Safe Harbor Dauntless



Day Trip
First-Come, First-Served
9 Novelty Lane
Essex, CT 06426
Check-in after 01:00 PM
Check-out before 11:00 AM
VHF 68

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75 Reviews

by Kenneth L. - Verified user on Oct 19, 2023
Very nice people Bathroom clean Stayed on a mooring Essex is quite nice

by Edward A. - Verified user on Sep 20, 2023
Just a great place to enjoy a peaceful atmosphere. Rachael is a great doc master.

by Keith p. - Verified user on Sep 18, 2023
Helpful, professional staff. Founds well kept, and clean. Restaurant is excellent

by Ken K. - Verified user on Sep 18, 2023
Rachel was very accommodating for our need of a mooring ball close in as our outboard was not working. We very much enjoyed our time in Essex waiting for hurricane Lee to pass. I would have given 5 stars but the hot water in the showers was on warm.

by Kyle K. - Verified user on Sep 14, 2023
2nd year now we have spent the weekend at Dauntless. Great spot to spend the weekend. Nice people good time! Great staff, clean showers… close to town. We will be back

by Jodi Z. - Verified user on Sep 06, 2023
We had a wonderful stay (on our very first Mooring Ball visit) at Dauntless Marina! The staff was friendly and super helpful! We used our own tender to get back and forth from land and docked on the dinghy finger. The proximity to town is delightful...just steps away from The Griz! And of course no trip to Essex would be complete without an ice cream cone from Sweat P's! And the weather was outstanding (in the 70's) and even cooler at night. Very quiet and peaceful! Thank you for an outstanding experience!

by Sandy S. - Verified user on Sep 05, 2023
it was very quite and a nice spot on the mooring. The cold showers was not ideal, not sure why there was no hot water.

by Jeffrey O. - Verified user on Aug 27, 2023
Great location, convenient launch service, friendly staff

by John N. - Verified user on Aug 27, 2023
nice little marina....great staff....beautiful bathrooms

by Douglas - Verified user on Aug 24, 2023
Good communication. Launch was free and timely. Staff were super friendly.

by Roger K. - Verified user on Aug 22, 2023
Helpful, courteous staff. Extremely picturesque town with restaurants close by. Currents in river will sometimes run opposite the wind, so you may want to rig your own bridle to fit your boat so that the mooring ball doesn’t end up somewhere under the hull. Worth the effort, though. Also, weekday experiences on the river always far superior to weekend experiences.

by Nancy D. on Aug 21, 2023
The staff here is excellent. They are very pleasant, friendly, attentive and most of all competent! They don't wait to be asked, they look for ways to help. The only negative was no hot water in the showers.

by edward h. - Verified user on Aug 20, 2023
Got a mooring where we wanted Launch driver was friendly Great time and perfect weather
Marina Response:
We appreciate the review and enjoyed having you at Dauntless Marina. Please come back and see us again soon!

by Peter G. - Verified user on Aug 14, 2023
Excellent service provided by Hamilton, Olivia, and one other young man. They were all very helpful, prompt and very good launch handlers. We enjoyed our stay.

by Henry S. - Verified user on Aug 12, 2023
Very nice staff. Very close to town.

by Bob B. - Verified user on Aug 10, 2023
Staff was extremely helpful and attentive. Location just a short walk from the village was perfect… thx!

by Joseph W. - Verified user on Aug 05, 2023
Nothing but good to say about our stay on a mooring here. Will definitely stay here next time we visit Essex.

by Erick R. - Verified user on Jul 31, 2023
Great location, great staff, friendly neighbors. Had a blast getting to know the quintessential New England town of Essex.

by will w. - Verified user on Jul 31, 2023
Everything was great!

by Debra B. - Verified user on Jul 29, 2023
Overall it was fine. The young women launch drivers and on the fuel dock were wonderful. But I could not find the launch hours on your website and no one answered the listed phone number. For the significant price increase for our mooring to 80.00 a night (we stayed 4 nights) I would think the launch would run later than 9pm weeknights. We had family here from out of state and we had to cut our visit short because the launch only ran until 9. I also looked on the website for contact email or to leave a message but nothing was available. Thank you

by Kathy W. - Verified user on Jul 19, 2023
Beautiful harbor, friendly staff and great amenities. Great town to walk around. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

by James D. - Verified user on Jul 01, 2023
Very nice and accommodating. Good albeit brief visit. Friendly and helpful staff

by Henry A. - Verified user on Jun 28, 2023
Very nice facilities, great locker room, pleasant staff....good launch, moorings need work..

