Details for Brewer Essex Island Marina

Brewer Essex Island Marina

Display in The Interactive Cruising Guidebook
Average rating 4.6 stars from 52 reviews

Address 11 Ferry St PO Box 219
Essex, CT 06426


After hours contact

Pro-Op message

This beautiful 13-acre private island with ferry service is located on the picturesque CT River. 125 slips accommodating yachts to 180 feet with floating and fixed docks, 30, 50, and 100 amp electric hookups, free dockside WiFi, cable TV, water, laundry facilities, heads and showers, and newly renovated lounge. An outdoor over-sized pool, picnic areas with grills, and outdoor recreations areas. Marley's Restaurant is onsite, and a dog walk/nature walk is on the island.

Facility type

Marina - YES
Club - NO
Fuel - NO
Repair - YES
Municipal - NO
Other - NO

VHF channel


Email contact

Owner, manager

Stephanie McLaughlin



Mike Sonn

Payments acceptedCredit cards - YES
Checks - NO

Payment info

Amex, MC, Visa, Check

Payment discounts

Operation (seasonal or year-round)

Additional info:






Tide & current additional info


Approach: 9
Transient dockage: 9
Fuel dock: Unknown

Other depth info:

Dock typesWood - YES
Concrete - NO
Floating - YES
Fixed - YES
T/Alongside - YES
Other - NO

Additional info:

Size restrictionsLOA max: 180
Beam max: Unknown

Other info: Outside docks available for large beam vessels.


Transient: 65
Total: 125
Transient price: $3.75/ft (2016-07-04)

Other price info: CT sales tax is applicable.


Transient: 0
Total: 0
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info: Do not have any moorings.

AC power30 amp - YES
50 amp - YES
100 amp - YES

Additional info:

Pricing info: Single 30 amp $12.50; double 30 or single 50 $25.00; double 50 amp $50.00

Cable TV (and pricing)


Phone hookup (and pricing)


Water (and pricing)

Yes - On docks.

Dinghy access

Liveaboard info


Fuel brand:

Gas priceUnknown

Other price info:

Diesel priceUnknown

Other price info:


Pets welcomeYes

Other pet info:

Disability access

Launch service

Pump out



Yes - Available


Yes - On docks.






Yes - On site.


Yes - Walking distance.



Yes - Walking distance.


Yes - Bars at several restaurants in town.

Hotels or motels

Yes - Griswald Inn and others in town.

Repair capabilities


Haul out capabilities


Storage facilities


Fishing supplies

Chartering capabilities

Internet access

Yes - Free WiFi. Good Verizon 3G signal.

Boat ramp availability


Yes - Catch the Shoreside Shuttle bus near the corner of Main Street and Ferry Street to go to Old Saybrook's Stop N Shop, Walmart, and the railroad station and downtown. Runs every 2 hours, $1.25 each way, bring correct change. Bus turns off Main Street at the Griswold Inn so wait west of the Griz. Old Saybrook is the hub where you can transfer to other lines that cover most of the area. See for schedules. Call 860-510-0429 24 hours in advance to arrange an off route pickup at the marina so you won't have to lug provisions a couple of blocks. Off route costs $2.50 each way, which is a bargain.

Other services


Old town Essex.

Reviews for Brewer Essex Island Marina
great stop, 2016-10-13
Captain: , Westport CT (170)

Back for our second stay this year and they did not disappoint. Arrived last Sunday with strong storms predicted for overnight so they put us on the cove side of the island...did not need to ask they already thought of it. Our dogs love the place and as with our last visit the entire island was spotless.

Still a great destination!, 2016-10-09
Captain: , Brewer Stirling Harbor (10)

Still our favorite destination in Connecticut. Friendly people, great service, and Brewer continues to upgrade the infrastructure. And of course there's dinner and cocktails at the "Gris".

Interesting Town , 2016-09-19
Captain: , Cape Cod, MA (179)

My review below was from our stay in August 2015. Returned again 9/17/16. All earlier comments still apply. Docks have been renewed and in great shape. Christian and rest of staff are welcoming, friendly and helpful. The only annoyance is the squealing from the new aluminum dock ramps. Our slip was right next to one. I fixed the problem with a liberal spray of CRC 6-56. Why the company that manufactures these ramps don't put grease fittings on the hinges is a mystery. Simple fix to a very annoying characteristic of aluminum ramps. A local resident in the next slip said they'd been putting up with the problem all summer. So take along a can of 6-56 or WD 40 and enjoy a quiet night.

