Anchorages - Harbormaster's Office

The anchorages that are available in the City of Annapolis’ waters include the Severn River, Weems Creek, Spa Creek, and Back Creek. Be advised that the holding ground in City Waters is generally poor, and changes in wind direction or current frequently result in boats dragging anchor.

The Severn River offers three anchorages, two of which are legal anchorages, while the third requires permission. If entering the Severn River from the Chesapeake Bay, the first two designated, chartered legal anchorages are the Middle Ground Anchorage and the South Anchorage, which are located off of Horn Point between Spa Creek, and Back Creek. The water here is moderately deep, so be certain you have sufficient ground tackle to anchor there safely. The third is the Naval Academy Small Craft Anchorage, which is located at the mouth of Spa Creek to the south east of the Academy seawall. However, you must obtain permission from the Naval Academy Superintendent in order to anchor there. (See: US Coast Pilot Section 110.159 (4) and NOAA Navigation Chart 12283 “Note A.”)

Be advised that there is NO ANCHORING permitted between the “1SC” buoy (at the entrance to Spa Creek) and day marker #3 above the Spa Creek Draw Bridge, or anywhere in the Main Entrance Channel (which is bounded on the East side by Severn River green lighted buoy “9” (USCG Light List #19760) and unlighted green can buoy “1SC” (USCG Light List #19905) and on the West side by Severn River unlighted green-red can buy “SC” (USCG Light List #19765) and Naval Academy Light (USCG Light List #19785) mounted on a 10 ft. Red Pylon on the Naval Academy Seawall.)

You may legally anchor anywhere else in City Waters provided that your vessel adheres to the following guidelines:

Your Vessel:

  • Does not interfere with or obstruct navigation
  • Does not interfere with other anchored vessels
  • Is not located within three hundred (300) feet of any bridge
  • Is not located in a designated and marked channel
  • Is not located within two hundred (200) feet of any public mooring or public pier
  • Is not located within seventy-five (75) feet of any structure, shore or private mooring
  • Is not located in any designated and marked no anchoring area
  • Does not pose a risk of collision to other boats already anchored
  • Is not located in a position or in a manner declared unsafe by the Harbormaster
  • Complies with lawful instructions from the Harbormaster
  • Does not create a security hazard, environmental hazard, obstruction or other unlawful condition.
anchorage map

While at Anchor:

  • You must display anchor lights and visual signals.
  • You may not leave ground tackle in place to reserve your anchorage if you get underway.
  • YOU MAY NOT STORE an unattended boat at anchor in City Waters.
  • You may not perform major maintenance on your boat, or anchor a disabled vessel for more than twelve (12) hours. If you have questions on this, see our Watch Commander.
  • You may raft up.
  • If you plan to remain anchored in City Waters for more than a day, we recommend you register with our office so that, in the event of an emergency, we will be able to contact you.
  • You must register if you anchor in City Waters for more than three days and re-register every thirty days thereafter. The registration form is available at the Harbormaster's Office.