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Currently I keep my Catalina 27 at a dock in a large, full service marina. However, I'm very close to pulling the trigger on a new boat about 34ft. Since I sail on the relatively deep LI Sound and also since I'm getting to be religious about trimming for speed, I'd much prefer a deep keel.

Unfortunately, it seems that even the deepest slips in the marina won't be sufficient for a keel over 6 feet when the tides are the most extreme.

There is a yacht club that's next door which is all moorings. It's not fancy, but most of the members are "sailor's" sailors...many of the boats race, including a J105 that I crew on. It would also be a 2-3 grand cheaper.

I have to admit, I really enjoy the convenience of being docked (especially when the marina has a bar/restaurant right up the gangway;)). My truck is nearby and since I winter my boat on the hard there, I don't have to be present when myboat is towed to the lift to haul it out for the winter or put it in the water in the spring. On the downside, docking can be downright scary when the wind's screaming in the "wrong" direction, especially since I single hand most of the time. Sometimes, that "docking anxiety" as I call it, can spoil the end of a great sail.

Of course a mooring doesn't have that problem, though one is dependent on the launch. There's no electric to keep a fridge cool and repairs that would have me going back and forth to the hardware store would be a real pain. I still haven't figured out how I would winterize my boat on a mooring and then get it to the marina for haul out! And of course, I'd have to do all the things that being a member of a "yacht club" entails, you know like socializing with people who like sailing.:puke....ok just kidding, there could be a worse group of people than sailors.;)
 

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Mooring

In Northport there is about 1000 something and while there are TWO clubs the majority are lone wolfs like myself

As far as the boat i have Willis marine step and store the mast ,powerwash the bottom and place it on the truck to go HOME

the truck thing gets more iffy as you get past 5' draft due to power-lines in neighborhoods and for friend with 7' draft is the only one i know that takes it home and it is difficult
 

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Why do you prefer it?
Safer in a storm (location dependent though), no dock rash, not a chip in the paint in 7 years, easy on easy off means I can be sailing in under 2 minutes, no annoying dock neighbors, boat is always pointing into the wind which means excellent cooling, Dorade vents actually work as they should, if I am on the boat in a storm the motion is far better than being beaten into a dock beam to, if a hurricane comes my marina won't force me to leave the dock etc. etc. etc...

If I was a live-aboard being at a dock would be a part of the deal but I would not enjoy it. I spend waaaaaaaay too much time in marinas I don't want my boat there too........ ;)

Marinas are often a love em or hate em deal in the North East.....

These two boats were at a local marina when a Nor' Easter hit. Our boat survived 100% unscathed, just as our mooring system is designed to deliver her after a storm......;);)
 

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In a marina where I live we would pay about US$650 a month for a slip for my boat so about US$7800 per annum. My swing mooring costs me about $180 per annum and $275 once every three years for maintenance. So from a financial point it's a no-brainer.

Motoring onto and off of a mooring in any weather is easier than motoring into a marina slip on a still, calm day. Sailing onto and off of a swing mooring is easy - into a slip not so much. The chances of damage however small to my boat whilst berthing or leaving is a big fat zero. Even my wife or daughter are totally comfortable doing it.

To trade the two above features to save a short dingy ride makes no sense to me. Going to the pub, meeting other members etc. holds no fascination for me, I generally have the people I want to socialise with on my boat or the boats on moorings around me.

In my new home (haven't moved there yet) we have a yacht club in a marina next door and I'm sure we'll become members, frequent the pub there and hopefully make new friends but there is no possible way that I'll take a slip in the marina.

But that's just me . . . . .
 
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My boats on a mooring and will always prefer a mooring (or anchor) when cruising. I like the way the boat swings with the wind and always enjoy a breeze. Plus I can always jump over the side for a swim when the waters are warm enough. I also like the privacy and don't have to smell the nearby dock mates exhaust as they try to figure whats wrong with their diesel. The there is the dock parties where some parent thinks it's a good charming to let their kids bring out the Karoke machine. :( I currently have two Engel refrigerators running 24/7 off of 250 watts of solar panels batteries are always topped up. Since you will be saving $1000 -$2000 over the dock costs. Why not let the marina the pulls your boat deal with the winterizing if you are not keen to do it at the mooring. One less thing you have to deal with at the end of the season ;)
 

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In our neck of the woods, there are no mooring fields and it is rare to see any boats on a mooring anywhere. I keep my 34 footer in an uncovered slip for less than $1700 per year, water and electric included. No on-site restaurant, but we do have a pool. I'm guessing a covered slip would be another $5-600/year.
We actually like our marina neighbors and enjoy socializing with them. Our yachtclub ($85/year) has a function every month from April to October and I can tell you, we eat good and plenty. At least once, maybe 2 other times a month, our dock will have a potluck/cookout. Sometimes breakfast. Again we eat good.
So yes, we like keeping our boat at the dock and nothing would ever change that.
 

