An Interview with the Harbormaster

Harbormaster Larry Powers, is no stranger to Winthrop. Born and raised in the town that he has deemed as the most

Harbormaster Larry Powers.

caring seaside community, Powers spent 32 years on the Winthrop Fire Department, the last 13 of which were spent as Chief.

Following his retirement from the fire department in 2009, Powers worked as an operation chief at Massport for two years and he worked at Woodside Hardware for three years, while holding the position of councilor-at-large for four years.

In 2016, Powers was asked to take on the role of harbormaster, where he would be responsible for maintenance, budget challenges, and leading a staff of twelve, during the prime season which is May 1until Oct. 31. During the winter months, Powers’ staff is trimmed down due to the change in demand.

“Public safety is what I did my entire career,” said Powers, who is responsible for patrolling the harbor, enforcing waterway laws, running the town marina and the boat launch ramp. On average, 75 percent of his job is spent doing administrative tasks while the remaining 25 percent is spent on the water. “It’s public safety but different because there is a law enforcement aspect to it so it’s like a mix of both fire and police work, which keeps it interesting.”

Powers, who has his Coast Guard Captain’s license, said that the majority of calls that come in are from owners of  boats with engine problems. While Boston harbor is small, Powers job is busy, and he works closely with the Boston Coast Guard, environmental police units, Boston police marine units, Boston fire marine units, MassPort marine fire units, and the state police.

“We are a close-knit public safety community, and we have a great relationship.”

In addition to managing the waterway that runs from Seal Harbor to the East Boston bridge, Powers is also responsible for attending meetings on operation issues, as well as trainings twice a year, to keep up-to-date on education.

While he spends some time at his summer cottage in New Hampshire, Powers is dedicated to the town of Winthrop.

“I love this town. I love waking up by the ocean and smelling the salt in the air.”

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