The Most Popular Marinas in the United States and Canada

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The Most Popular Marinas in the United States and Canada
The Most Popular Marinas in the United States and Canada

Thousands upon thousands of people have boats in some of the most prominent marina locations across the United States and Canada. These marinas give boat owners the satisfaction of knowing that boats are safe and guarded while the owners are not around them. Depending on the location and weather, owners will pull their boats at the end of a season to keep them safe from the elements of harsh weather. Some boats may be too big for traditional trailers to be pulled by a passenger truck. In these instances, owners will call upon a professional shipping company to transport their boats to the appropriate cold-weather destination for storage.

What is a marina?

A marina is a dock or basin area that has moorings and supplies for yachts or small boats. A marina is different from a port. Ports are used for large passenger ships or the handling of cargo. Marinas do not handle cargo or the transfer of cargo.

Think of a marina as a special parking spot for boats. Much like a parking garage houses the vehicles of people who are shopping at a mall or work in office buildings nearby, marinas are where boat owners park their boats when they are not in use.

Common Marina Terminology

When you are at a marina, there may be some terminology used that you are not familiar with, mainly if you have never visited one before. Understanding some of the basic terms you may hear can make your marina experience even more enjoyable. 

  • Bow
    • The front of a boat, yacht, or cabin cruiser
  • Dock
    • The area where a boat, yacht, or cabin cruiser remains when it is not in use
  • Head
    • The bathroom of a boat, yacht, or cabin cruiser
  • Mooring
    • Also called moorage, permanent anchoring system that keeps the boat in a specific location
  • Port
    • The left side of the boat when you are facing the bow
  • Promenade
    • The area where people walk also referred to as a pedestrian walkway
  • Propeller
    • The rotating machine that helps force a boat, yacht, or cabin cruiser through the water
  • Pump-out station
    • The sanitation facility that will drain out the holding tanks of boats, yacht, or cabin cruisers and is usually located within the marina
  • Slips
    • The place between two docks in which a boat, yacht, or cabin cruiser is lifted out of water and moored
  • Starboard
    • The right side of the boat when you are facing the bow
  • Stern
    • The back part of the boat
  • Transient dockage
    • When docking or mooring a boat, yacht, or cabin cruiser at a marina for a short time, typically a day or week, it is referred to as transient dockage
  • Yacht
    • An expensive boat that is usually longer than 25 feet and conveys the luxury and pleasure visually and with amenities

What amenities do a marina offer?

The amenities offered by a marina will vary based on the specific marina. Many marinas have large parking lots for vehicles or boat trailers to be stored while the boats are on the water. Some may also include special services for boats and their owners like refueling stations, cleaning and repair facilities, and restaurants.

Many people who use a marina for their boat consider it a community. Some people who use their boat for a place to stay on vacation will dock at a marina when they are not on the water. There are different ways that these families come together, especially during holiday times. Once a boat owner finds the right marina, they usually do not dock their boats anywhere else.

Across the United States and Canada, you will find many different marinas. Some of these are more luxurious than others, and some offer many amenities, but no matter what they offer, the boat owners love their marina. We have compiled a list of the most popular marinas across the United States and Canada for you to get an idea of what you should look for in a marina.

Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

A luxurious marina straight out of a dream, the Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas is located in the middle of paradise. This marina is surrounded by tons of amenities and things to do, ensuring there is not a dull moment while visiting.

The Most Popular Marinas In The United States And Canada

There is a mall that is full of bars, restaurants, and shopping that is near the marina. Activities in the area also include snorkeling, fishing, and other paradise style activities. Each year the marina has a social calendar in which they host events for families and even cocktail parties.

Van Isle Marina in Sydney, British Columbia, Canada

The Van Isle Marina is a family-owned marina in Sydney, British Colombia. The marina offers a full range of amenities for those docked. They also provide a fuel dock that offers diesel, mid-grade gasoline, and holding take pump-out. Their marine store offers supplies from Chevron oils and additives for your boat to fishing gear and snacks. 