Essex Island is where Brewer now puts transients. Well maintained marina with a nice pool on a small but very pleasant island. "Ferry" to the town is a 10 second ride across about 100' of water. No inconvenience at all. Docks are wood, somewhat aged, but very serviceable. Had a nice breakfast at Marley's on the island, a pleasant beer at The Black Seal bar and dinner at the Griswold Inn. Town has a number of interesting shops as well as a Talbots.

A Gem on the Connecticut River, 2016-09-13
Captain: , Westbook, CT (10)

For a totally different experience and to experience an "Island" feeling, try this marina!

A truly special place, 2016-09-10
Captain: , Huntington (455)

Our recent stay was a nice diversion from busier ports. The trip up river is not that far but incredibly scenic. We took in a show at the Ivoryton Playhouse which was one of the best off Broadway shows we have seen.

The marina was quiet and it was rumored that after being family owned all these years that it has been sold to Brewers. I have to believe if this is true then Essex Island Marina will remain one of the gems in the northeast.

A wonderful marina which is not far from the LI Sound. Essex Island is a well maintained and equipped marina. It represents a simpler time when family vacations were a rare event. I love the shortest ferry ride in the north east to shore and am surprised each time the variety of things one can do.

We visited in July. Brewers has been good for this jewel. We did catch another show and were again nicely surprised.

People Make the Difference, 2016-09-09
Captain: , Longboat Key, FL (944)

This was our home port this summer and we could not have been more pleased with Brewer Essex Island Marina. Like most of the other reviews, the quailty of the facilites are first class and very well maintained. As a fairly new marina to the Brewer family, they are making some meaningful investments in upgrading docks, grounds and facilities.

The marina also holds a number of events during the summer for slip holders and visitors including a July 4th BBQ, a New England lobster bake, movies on the lawn, pool parties and games for the kids. With large open grounds, picnic tables and grills, it has truely been a home away from home. Also, having Marley's Cafe right on the island makes for a wonderful amenity for those days you'd rather have someone else do the cooking. And the food is great!

But the biggest factor in giving this marina 5 stars is the people. To a person (marina manager, dockmaster, dockhands, ferry drivers, service people) they ALL go out of their way to assure you are being cared for and happy. The people are professional, competent, friendly and most accomadating.

OK marina, but not what I hoped for, 2016-09-07
Captain: , Herrington Harbour, MD (150)

It is a nice facility in a peaceful and pretty location. All of the expected particulars are here (pools, restrooms, grills, etc.), but there was just something not quite right.

The marina was understaffed the 2 days we were there. After docking, I had to look around to find someone. The office was locked up with only 1 person on the docks. The pool closes rather early for mid summer. We had cruised all day and the kids were looking forward to a rest at the pool. But with such an early close -- maybe due to low staff -- that came to an end at 7:00.

The next day was no better. So it was not just a Sunday afternoon thing. Same on Monday. Only when they realized I was a first time Brewer guest did they snap to and start explaining the marina facilities, etc.

Not a bad place. Just sort of average for a pretty high price paid.

Short Stay, 2016-09-05
Captain: , New Haven Ct (10)

We arrived for the Labor Day weekend and they docked us exactly where we wanted. Everyone was great and the marina is being improved. Bathrooms were spotless. We left early due to hurricane, and they refunded all the money. We will be back next year......

Great spot, 2016-08-28
Captain: , Pilots point Westbrook (10)

Can't think of anything I would change at this spot. So much charm, very cozy, and world class like all Brewers. The restaraunt on the island was surprisingly very good.

Lovely Marina, 2016-08-24
Captain: , Barrington, RI (31)

Friendly and courteous. Efficient and organized. A real pleasure to spend time in. Showers are clean and tidy. Didn't try the restaurant but it was very busy. Charming short ferry ride across river to the village. Try the Griswold for old world flavor and evening music. Bring groceries as nothing in Essex village any more. Strongly recommended.

