SeaKnots

Where is your Marina, what does if offer you, what would you like to see different about it, How much does it cost, how do they treat you and other customers. Are you staying or going? Share stories, good and bad of other marinas you have been at and the personalities that you found there. Also what its like to get in and out of.

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I'm at Otter Creek Marina, in LaSalle, Michigan on the west end of Lake Erie. It's a little mom and pop place tucked behind a nice residential community and a few blocks away from the Toledo Beach Marina where the rich folk keep their boats.

I thoroughly enjoy Otter Creek. It's more like a little park than a marina; very quiet, with lots of trees, grass, and great views of the wetland across the creek. Mom and pop and their sons actually have their homes on the grounds, so it's like having built-in security. The docks are in good repair with water and electric provided, and the bathroom/showers are top notch. There are picnic tables all around the water, a fish cleaning station, and another small building on the lawn with a porch and patio that we use for other activities.

There is a pump-out station and a Marathon gas dock on the creek, and the owners can provide some mechanical services as well as sell bottom paint, oil, and a few other necessities. My slip is within the boat basin, but there are longer docks on the creek itself. It's a five minute transit up the creek to Lake Erie. The only downside is the depth. I draw 3.5' and there are a few days each season, especially in the autumn, where a strong west wind will suck the water from the creek making it difficult to get out of the basin. I pay $1040.00 for the season from April to November for a 24' slip, which includes haulout and spring splash. Winter storage is about $350 for my boat.

What makes this, and any marina, most enjoyable is the attitude of your neighbors. The folks at Otter Creek are all friends. Bill and Louise (mom and pop) call us "cottagers" because we tend to use our boats as summer cottages. We're not a yacht club, but we do get together for a lot of activities. We have fish frys, chili cook-offs, jam sessions, or just celebrate sunsets together. Sailboats, powerboats, fishermen, canoes.... it's all the same to us. We just share our love of the water and each others company.
NICE!
Regatta Point, Deltaville, VA - Located at the mouth of the Rappahannock River & the Chesapeake Bay. Excellent location. GOOD POINTS - Floating cement docks, power, R/O water (drinking), well water (washing), wi-fi,private bathrooms, laundry facitilies,courtesy cars & bikes,lounge w/ big screen TV (satellite), pool, friendly/knowledgeable staff,mechanic-Bill on site(if he can't repair it-he knows someone who can), pump-out,Regatta Point Yacht Club - Monthly gathering & events, Wed. night dock potluck dinner - everyone is invited, Sea Tow located at the marina.

NEEDS: Cable TV at the pedestal, R/O water available at the pumpout during the winter,additional laundry facilities needed.

GETTING IN & OUT: Getting into Broad Creek from the river can be a headache. Don't get too close to the red channel markers( very shallow) If you line up green to green you should be okay. I have been aground twice and everyone I know has been aground at least one time. Have seen many boats aground, including power. The channel is narrow. After you get into Broad creek it is fine.
The best marina on the Texas Gulf Coast is Bahia Marina, just off Corpus Christi Bay with easy access to the Bay and the Gulf: http://www.bahiamarinaoftexas.com/ . Large slips, free wireless, nice shower rooms, marina store on property, laundry, swimming pool and lots of sociable folks. This is where Paloma is now, she's in a 40 foot slip with water and electricity, $250/month..
The second best marina on the Gulf Coast is Bridge Harbor in Freeport, same amenities as Bahia Marina, has a West Marine Store right on the property, 30-foot slip with water and electricity is about $95/month. One mile down the ICY and one mile out the jetties and you're in the Gulf. Very few sailboats in the area, mostly big (40-75 feet), professionally captained sport fishers.
Terri,

I insure my boat through BoatUS and towing is included at a very reasonable charge. It's unlimited for my "immediate area " which ranges much further than I normally sail. Happily, I haven't had to use it, so I can't tell you anything about their actual service. But there are BoatUS tow services all around the Great Lakes if I needed them.

