July 3-4: Rules for Boaters

Detailed rules for boaters on the Charles River during July 3-4


The following information details the rules boaters will have to follow on the Charles River on July 3-4.


The boating restrictions will commence on July 2nd and end on July 4th. Be advised, these restrictions will apply in the Charles River surrounding the firework barges, the lagoon and all areas where boats usually anchor.

1. Stay 100 feet from shore.

2. Stay 1000 feet from barges.

3. The Craigie Bridge by the Museum of Science will not be open until 12:01 AM, MIDNIGHT, July 5th – after the fireworks display. Only vessels requiring less than 12 feet vertical clearance will be allowed to proceed under the closed bridge and transit east of the Longfellow Bridge until this time. Vessels over 12 feet in height cannot clear Drawbridge.

4. Boats will not be able to anchor within “restricted areas,” around barges or along the shoreline between Massachusetts Ave and Longfellow Bridges. No docks will be accessible to the public between the Mass Ave and Longfellow Bridges.

5. Vessels UNDER 13 feet (vertical height) anchored in the BLUE ZONE (Mass Ave. side of barge.) no vessels over 13 feet be anchored in this area. Vessels OVER 13 feet, anchored in the RED ZONE (Longfellow side of barge, under 13 feet not precluded from this area.

6. Transit channels will be shut down at the commencement of the Boston Fourth of July celebration activities. Enforcement of the transit channel will be strictly enforced. Massachusetts State Police will monitor Channel 16, and enforce all restrictions.

7. All Lagoons are closed to the Public.

8. The lagoon area on the Boston side of the river will be closed to ALL boat traffic from July 2nd to July 5th. No boats or dinghies will be allowed to enter into, transit through, or anchor in the lagoon area during this time period.

9. All Boston docks, including: Union Boat House, Hatch Shell and the River Dock, will be closed to the public from July 2nd to July 5th. The Gloucester Street dock west of the lagoon will also be closed. No dinghies, PWC, kayaks, canoes, or any other small vessel will be allowed to deploy from anchored vessels or permitted access to shore. Violation of this security zone will result in arrest. No restrooms and/or trash receptacles will be available to individuals on the water.

10. Due to tidal conditions, longer wait times than normal may occur to pass downriver through the New Charles River Dam.

11. The Charles River is a “No Discharge Area.” Discharge of boat sewage or other waste is prohibited. Designated pump-out facilities are located at The Charles River Yacht Club (Cambridge, right by MIT) and the Watertown Yacht Club.


Boating Rules 2013

Visiting CPD

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Cambridge Police Department

Branville G. Bard, Jr.
Police Commissioner

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