How to Choose a Home Marina for Your Boat
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Choosing a marina is not easy. Here are some tips how to choose a marina that best suits your needs:
Is if safe?
You spend a lot of money on your boat. Certainly, you want to anchor somewhere where she will be safe. Make sure that the marina is in a wind and wave protected area. Check out the actual slip you can rent and ask about tide variations. Water levels vary based on the time of the day and year. One thing you don’t want is your boat to get grounded.
Is the location convenient?
The answer will depend on how often you use your boat and the traffic in your area. If you are going to your boat more than once or twice a week it might be worth to choose a more expensive but closer to you marina. At the end it will cost you the same but you will spend less time getting to the marina and more time sailing.
What does the bill cover?
Make sure you are clear how much your total bill will be and what is included. Pay attention for special clauses for the use of utilities (water and electricity).
Is boat insurance required?
Some marinas will not accept your boat unless it is insured. Before you sign a rental agreement, check if boat insurance is required or if there are any other special requirements.
Are the basics present?
Different people consider different things as basics. However, you want to make sure that there is water and electricity available at your actual boat slip. Other things, like a clean restroom, a shower, an ice machine, laundry, and a gas pump are optional but definitely nice to have.
What about repair and maintenance services?
Boats require a lot of maintenance. Check what services your marina offers. For example, if you want your boat out of the water in the winter, check whether dock lifting is available. Some marinas, also, do not allow maintenance work (e.g. painting) performed on their premises unless you use their own service department.
Is dry storage available?
If you plan to keep your boat out of the water after the boating season in your area is over, you will need a storage area. Check if the marina has options for that. Of course, you can always go to another place just for storage, but it would be more convenient to be the same marina. Also, some places might charge you rent for the boat slip for the whole year even if you choose to keep your boat somewhere else during the winter.
Do you need it?
Some marinas have special amenities like spa salons, restaurants, swimming pools and shuttle services. These accommodations, however, will add to your total bill. If you think you might use them – great - this might be the perfect marina for you. If not, however, then what’s the point to pay for something if you are not likely to use?
Green is good
We all play role protecting the environment so that we can enjoy many years of joyful sailing through clean waters. Check if the marina, or at least a place nearby, has a recycling station. The best would be if your marina carries the title “green marina”. Such marinas are, usually, officially certified by the state as clean marinas since they follow strict pollution prevention standards.
Look around before making a decision
Drive around and check for other marinas in the area. Prices can vary a lot between facilities with similar amenities and services.