Mark
I don't know if your aware of "Bay Watch". They are about 3 yrs old and are located on the west end of Greenwich Bay. They also have boats on Block Island and are always out on the bay. They are the dark blue boats with white lettering. Their rates are only $99.00 a year and the service is good. Wouldn't use anyone else.
Right now I have my boat in my yard but that's because I used it as a pirate ship for Halloween then had some work I wanted to do on it prior to putting it back in the water. I have had it on an inland lake in Orlando that I like real well. The marina is really friendly to it's patrons they help with launching if you keep your boat on the hard. They come out on the lake free and unstick you if you get into trouble. And they have parties boat showings and trials for free plus cookouts during the year so I like it a lot. The name is Fairview marina. I would highly recommend it for old salts and newbe's alike. They also rent sailboats and give sailing lessons. Now let's talk about the 3 marina's up on the St. John's at Sanford, FL. Boat Tree Marina, They bought out the old Hidden Harbor Marina at Port of Sanford. Now bear in mind these are all marina's that have egress to the Atlantic via Jacksonville. They all are high on slip rental. Each one a little higher then the other going from east end to west end of lake Monroe. Sanford boat works is the homiest with Monroe marina in Sanford next and Boat Tree is mostly a sales platform for power boats. They don't seem to like liveaboards. Monroe has quite of few and Boat Works has more, many of them houseboats. I will say all 3 are way below what you pay on the coast but then it would take a couple of days to get to the Atlantic or ICW.
Right now I have my boat in my yard but that's because I used it as a pirate ship for Halloween then had some work I wanted to do on it prior to putting it back in the water. I have had it on an inland lake in Orlando that I like real well. The marina is really friendly to it's patrons they help with launching if you keep your boat on the hard. They come out on the lake free and unstick you if you get into trouble. And they have parties boat showings and trials for free plus cookouts during the year so I like it a lot. The name is Fairview marina. I would highly recommend it for old salts and newbe's alike. They also rent sailboats and give sailing lessons. Now let's talk about the 3 marina's up on the St. John's at Sanford, FL. Boat Tree Marina, They bought out the old Hidden Harbor Marina at Port of Sanford. Now bear in mind these are all marina's that have egress to the Atlantic via Jacksonville. They all are high on slip rental. Each one a little higher then the other going from east end to west end of lake Monroe. Sanford boat works is the homiest with Monroe marina in Sanford next and Boat Tree is mostly a sales platform for power boats. They don't seem to like liveaboards. Monroe has quite of few and Boat Works has more, many of them houseboats. I will say all 3 are way below what you pay on the coast but then it would take a couple of days to get to the Atlantic or ICW.
You are right about the spring line, I keep it attached to dock and just pick it up and hook on boat cleat. this works to stop boat and keep along side dock while I attach rest of lines.
Terri, a marina we visit in Cape May NJ has the same set up. Surprisingly enough the lines through the holes don't seem to chafe. I think the wood eventually gets smoothed out over the years. Another option to running a line through the hole is to tie the end of the dock line around the post using a double wrap on a clove hitch. It's better if you use dock lines that do not have a loop on one end. Clove hitch to the post and the other end cleated off to the boat. I mark my lines with rigging tape to indicate where to place them on the cleats. Makes it quick and easy to get them set properly every time.

Using a spring line is a good idea. Not only will it pull you in towards the finger pier it will also act as a brake and keep you from bumping into the bulkhead in front of you. Once you have the spring line on you can put her back into forward at idle speed and she'll walk up to and rest against the pier until you grab a second line for better control.

I'd also place a dock line between the pilings on the far side of the finger pier. Set it at a height that will catch you under all different tidal heights. The line will keep you form drifting into the neighboring slip, too far away from your finger pier. In a worst case scenario you can pull into the slip and rest up against the line and pilings until the wind dies, extra help shows up or you get your wits about you. I'd use a 5/8 inch line.

Remember practice makes almost perfect. I say "almost perfect" because no matter how good you think you are there are days mother nature reminds you it pays to be humble.
Good luck
Mike
In my regular slip I use a single long line from front to back with a loop tied in the middle. When I come into the slip I can pick up the line anywhere along its length with a boat hook. The loop has been adjusted to be in the right place to properly position the boat when dropped over the midship cleat.

I advise NOT planning to get off the boat until it is pretty well tied up, especially when singlehanding. First there is the prospect of hurting oneself jumping off. Second is the risk of the boat getting away. If I'm on the boat I can at least be back in control in a few seconds.

Jack Klang has some good videos and demos - he is often at boat shows in or near the Quantum Sails booth. Some good reading is here: http://cfsa.vancouver.googlepages.com/DockingManeuvering.pdf although it doesn't directly address your issue. I've seen his demo several times and he has a great way of lassoing a piling without having to become a professional cowboy. If I can find a description somewhere I'll post it.
I should think protecting the line going through the hole from chafe would be awkward. I think I would quietly slip pieces of pipe through the hole that extends 3" or so to each side of the post and use it as a proper mooring bit. It should end up looking like this:


Just not so shiny.

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