Marinas: What Every Boat Owner Needs to Know


Boating is one of the best experiences in life, but finding a place to store your boat can be a hassle.

If you keep it at home, you need to haul it to the water and launch it every time you go out. You also have to load it up and find a place to store it until the next trip.

One option that many boat owners choose is a marina, a place where your boat sits at the dock and patiently waits for you to return. Marinas offer more than storage; you can also get repairs, maintenance, and even boating equipment, all in one location.

Using a marina makes boating very convenient, but there are some things you should remember.

Keep Docks Free of Clutter

Maintaining a clear, walkable dock is an important habit for any location, but if you are using a marina, there will be people of all ages walking along the docks. Always keep the walkways clear of ropes, equipment, and other debris that could present a safety hazard to other boaters.

Don’t Swim in the Marina Water

For two good reasons, the water around a marina is NEVER the place to be swimming. First of all, the marina is a high-traffic area, and boats coming to and from the docks may not see swimmers. Also, docks, boats, and other machinery use electricity, and there is a chance that a loose wire or damaged cords could cause the water to become electrified.

Make Sure Guests are With You at All Times

Your guests are always welcome to join you, but they must be with you at all times and must understand and respect the rules of your marina. Depending on the marina, guests may not even be allowed access unless they are with you when they arrive.

Keep an Eye on Children and Pets

Most marinas will be happy to see your kids, but you need to be aware of their activity and make sure they stay with you, especially smaller children like toddlers. Don’t let them walk the docks unattended, and make sure they stay off of other people’s boats. For pets, keep them on a leash at all times so they don’t bother other boaters. (Remember, not everyone loves dogs as much as you do!)

There Are Rule for Maintenance and Repairs

To protect the docks and the water, as well as the relaxed, quiet atmosphere of the marina, most locations will have specific rules on repairs and maintenance. Many will prohibit activities like sanding rotary disks or spray-painting your boat. There will also be rules requiring service contractors to be licensed, bonded, and insured, and any repair technician you hire will have to check in at the marina office.

“For Sale” Signs Not Permitted

Almost all marinas will have a clause in their rules and regulations that specifically prohibits posting “for sale” signs or other forms or advertising on the boats or on the docks. This is to keep the marina from being part of a financial transaction, which can have legal and tax implications for the business. You can always talk with your fellow boaters about selling your boat, but marinas keep the right to remove any signs that you post.

A Great Fishing Boat for Any Location

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Note: Every Marina has different regulations. This article contains general tips for keeping your boat at a marina and maintaining a good relationship with the marina staff and your fellow boaters. You should always understand the specific rules for the marina you choose.