A boating marina is a place where boats can be kept, sheltered from the environment and weather. They often offer services catering to the boater, such as dockside fuel and one or more shops offering boating gear and food.
the marina is where you can find a ramp to get your boat into the water as well. At larger marinas, there is often permanent dock space and winter storage available. These slips are especially handy if you are a resident or frequent visitor.
Most marinas are privately owned and funded, so they charge for access to ramps and usually have some sort of membership fee to use the other marina services. Becoming a member has its advantages, such as discounted slip rentals, access to classes, and on-site mechanics, as well as a ton of other services that may or may not be available, depending on your marina.
Almost all marinas offer some form of boat rental for those who don’t have or didn’t wish to move a boat. This is a fantastic service, and since the fees are usually reasonable almost anyone can enjoy a day of fun on the water. This can be a great way to get a feel for different boats before making a purchasing decision as well.
Most bodies of water will have some sort of marina. The larger lakes and such will often have multiple marinas in various locations around the lake. Sometimes these marinas are in competition with each other which can lower prices somewhat. But since they provide a service needed for boaters, you shouldn’t expect any good deals on gas and ramp fees.
Proper etiquette is important when using boating marinas. When using the boat ramps, either launch or dock quickly and then move out of the way so that others can use the ramp. In more popular areas, there may even be a line waiting to use the ramp. Do not try to jump ahead in line, as this is just poor behavior. Doing so will lead to dirty looks and angry words, possibly even a fight if you catch someone on a wrong day.
If you are tied up in a marina, you should be in a slip out of the way of traffic. Be extra cautious in and around marinas, as the high traffic density can lead to accidents very easily if you don’t pay attention. Be careful backing out of your slip, and don’t exceed the posted speed. Marinas are usually a “no-wake” zone. This means that if you are going fast enough to make awake, you are going too fast. Plus wakes caused by speeding boats can cause damage as they make docked boats bob and rub against the pier.
Boating marinas are a great place to stock up on your supplies, use the services, and get gassed up. Use it as you would any service – with respect. Be careful out there, and have fun boating!