Launching Our Launch Service

Such a luxury – being able to pick up a mooring at day’s end, radio in for the launch and make a graceful exit dressed for dinner, confident that you’ll be returned to your vessel at evening’s end, while your tender has a well-earned night off.

That’s what the innkeepers at Spruce Point Inn had in mind when we placed the order last winter for an Old Port launch. And now she’s here, soon to be dancing around her mooring like a race horse waiting for the call “saddle up!”.

Old Port Marine is the master of the craft, started in 1984 when Mike Muessel and Ron Ackman decided a purpose-built launch should replace the old wallowy, underpowered boats then in service. Basing their design on a 25’ workboat, the Old Port Launch is a 25’10” long, 9’2” beam and 3-foot draft workhorse. Familiar to anyone who has arrived by boat in Newport RI, Salem MA, Oyster Bay NY, Manhasset or Noroton CT, these launches have a storied history and unparalleled reputation for dependability.

Dispatch, the prototype launched in 1984, had logged more than 14,000 hours by 1990; her sister Tango had put in more than 10,000. They even made the run from Newport to Block Island across the choppy mouth of Narragansett Bay. As of May 2005, there were 123 Old Port Launches in service in harbors up and down the coasts.

The launch bearing the new SPI burgee is hull #44, a classic built in 1990. She’s just as accommodating and familiar, as launches go – with the driver’s stand-up center console, the teak rails, the trusty fenders deployed to keep her hand-laminated hull shiny and USCG certified to carry 4500 pounds of seersucker and silk or Henri Lloyd-clad cargo, in style.

Welcome to the waterside at Spruce Point Inn. Pick up one of our ten moorings. Sidle alongside our dock, make a run to town for provisions, or an afternoon gallery-hopping.
#44 will pick you up.