- Boating Tips
You chose your boat carefully to suit your recreational needs. You take great care to ensure that your boat is cleaned and maintained to optimal condition. Why should you take any less care when selecting a marina at which to rent a slip for your boat?
We know that boats are expensive, and after spending so much time and money on your boat, to have it languishing in a downtrodden marina, without amenities, far from any major hub is far from ideal.
There are many marinas for you to choose from, and you will want to choose a marina that feels partly like home when you arrive, but also feels like a relaxing vacation. You want to find a place that, as a permanent boater, will not cause you to want to leave to another marina halfway through the season. Looking for a slip at a marina means finding a place that offers premium service in an optimal location.
Your boat slip is going to be the place you leave your boat when you can’t be on it. Ultimately, you want to choose a marina that checks all of your boxes: location, convenience, ample space, and more.
To help you with this decision, we have created a list of what to look for when you are deciding on a marina for your boat. Primarily you should look at the services that the marina offers, the types of dockage available, amenities, location, and cost.
If you find available slips at a full-service marina, you are in luck.
All marinas should offer basic boat services for your convenience. You should expect minor maintenance and repairs from your marina, but finding a marina that offers full-service on-site means that you can get back to boating sooner.
Boat detailing, canvas and fibreglass repair, prop service, and other services are great assets for a marina. You will want to ensure that all repairs are completed by well-trained service technicians for quality repairs.
If you find a slip in a full-service marina, you will know who is doing the work, have a relationship with them, and you won’t have to travel far to get back onto the water.
It will be important, especially for larger boats, to have access to power. You will be able to charge batteries and keep your facilities running so that you do not have to use your generator while docked.
A great marina should have slips with electrical hookup via amp service.
You will want to ensure that there is the correct amount of amp service for your boat. If your boat is under 12 feet, or larger than 12 feet, your required amp requirement will be different. 15 amp service and 30 amp service should be readily available for your convenience.
Having the correct amount of amps for your boat’s power needs at your slip will ensure that you can run appliances and recharge anytime you are docked.
You will want to make sure that there is ample dockage space for your boat at a marina, and that there are available slips for the length of your boat. If your boat is over 20 feet to 50 feet, you will need a different slip compared to a boat that is 12-15 feet.
Finding an easily accessible boat launch is an excellent addition to a marina. You’ll want longer and cleaner boat launches in general. Parking should also be included so that you don’t walk far to access your launched boat.
Check if your prospective marina offers covered berths and dry land storage for the offseason, and you will be pleased by the convenience of boating, docking and storing in one area.
Finding a marina with convenient amenities on-site means you’ll spend less time wandering around in search of free WiFi, washrooms, or fuel. Choose a marina that offers convenient resources dockside, and in close proximity to the slips.
Ample parking is important, especially that which is on-site. You will be bringing your belongings between your vehicle and your boat and will appreciate a short walk. Especially if you will be completing the same task numerous times.
Free parking availability is even more important, as you may be leaving your vehicle for long periods of time.
A fuel dock that operates on holidays and long weekends is a great amenity for a marina. You will appreciate the extended hours if you are ever caught needing gas when everyone else is closed.
Pump out services, serviced or unserviced slips and access to water and ice are also items you may want to consider when choosing where to rent your boat slip.
Something you may not have considered previously when considering a marina for docking your boat is access to WiFi. Free WiFi is even better, and quality marinas will offer this for your use.
Having access to great amenities like the ones listed above will make your experience at your slip pleading, and ensure that you do not have to visit multiple sites during your boat outings.
Although renting a slip in a marina that is close to the open water is convenient for travel, it may not be convenient for the weather. High winds can batter your boat, and heavy boating traffic can create congestion, waiting times, and large wakes.
Constant bobbing in the water will put a strain on the equipment and you will have to replace items more often.
You should look for a marina that is sheltered within a harbour. This will protect your boat from the elements and provide a calm environment for docking your boat. Try to source a marina that is located centrally to the main waterway as this can be ideal for recreational boaters and transient boaters.
You will also want to consider the draft of the hull and inquire about the depth of the water.
In Ontario, a marina located on the St. Lawrence River is a prime location for seasonal boaters. Beautiful sites, connection to other waterways, and many amenities close by make the St. Lawrence River location a convenient choice for Ontario boaters.
What is nearby?
If you are planning on renting a slip that is a distance from your home, having easy access to groceries and sundry items is crucial. Even if you do not plan on having a full grocery haul, being able to purchase things that are forgotten is terrific.
Are there restaurants and bars nearby? You may want to avoid being in close proximity to places that are open late, as noise can be particularly disturbing on the water. Choosing a marina that is a short distance from great eateries will give you meal options.
You also may want to consider laundry facilities if you are a transient boater or a seasonal boater who would prefer to rent a slip a distance from their home.
Finding a marina that has great options for shopping and laundry nearby will help get you back on your boat in no time!
The marina from which you choose to rent your slip is going to be a place where you spend a lot of your time. You will be relying on the services and knowledge of the employees of the marina.
Knowledgeable employees can help during emergencies or lend a hand if necessary. You may also need to ask for advice or opinions about boating-related issues.
You will also want to make sure that the marina staff welcomes both transient boaters in the area for the day or seasonal boaters that are looking to stay for the long haul
Great marina employees are an amazing resource that can suggest places to moor for the day, sites in the area to stop by, or great places for you to get a bite to eat.
What is the cost?
The price of your rental slip will vary depending on the size of your slip, and seasonal rental slips have a different price than transient slips.
The amenities offered at the marina may cause an increase in the rental price, but consider the convenience of the amenities you will be receiving.
Additionally, allow concession for a higher price depending on the location of the marina. You may pay a little more for a sheltered marina, but you will be saving money on wear and tear. You may live closer to a different marina, but choose to rent from a quieter location or just the opposite.
Finding the perfect slip
Finding a slip to rent for your boat is not as daunting as it may seem. Choose a quality, centrally-located marina that offers great amenities and excellent staff.
Renting a transient slip will give you an opportunity to test out a marina before you commit to one.
Clark’s Marina offers a family run business, excellent amenities and a full-service marina in an amazing location on the St. Lawrence River, with access to Quebec, Kingston, Toronto, Ottawa and New York state.
Contact us for more information on our services and docking rental packages.