Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Choosing the Best Berth

April 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Choosing Best Berth

Just as boats range in style and variety, boating accommodations vary and what works best for one may be inadequate for another. Choosing a marina, yacht club, mooring field, or boatyard is personal, based on what you need and what you can afford. Let our considerations and questions help you narrow the field and ultimately select the best summer home for your boat.

  • Question PanelsDo you head to your boat after work for outings? Then a spot nearby works best. Do you use your boat as a weekend home? If so, you probably prefer a vibrant area and/or a marina with amenities galore.
  • Protection from the elements. Weather and the aftermath of storms is on almost every boater’s mind. Check out whether the harbor is generally calm and if the parking lot floods when it rains or the tide rises.
  • Is there enough room for your vessel to navigate in the channel or harbor leading to the marina? Is there adequate water at the lowest tide?
  • Dock layout. Could the local prevailing winds make it difficult for you to maneuver if you’re inexperienced or your boat is hard to handle?
  • Are there dockhands around anytime you need help?
  • The price for a mooring is usually less than a slip, but does it provide access to all onshore amenities? Is the cost of launch service included? How long is the average wait time for launch service on summer weekends?
  • Does the facility have floating docks, bulkheads, or ladders that will limit the ease of getting on and off the boat with little kids, dogs, lots of gear, or arthritis?
  • Power and water. Is the dockside power supply adequate? Is fresh water available?
  • Does the facility have a laundry, showers, and ice available?
  • Travel lift. Is there one on the premises capable of hauling your boat?
  • In-house mechanic. Is the resident mechanic certified to work on your boat and engines? What’s the average turnaround on a summer repair?
  • Are you permitted to work on your own boat on the premises and/or bring in an outside pro?
  • How close is the nearest pumpout site?
  • Fuel dock. How close is the nearest fueling area?
  • Are the premises monitored or alarmed? If you’ll be sleeping aboard and/or leave valuable equipment on the boat, this is an important consideration.
  • Are there year-round amenities and activities included in the price or are they extra? May your guests use the facilities?
  • Yacht club extras. Is there a dress code? Is there a minimum amount you are required to spend for food and drink? Will you receive reciprocal privileges at other yacht clubs in destinations you plan to visit?
  • Life stages. What’s the average age of members or other boat owners? If you’re looking for peace and quiet, you’ll likely seek a different location than if you’re seeking companionship.
  • What’s it like when the sun goes down? Is it very noisy or way-too-quiet?
  • Are your companion animals permitted everywhere?
  • Is there sufficient parking nearby, a convenient spot to unload equipment, and space for friends to park?
  • Emergency preparedness. Is there fire-fighting and life-saving equipment on the premises? What’s the storm evacuation plan?
  • Winter storage. Must you move your boat or is there on-site storage available? If available, must you be ready to go on the marina’s or boatyard’s schedule? Do they adhere to a first-in, last-out timetable, or can you arrange a launch date at your convenience?
  • This is listed last, but it is the first consideration — are you able to afford the overall cost of the marina, club, or yard?

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