You are taking the plunge into purchasing a boat, and you can’t wait to take it to the water on sunny summer days, but now you need a place to store your boat. Unless you plan to store it at home, you’ll want to dock it somewhere convenient and safe. Choosing a marina is an important decision, and there is more to it than you might think. In asking “How do I choose a marina?” there are several key questions you need to address before you make your choice.
What Does a Marina Do?
The marina serves as a place to dock your boat, but there are other services and amenities that set a good marina apart from others. When searching for “marinas near me,” determine locations that offer these additional features:
Security is a priority concern in selecting the right location for you. You need to be certain that your boat is protected when you aren’t aboard and that you and your guests are safe when you are. When choosing a marina, look for well-lit parking lots and dock areas, gated and locked facilities and innocuous surrounding neighborhoods. The safety features might also be an important consideration in the terms of your marina and yacht club insurance policy.
Facility and Nearby Amenities
If you intend to spend any time on your boat, you want to be sure that the marina has the necessary conveniences and amenities to make your stay comfortable. Some things to look for include:
- Shower facilities
- Dock boxes that are waterproof
- Laundry facilities
- Recycling and trash containers
- Dinghy docks
- Nearby shopping and restaurants
The next step in choosing a marina is to take a tour of those facilities on your list of locations that meet your safety and amenity criteria. Talk to the staff at the marina. Ask them questions about their security features and procedures. It is a good idea to discuss what the marina thinks is most important about their operations. You want a place that puts boaters’ needs first.
What Are the Conditions Like?
Your final step in the process is to look at marina conditions and determine if they are appropriate for your vessel and your needs. Check the suitability of the following areas when choosing a marina:
- Traffic and congestion in the marina are not too heavy
- Water depth is deep enough to allow you to pull your boat all the way into the slip
- Slips are accessible and allow for safe docking
- Wind and current speeds assist in easy docking
- Slip length and dock height are sufficient for safe embarking and debarking
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