Choosing a Marina for a Motor Boat

General

Marinas can be found in harbours, ports or on river waterfronts. These marinas can accommodate a variety of boats, including motorboats, sailboats, fishing boats, cruise ships and yachts, as well as the house boat. Some marinas cater to cruise boats on a large scale while others operate on a smaller scale, accommodating motorboats and sailboats. The Reeds Almanac is a good starting point when choosing a marina for a motor boat in the U.K. alternatively listings of marinas near you can also be found in the phone book or online. If you’re already a proud owner of a motor boat then check to see that they have the marine fuel needed e.g. red diesel, petrol or LPG.

Location

First step is to start by considering the marina’s location in relation to your home, or perhaps even airport. For someone who intends to do a great deal of the maintenance themselves frequent journeys to the marina are going to mean you want to be very close to the marina. If the boat is placed in winter storage, can you drive to the marina, carry out the maintenance in a day? If the answer is no then you’ll need to book accommodation or find a nearer marina.

What to look for – facilities

  • Full maintenance and 24 hour security.
  • Electricity on the pontoon.
  • Water on the pontoon.
  • Diesel, Petrol or LPG available.
  • Crane hoist capacity
  • Visitors berths.
  • Free car parking.
  • Berthing – check for length restrictions.
  • Full PDI.
  • Dry stack storage.
  • Changing and showering.
  • Launderette.
  • 12 month access.
  • Full chandlery
  • Pump-out facilities
  • Cafe or restaurant.

Is living aboard required and if so is it allowed?

The above checks can be done over the phone, but when choosing from several marinas, it’s best to visit the marinas in person and tour them all. Meet the operations manager / harbourmaster and gain an impression of how well the marina is run and how professional are the staff.

Many marinas are running at full capacity in southern England and berth space is limited so ask if there how long is the waiting list which may be several years long. Also ask where the berth will be beforehand and check there will be sufficient storage space ashore in winter for working on planned maintenance.

Cost

Terms of Payment can vary from marina to marina as can the berthing charges, as with everything in life shop around and try to negotiate where possible on the whole berth agreement.

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