A man operates a small boat in a marina

Boating at Fire Island

If floating on the Great South Bay sounds like your kind of fun, there are plenty of boating opportunities at Fire Island. Boating is a relaxing way to get out on the water and see the seashore from a different perspective.

Many people explore the bay on motor boats, sailboats, canoes, and kayaks. Those who prefer paddling may want to consider joining a free, ranger-guided canoe tour of the island’s most extensive salt marsh from Watch Hill.

Boat ramps for private vessels are also available at Captree and several other nearby state parks, and at Smith Point County Marina.

Overnight Stays

Boaters can anchor offshore, outside of channels, in much of the Great South Bay; or stay overnight in one of many marinas on Fire Island.

NPS marinas at Watch Hill and Sailors Haven are operated by concessioner, LoveFINS. There is a 14-consecutive-day limit for overnight stays at NPS marinas or inside Seashore boundaries; except in the designated wilderness, which has a 3-night limit. Additionally, seasonal slips are available at Watch Hill.

Personal watercraft (PWCs), or “jet skis,” are not allowed near the shoreline or in NPS channels. PWCs may only be operated in the channels to specific Fire Island communities. Find more information on operating a PWC.


Marinas on Fire Island

Boaters may stay overnight at the Watch Hill or Sailors Haven marina. Watch Hill is a 175-slip marina and Sailors Haven is a 45-slip marina. Electric and non-electric sites are available at both sites, and rates vary by size of vessel. Please see for more information on rates and reservations.

Amenities at Watch Hill and Sailors Haven include limited food service, showers (no hot water), ranger-guided interpretive programs, and a lifeguarded beach during the summer.

Other public marinas on Fire Island include the Town of Brookhaven's Davis Park Marina and Great Gun Marina, which provide lower fees for town residents but may accommodate non-residents' vessels; hourly rates may also be available at these facilities.

The Town of Islip maintains a marina on Fire Island at Atlantique Beach, with a similar rate structure. The Village of Ocean Beach also operates a marina. Private marinas on Fire Island include those at Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines, (which have seasonal and limited transient slips) and several commercial establishments that provide a place to dock on a short-term basis.


Barrett Beach

Barrett Beach, once a Town of Islip marina located between the communities of Water Island and Fire Island Pines, is now a Fire Island National Seashore dock used only for loading/unloading and for charter ferry use. Many smaller boats anchor near this dock and the adjacent Talisman bayside beach.

Most boaters stay for the day, with a few overnight boats at anchor. There are seasonal restrooms and a few picnic tables, but no other amenities.


Boating Safety

Safe boating starts before you shove off. Be sure to wear your life jacket, check the forecast, and to communicate your "float plan" with a family member or your local marina.

Visit the American Canoe Association, U. S. Coast Guard Boating Safety, National Safe Boating Council web pages for boater safety information, or earn your New York State Safe Boater Certificate.

Last updated: March 12, 2024

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