When choosing a marina, you are actually choosing where your second home will be. So, for starters, looking at the location is pretty important. You need a location that is right for you and your lifestyle.
For example, you don’t want the boat so far away that you never use it. Or, maybe, you do want to put it further away to make it feel like you are away from it all. These are important decisions that you, the boat owner, need to consider.
If you like to go out on the boat after work or just for the day, having your marine hours away from home wouldn’t be ideal. However, if you like to go out in long stretches while staying on the boat, then it wouldn’t matter if it was a little further away.
Location also depends on where you take your boat as well as how you use it. If you plan to go way out on the ocean and don’t have the time to drive down long channels to do so, then choosing a marina that is closer to your favorite spots is important.
It is also important to check out the harbor area and ensure they have the amenities you need. Things like restaurants and pubs that have the atmosphere that you are comfortable in, as well as adequate security.
Boat Slip Sizes
Some other things to consider when looking at boat slips are the sizes available. Not all marinas will have slips open for your size boat. This is a great way to narrow down the marina options as well. Since they don’t have a slip, there is no need to take any further of a look.
Ensure the slips are adequately spaced. This means that you will have room to maneuver your boat around. And, ensure the slips are wide enough to add boat bumpers to keep the boat from rubbing on the docks. Larger than you need boat slips are nice as there is extra room at the end for a dingy or having your friends tie up a smaller boat for the afternoon. Having extra room is always a plus in marinas.
Take a look at the amenities of the marina itself as well. Many will have their own restaurants and shops right in the marina, however, not all. And, what about the parking?
Is there enough parking for you and the guests you may be taking on the boat as well as is the parking close to the boat. Having to haul all the food and drink to the boat from far away is tiring and not that appealing to some boat owners.
However, if you just go out for a quick day trip, then this might not be a problem. Do you have designated parking? Or are you going to arrive on a busy weekend with no place to park? Most marinas have designated parking that goes with the boat slip to ensure every boat owner has a place to park to enjoy their boat.
If you have a larger boat, you will most certainly need to look at the dock utilities. Not all docks come with water and electric hook up which is important to some boat owners. By hooking your boat up to the dock power you are saving your generator and electrical systems the extra work on board.
Ensure if there is electrical hook up that it has the proper voltage for your boat.
Many of the higher end marinas have a hose right at the dock for easy cleanup. This helps keep your boat looking great and the salt water cleared off it after any excursions. And, take a look around at the closest service station.
Be sure to ask about discounts for members as well as local fuel stations and pump out stations. Find out what to do when you need to get an oil change or a tune-up. Some marinas offer these services and come right to your boat to get them done, others require you to that the boat to them. Knowing what is required of you before you purchase a slip is important. This will help you avoid long costly excursions to somewhere to get your boat maintenance done.
Other utilities to look for is Wifi. Many marinas do offer a wifi service and if you plan to use your boat as a floating office, or just need to catch up on some tv streaming, wifi is a very nice extra. And, ensure your cell phone service works at the dock as well. Some of these marinas are in very low points and service can be an issue. If you want to stay connected, ensuring that this isn’t an issue is important.
Security is a big one. Check out the security system that they have in place at the marina and ask other boaters how they feel. Your boat is a nice investment that should be protected against outside intruders. A marina should have some form of security from a gate to closed-circuit security systems.
Find out about the marina’s facilities and where you can pick up food should you be staying on your boat a lot. This is a big help if you plan to have a lot of guests as well. If the marina offers showers and bathrooms as well as a store to pick up the simple things such as a toothbrush or little things that are forgotten. Ensure that there is an easy way to take out the trash and the trash receptacles are adequate as well.
Speak to the staff and community that is out and about to ensure this is a good fit for you. Marinas are all different and finding a reputable marina is important to really get the enjoyment out of your boat that you deserve. So, ask the staff questions and ensure they are knowledgeable and friendly.
Talk to the folks that are out and about and see what they are like. After all, some marinas are quiet and reserved, while others are a bit livelier. And, some have sections for both the quiet and the more active crowds. Ensure you are getting into the section of which you will enjoy.
Choosing a marina is a big decision. Like anything else that is important, take the time to do your research, read reviews and chances are god you will end up making the right choice.