Choosing the right marina for your boat is an important decision. You’ll want to give a lot of thought to where you keep your boat when you aren’t on the water. There are a number of options available to you, and here are some things to keep in mind before you make your final decision.
What to Look at When Deciding on the Best Marina
1. Find a marina that is a safe environment for you and your boat.
Make a point of visiting the marina on foot and doing a walk-through so you can get an idea of how the slips are laid out. Will you, and all members of your party, be able to reach your boat easily? Are ramps available for people with mobility issues?
You should also visit during different times of day. Does boat traffic tend to “jam up” during busy times, or does it flow reasonably well even when many boaters are on the water at once?
2. Make sure the facility offers good security for your boat.
The marina should be outfitted with modern security features to keep your boat safe when you aren’t using it. Be sure to ask specific question about the type of security arrangements the owner has in place. Examples include:
• CCTV Surveillance
• Flood lights
• Security patrols
• Gated access
You may want to invest in your own security devices for your boat. Thieves may target the outboard motor on your boat, and securing it with a chain could discourage them from targeting your craft. You can also install hatch locks to keep your valuables secure when you’re away from your boat.
Ask about what precautions are taken for fire prevention at the marina. You’ll want to know how far away the closest fire department is to the marina - in case a fire were to break out, and how long it would take it to respond.
3. Check out the facilities thoroughly.
You’ll want to make sure that the marina you choose has the type of facilities that you’re looking for, such as a refueling station that’s large enough for the number of boats that it serves.
Some boaters are interested in having a marina that offers only “basic” services, like fuel, while others want to be able to be close to shops and restaurants when they take their boat out onto the water. There are marinas offering services at each level; you just need to be clear about what level you expect when you bring your boat into the slip.
4. Consider your budget.
The cost of the marina fees do matter when you’re thinking about which marina is the best one for your boat. Instead of simply making a choice based on which one is offering the lowest price, consider your needs in detail first. You’ll want to find the marina that can offer you the best value for your money.
You may want to consult with your boat insurance company to ask whether choosing a marina with better security features, for example, can help you qualify for a discount on your coverage. This can help you decide whether a particular marina is giving you better value, even if the fees may be higher than another facility. Your best bet is to get quotes from several marinas and consider the features you’re getting for each one before making your final decision.