Great Place, 2016-08-23
Captain: , Bayville, NY (20)

Fun and unique place. Very family friendly. Make a visit to Hamburg Cove for a few hours of swimming just a few minutes up the river.

Great Spot, Great Crew!, 2016-08-18
Captain: , Marblehead (10)

Essex Island is comfortable and has great amenities for cruisers and famlies. The dock staff is first rate. The pool facility is clean and comfortable. Great spot to relax and enjoy.

BYC Cruise , 2016-08-17
Captain: , Marblehead (10)

Lovely place, excellent staff and good service.

Tom & Christina 2016, 2016-08-16
Captain: , Stonington, CT (10)

We've been coming to Essex Island marina for about 5 years each summer and always enjoy it. Generally a favorable opinion of the changes since the acquisition by Brewers; nice to see some upgrades. I know it's challenging to catch up with all the deferred maintenance, but if you could get the main dock area planks upgraded by next season we'd appreciate it. Not only are there splinter issues, but frankly it's dangerous for dogs as they can get their paws stuck in between the wide openings in the old planks.

We had dinner at Marley's on Friday night. Food was OK but service was crazy slow....we like the format there however and would come back.

pretty good, 2016-08-14
Captain: , Branford, CT (10)

Grew up coming to the marina under last owners. Many improvements over the last winter are really cleaning up the place.. Critiques.. Grills.. They either didn't work right, were out of gas, or the pilots were so dirty they did not get hot.. I asked two employees (evening and next day) to change gas on one that actually worked well and it never happened. We also participated in lobster bake. It was disappointing and very unorganized. We had friends come up and order steak.. That was not cooked and came out late. Chicken came out late.. I know the delay with the health inspector, but some more planning needs to be done to get that right. $55 a plate is WAY to much for that unorganized function.

Wonderful , 2016-08-12
Captain: , Boston (98)

We stayed two night and enjoyed our visit. The island had a nice pool and lawn area for the kids to play. Our dog enjoyed the walking trails too. Clean bathrooms and showers. Short ferry ride to landslide was cool. Only issue was bugs at night if your slip was near the woods. I would recommend this.

Sailing club destnation, 2016-08-11
Captain: , Clinton ct (20)

Great staff, beautiful facilities, clean pool & bathrooms, cute restaurant on the island and nice shuttle to the mainland. Essex is a great destination.

Essex Island Marina, 2016-08-08
Captain: , Mt Sinai, NY (10)

Excellent facility, excellent dock hands.

Amazing place!, 2016-08-08
Captain: , Aquebogue, NY (40)

We have made Essex Island Marina a regular stop for years. It changed hands last year and there is evidence of a new level of investment. It has not lost it's charm.

Overnight stay, 2016-08-05
Captain: , Shelter Island, NY (10)

Marina is in good condition. Facilities are good. Staff friendly. Slip lacked TV hookup. Internet was fine.

Great time, 2016-08-03
Captain: , Northport (10)

The folks at the Marina couldn't be nicer and more helpful. Will definitely return.

Good family marina , 2016-07-30
Captain: , Huntington NY (30)

Nice grounds pool and near town

Great spot, 2016-07-29
Captain: , Manhasset, NY (131)

Loved the view from our boat. The town is small and very pretty. Very relaxing. Very clean bathrooms.

essex island, 2016-07-28
Captain: , kings park ny (10)

we had a great experience at Essex island this year. the staff was wonderful and the improvements are looking good. see you next year.

Brewer Essex Island 7/20/16, 2016-07-28
Captain: , Oyster Bay, New York (20)

We initially tried to make a reservation directly with Brewer Essex Island but were asked to go to the Dockwa site. This was our first experience with Dockwa and we were a little skeptical, but after going through the process, it was very easy and our confirmation came back almost immediately.
Essex Island Marina has been a favorite of ours on our annual Long Island Sound cruises, and dinner at the Griswald Inn in Essex is a must. Last year, one of the boats in our group had an engine issue and the maintenance staff went out of their way to have the needed part overnighted in and the repair was completed early the next morning. As usual, Essex Island Marina and all of the Brewer Marinas we have stayed at are extremely well maintained, clean and accommodating to the transient sailor.
One note concerning Dockwa - if you have a Brewer Cruising Club Card, be sure to enter that in the "Special Request" section of the Dockwa reservation form to get the Brewer 25% slip fee discount. This information was given to me by Ryan Walsh, the Customer Service Rep at

July 2016 Essex island, 2016-07-27
Captain: , Palm Beach Florida (10)

Dock crew extremely courteous as always. Seeing improvements on dock with new power pedistals. Planking is in poor condition on A dock where we tied up. Overall very nice, scenic, sleepy stop!

