A Marina for When You Want to Dress Up

The newly opened 41 North marina in Newport, Rhode Island, boasts Nantucket beach-style décor and docks of Brazilian ipe. "Reporter's Notebook" from our July 11, 2007, CW Reckonings

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The view from the terrace and docks of 41 North gives patrons a sense of Newport's diverse and well-known yachting culture.Billy Black

If you were toying with the idea of becoming a member at the upscale 41 North marina (www.41no.com) and restaurant on the waterfront of Newport, Rhode Island, think again. Just weeks into its inaugural season, the
facility, replete in elegant Nantucket beach-style decor and new floating docks of Brazilian ipe, has already sold out several levels of memberships and groaning under waiting lists.

"It's going great!" exclaimed an enthusiastic Peter Borden, one of the owners and managing directors.

Who'd argue with that?

Anyway, for those of you dying to get on the lists, here's a glimpse of what's available (when not sold out) at the former Christie's Landing. Basically, this is a members-only marina that also offers transient dockage for vessels longer than 50 feet at a charge of $7.50 per foot per day.

(Crew of transient boats enjoy full marina privileges.) According to Borden, the marina and its 1,200-plus linear feet can handle in power and sail "a couple of 160 footers, a couple of 90 footers, a couple of 70 footers, and a number of 40-45 footers, or about 25 boats total."

Amenities include washers and dryers; unisex showers and heads with organic lotions and soaps; wi-fi connectivity; a boutique with clothes, gifts, and miscellany; a bar that can be protected in inclement weather with clear plastic curtains made by North Sails; boat pumpouts; trash receptacles; access to boat washdowns; harbor launch service; provisioning assistance; and captain, crew, repair and maintenance services on request. You can still get the basics, too-- there's water as well as electricity-- 3-phase, 100 and 200 amp, 480-volt electric service. Contact the dock office by phone (401-848-7950) or VHF Channel 9.

Memberships are in two categories: Summer guest and yacht tender, each of which grants users access to the marina by land during normal hours of operation. For $375, the summer guest pass entitles users to tie up a rib or soft dinghy up to 22 feet at the docks and avail themselves to $350 in food and drink and the rest of the marina services. The most popular membership level, a total 450 passes have been sold and the waiting list is 200. The yacht tender pass is $1,200 a season for rigid boats up to 36 feet for periods of three hours (plus two overnight stays) and doesn't include food or drink credit; 16 of these memberships exist, but those too are sold out.

For more details on these memberships check with the marina.

Plans for summer 2008 include renovation of the old Christie's to accommodate indoor restaurant seating, a wine tasting bar, and construction of a boutique hotel on the second floor, Borden says.

But let's find out a bit about the patrons, the ones who joined right away. "It's a crowd you'd see at any family yacht club or marina," Borden says. "It's a yachtie crowd. There's a nice diversity, but I also see that people are interested in dressing up a little bit."

For the rest of us who didn't pony up with the plastic soon enough, there's always next year, and anyway, there's still a Christie's, the former Cheeky Monkey restaurant, now also a part of 41 North, offering breakfast, lunch,
and dinner, at prices lower than those of the marina restaurant (www.christiesofnewport.com).