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Have to admit, I've grown kinda fond of my marina, even though it's expensive. I've made friends with two guys with sailboats and one "hanger rounder" old salt sailor. Sometimes they come on my boat, sometimes I go on theirs. I also enjoy chatting with the guys who work at the marina. There was originally a mechanic there who gave me so many invaluable tips and tricks along the way...kinda like a real live mainesail of my own ;). Unfortunately, he retired last year.

That notwithstanding, most of the guys who use the marina seem to know much less about sailing than the guys (and women) at the club.
 

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.... I'm guessing a covered slip would be another $5-600/year.......
Who provides covered slips for sailboats???

Moorage for 34 feet for $1700 a year is a gift around here. Mooring fields are not the norm in the PNW but we are starting to see more private moorings starting to clutter up what used to be good transient anchorages, and I can certainly see the advantage - here there are no fees, only maintenance costs and minimal standards.

What we do see in these areas, though, is little consideration to spacing esp wrt to the size of the various boats. I've seen good samaritans row over and 'separate' two local moored boats in Silva Bay last summer when the boats swung differently and ended up entangled. Anchoring here is now quite problematic.

We are moored in a well-managed good marina exceptionally sheltered from winds and waves and only 10 mins from sails up. We pay just under $5K for 35 feet. It's convenient and also provides us a parking spot in the area - handy for walking to some nearby beaches and markets.

Once we leave the city we may try to find an area where a private mooring is feasible....
 

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Now, I'm a dock person. I like it, and I doubt whether my wife would agree to a mooring.

I was on a mooring for over a decade, and I agree with the positive things that have been said about them.

But, some of the negatives aren't getting mentioned here, such as:

-Unless you're a strong and hearty swimmer, you'll need a dinghy that rows well and or has a motor. A dinghy is a small boat, but it's still a boat and will be at least a minor hassle.

-You'll want an easy way to launch and store the dinghy.

-On those heavy weather days, never mind how well your sailboat will handle the wind and waves, concern yourself with how well your 8' dinghy handles them on the trips to and from the mooring

-When you invite a few friends down for a sail, it's a lot nicer just walking them down your dock than it is to row them out or have to motor in with your sailboat and pick them up at the dock.

-The distance from your mooring to the shore is directly proportional to the likelihood of realizing you left your car keys on the boat after you reach land and store your dinghy.

-And, you've just rowed out to the mooring with a friend, and discover you forgot the ice/beer/contraceptives, boat keys, etc.

-It's a whole lot easier to top off your water tanks at your own dock.

-That hose at the dock sure is nice for washing your deck.

-Stepping onto your boat from a dock is easier than climbing in from a dinghy.

-Powerboats like to throw wakes....enjoy. I've heard that shaking your fist at them helps.

-Solitude on a mooring is nice, but there can be a little bit of a lonely, stuck on an island feeling.

-Kinda like the wifi at the dock. Can easily live without it, but kinda like it.

-You're further away from the showers

-Your dock box will float away :D
 

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Now, I'm a dock person. I like it, and I doubt whether my wife would agree to a mooring.

I was on a mooring for over a decade, and I agree with the positive things that have been said about them.

But, some of the negatives aren't getting mentioned here, such as:

-Unless you're a strong and hearty swimmer, you'll need a dinghy that rows well and or has a motor. A dinghy is a small boat, but it's still a boat and will be at least a minor hassle.

We have to have a dingy to go ashore in the miriad of beautiful anchorages around us so no additional hassle

-You'll want an easy way to launch and store the dinghy.

We just chuck ours off the back of our pick-up into the water/garage.

-On those heavy weather days, never mind how well your sailboat will handle the wind and waves, concern yourself with how well your 8' dinghy handles them on the trips to and from the mooring

Yep, we get wet - but we get dry again. Point taken here.

-When you invite a few friends down for a sail, it's a lot nicer just walking them down your dock than it is to row them out or have to motor in with your sailboat and pick them up at the dock.

It's not worth $7500 a year!! If my friends want to pay for the slip that's OK with me.

-The distance from your mooring to the shore is directly proportional to the likelihood of realizing you left your car keys on the boat after you reach land and store your dinghy.

I do a "head count" of the bits that have to go with and make sure they're all there

-And, you've just rowed out to the mooring with a friend, and discover you forgot the ice/beer/contraceptives, boat keys, etc.

See above - in either direction

-It's a whole lot easier to top off your water tanks at your own dock.

We have a watermaker on board

-That hose at the dock sure is nice for washing your deck.

We have rain washing ours periodically or see above

-Stepping onto your boat from a dock is easier than climbing in from a dinghy.