Lovely Dock, 2016-07-27
Captain: , Sag Harbor (10)

We had a very nice stay here. Our one thought would be that floating docks would make our review 5 stars. Overall a lovely little island.

Very nice visit , 2016-07-27
Captain: , Stony brook yacht club (10)

Tiki bar would be a popular addition

Nice place , 2016-07-27
Captain: , Kings park ,ny (10)

Needs a tiki bar and better coffee. Staff on docks was great fuel n dockage were reasonable. Only grip was we had to leave the marina to get supplies and food and beverage

quiet in off season, 2016-07-18
Captain: , staten island (511)

last year we went to essex, early in season , marleys wasnt open town was cool but it was really quiet. but we are gonna go back and see it again, Maybe even this wknd , this time with our dog

WE went back albeit its been awile ,brought my dog,boy did he love it as did we from worlds shortest ferry to the quaint little town ,theres even a little trail that dog loved on the island and a little area he went in the water
Marleys is ok ,not great but theres a resturant in town the griswold ,or the black seal both great choices people on docks and staff always friendly .... if here on weekend be sure to make a resturant reservation

went back to essex 7/15-7/17 We always have a great time in essex island nice people nice town cool spot! Gotta say though this is our third or fourth visit ,I dont see the attraction to marleys other than the location, had breakfast there food was crappy and service was worse mirroring our past experiences there ,but it is always crowded ... maybre its me,,, lol... I have to say this is our dogs favorite destination the little hiking spot and beach he loves it.... gotta say essex is only getting better now in brewers possesion and It is definatly my favorite destination for weekend ..... Kinda love stock island ,but the keys are a bit far for weekend!

Keeps getting better, 2016-07-06
Captain: , Branford ,CT (180)

This Marina was always a good destination and is getting better step by step with Brewers ownership! The staff is top notch with nothing being to much! The bathrooms are spotless but are in need of some upgrading! I will return!!!
07/04/16 Many improvements are being made and the staff is still top notch! The on site Resturant (Marleys) is a crap shoot! You might get good service you might not!!! You might get good food and you might not!!

Great location, Marina needs upgrades, 2016-07-02
Captain: , Wickford, RI (411)

We were here for 3 nights in June. In an outside slip with great river view but rolly due to river traffic.
Facility has lovely picnic facilities and several gas grills.
Nice looking pool but it should be heated.
They have begun to replace floating docks but in the meantime the majority of them are dangerous. Easy to trip. Had to carry our dog as his paws would frequently fall between boards and he would yelp. Would suggest they tack down carpeting until repaired.
Nice walking areas for dogs.
Real island with a one minute ferry to shore. Nice safety feature as launch drivers control access.
Marley's Restaurant has great food. Hours a bit unpredictable at this point but should become reliable soon.
Brewers bought Marina so upgrades will likely continue. Maybe rates should be lower until facilities warrant otherwise.

nice spot - historic town, 2015-08-11
Captain: , City Island New York (210)

nice "island" marina with a cute ferry for a 10 second trip to of the oldest american towns and a wonderful nautical museum perfect weekend trip..bathrooms are rustic but Some docks are brand new..

Once Family run, now bought by Bewer, 2014-09-10
Captain: , Hertford, NC (215)

This wonderful family run marina, with aging docks but clean restrooms, clean laundry, great pool, shuffleboard, hosreshoes, the Marley Cafe, all on the island, will become part of Brewer Dauntless, hopefully for the better as of Sept17, 2014. Wally and his family are vacating after 57 years. The slip cost is already $3.50 foot including electric (but with one free night for every three in off seasons - May-June, Sept-Oct) so I would dread to see what Brewer will charge.

Beautiful Location/Run Down Facilites, 2014-09-04
Captain: , Bridgeport, CT (62)

We stayed here last week and have to say that after everything I have heard about it and the great reviews it has gotten, I was really unimpressed. First off, the town of Essex is beautiful and the location of this marina is great. No arguing that. However, the docks are in pretty bad shape, the bathrooms were dirty and not recleaned for a while. The staff was friendly, but not very outgoing.

