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Old 03-05-2015, 04:15   #1
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What do you do when a marina is full?

Hi,

As a new owner of a sailboat I am wondering what you do if you get to a marina and there are no empty guest-slips?

(Note: Small 27 foot sailboat without VHF)
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:25   #2
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

You go alongside another boat, at least that's how it's done in The Netherlands.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:26   #3
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

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You go alongside another boat, at least that's how it's done in The Netherlands.
So it will always be possible to berth somehow? There won't be a situation where "sorry we are full, you have to leave" ? Probably a stupid question, but that's how it is with cars
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:32   #4
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

Actually sometimes that is sadly the case. Some marinas are often so crowded (e.g. the marina of the Dutch island terschelling during the summer) that even when mooring alongside the marina gets completely full. I have never encounterd this myself but I'm told that it sometimes occurs. If you have no VHF it's probably usefull to phone the marina you plan to visit and ask them if they expect to have a spot available.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:34   #5
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

I see you are in Europe. We have never not been able to get in somewhere although we have been rafted 4 or 5 deep in places like St Peter Port. Very entertaining when the inside boat wants to leave first thing in the morning

The protocol is to use lots of your own fenders, walk in front of the mast on any boats you must cross to reach the shore and use springs to the shore and other boats you are tied up too.



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Old 03-05-2015, 04:54   #6
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

I see. So often it would be best to get in touch with the marina before departing for it?

I just wonder what the alternative is? Find an anchorage somewhere? Or what if it's heavy weather?
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Old 03-05-2015, 06:19   #7
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

Nicks, when it's full you can sometimes lay alongside the fuel dock if it's closed. It's always best to email or call ahead to book though. Rates often vary a lot depending if you booked or just arrive. You will save a lot by checking rates and availability beforehand. At least buy a handheld VHF. It's dangerous and probably illegal where you are to sail without one.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:31   #8
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

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Originally Posted by Nicks View Post
Hi,

As a new owner of a sailboat I am wondering what you do if you get to a marina and there are no empty guest-slips?

(Note: Small 27 foot sailboat without VHF)
Depends where are you.

My experience in East Med is that if a Marina is full, there is always a near by creek that you can safely anchor

A good advise for East Med Marinas- try to enter the marina before noon- there will be always free slips
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:34   #9
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

It does happen. Happen to me late in the day in Croatia and had no choice but to find a "plan B". As in most things...keep in mind a Plan B (and maybe C as well)
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:42   #10
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

You do have other options. First I'd get a handheld VHF because it's a great piece of safety and communications equipment.
If the marina is full you can anchor outside the marina because many (not all) marinas are located near shallow areas that are suitable for anchoring. Then you can launch a small boat (dinghy, kayak, rowing skiff) and head in to the marina for the amenities there. Hope this helps. Other options are to nest with other boats if the marina allows it or perhaps stay overnight at the fuel dock, but usually you're out first thing in the morning when they open for business.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:51   #11
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

When we did the circum nav of Newfoundland and up to Labrador in 2010 we had a boat from Norway rafted up to us in front of the Rollin' Keg resto in StJohns NL. It was great - we had many happy hour glasses with the crew. Only one thing - they loved the bars on Georges St just a few mins away and we would hear their returning footsteps on the coachroof as they returned to their boat at 2 am. Just kidding - we really did not mind since cruising puts you in a GOOD frame of mind and your tolerance for others is very high. Especially when it comes to things we ourselves would have done in their situation.
When rafting - make sure the boats are SECURELY attached - like one big raft - that way you can sleep soundly!
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:09   #12
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

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Consider rafting. There is really nothing to it. Enjoy your neighbors!!
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:11   #13
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

It's perfectly legal to go without a VHF, offcourse. But not wise.

I have been sailing in Denmark for 20+ years, and have never experienced not to be able to find a spot. Not even in my current 52'.

Trick is not to arrive to late in the afternoon, but you will have to moor alongside other boats quite often. This is no problem.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:16   #14
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

Anchor, Raft up, wait, go someplace else.

Around here, they might put you at the service dock overnight (when the gas and pumpout are closed).

Here is Canada, they cannot turn you away if you claim a safety concern...need repairs, tired crew, suspected leak, etc. However, many/most marinas here require proof of insurance ($2million liability) before allowing you to stay.

I have found that if you have kids and not too fancy a boat, they will move mountains to get you a slip.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:17   #15
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Re: What do you do when a marina is full?

Hi Nick ,some practical advises are :
first of all .You must have a vhf radio as a fix device or hanheld .All the sailboat at least have one of it and if you use in Channel 16 could ear all the communications and request some advice ( changin an agreed channel)and to have contact with the harbour administration
Second : along another boat with thir permission and apropiate fenders
Third : anchor in a protected place
last : sail outside and spent the night far from the harbour .
All of the previous depends of the lenght of your boat
regards
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