Everything You Need to Know About Marinas

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A marina refers to a facility that caters to recreational boaters, yachts or small boats. A typical marina features sheltered harbors with all the right equipment to maintain a small watercraft. Usually, a marina features several amenities that will appeal to novice and experienced boaters alike. The facility is often administered by municipalities, private organizations, or even individuals.

Fees and Rates

Most marinas will charge a fee for using any of its amenities. The charges will depend on the type of service the boater wants or other services that a watercraft needs. Some types of marinas offer a special “hardship” fee while others donate to charitable institutions to provide funding for impoverished families or sailing trips to disadvantaged children.

The fee will depend on the duration of the docking. There are cases wherein marina staff will make arrangements with other facilities in neighboring areas according to the needs of the sailor. Extra services – such as dry storage – will cost extra. Essentially, anything that requires more work on the part of the marina staff will cost you extra.

Services and Amenities


One of the most important services a marina offers is mooring. Boaters can rent a space along the buoy or dock for mooring a boat when the watercraft is not in use. Some marinas offer extra space for dry storage and slipways or cranes for reeling the boats into the water.

Fuel and Supplies

A marina is also a great place to obtain basic marine supplies such as fuel, food, etc. Some marinas have restaurants and recreational facilities so passing boaters can replenish their supplies and have a good time during their stay. Most marinas are also open for boat repairs.

Security Services

Most marinas offer security services to keep the docked boats safe and secure. Usually, the entire facility has motion sensor cameras to track the visitors and staff alike. The added security protects the boaters from vandalism and theft especially if they sleep on their boats. Guards will roam the area to prevent burglars from breaking and entering the facility. At a minimum, a marina features secured gates that keep unauthorized access to a minimum.

Additional Services

Most marinas offer added services such as car rental services, concierge desks, and basic health care. For visitors who need a service car, they can easily coordinate with the marina staff to get in touch with a service provider. There are concierge desks so visitors can book a hotel room or a reservation to certain restaurants. Most marinas have clinics to provide basic health care to sailors and tourists alike.

Some marinas also offer parking lots for vehicles, in- or out-of-water boat storage, boat ramps and boat trailers as well as boat hoist well operated by a marina staff.

Factors to Consider

Do know that fee-based services – including pubs, clubhouses, showers areas and parking – are usually added in the long-term rental agreements. For visiting yachtsmen, they can either pay for these services from a fixed schedule and price or pay with every use.

The same thing applies for berthing. Boaters can extend their stay overnight for a fee. However, because most marinas have limited available space, it could take years on the waiting list to get a permanent berth.