Great Marina, 2014-07-23
Captain: , Southold (80)

Great Staff
Clean Bathrooms
Great little Island

Essex Island Marina, 2014-06-23
Captain: , Poughkeepsie, NY (40)

Beautiful little island and great facility. Staff is friendly and helpful right upon entrance. Would definitely reccomend and stay again.

Great get away, 2014-05-28
Captain: , New York (30)

Nice marina, on an island. 5 minute ferry ride to town. Staff is very friendly. Great restaurant on premises. A real get away. About 5 miles up river from the sound.

Great place friendly helpful staff, 2014-03-12
Captain: , Essex Island Marina (20)

Stayed there for the first full season last year and I am waiting to go back in the spring

Awesome As Always, 2013-10-31
Captain: , Mt. Sinai, NY (243)

We have been staying here for years. They have never let us down, great family marina!

Wonderful marina to visit!, 2013-04-19
Captain: , Niantic, CT (77)

One of the nicest marinas on the Connecticut Shoreline. The staff are very friendly and helpful and the facilities are some of the best we have enjoyed. The onsite resturant "Marley's" provides fabulous food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Always a treat!

Great staff, 2012-08-30
Captain: , Dunedin, FL (6425)

Very helpful staff, from the time they directed us in and handled the line, to the day we left. From our slip on "A" dock, it was a hike to the dog walking area (had to get Duke past the horseshoe pits and the grill/picnic area). Very nice showers at two locations on the island. Essex Island is expensive, but we were there for a rendezvous.

Stayed at Essex Island 2nd time to get some warranty work done. Our boat was pulled and put back in the water on schedule, ready for us to go aboard after 2 week layover. Work completed by outside contractor, so I did not rate the work here.

Nice facility for Rendezvous, 2012-08-20
Captain: , Warwick, RI (145)

I visited for a rendezvous. The dock hand was very helpful and provided an information packet after I was tied up. WiFi is now free and worked well at "A" dock. The on island restaurant (Marleys) did a great job catering our meals. It is also a nice cruise up the CT river to reach Essex.

Unique, friendly, 2012-08-15
Captain: , Stratford, CT (86)

A very unique location with a ferry (pontoon boat) to transport visitors into the town of Essex. The staff is very attentive and the grounds kept in good order. Two reasons for four stars; The docks need updating with a hodgepodge of different setups getting to the end of their useful life. Secondly this is probably one of the more expensive marinas at over $4.70 a foot which is fine however I was a bit put off when asked to pay for WIFI and even then the signal was too weak to be useful in our slip. Cable is provided.
Update - Essex Island contacted me not too long after and let us know they are already working on an updated WIFI system. Attentive staff!

Our home away from home..., 2011-11-03
Captain: , Mount Sinai, NY (41)

22 years ago we came to Essex Island Marina for our anniversary week and have spent every anniversary there since%u2026but now we stay 2 weeks!

We have been boating for over 30 years. In all of the years we have been traveling in the Northeast, the one marina that stands out among them all is Essex Island Marina. From the moment we call in on channel 9 to receive docking assignments, we are received with the most professional dock master and dock hands you will find at any marina.

Essex Island Marina has been a family run business for decades. Wally, Cindy, Dawn and Kyle see to it that everyone is treated as family and they are totally committed to everyone enjoying their stay to the fullest. As a business person it is so refreshing that after all of the years and customers that they have hosted that they still treat each customer with the intent of their 100% satisfaction.

A fabulous place for families%u2026the grounds are meticulously kept, bathrooms, laundry rooms are located throughout the marina and are spotless. There are barbeques for cookouts, and the full size pool is delightful. If you like playing a good old fashioned game of horseshoes or volley ball that is available too. The game room for the pinball wizards, video game fanatics, ping pong and billiards players is a must do on the weekends.

There is a ferry from the island that runs continuously to historic downtown Essex (a 2 minute ferry ride). Essex is a quaint historic town with many wonderful shops and there is always something happening on the town green including concerts, farmers market and craft shows. Do not to miss the Connecticut River Maritime Museum.

