The wooden ramp from the Harborwalk leading onto Fort Point Pier has been reconstructed, eliminating the former 90° turn onto the deck. Significant improvement for portage of kayak or SUP!
Ongoing •  Boston's 1st annual HARBOR SEAL SIGHTING CONTEST

Fort Point Pier: Boston's Inner Harbor public dock for kayak launch

  Rowboat rentals at Fort Point Pier
offered by Hull Lifesaving Museum.


Welcome to, information and inside tips on planning a kayak launch from Fort Point Pier and floating dock (now owned by National Development) downtown Boston's public launchpoint for non-motorized watercraft.

Click here to begin planning a visit, with info on parking, portage, regulations, water quality, history and more.

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This site includes information, listings, video tours and points of interest along Boston Harbor culled from our 20+ years of history living, boating, paddling and fishing in Boston waters.


Fort Point Pier is located in the historic Fort Point neighborhood of South Boston, just south of the Summer Street Bridge along the Harborwalk on the Fort Point Channel.

  Fort Point Pier: A brief tour of
the Fort Point Channel
including parking, portage & launch.

Recommended: View Full Size on YouTube

With its broad floating dock having a planked deck surface only 12.5" inches above the waterline, generous in cleats and other potential tie-up points, Fort Point Pier is perfectly suited as a FREE, public launch point to Boston Harbor for kayak, stand-up paddle board (SUP), sit-on-top (SOT), rowboat, scull, surf ski and windsurfer/sailboard.

The pier offers all amenities necessary for easy onshore parking, pickup, drop-off, put-in and portage of a kayak or similarly lightweight watercraft.

Fort Point Channel is a waterway of generally calm basins, amenable to a range of skill levels.

P&G Gillette Public Dock / Fort Point Pier public dock on Fort Point Channel
  Pre-opening view of Fort Point Pier
View Full Size on YouTube

View our narrated video tour (roughcut), including some discussion of area history and architecture, starting at Fort Point Pier and illustrating typical conditions in the Channel basins and entrance to Boston Harbor.

From the water, accessible waypoints with dock or shoreline access include downtown Boston, South Boston Waterfront (aka Seaport District aka Innovation District), Castle Island, Pleasure Bay, Carson Beach, the Boston Harbor Islands, East Boston, Deer Island, points north including Charlestown, the Mystic River and beyond.

Paddlers of moderate skill level may consider a transit from Fort Point Pier to the Charles River. Along the way, sights include architecture (Pei, Johnson, Cobb, et al.,) history (Customs Tower, U.S.S. Constitution / Old Ironsides, Bunker Hill Monument, etc.) and many interesting quirks of Boston's shoreline. Beyond PFD and navlight, a sprayskirt and airhorn are recommended. This route requires careful navigation among powerboats and sailboats, through active mooring bays, past active high-speed ferry docks, in the wake of larger tour boats.

Experienced paddlers can pass through locks to enter the Charles River for access points west including public docks and shores at the Esplanade, Hatch Shell, Lechmere/Galleria Mall, Back Bay, Boston University, Museum of Science, MIT, Harvard Square, and great public docks along the Boston side of Soldier's Field Road.

Red Bull high divers at ICA, Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston.

Paddlers with at least moderate sea kayak experience may transit east from the mouth of Fort Point Channel, passing Fan Pier, the ICA and Castle Island in South Boston. For those skill and endurance, this route leads to Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands. While Fort Point Channel is generally calm, Boston's Inner Harbor and the Harbor itself presents a wide range of challenges including wind, wakes, currents, choppy seas, lots of boats, rocky shores and steep seawalls. Although the Inner Harbor can be glassy and calm, conditions are highly unpredictable and ill-suited for paddlers with little sea kayaking experience.

Click here to view a 30-second video snapshot of conditions at the mouth of the Inner Harbor near Logan Airport on a summer Saturday afternoon. Temperament of seas varies based on wind, tides and boat traffic. The Inner Harbor has no sandy shores.

Fort Point Pier is a world-class launch point for expedition sea kayakers interested in exploring coastal New England. Given its close proximity to Boston's historic sites, art galleries, restaurants, theater, movies, hotels and clubs, along with its own convenient portage and affordable long-term parking, Fort Point Pier is unparalleled as an exciting waypoint for multi-day kayak excursions.

For paddlers interested in some time ashore, the dock at Fort Point Pier is conveniently located in the historic Fort Point neighborhood, a walkable neighborhood sprinkled with esoteric retail shops, restaurants, bakeries and caf├ęs.

Questions for Search Engines to arrive at this site:

  • Where is the best place to put in a kayak on Boston Harbor?
  • Where can I launch a kayak in Boston Harbor?
  • Where is a public dock on Boston Harbor?
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  • Where can I launch a stand-up paddle board in Boston Harbor?
  • Best kayak fishing in downtown Boston?
  • Downtown Boston kayak put-in locations?
  • Is there a boat launch in downtown Boston?
  • Where is Boston Harbor kayaking?
  • Sea kayak in Boston Harbor?
  • Kayak rentals on Boston Harbor? (Info)
  • Kayak rentails on Fort Point Channel? (Info)
  • Boston SUP rental? (Info)

Click here for information on planning a visit to Fort Point Pier.

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