The Makings of a Great Transient Boating Destination
It’s that time of year: time to venture out on the water, exploring all that the Intracoastal Waterway – or ICW – has to offer. Many boating enthusiasts are heading out into the open water for some much-needed nautical adventuring.
Of course, any traveling mariner understands that a comprehensive boating plan is the most important thing to have in place before setting sail.
Creating a Strategic Plan
Once you’ve selected your destination and gathered the necessary supplies for your voyage, you’ll want to plan your timeline and the marinas or rest stops you’ll make along the way to refuel and recharge.
Of course, it’s important to remain flexible about your plans, since the water can be fickle and it’s important to be safe and well rested throughout your journey, so budget a modest five days of travel per week. These days, you’ll spend anywhere from eight to ten hours traveling, and if you get ahead of your initial plans, that’s great! But it is important to be realistic about how grueling the trip will be on you and your guests aboard the boat, particularly if the weather does not cooperate each of the traveling days.
After your days of travel, you’ll want to find a location to refuel, reprovision, and rest properly. So, what should you look for in a great transient marina to stop at along your way?
Accessibility & Ease of Use
Depending on the size and type of vessel you’re maneuvering, accessibility to the marina is a major factor to consider. Ease of accessibility to the marina from the open ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway is something you need to consider when charting your stops along the route.
Keep an eye out for a marina that allows for ease of ingress and egress in and throughout the marina. In a best-case scenario, the marina will have both avenues of access as well as no low-hanging bridges or other vertical obstructions. Also be sure to find out if there is deep draft access to the marina, as well as deep-draft once inside the marina.
Having a clear path in and out of the marina will be one less thing you’ll need to worry about on your voyage!
All Access Amenities
The whole reason why you’re stopping at a marina along your intracoastal adventure is to refuel, restock, and relax: that’s why you’re going to want to stay at a dock that includes a variety of amenities to make things that much easier for you and your crew.
First, you want to make sure there’s easily accessible fuel (both gas and diesel) available at the docks. Best case scenario, there’s a pump right on the dock that you can pull up to in order to refuel. Similarly, finding a pump-out at each slip so your boat doesn’t have to move from its docked position to have its holding tank emptied, is something else you may want to consider.
At the very least, you want to stay in a marina that is known to be a well-maintained facility for both your personal safety and for the safety of your boat during the duration of your stay.
Other important utilities and amenities to consider in a potential stop should include:
- Available shore power (30 AMP and 50 AMP at a minimum)
- Access to potable water
- A WiFi internet connection
- Nearby food and supply store for easy restocking
- Nearby mechanic or technical expert to help address any boating issues you’ve encountered on your trip
- Easy access to the closest town
Other, more fun amenities you may want to think about might be an on-site pool or restaurant, gas grills for guest use, and potentially a courtesy car or bike rentals to help get you to the closest town.
Another thing you may want to consider when charting what marinas you’ll stop at along your coastal adventure is selecting ones with a destination location nearby. This is a huge plus for transient boaters who like to stay and enjoy the area by exploring the historical sites, golfing, dining, shopping, or trying a variety of exciting opportunities.
Knowledgeable, Expert Staff Assistance
Regardless of how many incredible amenities a marina may have to offer, it’s also important to know that their staff has the knowledge and know-how to help make your boating expedition that much better. Customer service should always be their priority, but going above and beyond to help make your stay that much better in big and small ways is a great sign that you’re staying at a marina that truly cares about you, your guests, and your boats well being and overall experience.
Whether they’re offering advice on which boating routes you should take as you continue on, or if they’re helping to make sure you can seamlessly navigate the marina with ease, you want to stay with a facility that has highly qualified staff who are trained in line handling, VHF communication, navigation instruction, and an overall knowledge of boating terminology.
Morningstar Marinas is proud to have some of the best in the business located at each of their marina locations. For example, our Golden Isles’ location is home to some of the most highly-trained dock masters who can pair their extensive training and know-how with Morningstar’s well-known ability to deliver superior service.
Visit Morningstar Marinas Golden Isles
As you’re planning your next open ocean adventure, be sure to mark Morningstar Marinas locations on your map — particularly our Golden Isles location.
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, 50 & 100A single phase)
- 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 our guests to use at your leisure, whether you’re only dropping in for a night or have decided to dock and spend a few days exploring all that the beautiful Golden Isles has to offer.