Public Boating Information



A backward look at the City's beautiful harbor!



Mariners' Wharf in Elizabeth City provides complimentary dockage to boaters from near and far. Located on the beautiful Pasquotank River, Mariners' Wharf sits at the gateway to the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. The facility was completed in 1983 through the generous donations of businesses and individuals in the community. Boaters can see who sponsored their slip by looking at the stone markers embedded along the bulkhead’s walkway.

Elizabeth City’s reputation as “The Harbor of Hospitality” grew from an impromptu wine and cheese party for visiting boaters hosted by Fred Fearing and Joe Kramer in 1983. The “Rose Buddies,” as this group of friends has come to be called, are internationally known for providing legendary hospitality to waterway travelers.  Although Fred Fearing passed away  on October 19, 2007, Rose Buddy volunteers continue his legacy by greeting visiting boaters and providing information about Elizabeth City, the Dismal Swamp Canal and the Albemarle Region.   Joe Kramer passed away on March 1, 1987. His rose bushes were transplanted to Mariners' Wharf where they continue to provide roses for boating visitors.

Public Boating Quick Facts
  • Mariners' Wharf – Total boat slips – 17.   14 transient boat slips available on a complimentary basis for 48 hours. Longest slip: 50 feet. No water or electrical service. Reservations are not required (nor are they accepted). Slips are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Shopping and restaurants nearby.
  • Free Boat Launching – two sites available in downtown Elizabeth City: Waterfront Park and Dog Corner Park. Both sites have parking for cars and trailers.
  • Bridge Opening – The bridge over the Pasquotank River/Intracoastal Waterway via the Dismal Swamp Canal (Vertical clearance – 12 feet) opens on demand Monday thru Friday except between 7:00 am and 9:00 am (opens only at 7:30 am and 8:30 am) and between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm (opens only at 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm). On week-ends and holidays, openings are on demand 24 hours per day. Bridge phone number is 252-331-4772. Radio Call Sign – KX7476.
  • No Wake Zone – Watercraft are prohibited from operating at a speed exceeding 6 miles per hour and/or causing a wake from Ward Street downriver to the College of the Albemarle boat dock.
  • Swimming/fishing - Swimming is not allowed in Mariners' Wharf at any time. Fishing is not allowed beyond the railing.
Additional information about the Intracoastal Waterway and the Dismal Swamp Canal may be obtained from the Dismal Swamp Canal Visitor Center– the only visitor center in the continental US greeting visitors by both a major highway and an historic waterway!

For information about cruising the historic waters of the Albemarle Sound, visit The Albemarle Loop.

For more information about boating in North Carolina, visit NCWildlife.org.