ashtabula ohio

Ashtabula, OH

Lat: 41° 55.217   Long: 080° 47.614

Quick Reference:

  • Port Type: City
  • Monitors VHF: 16
  • Charts: NOS 14825 14836
  • Customs: Yes
  • Coast Guard
  • Transient Docking
  • Anchorage
  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Potable Water
  • Pump Out
  • Washrooms
  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Repair Services
  • Provisions
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospital/Clinic
  • Banks/ATM
  • Restaurants/Pubs
  • Shopping
  • Internet
  • Amenities
  Important Numbers

Area Code440
Police(440) 992-7176
Hospital(440) 997-2262
Pharmacy(440) 993-0906


Port Distance (nm) Port Distance (nm)
Erie, PA 45 NE Port Colborne, ON 102 NE
Cleveland, OH 21 SW Port Stanley, ON 54 N
Put-In-Bay, OH 117 W Pelee Island, ON 100 W


Ashtabula Ohio has long been an important commercial harbor on the Great Lakes. Established in the late 1700's, the city became a large coal and iron ore port that grew in significance and continued to be so right through the 20th century. With cargos of coal, iron ore, limestone and sand, Ashtabula maintained its position as one of the most important commercial harbors on the lake. In fact, in 1960, it was the 3rd largest iron ore port in the world. Ashtabula Ohio also became a terminus for the underground railroad as escaped slaves from the south waited to board ships to take them across Lake Erie to Canada. As the coal and iron ore shippments have declined in the early 21st century, the harbor has seen significant increases in recreational vessel traffic.

On a personal note, Ashtabula was where I had my first encounter with the U.S Coast Guard. Entering the harbor, I was hailed and directed to come along side the Coast Guard station. As I approached, my mind was rapidly flicking through a mental check list - were our papers in order? - yep; vessel safety equipment in order? - yep, as I had gone through a Canadian Coast Guard voluntary inspection; boat speed in the harbor? - yep, below limit. Hmmmmmmmmm

Upon approach, I was inspected and cleared. To my great surprise, the station Commanding Officer presented us with gift certificates for dinner! The reason? - not only did we exceed minimum safety requirements but they had seen that my son was wearing a lifejacket with safety harnass that was secured to a jackline. I was happy that my safety concerns were recognized and that evening we had a lovely dinner courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard. What a great introduction to America's fine Coast Guard service.


The approaches to Ashtabula harbor are clear from all directions. The 400 ft/122 m illuminated stacks of the Union Carbide plant are visible in good weather for 23.4 nm. The outer harbor is formed by 2 converging seawalls, creating a 546 ft/166 m wide entrance. The east breakwater is marked with a Fl GREEN light and the west breakwater with a Fl RED light.

There is a smaller entrance on the east side of the outer harbor but it is NOT recommended. There is a charted obstruction in the center of the entrance as well as on on the port side.

Once inside the outer harbor, follow the west seawall on your starboard side along a course of 205oT to the inner harbor. On your port bow, you will see channel marker "R2" with a Fl RED light. Leave it to starboard as you enter the Ashtabula River channel. Follow the river south, passing under the overhead converyor and rounding the bend to the bascule bridge. The bridge opens every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour.


Sutherland Marine   (440) 964-3434   VHF 16
Sutherland Marine is the first marina south of the bascule bridge on your starboard side. There are approximately a half dozen slips for visiting sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. Water and power are available at slips. Sutherland's is a full-service marina able to provide maintenance and repair services for engines, electrical, electronic and mechanical systems as well as fiberglass repairs. There are restrooms and showers on-site. There is also a convenience store and picnic areas. There is internet access. The marina is very close to shops and restaurantsin downtown Ashtabula.

Ashtabula Yacht Club   (440) 964-3129   VHF 16
AYC is located immediately south from Sutherland Marine, on the starboard side. They have 125 slips with about a dozen available for transient sailors. There is no fuel dock but there is a pumpout station. There are water and power hookups at dockside. The clubhouse has restrooms, showers, laundry and kitchen facilities. There is also a pavilion on the grounds. There is internet access. AYC is very close to shops and restaurantsin downtown Ashtabula.

Jack's Marine   (440) 997-5060   VHF 16
Jack's Marine is located on the east side of the river, just up-river from the bascule bridge. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) but no pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. This is a full-service marina able to provide maintenance and repair services for engines, electrical, electronic and mechanical systems as well as fiberglass repairs. They also have a haulout facility. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities and a convenience store on-site. Other amenities include a swimming pool and picnic grounds. There is no internet access.

Riverside Yacht Club   (440) 992-1388   VHF 16
RYC is located upstream at the turning basin. There are 36 slips with several set aside for visiting sailors. There is no fuel dock or pumpout station. Water and power is available dockside. There is a lovely clubhouse with restrooms, showers and kitchen facilities. There is also an outdoor pavilion.

You can anchor in the outer harbor. The preferred area is in the southeast area and commercial vessels use the center and west sides of the outer harbor.


Sutherland Marina is a full-service marina. (See above)

Jack's Marina is a full-service marina. (See above)

There are a number of grocery stores in Ashtabula Ohio that can handle reprovisioning needs. Save-A-Lot Food Stores is the closest to the harbor.

Ashtabula has a full range of banking options. The closest bank to the waterfront is Cardinal Community Credit Union with both counter service and ATM's.


The closest hospital is Ashtabula County Medical Center (440) 99-2262. It is located about 2 mi/3.6 km south of the waterfront.

There are a number of pharmacies across the city. Rite Aid Pharmacy (440) 993-0906 is located about 2 mi/3.6 km south of the waterfront.


The harborfront area of Ashtabula Ohio has undergone a significant refurbishment in recent years. Bridge Street, just north of the marinas is where you will find many restaurants and pubs. Doxsie Deli is just west of the bridge and serves breakfast and lunch. Hil-Mak Seafood is a popular local seafood restaurant where fresh seafood is king! Briquettes Smokehouse is a southern-style BBQ restaurant that carries a good selection of craft beers - can you go wrong in a harborfront bar that carries beers labeled 'Scrimshaw' or 'Seadog'?


A real attraction for visiting sailors would have to be the Ashtabula Maritime Museum (Formerly the Great Lakes & U.S. Coast Guard Memorial Museum. For me, the highlight of my visit was being inside the wheelhouse of the Thomas Walters, a laker which plied the waters of Lake Erie for a century. Ashtabula Ohio has an active arts and music program throughout the summer. There are a number of excellent wineries in the immediate vicinity. Walnut Beach, to the west of the harbor, is one of the largest beaches on Lake Erie. The Hulbert House is a city landmark and sheltered many runaway slaves on their journey to freedom. This Ashtabula site may give you some ideas on getting the most of your visit.

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