How to Choose the Right Marina for You

Living life on the water can be wonderful. When you acquire a boat, and are considering the right marina for it, this decision requires some business awareness as well as personal considerations depending on the lifestyle you desire. It is wise to be prepared for an interview type of process because good marinas will ask good questions. In response, being prepared with good questions for the marina will show them you know this business and will be a responsible member of their community if they let you purchase a slip.


Before proceeding with an application, it is wise to read marina reviews on, a unified marina operations & marketing software, the central management hub for all things related to harbor life. Once you find a marina with reviews you like, preparing yourself to learn more about it is next. Study their website and research the area. What are their prices? Is their parking lot handicap accessible? What is the crime rate?

How do you choose the right marina?


Some basic questions the marina will expect you to know the answers to are:


What type of boat do you own? Is it a sailboat, pontoon boat, catamaran, houseboat, or something else?

This is the most basic question. You must know what type of boat you have.

What type of motor does your boat have? Inboard or outboard?

This is the second most basic question. If you do not know what type of motor your boat has, here is a video explaining the differences between inboard and outboard boat motors.

What are the measurements of your boat? This involves length and width as well as draft (depth) and beam (height).

If you are not sure about this technical information about your boat, study first. You must know your measurements to discuss slip sizes.

Some basic questions you should ask the marina are:

Do you have a fuel dock?

An accessible fuel dock is vital. If there is not one onsite, how far away is it? How often is it refueled?

Do you have a pump out toilet facility?

 There needs to be a station nearby to empty toilets.

Do you allow boats to be used as an Air BNB?

Some marinas do not allow this, so it is important to understand if this is allowed or not if  you are planning to use your boat as an air bnb.

Do you allow live aboards?

This is a major question. If you plan to live on your boat, the marina must allow live aboards or the dockmaster must give you live aboard status. Live aboards are rare. Most  marinas are set up for weekend use only, but there are a few live aboard locations  including these in Florida, Texas, and California.

Do you have clean, private bathrooms, a coin laundromat, and mail delivery service for marina patrons only?

 These amenities are basic.

Is there 24-hour security service?


Is wifi access free?


Do you have a dry stack?

What are the tides and currents here?

This can affect where in the marina you would want a slip.

In addition to direct questions for the marina, notice the demeanor of the marina staff. Are they friendly? Are they helpful?

Also, research the area establishments. Do you like the restaurants? Is there a movie theater or spa nearby?

Then consider if you like the lifestyle in the area. Are you looking for isolated and peaceful or social and busy?

Choosing the right marina is different for each person. Hopefully, these guidelines can help you find the right marina for you.

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Posted on: May 14, 2021