Maine’s coast is a sea kayaker’s paradise, but with
enjoyment comes responsibility. Even when traveling
with skilled paddlers, you alone are ultimately
responsible for your safety and your impact on the
places you launch and land.
Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and
Instructors (MASKGI)
Taking the time to learn new sea kayaking skills will enhance
your experience tremendously. Professional Maine Guides and
instructors can help you gain the skills you need to be safe and
tread lightly.
The Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors
(MASKGI) is a non-profit organization of sea kayak outfitters,
guides and instructors who embrace the highest professional
business practices and conduct. The purpose of MASKGI is:
To preserve Maine’s natural resources by practicing and
teaching Leave No Trace Techniques;
To promote education in sea kayaking safety and paddling
skills as well as professionalism of the sea kayaking industry;
To protect the safety of the paddling public and our
employees by providing safe, high quality services, equipment
and facilities.
To view MASKGI’s professional code of ethics, safety
standards, and Leave No Trace policy and to access a current
list of guides and instructors, log on to
A life jacket should be worn at all times. It is extremely
difficult to put a life jacket on in the water. When you
need it, you need it on.
If you do not know how to use any of the following
equipment, get instruction—before you set out.
Maine Island Trail Association (MITA)
The Maine Island Trail is a 325-mile waterway designed for
small boats, extending from Casco Bay to Machias. It includes
approximately 90 public and private islands where one can visit
or camp in a wilderness setting. The Maine Island Trail
Association (MITA) was formed in 1987 to develop and
maintain this waterway. MITA’s goal is to inspire all visitors to
Maine’s islands to become good stewards.
With a network of volunteers and members, MITA manages the
stewardship and conservation of these wild places. Each island
on the trail is a fascinating example of nature’s grandeur. Some
are as large as 300 acres, others are just large enough for a single
tree. While the public islands are open to all, privately-owned
islands included in the trail system are only open to members.
Maine Island Trail Association’s goal is to establish a model of
thoughtful use and volunteer stewardship for the Maine
islands that will assure their conservation in a natural state
while providing an exceptional recreational asset that
is maintained and cared for by the people who use it.
For island access, conservation, stewardship and membership
information, contact 207-761-8225 or
A Sea Kayaker’s Guide to Safety
and Stewardship in Maine
This brochure provides tips, checklists, and
information about sea kayak instructors, courses, and
resources that can help you increase your skills, stay
safe, and practice low-impact paddling.
Other agencies and organizations
Gear List


  • Kayak appropriate for conditions, with flotation bags or
  • bulkheads
  • Clothing appropriate for conditions, with extra layers
  • Because of Maine’s cold water temperatures, a shortie
  • wetsuit is recommended even in the warmest months
  • Life jacket/personal flotation device (PFD) with whistle,
  • emergency strobe light and signal mirror attached
  • Spray skirt
  • Paddle
  • Spare paddle
  • Paddle float
  • Bilge pump or bailer
  • Food and water
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses and safety strap
  • Rain gear and hat
  • Dry bags
  • Flares
  • Fog horn
  • VHF marine radio
  • Weather radio
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • First aid kit
  • Kayak repair kit
  • Multipurpose repair tool
  • Local charts
  • Deck compass
  • Card compass and parallel rules
  • Tide chart
  • Opt: Vacuum bottle (hot drink)

Recommended Websites:

Maine Sea Grant’s mission is to play a leadership role in
marine science research and education and to promote their
use for the development, management, and stewardship of
marine and coastal resources. For more information, go to
Marine research, education, and extension:
Sea Grant,
Fire permits:
Maine Forest Service, 800-750-9777 or
Marine Mammal Strandings:
Marine Animal Lifeline
Hotline, 207-773-7377
Red Tide Hotline:
Oil or chemical spill reporting:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
U.S. Coast Guard Information Line:
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

U.S. Power Squadrons
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
BoatUS Foundation, 800-336-BOAT
Check MASKGI website for outfitters who offer boating
safety instruction
Boating safety and/or navigation courses

Maine Sea Grant
The following organizations, and the additional sponsors
listed on the cover, bring you this brochure:
Susan Cooney, Graphite
The Coast Guard encourages citizens to partici-
pate in the national effort to protect our shores.
Those who use our coasts can be valuable con-
tributors to the protection of our nation. You know
best what is or is not ordinary activity on our
shores. By reporting suspicious maritime activity,
you will play a vital role in ensuring the safety
and prosperity of our country. Report any suspi-
cious activity to
. For immediate assistance contact the U.S.
Coast Guard or local police at 911.
U.S. Coast Guard (North to South):
Station Eastport:
Station Jonesport:
Field Office Southwest Harbor:
Station Rockland:
Station Boothbay Hbr: 207-633-2643
Sector Northern New England:
Station South Portland:
Sta Portsmouth Hbr, NH:
Maine State Police:
1-800-452-4664 (In-state only)
Emergency numbers
Guide books to Maine
Guide to Sea Kayaking in Maine,
by Shelley
Johnson and Vaughan Smith
Hot Showers! Maine Coast Lodgings for Kayakers
and Sailors,
by Lee Bumsted
Kayaking the Maine Coast: A Paddler’s Guide to
Day Trips from Kittery to Cobscook,
by Dorcas
The Sea Kayaker’s Guide to Mount Desert Island,
by Jennifer Paigan
Maine Island Trail Association Stewardship
Handbook and Guidebook,
by Maine Island Trail
MDI Paddlers:, 207-288-8225
Southern Maine Sea Kayaking Network
PO Box 4794, Portland, ME 04112
Paddling clubs in Maine
Paddle Smart from the Start!
Wear your Life Jacket!
Partners in Boating Safety and Stewardship:
Maine Department of Marine Resources – Marine Patrol
Cadillac Mountain Sports
Eastern Mountain Sports
Kittery Trading Post
J.S. McCarthy Printers
Seaspray Kayaking
L.L. Bean
Maine Sport
Lincoln Canoe, Kayak
and Ski
Maine State Sea Kayak
United States Coast Guard
3/9/2006, 3:23 PM