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Old 20-10-2013, 07:16   #1
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Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

As a monohull owner you hear "Yes but it's almost impossible to find dockage for multihulls. And when you do it's terribly expensive."

How true is this in the U.S.? Do you pay more for a pier end because you're wider? Do you want to pull into marinas at night to get a good rest and find no room for you? Do you have to travel making reservations only? Is this all getting more difficult because multihulls are getting more and more popular?

I would love to hear how it works. Thanks!
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Old 20-10-2013, 08:54   #2
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

With the economy in the toilet a lot of marinas no longer surcharge (which is 25% a month) if you are not monthly there usually isn't any extra cost. As far as being more comfortable multihulls are very comfortable at anchor and if you have davits it is easy to launch the dingy and use the money you save to pay for dinner out. Marinas will let you pay $5 to $10 for showers/dingy dock. Happy sailing
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Old 20-10-2013, 09:09   #3
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

We have never had any problems or ever had to pay extra for a spot. And we have a beam of 21 feet. We do end up side tie or on a T-head, but other than that no problems
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Old 20-10-2013, 09:15   #4
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

We always anchor as we are self sufficient. If your cat is setup well, you would not have to call anyone ahead of time.

Our slip fee was the same as our Catalina 380 mono hull. We have an end slip with a great view.
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Old 21-10-2013, 22:05   #5
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

It's been very rare (once or twice in 15 years) that I can't find a space, and I have never been charged more than a monohull.
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Old 22-10-2013, 00:38   #6
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

we have had 2 cats, one 44ft, current is 56ft. We have been able to find berths in Caribbean, across Pacific, and in Oz but have generally paid a 50% premium for them, thus anchor when possible. Very surprised by those above who say they have never paid more., maybe its just mainland US.
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Old 22-10-2013, 05:21   #7
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Wow. That would take a rethink of the budget! You're saying that outside of the U.S. you run into these surcharges, correct?
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Old 22-10-2013, 06:16   #8
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

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we have had 2 cats, one 44ft, current is 56ft. We have been able to find berths in Caribbean, across Pacific, and in Oz but have generally paid a 50% premium for them, thus anchor when possible. Very surprised by those above who say they have never paid more., maybe its just mainland US.
Do not be surprised that we pay less than you.
You have a 56 long x26 beam ship and we have a 36 long x 20 beam yacht.

Size does make a difference. Ask any woman and they will tell you.
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Old 22-10-2013, 07:18   #9
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

I don't think it should be about the square footage of the vessel, but rather the length of the dock you occupy. If I take up two slips ok, but if I'm tied alongside I take up the same amount of dock space as any other boat.

What's the cutoff width? 20'? 15'? 8'6"? Perhaps marinas should charge more for vessels with deep draft? That makes just as much sense to me. What about large monohull vessels with large beams? Do they get a surcharge?

If I travel to areas that charge more due to the beam of my boat I'll just anchor more. They can exist without my money.
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Old 22-10-2013, 07:20   #10
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

We are over in Europe and a 50% surcharge is not uncommon, nor unreasonable really if you think about it. It would be generally fairer to charge for beam rather than length over here as we tend not use the 'pens' or finger pontoons that you have over in the US. We just line 'em up in a row and get more in. Which is more valuable, the length of pontoon you are using up or the amount of water in front of each berth?
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Old 22-10-2013, 07:30   #11
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

The few times we have been charged extra were because we took up two slips. Even then, we were only charged 50% more. We have never been charged extra for an end-slip.

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Old 22-10-2013, 07:44   #12
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

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Originally Posted by AliaVita View Post
We are over in Europe and a 50% surcharge is not uncommon, nor unreasonable really if you think about it. It would be generally fairer to charge for beam rather than length over here as we tend not use the 'pens' or finger pontoons that you have over in the US. We just line 'em up in a row and get more in. Which is more valuable, the length of pontoon you are using up or the amount of water in front of each berth?
AliaVita -
I think you are talking about tying stern to (or bow to) the dock. In the states we usually tie alongside the dock if we're not in a slip. The beam does not occupy extra dockspace that way.
I'm curious though - what's the minimum beam before boats start getting hit with a surcharge? Or do they just do it automatically for multihulls?
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Old 22-10-2013, 08:10   #13
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

Have owned and cruised catamarans since 1971. Have allways found space in the harbours I wanted to enter here in Europe. In 5 or 10 % of these habors we have been surcharged, but never more than 50%
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Old 22-10-2013, 08:26   #14
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

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AliaVita -
I think you are talking about tying stern to (or bow to) the dock. In the states we usually tie alongside the dock if we're not in a slip. The beam does not occupy extra dockspace that way.
I'm curious though - what's the minimum beam before boats start getting hit with a surcharge? Or do they just do it automatically for multihulls?
FSMike

Completely agree if you are alongside or on a 'T', exactly the same principle, they should be charghed by length only. When you are surcharged in Europe your beam doesn't come into it, its a straight 50% for a multi hull of any description. There are places that don't surcharge, some may only charge 25%, and I have never seen more than 50%. The majority of marinas charge a extra 50% in the Mediterranean and anything less is a bonus!
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Old 22-10-2013, 08:30   #15
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Re: Is it difficult to find multihull dock space?

a. As you can see, the answer to many questions depends on where you are. Please add a location to your signature.

b. It depends on the size of the cat. Many smaller cats (beam < 18') can find oridinary situations (bulkheads or between pilings) very easily without surcharge. Wider boats can be different.

c. The Chesapeake is an easy area. I'm paying $100/month for a 16' beam.

d. Remember to use shallow draft as an advantage. Can you use bulkhead that is too shallow for big monohulls and thus not "prime?"
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