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Massachusetts Bay has been a center of commercial shipping for more than three centuries, and is the site of literally hundreds of shipwrecks. Most shipwrecks occurred along the coastline from Cape Ann to Plymouth and little remains of these ships today - they've been broken apart by wave action and buried in the sand, or were dynamited as hazards to navigation. However, other ships were lost further from shore and many others were scuttled during the 1920’s and 1930’s at the end of their useful lives. Because the water depth falls off rather sharply beyond the harbor islands, and especially off Cape Ann, most of these wrecks are in relatively deep water (160 – 300 FSW) and inaccessible to the recreational dive community. Within 6-8 miles of the Massachusetts coast, one can find depths in excess of 300ft.

Most of the wrecks listed on this site fall to the west of the Stellwagen Bank border shown in light blue in the figure below, north as far as the easternmost extension of Cape Ann, and south to approximately the tip of Cape Cod (dotted line).