by Laura P. - Verified user on May 31, 2023
Excellent service and facilities just very over priced for transient mooring. We have never paid over 40 even in resort towns like Martha’s Vineyard or bBlock Island.

by Rick L. - Verified user on Oct 08, 2022
Harbor launch crew is friendly and helpful. Lovely shower facilities.

by Barry B. - Verified user on Sep 15, 2022
Excellent stay, as always.

by Thomas N. - Verified user on Sep 05, 2022
Just very easy. Dinghy dock is close, launch service is nice, easy to throw out trash.

by Vicki G. - Verified user on Aug 30, 2022
We enjoyed being out on the water and the staff were very helpful

by Walter H. - Verified user on Aug 12, 2022
Great crew and staff.

by William C. on Jul 31, 2022
Dauntless: Staff are excellent and very friendly. Facility is always spotless. We make a point of staying here at least once or twice each season. Very comfortable evening. Bill

by Mary C. - Verified user on Jul 11, 2022
Marina was excellent, trouble with mooring because of current in river.
Marina Response:
Thanks for staying with us! Safe travels--come back and see us again soon!

by Edgar R. - Verified user on Jun 27, 2022
While the launch driver was very nice, I was not impressed with the manager. We asked to be moved to another mooring closer to our friend's boat and were told by the manager that they could not do that. Now they have 15 transient mooring listed and there were only two boats using the moorings all weekend. Plus, the current is very strong where we were moored, and it was difficult to pick up the mooring. I also asked if I could come into the service dock for water and was told I needed to check with the manager who was not available. While I saw regular customers using the service dock, it appears that this facility caters to their regular customers and has little to no interest in transient customers. I would not suggest this facility for an enjoyable stay in Essex.
Marina Response:
We're sorry you didn't enjoy your stay. We assign locations according to the number of transient moorings available and the size vessel each mooring anchor is able to safely hold. As such, we are not always able to accommodate customer requests to move within the mooring field. Safe travels wherever your journey may take you next!

by Brian H. - Verified user on Jun 12, 2022
Two nights on a mooring while attending the CT Sea Music Festival. Helpful staff. Launch operation until 11pm Fri & Sat allows enjoying the concerts to the end and leisurely walk back.

by Dennis P. - Verified user on Oct 24, 2021
Nice location. Friendly and helpful staff. Essex is a charming town.

by Bill T. - Verified user on Oct 24, 2021
We stop at Essex every year and love the marina and staff including the village of Essex. This Fall we were delivering a boat from Annapolis, MD to Portland, CT. I told the boat owner we should stay at the marina allowing everyone some needed rest and long hot showers. I was very disappointed to learn there was no hot water because the propane delivery was delayed for several days. Had I known we would have anchored and saved the mooring fee.

by Anke F. - Verified user on Sep 26, 2021
essex harbor is spectacular in the fall and the amenities were first rate - great access to all restaurants

by James R. - Verified user on Sep 11, 2021
Launch driver, gas attendant and manager were all friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable. Launch driver went out of his way to be helpful and was a great conversationalist. Very pleasant experience.

by John K. on Sep 07, 2021
We had a lovely stay! My wife cracked a rib leaning over the pulpit to grab the pickup on the mooring, and the very nice launch operator stopped by to check on her. What a nice man!! The younger launch operators were very friendly and helpful as well!!

by Pam T. on Sep 06, 2021
Always a pleasure - Cy and his staff are always professional and friendly. We visit every year.

by David E. - Verified user on Aug 18, 2021
Fine facility, welcoming and helpful staff.

by Chris B. - Verified user on Aug 08, 2021
Launch driver was great. Very nice and efficient dock staff on the fuel dock. Great location, short walk to town. Will definitely stay here next trip to Essex.

by Scott g. - Verified user on Aug 07, 2021
Quiet, not crowded, and beautiful. Easy walk to Gris and other restaurants. Great launch crew and never had to wait more than a few minutes. Bonus was $3.35/gal for diesel.

by Franz A. on Aug 03, 2021
We've traveled to Essex by car a couple of times for the Seven Seas Cruising Association Gam; it's nice to finally arrive by our boat!! The staff is pleasant, helpful, and very capable. The facilities were very clean; the main dock has everything there for your convenience. Essex itself is stunning. Go visit the museum, the shops, enjoy the wonderful dining options, and if you time it in the park!

