's Store. Facilities at the marina include waterside decks, barbeques and picnic areas, a multi-hole putting green, a playground, bathhouses, and a laundry. Conference space and the 279 square meter (three thousand square foot) Overlook Pavilion are available for special events and meetings. The Marina also offers free shuttle service to downtown Port Annapolis and a 15-minute water taxi for $4 per person.
Customers can rent slips at the Port Annapolis Marina on an annual basis. LiveAboards are welcome, and water and electricity are included in slip rentals. Phone and cable TV hook-ups are available. Daily dock checks ensure security for renters. The Marina provides winter circulators to prevent ice around boats and docks. Annual lease agreements also include 15 days of free land storage for those who haul their boats for self-service. The agreements also include free access to the pool, café, laundry room, and picnic area as well as free use of pump-outs and bikes for slip-holders.
The Port Annapolis Marina offers transient dockage for $2.75/foot per day and ranging from $10 to $12 per foot for weekly dockage. Short-term monthly rates (for one month) range from $22 to $28 per foot. The Marina can accommodate fleets of as many as 20 boats with advanced notice.
The Port Annapolis Marina has an experienced technical staff that can handle electrical repairs and custom carpentry. Customers can use the facilities for their own do-it-yourself repairs. Among the services offered by the Port Annapolis Marina are fiberglass repair, bottom refinishing, hull cleaning and restoration, rigging, engine repair and sales. The Marina has travel lifts and a hydraulic trainer and crane.