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Old 04-10-2020, 20:50   #1
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Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

Weve been cruising several months each year since 2012 mostly along the west coast of Florida and the Keys, but also the entire Atlantic ICW downiest to Eastport, Maine. Weve experienced scrambling for a transient slip or mooring at busy times/holidays but never experienced categorical exclusions.

In spring of 2020 we called Marker 1 Marina in Dunedin Florida to request a transient slip. Its a nice marina convenient as a jumping off or landing point for crossing the Gulf to or from Carrabelle. This location was promoted as a great stop for Loopers. It was our preferred stop and we had stayed or refueled at this marina in the past.

We were on track with the reservation until we mentioned we were a sailboat. At that point the attendant told us they did not accept sailboats. Asking why, the polite attendant said they were too shallow, even when we mentioned our draft is only 30 inches.

Putting that rejection in the wake, cruising on our Tiara 31 powerboat, we called Marker 1 to reserve a transient slip for a Friday, October 1. We were told that did not accept transients on weekends so their T dock could be used by their tenants.

Has anyone had this kind of experience with marinas? Is it a common policy we have luckily avoided til now? With the increasing restrictions on anchoring areas I hope this isn't another impediment to navigate.
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:39   #2
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

I haven't.

And I haven't seen any "increasing restrictions on anchoring" in Florida either.
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:46   #3
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

About the only categorical exclusions I've seen have been yacht clubs with limited facilities, and even then, most will accommodate if they can. Some are sail only, or only take reciprocal transients from other yacht clubs, but most will take anyone if there's room (although some don't take reservations). I've never seen a marina have exclusions like you've mentioned, the worst I've ever seen is "sorry, we're full".
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Old 05-10-2020, 07:11   #4
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

It's not the case in Carrabelle. Lots of slips empty since hurricane Michael (two years), and you are welcome.
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Old 05-10-2020, 08:28   #5
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

Some Marinas have been actually closed to transients since Covid on the east coast. As a cautionary measure I guess.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:23   #6
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
About the only categorical exclusions I've seen have been yacht clubs with limited facilities, and even then, most will accommodate if they can. Some are sail only, or only take reciprocal transients from other yacht clubs, but most will take anyone if there's room (although some don't take reservations). I've never seen a marina have exclusions like you've mentioned, the worst I've ever seen is "sorry, we're full".
Thanks

This is a first for us - weve had to search a bit in NYC and New England in summers But never had encountered policies like this. Its also been a bit confusing with coastal Georgia restricting anchoring but I think boaters lobby negotiated a reasonable accommodation.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:33   #7
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

We've experienced marinas in the NYC areas that have been unwelcoming to transient sailboats (mostly because we don't buy enough diesel and it eats into the profit they would otherwise make from powerboats), but never from a facility with a mooring field. We have encountered a mooring field which has basically said, "sorry, all the deep moorings are spoken for and we only have shallow moorings suitable for powerboats" but that's more like "we're full" than "no sailboats." This summer has been strange, though. Our club is normally open to providing moorings to members of other yacht clubs with reciprocity, but this year it was strictly members only unless you have an emergency.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:17   #8
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

I have seen that here in the New York City area. In most cases it is because the depth of the water is too shallow. One marina just north of the GW Bridge on the Hudson said he has to dredge every year and removes around six feet of silt per year. Whether this is true or not I can't say, but the owner's reasoning was that he didn't want to deal with boats grounding and tying up the channels.

There is a nice municipal marina just south of the GW Bridge and they said the same thing, however I would use it from time to time. I just pulled in after they left (officially at 17:00 but usually earlier!). Being that they are municipal employees, there was more to it than just the draft issue. They didn't want to deal with the "extra" work of dealing with a sailboat. For example, their lift was run backwards, with the cross bar on the water side instead of on the land side. They didn't want to turn it around so they could haul sailboats. They also didn't want to bother with the boat stands, etc. Too much work and they said so.

Although your boat only had a 30" draft, the mere fact that you were a sailboat was enough for them to say no. Making an exception would require one to think, examine data and critically analyze it, and then accept responsibility for their decision. It is far less work, mentally and physically, to just say no and stick with the rule.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:56   #9
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

I encountered a marina that was members only in Clearwater FL. They had fuel for sale but not to nonmembers... Thx-Ace
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Old 05-10-2020, 16:13   #10
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

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Originally Posted by Bay Breeze View Post
Weve been cruising several months each year since 2012 mostly along the west coast of Florida and the Keys, but also the entire Atlantic ICW downiest to Eastport, Maine. Weve experienced scrambling for a transient slip or mooring at busy times/holidays but never experienced categorical exclusions.

In spring of 2020 we called Marker 1 Marina in Dunedin Florida to request a transient slip. Its a nice marina convenient as a jumping off or landing point for crossing the Gulf to or from Carrabelle. This location was promoted as a great stop for Loopers. It was our preferred stop and we had stayed or refueled at this marina in the past.

We were on track with the reservation until we mentioned we were a sailboat. At that point the attendant told us they did not accept sailboats. Asking why, the polite attendant said they were too shallow, even when we mentioned our draft is only 30 inches.

Putting that rejection in the wake, cruising on our Tiara 31 powerboat, we called Marker 1 to reserve a transient slip for a Friday, October 1. We were told that did not accept transients on weekends so their T dock could be used by their tenants.

Has anyone had this kind of experience with marinas? Is it a common policy we have luckily avoided til now? With the increasing restrictions on anchoring areas I hope this isn't another impediment to navigate.
There are plenty of marinas who don't accept transients, that's always been true certainly on the east coast and Chesapeake Bay. It probably takes 20 minutes once a year to serve a long-term slip holder, fill that slip one night at a time and you're talking hundreds of man hours direct labor plus the need for someone to be there sunrise to sundown. For some marinas it's just not worth it, especially if you only have a handful of transient spots available.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:10   #11
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

The Harbormaster at the downtown marina in Salt Ste. Marie, MI flat out told me he didn't like sailboats. He further explained that sailors don't buy enough gas at his fuel dock.
We subsequently took a seasonal slip at a different marina.

Yes, I was offended and angry and will ALWAYS recommend that folks avoid that marina whenever possible.
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Old 07-10-2020, 08:33   #12
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

The marina where I rent a slip seasonally recently changed their policy and no longer offers transient dockage. They converted their transient slips to seasonal ones and leased them to people who were on a waiting list.


They had previously operated the transient slips mainly as a form of marketing to allow boaters to discover the marina and perhaps get a slip there in the future. Over the years, they determined that there simply weren't enough such conversions for that to make sense.


We also had someone chase us away from a pumpout dock at a nearby marina who stated that the pumpout facilities were for members only. We had already pumped out and gone to the office and paid, though, by the time he showed up...
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Old 07-10-2020, 08:55   #13
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

Possible the sailboat issue was hoping power boaters spend more but I'm betting it was mostly a misunderstanding and likely a low level employee just following the rules without wanting to do something out of the ordinary.

We had a Gemini (18" draft) and a few times, we had to explain we could go places your average 25ft power boat couldn't go. Usually once we convinced them that draft wasn't an issue, they were fine with us coming in.
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Old 07-10-2020, 17:02   #14
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Re: Experience with marinas excluding sailboats and weekend transients?

Thanks for the input - hope more marinas will not decline providing accommodations for transients. - but more time on the hook aint bad and avoiding this Dunedin marina in the future.making

In Florida, and I bet other states, leasing submerged state lands for facilities requires a . percentage of slips to be available to the general public on a first come, first served basis. Guess the Marian can define who is the "general public."
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