How to select a marina that fits your lifestyle

by Marc Howard

Summer is never long enough for boat enthusiasts, and you want to enjoy it to it’s fullest. Before you launch your boat, spend some time researching perspective marinas. Ultimately, your satisfaction will depend on finding a marina that will fit your family’s lifestyle and will enhance your boating experience. When evaluating a marina, consider these 5 C’s: convenience, community, comfort, charm, and care. The time spent seeking the perfect marina will guarantee a summer to remember.

CONVENIENCE. How close is the marina to your primary home? A 90-minute-or less-drive to your boat will make weekend jaunts to the marina a breeze. You will enjoy your time on the water when you don’t dread the drive.

What accommodations does the marina provide? Check for ample parking, easy docking and maneuvering in canals. Don’t forget to check on winter storage. Summer will fly by, and you will soon face storing your boat until the next season.

COMMUNITY. Is there life outside the marina? Although boating is the primary reason for finding a marina, wouldn’t it be nice to have restaurants, shopping and entertainment available? Check the surrounding community for stores and eateries as well as churches/synagogues and medical facilities. Your boat and marina will be your summer residence; find a marina that has a hometown feel nearby.

COMFORT. Once you are at the marina, are you comfortable? Look for dining or picnic areas and activities for the whole family. Some marinas provide heated swimming pools, basketball courts and volleyball pits to enjoy your time on land.

CHARM. Is the marina attractive? Trees, flowers, and well-kept landscaping are always a pleasurable sight. You will feel like you are spending the weekend at a park. Do you want a rustic feel? A marina away from industrial areas will provide a perfect setting to enjoy wildlife. Look for undeveloped land near the marina that won’t be developing anytime soon.

CARE. Has the marina taken care of your needs into consideration? A modern facility provides more amenities to your family. Gated entry lends a greater sense of security and privacy. On-site technicians easily fix any mechanical problems, and you are back on the water in no time.

As spring arrives, you and your family dream of the wonderful summer just around the corner. With some thoughtful planning, that dream will be a reality. When selecting a marina, just remember the 5 C’s: convenience, community, comfort, charm and care. You will have nothing but a smooth sailing ahead!

Marc Howard is co-developer of Eagle Pointe Harbor, a waterfront residential community and marina located in St. Joseph, Michigan.

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