Our boarding ladder goes well into the water


-Powerboats like to throw wakes....enjoy. I've heard that shaking your fist at them helps.

Wakes passing through a slip cause more damage to your boat.

-Solitude on a mooring is nice, but there can be a little bit of a lonely, stuck on an island feeling.

Solitude on a mooring is nice

-Kinda like the wifi at the dock. Can easily live without it, but kinda like it.

Have a hotspot on the phone that works better than wifi

-You're further away from the showers

We have our own showers (x2) on board

-Your dock box will float away :D

What the heck is a "dock box"?:confused:
Sorry - just having some fun :) and I do take your points - sometimes I really wish I didn't have to go ashore in the snotty weather.
 
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Who provides covered slips for sailboats???
.
Nobody I'm aware of. I was just giving you an idea of what people pay for slips at our marina...both covered and uncovered. When we had power boats, we did have a covered slip.

It's nice living in the low rent district where we pay less money for a full year than a lot of people pay for one quarter.
 

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Yeah there are pros and cons of both.

As mentioned, if you will be on a mooring you need a way of getting to / from the boat. My harbor has a place that offers a launch service. That's pretty convenient because the launch is large, holds lots of gear and people, and is very stable, so it's easy to get from the launch onto your boat and vice versa. The downside of the launch is they have set hours, and if want to use your boat outside of those times it's a lot more challenging.

Personally, I have my own dinghy. My boat is on a mooring about 300 yards from the beach. The town has dinghy racks on the beach. I used to drag the dink down to the water, load gear / people / whatever, and then row to the boat (took about 5 minutes). If I were taking a bunch of people out sailing I would row to the boat and then bring it to the courtesy dock to load people, take on water, etc. For my family of 5 it would be one trip from the beach to the boat with 1 or 2 kids in the dink with me, then row to the dock (100') and pick up the rest and row back. Really no big deal.

There were a few hassles with this method: it's a real PITA to drag the dink up the beach and store in the rink rack. It's also a bit of a drag to drag the boat down the beach into the water, and then have to stand in the water to get in / out of the dink. Same thing at the end of the day. Bit of a pain getting the sand off my feet before I got back in the car. Last year I got a bigger dingy, a Walker Bay 10. It weighs over a 100 lbs and was real REAL difficult to drag up the beach to put back into the rack.

This year I joined a yacht club. One of the reasons was that they have a dingy dock. The club is much further from my boat on the mooring, so I had to get a small outboard. Anyway, it's much easier to walk down the dock, put my stuff in the dinghy, motor to my boat and return.

IMHO, this is the best combo. I like having my boat on a mooring. I can get easily (relatively) get to my boat anytime day or night. I have the town dock and club dock if I need to load water and passengers. There are still plenty of places to haul my boat in the winter too.

Barry
 

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when I was a kid we raced thru the mooring fields in our Sabots and Lasers and played chicken with the mooring balls and the boats. sometimes we missed them. So I prefer the slip. I love to here the guys tell me stories of how fast they can get sailing off their mooring. they just leave out the part about getting to their moored boat. and then getting the whole racing crew to the boat with a 3 person dingy. I'll race anyone from the parking lot to sails up and underway. I can almost reach the dock lines from reaching out my car window. Sailed off mooring for a few years and did not take me long to learn that docks are great. now I am in a harbor where there are no moorings and we miss being able to play chicken. so now we use the boats on the end ties. how close can you get before you tack your sabot?
 

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Not for nothing, I prefer neither, I would rather be anchoring while cruising full time. The dream is close to being a reality.
 

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I guess you'd have to call me a hermaphrodite on this one, like the schooner. If I'm working every day or it's winter in a cold climate, then I really like the convenience of a marina. If I'm cruising, then it's on the portable mooring (anchor) for me, only. In the last three years the only dock we've been alongside was a fuel dock, for as little time as possible (maybe 12 hours in three years).
 

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One really needs to shuttle a big load of groceries and passengers in the pouring rain to their mooring, before appreciating a slip.

I have to start winterizing this weekend. I will be on and off a dozen times or more, not to mention all the stuff I need to haul to the car. Many on moorings around here will actually pay for a transient slip for a few days to do so. Says something.

If the fridge was not stocked with food and beer at all times, the boat would feel like a camp site, not a second home.

We sail and anchor out every weekend and do like the privacy and peace of being alone on the hook. Neighbors can have pros and cons. We like almost all, some I wish I could skip past faster. Unless you plan to just sit at your mooring or slip all the time, I don't think this is an issue.

When we come back to the slip, using shoreside bathrooms keeps from having to fill a holding tank that might sit for days.

If you just daysail for a couple of hours, much of the above is not as big an issue. You probably don't have groceries or can bring a small cooler with a couple of beers and a sandwich. However, if you routinely live aboard for days at a time, a slip is a much better launch point.
 
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