old brown house
Geoff Rand

Marblehead is hardly an exotic cruising destination, but it is, and always has been, a bit apart from the rest of Massachusetts. From its beginning as a fishing outpost, through its years as America's premier yachting harbor, to what is now the North Shore's least accessible commuter town, Marblehead has evolved with its face to the sea and its back to the land.

Even today, the old town retains the character of a pre-industrial coastal village. Early houses crowd the tangled, narrow streets right down to the water's edge. Private residences stand adjacent to shops and restaurants. Much of the waterfront is taken up with maritime trades: boatyards, hoists, sailmakers, yacht brokers, designers, and of course the sprawling yacht clubs. Boats are everywhere.

It is the unique appeal of the town, rather than the serenity of its moorings, that attracts sailors to Marblehead.

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