Nemasket Kayak Center launches rental service on Onset Beach

By Jaime Rebhan | May 29, 2013
Photo by: Jaime Rebhan Roy Edwards, owner of Nemasket Kayak Center, has set up shop at Onset Beach this summer. Nemasket Kayak will offer kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals.

Roy Edwards remembers spending summertime at Onset Beach. The hot sun beating on the cool water, the subtle waves, the families enjoying themselves.

"I've been coming here since I was a kid," Edwards said during a brief break from cleaning a section of the the Onset Beach bathhouse, where he will soon open a division of his Raynham-based Nemasket Kayak Center. "My parents brought me here, and I brought my kids here."

So when he realized that no one was operating a place to rent kayaks on Onset Beach, he was puzzled.

"It's a natural. Kayaking goes with this territory," Edwards said.

Onset Bay is relatively calm. The opportunity for tours and lessons are plenty.

It's not difficult for even beginning paddlers to make their way around Wickets and Onset islands, up the East River into Broad Cove, or even further into Muddy Cove to the water that runs behind Cranberry Highway, or, in the other direction, around Shell Point into Sunset Cove.

In addition to rentals of kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, Edwards plans to offer training and tours of the bay -- including family-fun and moonlight paddles. His employees will be certified by the American Canoe Association.

Edwards is still working out pricing, but says it will be reasonable -- approximately $15 per hour, with a discounted all-day rate.

An avid paddler, Edwards opened Nemasket Kayak Center in Middleborough in 2011. He previously worked for 15 years for Canoe Passage Outfitters in Raynham. That store eventually closed, and he moved Nemasket Kayak to its location on Route 44.

Earlier this spring, Edwards discovered the opportunity -- and a need -- at Onset Beach, and approached the town about using the beach and renting storage in the bathhouse.

Town officials had been looking for a use for the vacant building and liked the idea, especially because the building isn't in the best of shape, and the cash-strapped town can't currently fund repairs.

"It's not in the shape to run food services," a previous use of the space, said Town Administrator Derek Sullivan. "Just getting any use out of it right now is a positive thing."

In April, the town requested proposals for the lease of the section of the bathhouse that is closest to the Onset Pier. The purpose had to be specifically for the rental of non-motorized boats. Edwards was the only one who submitted a proposal.

"It's a beautiful spot on the coastline. There's not too many places like it," Sullivan said of the building. "I hope that this opens the doorway into [more] uses for the future."

Edwards says he's thrilled to be in Onset.

"I can't tell you how excited I am," he said.

Nemasket Kayak Center at Onset Beach will officially open on Saturday, June 1.

For more information, visit

Comments (6)
Posted by: Snowman | May 29, 2013 12:53

Congratulations and good luck!  Been saying it for years taht this is what Onset Beach needs.

I will see you and your customers out on the water soon!  I will be sure to tell as many people as I can about your opening.

Posted by: madmom98 | May 29, 2013 12:58

Very excited to hear this. I was just talking to my husband about renting kayaks. It will be nice to see our town from a different view

Posted by: justin beiber | May 29, 2013 13:29


Thanks Mr. Edwards for providing a much-missed venue in Onset.

Families and summer guests will be down in droves.

Do we need to bring a driver's license to rent a kayak from you?

Posted by: stupiditythatiswareham | May 29, 2013 17:02

AWESOME... now jet-skis, beach cabanas, beach chairs, diving lessons etc...




Posted by: barnstorm | May 30, 2013 09:59

Jet-ski  fanatics at high speeds with their wakes crashing into kayaks and paddleboats sounds like an ugly scenario. However, kayak rentals in Onset will be a winner for tourists coming down to that beautiful little seaside resort. Hope it's a huge success for both Onset and Roy Edwards.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jun 01, 2013 08:09

If we can get the Wareham police on the new jet skis and the harbor master in his fancy boat to actually enforce the no wake zones and speed limits within the bay we might be in for a treat. Hopefully the renters are warned of the dangers of heading out beyond Burgess point and the Widows cove towards Stoney point. Kudos to another small business in Wareham, best of luck !

If you wish to comment, please login.