by Andrew M. - Verified user on Jul 25, 2021
Always nice. Facilities are clean and staff is really helpful.

by Al C. - Verified user on Jul 24, 2021
Always a pleasure. Very personable dock and launch staff, nice showers and laundry.

by Harold W. - Verified user on Jul 07, 2021
Great service. Calm harbor. Essex is beautiful and the people are very nice. The employees were all so helpful and polite. TIP: they have laundry at $5.00 a load (wash/dry) but you need quarters! Bring a few rolls with you if you plan to use this service. They were not easy to acquire.

by Richard M. - Verified user on Jun 23, 2021
We took a mooring so comments apply to the mooring side. Launch runs until 9 p.m. now on weekdays. Wifi is adequate (3 or 4 mps) on near mooring we had. Competent dock and launch staff. New (to us) showers, head and laundry are very nice. Over and under laundry machine does not allow dryer and washer to work at same time. Altogether good experience.

by Stephen K. - Verified user on Jun 13, 2021
Wonderful! Clean private showers. Nice staff.

by Edward S. on Jun 12, 2021
Very nice, well managed, and clean marina. It was a perfect vantage from which to explore Essex. The launch crew were prompt, efficient, and polite. Highly recommend.

by Rhonda E. - Verified user on Sep 22, 2020
Would recommend...excellent location.. Very friendly staff..launch service is prompt and included in mooring fee.. Will definitely visit again next year ..

by Kenneth M. - Verified user on Sep 19, 2020
Upon arrival the dockmaster answered the VHF instantly and described the mooring location. I was amazed the mooring rates were such a value. We did not use the launch, but it seemed to respond to others quickly. The facilities very good. We spent a quiet first night and it is interesting to watch the strong current move the boats against a fair breeze all around. We took a walk around town the next day and made arrangements for takeout from Sirens, a restaurant on Essex Island. The food was good! I hope they stay it is easy to reach by dinghy, and with COVID nice to bring it back to the boat. In the evening the wind picked up from the NNE and with a pretty good fetch upriver the mooring area got a little bumpy. However, good visit.

by Elizabeth G. - Verified user on Sep 07, 2020
Wonderful Staff...they guide you to your mooring. The Marina is in an amazing location, for nature photography. There is everything: jumping bass, bunker, herons, swans, seagulls, cormorants, and many Osprey. This is a gorgeous Marina!!

by Marco C. - Verified user on Sep 05, 2020
Beautiful facility with incredible views of the CT river. Friendly and attentive staff, charming village. We will be back.

by Deb G. - Verified user on Aug 25, 2020
Lovely stay in Essex! Facility was clean, well maintained and friendly staff. Laundry facilities are lacking though with only ONE WASHER & ONE DRYER!

by Anonymous on Aug 23, 2020
First class secure friendly clean marina facility equal to the best on the East Coast. In an idyllic country setting with splendid vistas. Has all the amenities with courteous office, dock and service staff. Most attractive facility on the CT River equal to the best in New England. A secure “hurricane hole”. Just a few steps from Essex - the premier CT River town with a notable history. Those who visit for a “short stay” tend to stay quite a while ! Some time for years.

by Paul on Aug 20, 2020
We have stayed many times and always a good experience. The code to the showers and heads in the welcome email was incorrect so you should check with staff first. That may mean walking out the dock as the office is closed in what seemed like a Covid precaution.

by Henry D. - Verified user on Aug 20, 2020
We had a very pleasant 3 night stay at Safe Harbor Dauntless on a mooring. The Dinghy Poker Run activity was a lot of fun!

by William K. - Verified user on Jun 29, 2020
Another enjoyable visit. The staff was pleasant, engaging and helpful in every interaction. Esuring set up was appropriate, safe and allowed for easy options for all we needed. Location is wonderful of course.

by Bernard J. - Verified user on Jun 16, 2020
Wonderful people. All went as planned. Facilities were very clean. Looking forward to going back after the town opens up more.

by Beth S. - Verified user on Oct 14, 2019
We were promptly greeted by Cy and he brought us to a mooring. The launch was quick to pick us up and bring us back to the boat when we called. Showers and bathrooms were well lit and spotless. This was a great location to be close to downtown shops and restaurants. We stay at Safe Harbor Dauntless every fall. Great place, and great staff!

by Tracy V. on Sep 16, 2019
Great stay! Great staff! Clean, up to date facilities. Great launch service. What more could you ask for?

by Edward C. - Verified user on Sep 01, 2019
Great staff. Very accommodating, and anice experience overall.

