How to choose a marina for your boat?

5 key points you want to check when you book your vessel into a marina.

There are lots of factors that go into choosing the best marina for your boating experience. We’ve detailed below what you should look for when making the decision on where to store your boat.

1. Marina location

Ease of berthing

What is the traffic like on the water? Is there a lot of wind? Will high currents or tides make berthing more difficult? If you are new to boating, we recommend looking for a berth that doesn’t have a lot of water traffic and has some shelter (hills or a short fetch) to protect your boat from the elements. Currents can affect berthing quite a lot and tides can affect when you can use your boat. If your marina is in a strong tidal area and the tide goes down dramatically you might not be able to get your boat out of the berth, or the times that you can take your boat out and when you can bring it in to the marina could be restricted.

Close to home or close to destination?

For your boating trips do you want your boat to be close to home or close to your boating destination? If you are intending on using your boat for short trips you may want your boat close to home. If you intend on taking longer ‘weekender’ jaunts, consider marinas that may be further away from your home but closer to the boating location that you want to go to or where there is more to explore or more to see.


There can be a big difference in the pricing of marinas based on location. When looking for a marina make sure to compare different location prices. You may get a smaller boat to be in a certain location or be able to store a bigger boat further away and have the same costs. Investigate dry boat storage as an option as well.

2. Marina facilities

Are the basic requirements that you’ll need to take your boat out readily available? Like water to clean your boat and berths serviced by freshwater. Is there access to power for your boat whilst you are in the berth for charging your boat’s batteries? Does the Marina offer Fuel and ice facilities? Also think about the little things that will make your life easier whilst you are at the marina, does it offer Wifi, laundry, trolleys, a customer lounge, courtesy cars, café or restaurant, bathrooms and showers. You cannot go wrong with a 5 gold anchor accredited marina like GCCM.

The Team at the marina

The team at the marina are extremely important to your boating experience and should be experienced and knowledgeable. If something goes wrong on your boat, they are likely the first people that you will talk to and it’s helpful for them to know how to help you with your boat or to be able to direct you to an expert that can assist.

Are there contractors/tenants onsite with the skills to assist with fixing your boat? If what you need is onsite they can repair any issues without you even needing to be there. For easy maintenance at the very least there should be a mechanic, an electrician, and a shipwright onsite at your chosen marina. Also look for a trimmer, painter, and detailer.

Are there dockmasters and what are your mooring capabilities onsite?

Dockmasters look after bookings in the marina and check boats are safe and following the rules, help you with coming into the berth, taking lines, looking after the marina continuously, cleaning and repairing the marina. If there are no dockmasters at your chosen marina, who undertakes these works?

Mooring Facilities

Not every marina can provide mooring facilities for every vessel.

Consider the parameters of your vessel….is she a deep draft sailing yacht that requires more than the average depth at low tide. Is your vessel long and wide which will limit berth options as not all marinas have superyacht capabilities like GCCM. Interestingly we recently had a trimaran visit and stay in the superyacht basin for a month and whilst she was 60’ long she was 70’ wide which was very challenging.

Another key point to consider when selecting a berth is the capacity and availability of power to the berth you will be allocated as some vessels need 3-phase power and the larger vessels may need up to 400 amps. This is obviously way above the standard single phase 15amp standard pedestal connection but there are many options required in-between the 2 extremes.

Does the Marina have a hardstand?

Lots of marinas these days don’t have a hardstand and are purely storage only which can make maintenance on your boat difficult. Boats require regular maintenance if stored in the water and annual antifouling. Does your marina have a hardstand and does this hardstand have the capacity to lift your boat? If you do not have a hardstand on site you’ll have to take your boat to another hardstand or have contractors out to your boat for maintenance.

Emergency Equipment

Is the emergency equipment at the marina tidy, clean and up to date? Is it checked regularly? If something does go wrong can the marina response be quick, effective and reduce damage as much as possible?


These days, security is often provided at marinas in the form of cameras. Some marinas have 24-hour manned security which is a bonus. Having someone onsite that can help if you are on your boat overnight may provide you with ease. Cameras are good at a minimum, but is there gated access to the entire marina or to the arms as well? Think about your onsite security needs as this security will be keeping your property safe while you aren’t there.

3. Ease of use considerations

How far are the shops from the marina?

ABS Chandlery at GCCM

Are there shops nearby for you to pick up supplies for your boat, is there a Chandlery? Are there restaurants or cafés nearby or onsite at the marina? Is this something that matters to you for your boating lifestyle?

The community

How does the community feel at the marina? Get a feel for the people that have their boats at the marina. Are there social gatherings or events hosted at the marina? You may be spending a lot of time at the marina – so it’s important that you like the community.

What is the parking like?

Is there parking onsite or close by? Will you have to pay for parking or potentially even a taxi into the marina? Is parking limited to a certain time range?

4. Environmental Practices

Is the marina using solar power? Is the marina environmentally friendly? Residue from the hardstand collected and environmentally treated?

5. Availability

And lastly, before locking in a boat purchase, check that there are marina spaces available where you want to put her.

If you are unsure about what you need in a marina or would like to take a tour, give the team at GCCM a call – we’ll give you a tour of the facility and help you to make the best choice for your boating needs.

Click here to enquire about our berthing and marina services.

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