Outermost Harbor Marine is Weathering the Storm

Marina faced the worst series of storms in decades...

Outermost Harbor Marine (OHM) is a marina tucked away in a picturesque neighborhood in Chatham, MA and owned by the Kahn family.  The marina has been in business for over 40 years.  Outermost Harbor was voted Chatham’s Best Marina for four years and boasts a full line of boating and tourism services.  The marina has over 150 slips, racks and moorings, a new and pre-owner boat showroom, transient slips an incredible service department, a Freedom Boat Club site and so much more.  OHM is just down the street from the Chatham Lighthouse, the USCG station, lighthouse Beach and other popular destinations. 

Outermost Harbor Marine is home to vessels from a number of agencies such as the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, the Town of Chatham’s first responders, Tow Boat U.S. and more.  Critical access to the water and the ability to safeguard mariners is not something the Kahn family takes lightly.

While the marina had experienced some flooding in 1978, it’s been relatively smooth sailing ever since.  Until this past winter that is.  Years of beach erosion, shifting sands and changing currents have made a drastic impact in the waters around Chatham and around Outermost Harbor Marine.  Some years introduced minimal changes while others brought more drastic changes to the seascape.

These changes create unique situations for the local harbor master, homeowners, boaters, the town and business owners’ dependent on the water.  Cuts through what was once miles of beach have created islands, dynamically navigable waters and even more shifting sands.   The Chatham Harbor Master and marinas such as Outermost Harbor Marine must adjust channel markers, create new way points and routes and educate boaters on changes in navigation regularly. 

The winter of 2018 brought new challenges for Outermost Harbor Marine.  A series of Nor’easters one after the other combined with the changing cuts that directed water straight into the marina made an impact.   A January Storm resulted in the marina’s main building being flooded with about 4 feet of water and resulted in dock and facilities damage.   The Kahn Family pushed through the set back and remodeled, installed new dock systems and invested in technology to hold off water to prevent flooding.  Just as construction was wrapping up in March of 2018 the 4th Nor’easter came rolling in.  The engineered system in place did a nice job holding off the water for two tides, but even that structure couldn’t withstand the sustained storm surges and a third high tide broke through flooding the building once again. 

The construction project was back to square one but the Kahn’s looked ahead and made the most of the situation by making even more improvements to the marina and did so in record time.  The marina had to be ready for the 2018 summer season.  Outermost Harbor Marine now has a new inventory of Cobia, Jupiter, Scout, Sea Ray and other boat lines on site.  OHM is a 5-Star Yamaha dealer with the Lower Cape’s only Certified Master Yamaha Technician and sells outboards up to 425 Hp.  They have new docks and have been putting boats in their slips for the past few months.  The ship store and showroom are renovated and Seal Tours, Beach Shuttles and Fishing Charters are running as scheduled.   The marina is off to one of it’s best starts in years.  However, that’s not the end of the story.

New technology is being researched and invested in for the marina, dunes and bulkheads may have to be raised and other measures taken to protect the marina.  Planning for the future is critical and Outermost Harbor is not alone.  Little Beach Association, Morris Island Homeowners Association and Stage Harbor Homeowners Association have all been impacted.   They are all working with the Town of Chatham on restoration, improvement and mitigation planning.  There’s over $313,000,000 in property value at stake along with $1,500,000 worth of town revenue and this story will likely have a part two. 

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