There are some prime eating choices%u2026.if you stay on the Island you might eat at Marley%u2019s where you can dine under the stars (be sure to make reservations on the weekend) or take the ferry to town and you can choose either the historic Griswold Inn or the Black Seal. Any one you choose will surely satisfy a broad spectrum of cravings.

The Connecticut River has endless adventures and the beauty is unsurpassed. Day trips up the river should include Hamburg Cove, Selden Creek and if you journey a few miles further up river past the Haddam Bridge, you should stop at the Blue Oar Restaurant. On land you should take a trip on the Essex Steam Train and as well visit Gillette Castle. Or take in a country fair in Hamburg or Chester.

There is only one Essex Island Marina; it has warmth, charm and uniqueness unto itself%u2026for us it is our home away from home%u2026

Nice place, 2011-09-19
Captain: , North palm beach , fl (10)

Nice place, beautiful views. Town very cute , fun little ferry ride. Docks need to be repaired in some areas

Great Rendezvous Location, 2011-06-22
Captain: , Wilton, CT (47)

Have been at EI for a number of rendezvous over the years up to 25 boats in size. The staff has always been very welcoming and the location is a great rendezvous location for even larger fleets. EI goes out of its way to make the rendezvous a success and hosts frequent rendezvous.

First-class marina, helpfull staff, great facilities, 2011-01-29
Captain: , Stratford, CT (250)

This marina has an outstanding staff who are helpful and accomodating. You can feel it is run by a family who cares. The marina is on a small island just off of Essex, CT. It is a pleasant and easy voyage up the CT river to Essex. This is without a doubt one of the nicest marinas on (well, sort of "on") Long Island Sound. The restrooms and showers are simple but clean; there are two sets of facilities, one on each side of the island. There's an Olympic size swimming pool with sparking clear water and a large sundeck. There are grills for your use (bring charcoal), horshoe pits, a gameroom and shuffleboard court, and a roofed dining pavilion. It's the kind of place you would have no qualms about letting you kids roam free, as this is a small island (but with lots to do). There's a cafe on the island which serves breakfast and lunch; the food is surprisingly good. The quaint, revolutionary-era town of Essex CT is a short (2 minutes!), free ferry ride away. There's LOTS to do in Essex, and it would take a few days to see and do everything there. It is worth every penny to stay at this marina, and it is an ideal place to spend a long weekend with the family. They also can host large parties with advance notice. I highly recommend Essex Island Marina!

Essex Island Marina, 2010-09-01
Captain: , Grasonville, Md (252)

First Class Operation; Very professional staff; Transit dock has gas grills and deck w/tables/chairs/umbrellas for group gatherings. Didnot take advantage of pool, lounge or grill.

Great place, 2009-07-21
Captain: , Lindenhurst, NY (161)

Worlds shortest ferry ride to shore.
This marina is on a island.
Great place.
Really enjoyed it.

German Hospitality abounds, 2007-07-12
Captain: , Norwalk, CT (90)

This family run facility is hands down the very best I have ever visited. Dawn and the rest of the Schieferdecker family give a whole new meaning to customer care at marinas. A great pool, laundry, clean showers, convenient fuel dock with discounts for transients and a sense of pride in ownership which is a rarity in Long Island Sound. The new restaurant (Marley’s) while a little slow in service has some of the best food you will ever get at any marina. Take the ferry across the channel (2 minutes) to the town of Essex, it is a quiet holdback from the 1800’s which hosts a library, chandlery, liqour store and two restaurants; The Griswold Inn and the Black Seal. Both are pricey, however the “Gris” is probably the better choice. Note: we have found that they don’t appreciate large groups with kids. There is an ice cream parlor at the top of Foot of Ferry St (where you walk up from the ferry) which is always bustling in the summer. Down the main street is a great grocery/deli which is owned by the same Odekerken family that runs the on island restaurant, (ask for Jeff). These folks are the best and very accommodating. While Essex Island may not be the place to go for the big party, it is a beautiful and quiet place to gather with friends and family. If you don’t go anywhere else this year, go here.

Essex Island, 2007-06-28
Captain: , Sag Harbor, NY (605)

Great place to relax and unwind. Almost everything you need is available on the island and the town is just a short free ferry ride away.

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