Smooth Sailing

Hingham Maritime Center builds community on the water.

By Maria Allen

Photography by Jack Burns

For more than 50 years, Hingham Maritime Center has been a centerpiece of town life. Located on historic Barnes Wharf, the non-profit recreational organization is dedicated to nurturing a sense of community through a shared love for being out on the water.

“Our mission is ‘Boating for All’,” says Executive Director Amy Conley. “We welcome people from any town to join our programs and enjoy the blue space that we have here.”

The maritime center’s first sailing program (previously known as Lincoln Sailing Club) was established in 1970. Rowing (sweep, sculling and open water) has been offered since 2002 and the facility also offers maritime education programs for kids and recently launched new stand-up paddleboard classes. The facility has classes designed to cater to all ages and abilities, making it a program that is perfect for beginners as well as more seasoned boaters.

The 2023 summer program features seven youth sailing programs: Beginner, Extended Beginner, Intermediate, Venture, Opti Race, Intro to 420, and 420 Race. Kids as young as 7 years old can learn the basics in a safe, fun, supportive environment. More experienced sailors can take part in exciting sailing events, such as the annual Hingham Bay Junior Regatta, which attracts young sailors from across the South Shore and as far away as Maine.

Adults can also learn to sail at the Hingham Maritime Center. Small group classes teach about boat handling, basic navigation, weather and safety. Participants have the opportunity to sail solo as well as in two-person boats. These classes encourage participants to soak up the sunshine and fresh sea air, see the Hingham coastline from a new perspective, and learn a lifelong skill.

Rowers arrive at the docks early in the morning, eager to launch their boats when the waters of Hingham Bay are calm and still. There are youth rowing classes, held five times a day, which provide a great introduction to this exciting sport. Participants learn how to hold the oars, clear the waves, maneuver the shell and find balance. Hingham Maritime Center also offers a high school development rowing program during the summer. Run by former U.S. National Team coach and HMC head of rowing, Sarah Dewey, this high-intensity program fine-tunes athlete skills to prepare them for their fall racing season.

The Hingham Maritime Center’s Little Mariners program is a great way for young children to connect with nature. This week-long program is designed to be fun and engaging, teaching kids all about the Hingham Harbor ecosystem and the native wildlife (mollusks, birds, crustaceans, fish and flora) found there.

A new offering this summer is the center’s stand-up paddleboard (SUP) classes. Participants aged 12 and older are introduced to this fun water sport and can explore Hingham Harbor as part of a regular class or in a private lesson. Private SUP events are also available, for birthdays or guided sunset cruises with friends.

A dedicated team of staff, volunteers and donors make Hingham Maritime Center programs possible. Together, they are helping to continue the organization’s mission. “We want people to know that you don’t have to be a member to take part in our programs,” says Conley. Anyone with a yearning to get out on the water is welcome.

For more information, visit

Don’t Miss the Annual Harbor Feast!

Hingham Maritime Center, Hingham High School Sailing Team, and Hingham High School Rowing Association (HHSRA) invite members of the community to come together to celebrate another wonderful year on Hingham Harbor. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and a feast by local caterer Frank Showstack of Smokey Stax BBQ Co.! There will be dancing under the stars and a cozy fire pit. Tickets are $150 and include: Smokey Stax BBQ, drinks, hors d’oeuvres,  s’mores, and refreshments. This fundraiser event will take place on Saturday, September 9, from 6 - 10 p.m. Buy your ticket and help support boating for all in your community.