by Steven D. - Verified user on Aug 20, 2019
Great location on the river. Directed to a mooring by the launch. Launch driver made sure the pennant was clear of tangles. Prompt launch service. Fuel dock easy to approach and dock hands helpful with lines. Fuel, water, and pump out at the dock or call CT pumpout boat for service at the mooring. Laundry and showers available.

by Thomas A. - Verified user on Aug 19, 2019
Everyone treated us so well. What a great time we had. The club, the town, the pool. Amazing.

by Henry R. - Verified user on Aug 08, 2019
Absolutely great! Highly suggested stop.

by Scott G. - Verified user on Jul 05, 2019
Great location. Launch service excellent

by Gerard W. - Verified user on Oct 16, 2018
Worst marina experience we've had in 18 years of boating. We booked a transient reservation to stop overnight on way to winter storage. I checked the website to verify it was a deep water marina -- we need 5' 3" -- and they list 11 feet. I called ahead to verify the pumpout was working to avoid a $150 fee for pumping it out after hauling. As we are backing out of the slip the shipyard employee yells at my wife on the helm that she'll run aground if she back to the right (the logical way), and then continues to mansplain to how to manuever the boat (she's been doing this for 18 years). When we get the dock he says "Oh the pumpout is broke." When I asks what he suggests we do, he says "Should've pumped out yesterday," which wouldn't have worked since we stayed on the boat overnight. --- Update: Manager of Essex facilities reached out to me following review and has offered a future night stay as compensation and agreed to address the employee behavior (turns out we could have gone to the Dauntless Shipyard facility for the pumpout).

by Michael F. - Verified user on Sep 04, 2018
Great staff. Very personable. Everything is ship shape and very punctual.

by Warren D. on Aug 20, 2018
Launch service was great with friendly helpful staff. Mooring was near Essex Connecticut Museum. Showers were clean. Took taxi to Essex Steam train for ride up river and ferry to Gillette Castle. Griswalds Resturant is walking distance with great food.
Marina Response:
We appreciate your review and feedback about the team, facilities and local area. It sounds like you had a nice visit, and we hope to see you again soon! Take care.

by Frank S. - Verified user on Jul 22, 2018
We got fuel here and were assigned our mooring ball by the woman who gave us fuel. They were helpful, telling us about local eateries and they had a launch service that only ran until 9:00 p.m., and so we chose to use our dinghy to go to dinner in town. It was a short walk to town from this marina.
Marina Response:
Thank you for your review and for staying with us at Dauntless Marina. It's great to hear that you enjoyed dinner by dinghy and got to explore the local area. Please come back and see us again soon!

by Linda P. - Verified user on Jul 07, 2018
Very accommodating. Great launch service
Marina Response:
Thanks for your great review! Come back and see us again soon.

by Michael B. - Verified user on Sep 01, 2017
Excellent service. After hailing them on Channel 68 they immediately sent launch to guide us to our mooring which was well maintained amd had a large pennant. The restrooms were lean. The young staff was cheerful and offered to help with everything.

by charlie d. on Aug 29, 2017
One of our favorite stops. Excellent, clean facilities and a friendly, helpful crew.

by Drew C. - Verified user on Jul 12, 2017
We had not been to Brewer Dauntless for three years but nothing had changed. Everyone was just as friendly and helpful as they were before, with the same harbormaster and the same great launch service. Hope to don't have to wait another three years before we make it back!

by Adam W. - Verified user on Jun 06, 2017
Brewers Dauntless in Essex is a beautiful, well maintained marina. Great facilities. We met wonderful neighbors at our slip and enjoyed a night out with them. We are looking forward to returning in July.

About Safe Harbor Dauntless

Situated on the west bank of the Connecticut River, stunning New England summer sunsets await. As a sister facility to the nearby Shipyard, Safe Harbor Dauntless affords Members a full-service marina experience near the charming shopping and dining of historic Essex.

Fuel dock and pump out facilities are available by appointment only through November.


  • Gas
  • Diesel
  • Water
  • Electrical

Listed Pump Prices

Last Updated on 12/07/2023 at 3:06PM

  • Regular Gas: $4.96

  • Diesel: $5.01


  • Maintenance Facilities
  • Ship Store
  • Launch Service
  • Wireless Internet
  • Pumpout
  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Ice
  • Cable/Satellite TV
  • Groceries
  • Floating Docks
  • Winter Storage
  • Travel Lift
  • Pet Friendly
  • Medical Facilities w/in 5 Miles



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