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Boating and Cruising Forum


jweller001 says on 2011-03-03 07:57:45 Ports by Boat Member Photo
Ports by Boat Forum PhotoChoosing a Marina for a Boat Slip

Marinas are expensive and boat slips typically cost hundreds of dollars a month. Boat owners want to be sure the marina they choose for a season will satisfy their boating requirements. So, what are boat owners looking for when it comes to finding the right marina?

Access to Special Water: Boat owners are mixed on what comprises the perfect water. Are they looking for access to big water, small water, calm water, and/or deep water? What types of boating activities do they enjoy? Bodies of water differ in what is offered and boaters need to make sure their priorities do not conflict with the status quo.

Guests and Visitors: Boat owners may be seeking a constant flow of nameless visitors for casual conversation. Others may want a fenced or gated community that only permits entry for authorized guests. This could make the difference when choosing between a public marina in a tourist area or a private marina or yacht club with purchased slips.

Marina Amenities: Some boat owners are seeking a vibrant party atmosphere while others desire a quiet setting. Some may have visiting grandchildren and need nearby family-friendly activities available such as jet ski rental or fishing charters. Other amenities to consider are showers, pool, on-site bar lounge and recreation room with pool table and video games. How about laundry and dockside pump-out?

After being around Michigan boaters my whole life, I have seen an estimated 50% of slip owners living greater than 60 miles away from their slip and frequently two to three hours away. Marinas should not limit their advertising and customer outreach programs only to local areas, and customers should not feel restricted to choosing marinas within a short commute.

An invaluable resource to get boater reviews and opinions is www.PortsByBoat.com (PBB). PBB users can rate ports (waterfront cities) and marinas with a 5-star rating and provide comments thereby helping viewers decide on a marina location and port community. If you have stayed at a marina before, we encourage you to contribute to the site by rating the marinas and ports where you have visited as a benefit to all boaters.

Transient slips are docking locations for your boat that are rented out by the day. The common rates for Michigan in 2010 were averaging $1 per foot. Most marinas retain a few transient slips; however, due to a festival or race taking place in the area, all available slips may have been pre-booked. www.PortsByBoat.com kept this in mind when designing the site, as they allow for a listing of local events, festivals, and regattas. Boaters can plan their visit accordingly so they can partake in the festivities or avoid those dates. Travelling by boat to enjoy local events is truly a fun way to experience the events. If your local port is sponsoring a celebration, sign-up and add the event to your port community.

Good Luck and Smooth Sailing!
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