A Boater’s Guide to the Fishers Island Sound
Fishers Island Sound is a prime location for summer boating. There are so many sights to see, restaurants to cruise up to, and safe spots for a spin on the tube. Whether you are new to the area or a veteran boater there is so much the area has to offer! Below is a map of the sound with numbered locations. In this series, we will highlight a few locations to visit when out on the water! Looking for a summer rental, or full-time property? Our agents have grown up in the area and can help you find the perfect place for you!
Ram Island is about 20 acres of land, and about a mile off Mystic and Fishers Island. The Island’s original name was Mystic Island before it was changed to Ram. The island once held a large Victorian hotel, this hotel held the world’s lightweight bare-knuckle boxing Championship in the early 1900s! Ferries to the Island came as far as Boston and New York City. The Hotel no longer remains, but there is a private residence. Don’t be surprised if you see horses or chickens roaming the beach, they are the island’s permanent residents! Ram Islands’ half-moon cove makes for a wonderful place to drop anchor, enjoy lunch, and take a swim in calm waters. Boaters may walk the beach only to the mean high tide line, remember to be respectful of the property and the animals that call it home. Accessible only by boat, Ram Island makes for a great boating destination.
Another great spot to hang out for the day is Napa Tree! Napa Tree got its name from a Dutch trader that called it a ‘Nap of Trees’ because of its dense forest coverage. This is the same explorer that gave Fishers Island its name! Before the Great Gale of 1815, the sandbar was covered in thick forestry and foliage. Sandy Point used to be connected to the old military base Fort Mansfield, however, the Hurricane of 38’ washed away all the homes on Napa Tree and erosion caused the sandbar to be separated. The long sandy shore makes for a perfect place to drop anchor and enjoy the calm waters on the north side of the point. Just a short walk from Watch Hill, Napa Tree is a great spot to dock while enjoying the restaurants, shops, and beaches downtown Watch Hill has to offer. Similarly, Sandy Point offers a very similar boating experience. Boaters can tie up on shore and explore the nature preserve, jump off the rocks, and enjoy a 1.5 mile long walk around the island.
Known for its fishing, sunsets, and beautiful waters, West Harbor is every boater’s dream. Fishers Island was discovered in 1614 and first settled in 1640 by John Winthrop Jr., son of the founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The island was passed down through generations of the Winthrop family until 1871 when members began transforming the island into a seaside resort. The fishing community was thriving and a tourist hotel was built right by West Harbor, however this brief tourist period came to a halt in 1889 when Edmund and Walton Ferguson bought 9/10ths of the island to restore it to a family-based resort catered to affluent seasonal visitors. They hired Frederic Law Olmsted, Jr., the son of the designer of Central Park, to draw up a plan for private residential development covering 3,000 arches of the island. To this day, the island has managed to avoid the overcrowding tourism other islands in the area face. Located on the sound side of Fishers Island, West Harbor has clear calm waters, a beautiful beach, and is just a short walk from the Pequot Inn, a popular destination on the island for dining and dancing. Around the harbor, you will also find the Fishers Island Oyster Farm Ocean Grow Out, where oysters are sustainably farmed for dock to door enjoyment. West Harbor, along with the rest of Fishers Island, remains a quiet, charming, and beautiful destination for any boater.
With views of The Fishers Island Golf Club, East harbor is a perfect place to anchor. Boaters can enjoy the crystal-clear waters and the calm wake in the bay. Boaters are also welcome to anchor and swim to shore to enjoy the beach. The bay is surrounded by the golf course, which was started by the Ferguson family in 1925. East harbor remains a very popular boating destination for both on and off island voters, as you’ll likely find lots of boats tied together and anchored on sunny days.