Thanks everyone for continuing to provide feedback. Jim, more info isn't a bad thing. As we get progressively farther from Avalon, I think I'm more inclined to go toward a "nicer" marina. I can tolerate a lot if I'm only 20-30 minutes from the boat/"home". But when it's an hour or more in each direction, I think I'd rather have a place that's a little more serene, and has more for my family to do in case we get to the marina and decide that the weather just isn't really conducive for sailing. We may still putter around on the motor, but it won't be a full-fledged sail. Dillon's Creek is great, from that perspective. They have a pool, the changing facilities are fantastic, and they have a small shop on site. As you mentioned, West Marine is just a stone's throw away, too. The food options close by are non-existant - you have to drive to get anywhere/anything. that's not a deal breaker for me, but it's still a bit of a negative.
It sounds like Mariner's probably won't wind up being the kind of marina I'd hoped to find. I'll have to look at adding some of the others discussed here to our "to-visit" list. The advantage that I see in getting out of the Toms River/Island Heights area is that I don't have to contend with the folks traveling out to the barrier islands when I'm trying to get to the boat. I imagine that the traffic is at least marginally better going to Forked River, rather than Toms River, for example, and even though it is a little farther away (using main roads) from my house, it may wind up being a shorter drive. Plus it would put me closer to Avalon, which is good. Again, thanks for the input!
Bermuda, I'll have to look into that, too! So far, the one at 7th and Pleasure sounds very interesting for O.C., but it's good to know about the public marina. I'll have to find out what their minimum depth is.
Please keep the suggestions, comments, etc., coming!
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