A Down East Adventure in Vipers - Viper 640 International Class Association

If you are among that cadre of Viper sailors who like to venture to beautiful parts of the world to race sail boats, and you are not averse to throwing in a couple of tablespoons of adventure on top, then the Viper trip to Maine this summer might interest you.

A group of Vipers is heading up to the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club Regatta on July 23rd -24th with the option to join a 2-day Viper Cruise and Scorch across Muscongus Sound from Boothbay to Port Clyde on July 25-26.


The Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club Regatta combines one design racing with the Shipyard Classic Yachts Regatta.  There will be some great one design racing surrounded by some of the most spectacular vintage racing yachts on the eastern Seaboard.

Marylee : a Herreshoff One Design NY 40 foot class sloop built in 1926 is registered for the event.

So is the Viper 640, a 21 foot one design sloop designed 70 years later.

Part I – Boothbay Harbor YC Regatta

The Vipers have a one design start in the Regatta. There will be a mix of windward leeward courses with at least one scenic race as well. There are 2 days of racing, preceded on Sunday with a parade of sail.


Most of us will launch from the ramp, 0.6 mile from the yacht club off Mckown Point Road. It is a short sail down Townsend Gut to moorings which Nate Bowditch has secured for the Viper fleet. If anyone needs a crane, Bristol Marine in Boothbay can launch on Friday and pull the boat on Sunday.   We can set out from the moorings (which are closer to the course than the club) after the skippers meeting or sail straight to the racecourse from the ramp (for anyone who wants to launch on Saturday morning)

There are simple but very comfortable rooms with nice views available at the Beach Cove Waterfront Inn which is 0.5 mile from the club and 1.1 mile from the boat ramp. Alternatively, those looking for the full Maine experience, one lucky early registrant team gets the option of camping on the wrap around porch and living room of Bob and Nate Bowditchs’ waterfront cottage.

We will be using Bob and Nate’s dock, and power boat, to get to our boats on the moorings. So, 129 McKown Point Road will be Viper central for the regatta. I have circled this in red on the map.

The club will also provide moorings and launch service.  Nate has arranged trailer storage for the duration of the event.

The skippers meeting is at 9.30 am on Saturday and the first start is 11.30 am.

Regatta information, NOR and Registration can all be found here.

Boothbay is a stunningly beautiful place to sail and visit.

Part II – The Viper Down East Cruise and Scorch

The Boothbay Regatta awards ceremony is at 4.30 pm on Sunday evening. Some will drive home and/or drop their boats off at Marblehead for Marblehead race Week the following weekend.

A smaller group is planning to sail across to Port Clyde and pull our boats out at a ramp in PC. The precise schedule will be weather dependent.  However, the prevailing breeze across Muscongus Bay in July is a South Westerly which would mean a downwind reach for most of the way.

Our Current plan is:

Monday Morning Early: One person per team takes vehicle and trailers to storage that we have arranged in St George close to Port Clyde. We have a ride arranged back to Boothbay.

Monday is a leisurely sail to Christmas Cove or thereabouts for a late lunch or early dinner. We will either stay at the Christmas Cove Inn (or if numbers warrant book a house on Rutherford island) or tie up in East Boothbay.

Tuesday will be the Down East Scorch which should be a 17 nautical mile reach across Muscongus Bay from Christmas Cove to Port Clyde through some of the best scenery in Maine.

At Port Clyde we will be picked up, then get our cars and trailers, pull out and derig.

Leaving plenty of time for those who wish to catch Marblehead Race Week the following weekend.

Christmas Cove – Departure Point for the Down East Scorch on Tuesday. Turn left at Thrumcap Island and hoist the chute!

The largest colony of Puffins in the USA is on Eastern Egg Rock, directly on the course of the Down East Scorch

Boothbay Harbor One Designs at the Boothbay Regatta

Deserted Beach on Muscongus Bay

Port Clyde – The End point of the Down East Scorch

Port Clyde’s General Store (and only store)

If anyone wants to join us for some or all of the Boothbay Regatta and the Viper Down East Cruise, please reach out to either:

Nate Bowditch  nubowditch@gmail.com  Phone: (516) 857 4046

Justin Scott justinscott@optimum.net Phone (781) 888 6336

It is easier for us to secure moorings and arrange accommodation if we hear back from interested teams sooner rather than later.