Preparing for Your Next Transient Boating Adventure
Fall is quickly approaching, forcing boat enthusiasts to start thinking about the winterizing and storage process that lies ahead for their beloved vessels during the chillier months.
But for many, October and November mark the beginning of a new adventure. Once hurricane season has passed, transients (also often nicknamed “snowbirds”) will begin their migration pattern that typically aims south for the long winter ahead.
For some, this will be a long, luxurious venture, with mini destinations speckled up and down the coast. For others, it’s a dedicated journey with a tight timeline to follow. Regardless of which you choose, embarking on this version of a “roadtrip” must be done with careful planning and consideration.
Before setting off on your next coastal adventure, there are a few things you need to do in order to be ready to set sail!
Anchor’s Aweigh: Selecting Your Destination
Depending on your level of experience with boating, you will want to choose a destination that doesn’t require you or your shipmates to do anything you’re not already comfortable doing on the open water. If this is your first venture up or down the coast, consider meeting up with others who are making the same trek to learn in the ropes in the group setting before sailing solo.
All Hands on Deck: Time to Gather Your Supplies
Beyond food, water, and clothing supplies, there are other very important things to gather ahead of your trip. Examples include: maps, charts, or guides, maintenance tools and equipment, radio and other navigational technology, anchors, internet routers, and much more. Do your research and create a checklist that fully encompasses the supplies you will need to safely get to your destination.
Start with a Clean Slate: Planning Your Timeline
While you won’t want to be in a rush during any part of your coastal adventure, it is very important to establish a flexible schedule with some ideas about where you will stop along the way.
Budget five days of travel per week, with anywhere from eight to ten hours of travel expected per day. If you get ahead of this initial plan, that’s fine — but it’s crucial to be realistic about the wear and tear the travel will have on you and your guests aboard the vessel. Better to be safe than sorry!
On your excursion, you’ll need to dock in order to refuel, reprovision, and stretch your legs. The best option to do this is to rent a transient slip, a space to stay within a marina for a few days as you’re passing through.
Know the Ropes: Selecting the Right Marina
While there are some free docks to choose from on your coastal journey, staying at an all-access marina comes with a variety of benefits you may have not previously considered. Here are a few things to think about when plotting your stays along the way.
Passing with Flying Colors: Accessibility
Depending on the size and type of boat you are captaining, safely navigating to the marina from your route is an important consideration. For example, Morningstar Marinas Golden Isles location has easy access to the ocean, with no vertical obstructions to work around. As a deep craft marina, this location near St. Simons Island is a great option for yachts and sailboats alike.
Be sure to call ahead to see if there are any bridges or shallow areas to be aware of when coming in and out of the marina.
Above Board Amenities
One of the most obvious benefits of finding transient dockage is the potential for amenities to use during your stay. These will range from marina to marina, so it’s important to know what considerations are most important for you and your passengers to have access to.
Morningstar Marinas Golden Isles offers an array of amenities, such as:
- State-of-the-art coastal docking system with dockside fuel and high-speed diesel
- In-Slip Pump-Out
- Electric (30-100A)
- Water Hookups
- High-Speed OnSpot WiFi
- On-site restaurant and ship supply store
- Full-service mechanic on-site for assistance
- Comes in above the necessary latitude to meet boating insurance requirements
- Gas grills and pool for guest use
- Courtesy bikes and car for local trips and reprovisioning
- Easy access to St. Simons Island
Each of these services are available for guests to use at their leisure, whether they’re only stopping in for a night or decide to dock for a few days and explore the beautiful Golden Isles.
Don’t Get Bamboozled: Considering the Rates
Just like any road trip, taking off on an intercoastal expedition requires not just timeline and logistical planning but also careful budgeting. If this is your first adventure, you may want to budget to stay in mixed-use marinas more often than a seasoned sea traveller would be inclined to do so. Traveling on the high seas is exhausting: having mini destinations plotted along the way to relax and recuperate will be essential (and that’s where those fun amenities will come in very handy!).
All Hands on Deck: Knowledgeable, Helpful Staff
A marina can have all the latest and greatest features in the world, but that’s not what will keep guests coming back season after season. Beyond being knowledgeable of all-things boating, you’ll want to dock your vessel with a team whose passion for the industry and customer service is easily spotted.
Morningstar Marinas is proud to have some of the best in the business stationed at each of their marina locations. Our Golden Isles’ location is home to highly-trained dock masters who pair their extensive training and know-how with superior service, delivering exceptional experiences that go beyond the norm.
Don’t Just Barge In: Reserve Your Slip!
Since you’ve planned out your travel timeline and selected a few marinas to dock with throughout your voyage, you’ll want to call ahead and reserve a slip in advance. Of course, plans can change thanks to inclement weather, unforeseen delays, or faster transit, so just keep your marinas updated on your plans as you know them.
In the end, transient boating is one of the most rewarding experiences a boat enthusiast can experience. With the right level of planning, preparation, and plotting, you and your passengers will experience the open waters in new ways.
Located on St. Simons Island, GA visit Morningstar Marinas’ Golden Isles location, right off of ICW Marker 675 with easy access in and out of the ocean.
The Golden Isles are certainly picturesque, but this location is really known as a world-class fishing destination. Inland fisherman can find trout, red fish and flounder while offshore fishermen come home with groupers, mackerels, sharks and snappers.
Learn more or visit us on your next coastal expedition. We’ll save a slip for you!