Living Aboard - What''''s Important in a Marina?
The things I look for in a liveaboard marina are clean and private showers. Clean bathrooms since I use both everyday. I like the docks to have some sort of security like a coded access or a key. I have been at marinas where there was no access control and have had look-i-loos peering into my boat windows so I prefer some security even though it can be a pain to meet friends at the gate or parking lot.
I like the shortest walk from shore to boat I can find and nice clean wide docks and floats. If its cold or rainy a short walk is better. I had one finger pier that sank when more than one person was on it. I have had docks that were covered in Goose and Duck droppings where it was hard to find a place to walk.
Friendly marina staff and security guards are another thing I look for. I have yet to meet an unfriendly staff, but some are more accessable and willing to drop what they are doing to help you.
Friendly neighbors...I was considering moving my boat to be closer to some friends boats and at their marina nobody returned my hello''s when I walked by them on the dock. At mine sometimes it is hard to get anywhere without stopping for a short conversation.
Convienience items. I like when the marina has dock boxes at each slip and nice metered power with well lit walkways. All the slips in my marina have a non marking rubber bumper around them to protect the boats. Nice well bedding mooring cleats are nice since I used to worry at my previous marina if the cleats would stay attached to the dock. My marina has washers and dryers, but they are often being used. Luckily there is a large nearly empty laundromat a few blocks away.
Having shopping and restaruants close by is nice. I moored at a marina that has a Safeway across the parking lot, but the trade off was when the town had events many weekends in the summer, the marina parking lot was full. The events were very nice though.
My marina has in addition to brokers and mechanics and boating supply stores, a tanning salon, which I haven''t been in, and a dentist office, which I also haven''t been to yet. From previous experience I have decided I did not like having nightclubs or shipyards in or close to the marina.
After 12 years of trying different places, I am pretty happy although there was nothing drasticly wrong with anyplace I have stayed so far.