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Old 04-07-2016, 11:32   #1
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Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

So reading the threads by the guy looking for a LA slip in the Bay got me to thinking.
When you are out, coming into a strange/foreign/new port, and there is a Marina you'd like to stay in, how do you go about contacting them to find out if they have an opening for you?
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:48   #2
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

Sometimes marinas will post a big sign near the entrance telling you what channel to hail them on. Many, if not most, do not. I would try hailing nearby boats on Ch.16 and ask if they know. If not, and you definitely want to go in to the marina, I would go in and find an empty slip and moor there temporarily and immediately go up to the office.

If there is a fuel dock you could go there and ask but don't tie up there unless you get some fuel or leave right away.

If you take someone else's slip just before they come in you may not enjoy the ensuing discussions. You might even cause an accident as I have seen some boaters come on in expecting their slip to be free and not prepared to take emergency action if it is taken. You wouldn't think that could happen but it does.

I try and get current local area boating guide books that have discussions, and often charts of the docks and entrances, that will give the hailing channels for each marina. That is the best way if you intend to travel in a new area.

Some marinas are private and don't allow temporary moorage at all. They probably don't even monitor VHF traffic.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:50   #3
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

Email in advance, sat phone, cell phone.
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:43   #4
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

last minute -- channel 16. unexpected or otherwise, visits are called by 16. some marinas use a different channel , but rarely and are listed in cruisers guides.
fro long term use-- webpages, in person walk in visits, and other means, once the address real or virtual , is learned. telephone if you got it.
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:48   #5
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

Most often we hail a marina on 16 and they refer us to their working channel. Often, our second choice is a phone number that can be taken from our Garmin GPS info. A third option is to simply stand off close to the dock where we are able discuss options with the dockmaster or employees on the dock. A forth choice for us, since Nancie is so skilled at maneuvering our boat, is to have me step off the bow with a handheld VHF. After discussing our options with who I can find ashore, then I can call Nancie and advise her where to head.
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Old 04-07-2016, 13:08   #6
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

Outside the US and outside of VHF range send email via InReach. Within the states outside of VHF range cell phone. Nearby try VHF 1St, no answer call on cell.
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Old 04-07-2016, 13:52   #7
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

Call them up. If the marina is big enough to maneuver inside, just tie to the reception dock and ask at the office.

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Old 04-07-2016, 14:45   #8
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

Our chartplotter provides contact details for marinas. There's also the internet.
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Old 04-07-2016, 15:21   #9
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

The VHF channel for calling a marina isn't the same everywhere. In France, it's channel 9 and you pass for a moron if you hail a marina on 16. In the UK, it's often channel 80.

This information is available in cruising guides and almanacs. In France, I use "Bloc Marine". In the UK and Ireland, it's "Reeds nautical almanac".

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Old 04-07-2016, 19:34   #10
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

I guess cruising guides are important to have then.
Thx for the replies.
Im not sure Im learning anything important, but I am learning.
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Old 04-07-2016, 20:39   #11
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

Cruising guides ARE very handy. Depends on where you are (as you have read above) about how you contact the marina. Sometimes one clears customs, then goes and anchors somewhere. The cruising guides show where you can legally anchor, as well as a lot of other handy info.

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Old 04-07-2016, 20:58   #12
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

Use Active Captain and call on cell phone and make a reservation. If you are just arriving, hail on 16 and they will switch you to their working channel. If you make a reservation and are going to be late, call before closing time and ask for instructions. They may tell you to tie up at the fuel dock or assign you a slip number. I've done all of the above. If you arrive late, sometimes they will have a guard on duty that can check you in. Sometimes, you just wait until they open in the morning and go settle up then.


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Old 04-07-2016, 22:03   #13
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

If you call BC marinas on Ch 16 chances are they won't hear you. You need to buy a cruising guide. Many - even when you call them on that Active Captain phone number - will refuse to talk to you until you get close enough to hail them on whichever VHF channel they happen to monitor.

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Old 04-07-2016, 22:51   #14
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

I think most marinas around BC monitor 66a


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Old 04-07-2016, 23:56   #15
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Re: Idiot question #4 How do you contact the Marina?

As MaggieDrum says:
Tie up at their fuel dock.
Try VHF 16 first.
But do not go into a slip by yourself (a T dock could be ok) because it may not be for your size boat.



Its easy after a while.
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