Once you have your boat in the good running order you are going to want a home base in which you can park it. There are several possibilities that immediately present themselves, depending on where you live.
River Boat Docking
If you live near a large river that goes flows into the ocean a good place to base your boat might e right there at the mouth of that river. Riverboat marina’s make for some wonderful places to dock. It’s also—for all intents and purposes—free, and as long as you have your boat anchored down, you can do whatever you want with it.
River docking can be a bit of an isolated enterprise, however, usually taking you far away from resources that more central docks have such as Wi-Fi, and external power outlets.
And even though most boats have battery power for things like the TV, computers, and the like, that house battery will run down eventually, making you want to use the docks power outlet to recharge it.
Another problem with a river boat marina is that you will find yourself hard pressed when it comes to finding fuel. This place of isolation will also prove to be difficult if you need to leave your boat for a job or some other reason since the remote spot leaves you quite literally anchored right in place.
Docking at Official Marinas
This is why it is usually best to find yourself an official marina in which you can park your car and your boat for a certain amount of money every month. The leased out marina will also supply you with power outlets in which you can charge your boat battery and any other electrical device.
Many official marinas’ today also have Wi-Fi as well so that you can catch up on work you need to turn in, or just be able to contact the outside world; all of these options are available to you. Marina’s are like a second home and they provide free showers, drinking water, and other amenities.
Another great thing about docking at an official marina is that they have an official address! Unlike just hitching up for free in the middle of nowhere, and struggling to inform friends and family of where you are (ummm….Let’s see…I live by two big rocks and a tree!) you can actually give them a street address that they can Google and MapQuest!
But if you are planning on living full time in your boat at the marina, you first better check with the office to make sure that a full-time arrangement, “live aboard”, as they call it, is even possible.
In the United States, some places are beginning to discourage this lifestyle and the state of Washington on the west coast has banned it outright. So if you plan on living a life aboard life at the marina, you better call all of the local docks in your area beforehand, to find out which ones are welcoming to the life aboard and which ones are not.
Once you do, figure out your place to call home, however, here is a breakdown of some of the prices that you might see.
The first thing you will notice is that your rental of the dock space is calculated as $8.50 per foot, along with about 60 bucks a month for electricity. The shower facility, bathroom and drinking water are free.
These are the amenities and charges you can expect to pay if you do decide to dock at a marina full time. These are a given, but what is often completely unknown, is what your neighbors will be like!
Many are fearful of who might be pulling up next to them on the dock, and this fear has some basis in reality, living in the boat dock is a bit different from living in other areas, and it is much harder to get a clear picture of who your neighbors are. They could be coming from anywhere, and their purpose and motives are most likely completely unknown to you.
In order to overcome this fear of the unknown you need to socialize. I don’t mean you have to let your guard down and go crazy inviting everyone who washes up from the ocean onto your boat, but you need to get used to the idea of being around people.
Fortunately most marina’s offer up some great opportunities to do just that, offering up such festivities as marina partners hosted at community gazebo’s once a month, management usually tries to encourage socialization at their docks.
These monthly meetings are a fun way to meet people, and often enough there are even free food and drinks for anyone who just shows up to the party. It is here that you can meet a wide range of people, and learn their stories of where they come from and where their next destination will be. Another great place to socialize at the marina—at least in the summer months—is the local barbecue pit.
Yes, most marinas have them, a small area with a hole in the ground in which you can barbecue and grill food in the pretense of other liveaboard folks, all while enjoying some great tasting barbecue! These are all great ways to socialize at the docks of the marina.
In addition to these, there are also quite a few special holiday outings that are often sponsored by the marina such as annual Christmas parties that every resident of the dock is invited to. These are just a few perks that you can find when you park your boat at the marina.