Before you rent or purchase a slip for your boat, here are the questions To ask.

Getting a boat whether it’s a rental or purchase is a thrilling experience. However, unless you are a person of means, one who has a dock of your own, you will need to find somewhere to store the boat.

Unlike a vehicle which you can park in your garage or by the roadside, for a vessel, you will need a particular slip or dock for storage. The issue of leasing or buying a slip at a marina comes up when you decide to purchase a boat.

Slips are designed to hold private boats because boats come in all shapes and sizes. So, before renting or buying boating space, below are some questions you need to consider:

Slip Rates, What are They?

It’s important you factor your budget before you rent/purchase a slip. Moorings are in many instances cheaper than slips. Unfortunately, they put your boat at risk of other vessels and the weather.

Yacht clubs offer amenities and accord members special privileges, however, they attract a high price. Public docks are cheaply priced. Unfortunately, they don’t provide tight security as some are open to the public.

Private marinas offer a lot of additions to the parking package. They are varied, and you’ll need to search widely to get a package you prefer. The security you provide for your vessel, yourself and the guests aboard your boat should be prioritized.

By all means avoid unlocked facilities, dimly lit parking bays, and rough neighborhoods. Despite the discounted prices, there’s no need to operate on risks that someone might get hurt or your vessel getting vandalized.

What Is The Water Traffic and How’s The Congestion?

Before renting or buying space evaluate the water traffic and congestion for various reasons:

No 1: High traffic areas have a high risk of collisions

No. 2: Power boaters are notorious in trailing other boats even when waters are rough.

No. 3: The time taken to depart the marina increases when there’s heavy water congestion

Are Marina Operators Both Knowledgeable and Helpful?

To gauge their commitment to their work the Marina staff should among other things observe the following:

  • Have safety as a priority
  • Instill confidence
  • Be knowledgeable
  • Enforce cleanliness
  • Provide top notch security
  • Consider other boaters needs first
  • Carry there own insurance?

The above points should be paramount if you want an ideal boating experience.

How Accessible is The Marina?

In all sense, the Marina should be closer and easy to access from your home. If accessing the Marina you will be forced to stay in traffic for longer periods of time, then using the boat will be an occasional thing.

The Marina’s location shouldn’t be a prohibitive distance but one you get to without a lot of hassle.

Are There Necessary Amenities on the Dock?

There are things that a dock must possess. Clean water and an electric hook-up to charge your batteries are required. More must have items include:

  • Private showers
  • Dock carts
  • Individual lockers
  • Dock steps
  • Dinghy docks
  • Waterproof dock boxes
  • Laundry facilities

The waterproof dock boxes are essential for storing extra gear, life preservers, tools, cleaning supplies and various items.

Always consider the value of having a dedicated place to store your belongings. Storage should be a big aspect as you consider docking options. Slip price varies dependent on available amenities. It totals down to what you want and how much you’re willing to pay.

 Are Shopping Locations Nearby?

For people looking forward to boating experiences alone will not have the need for shopping complexes. However, for the individuals who love shopping will want to know how far the location is.

A fast internet search reveals the proximity of nearby shopping malls/shops. Also, there are restaurants and pubs that open till the wee hours of the morning meaning that the Marina will be noisy.

Dry or Wet Dock?

Dry docks are relatively cheaper than wet docks. Wet docks, on the other hand, offer more convenience as it allows users to climb aboard and use the boat.

Drydocks have a bit of hassle since boaters will need to inform the dock rental company in advance of their intentions to use the vessel. Your budget will determine the kind of dock you wish to rent/lease.

Can You Dock With Ease?

How easy is it to dock your boat? If you find docking and departing tasking, then you will enjoy the boat even less. Look for a dock you can hook up to water and power with ease. The longer the boat slip length, the more open water you have to maneuver.

What Are The Strengths of the Wind and Current?

If you approach the dock in calm waters with little to no wind, always dock on the path side, so it gets easy to bump slowly against the dock as opposed to getting pulled away.

If you dock in prevailing winds, consider working in tandem with the current getting back to the dock as opposed to working against the current.

Before renting or purchasing a slip, consider taking a few hours to study in length the prevailing winds direction together with the current’s strength and guidance.

What is The Water’s Depth?

Due to global warming, water levels in many lakes keep falling, and this means that there’s not enough water for keeling and drafting. Before you dock in a stern, first ensure that there’s enough water in the inside end of the slip for the propellers to clear.

Use a long pole to test the water’s depth and watch out for boulders or any other obstructions that are likely to damage the boat.

What is The Finger Dock’s Length?

The Finger Dock extending from the central pier ought to be long enough making it easy for all boat users to step off the boat. If the Finger Dock length is short, you’ll be forced to back in the slip making it harder for you to decide which side you want to tie up on.

What’s The Dock’s Height?

How easy you step on and off the boat is determined by the dock’s height. A high and fixed dock make movement on and off the side deck or the cockpit side easier. If the height is a bit off, you will need to add a stool or ladder to make the climb on and off manageable.

Can You Dock A Personal Water Craft/Dinghy?

If you have either a watercraft or a dinghy, you should check to see the dock you’re renting/leasing/buying has ample space. If there’s no room for your craft, make arrangements to purchase space elsewhere.


The perfect dock for you is based on certain aspects such as; amenities, price, your vessel’s size, convenience and others. Check to see if you need extra insurance or if the marinas insurance is enough. Spend enough time going through several docks in search of the right dock that will affect your boating experience positively.

Ask other boaters about their experience. Spend time evaluating the activity near the dock and see whether it will be the right one to accommodate you.

By Admin@

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