Chesapeake Bay Boating Restrictions in Maryland and Virginia Waters

Here’s an update on boating restrictions in Maryland and Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay. The regulations invoked for COVID-19 are quite a bit different between the two states. Although the impact has been minimum on our Dickerson Harbor Boatyard, we want to be sure the rules are understood and we can help you take care of your boat, a valuable investment, during these challenging times.

The executive orders of the two Governors have created a little confusion on the Bay where you can frequently be in both states on the same outing. With Virginia just south of our boatyard in Trappe MD, we have to be cognizant of the changing restrictions. The most fundamental difference is that in Maryland, pleasure boaters are to stay off the water except for essential purposes. In Virginia, boaters may continue to use the Bay for recreation as long as safe distancing is followed.

There are some detailed discussions by the Maryland DNR and Virginia Marine Resources Commission as to what’s allowed under typical situations. The good news is that both states allow us to deliver boats to the boatyard for repairs, spring modernizations, or for summer covered storage. With such uncertainty, summer covered storage may be the best way to protect your fine yacht while you take care of other business.

Maryland Rules Summary:

  • General recreational boating is not allowed
  • You or a delivery company may move your boat to your residence or to a boat slip
  • Cruisers passing through MD can continue their voyage but are advised to make trips only for essential purposes. Self-monitoring and self-quarantine if symptoms develop are obvious!
  • Fishing, to feed your family, is permitted from shore or by boat as long as social distancing rules are followed
  • Charter fishing is allowed (as part of the food chain)

Details at:

Virginia Rules Summary:

  • Recreational boating is allowed as long as boaters remain 6 feet from people who are not family.
  • No more than 10 people in a gathering. This can be a beach or sandbar, access points for boat launching, rafting up, or any use of state recreational lands.
  • Charter fishing is NON-essential in Virginia.

Details at:

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your boating life easier during this crisis from our Dickerson Harbor Boatyard or marina in Oxford MD.