Van Isle Marina offers docking in increments of nightly, monthly, and annually. The marina supplies a maintenance and storage facility that offers many different options for boat maintenance and care. Amenities such as showers and laundromats are available on-site for additional charges.

Montauk Yacht Club, New York, United States

A list of popular marinas would not be complete without listing the Montauk Yacht Club in New York. This marina offers 232 slips (where a boat gets docked) and five-star amenities. Located near the Hamptons, Montauk Yacht Club offers full-scale services for the occupants of the marina. 

Amenities include:

  • Hookups for water and electricity
  • Laundry
  • Private beach area
  • Indoor heated pool
  • Gift shop
  • Charter boats that dispatch from the marina
  • Custom fish cleaning stations
  • Fitness center with saunas
  • Showers and bathrooms
  • Casual and upscale dining with views of the water
  • Pump-out boats
  • Wireless internet access
  • Outdoor heated pools
  • Complimentary shuttle services
  • Tennis courts

Slips fill up fast during the season at the Montauk Yacht Club. It is vital for those wishing to dock at the marina to get their reservations in early in the season.

Marina del Rey, California, United States

Marina del Rey in California is the largest human-made harbor in North America. The Census Designated Place for Marina del Rey has 4,602 boat slips in 22 marinas and anchorages. The entirety of Marina del Rey covers 807 acres of land, half of which are underwater.

Activities available at Marina del Rey include activities on and off the water. These activities include charter tours, fishing, whale watching, dog-friendly activities, beaches, bonfires, farmer’s markets, and so many more activities. This marina is more expensive than most, but they are well worth the price. 

The Most Popular Marinas In The United States And Canada

Friday Harbor, Lake Simcoe, Ontario, Canada

On Lake Simcoe, Friday Harbor offers over 2000 slips for boats and even offers a free 2-hour dock for those who are visiting. Besides golfing, there are other types of activities to be done while at Friday Harbor. One-third of the 600-acre resort is a Nature Preserve, which provides many other activities for those who want to enjoy dry land. 

Friday Harbor offers full amenities for those docking their boats. Whether docking seasonally or annually, there are full amenities for the marina residents. Shower and bathroom facilities, laundry facilities, a master lounge, wireless internet, fueling services, and even concierge services are available as amenities for those at the marina. 

Elliot Bay, Seattle, Washington, United States

With a gorgeous view of the Seattle skyline, Elliot Bay offers a quiet marina to dock your boat. The marina has activities all year long that serves as a permanent docking place for some. The marina offers a fuel dock and several other amenities that make it worth the extra expenditures.

The amenities available by the Elliot Bay marina are:

  • On-site security 24 hours a day and 365 days a year
  • Pump-outs
  • Free parking
  • Complimentary rentals
    • Kayaks
    • Paddleboards
    • Bicycle rentals
  • Restaurants
  • Hazardous waste disposal
  • Shower facilities
  • Laundry facilities
  • Beach access
  • Bike trails
  • Locked gatehouses
  • Free coffee
  • Free donuts
  • On-site garbage and recycling
  • Complimentary cable television

Within minutes of downtown Seattle, Ballard, and Magnolia, Elliot Bay has access to all the hotspots along the northwestern coast.

Duncan L. Clinch Marina, Traverse City, Michigan, United States

Surrounded by cherry trees and natural greenery, the beaches that surround Duncan L. Clinch Marina are the perfect spot for docking your boat. The town around the marina is a combination of the comfort of small-towns and big-city amenities that include numerous shops, restaurants, seasonal festivals, and even breweries. What’s even better is the fact that the slips at the marina are reasonably priced.

The marina was built in the early 1960s. The season runs from May 15 to October 20. There are several different amenities at the marina, but they require that the rules of the marina be followed to keep it safe and enjoyable for everyone using it. A full list of rules and regulations can be found on the Duncan L. Clinch page of the Traverse City, Michigan webpage.

Bergers Marina, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, United States

The Ozarks are full of different marinas. Bergers Marina is a three-generation family-owned marina that has been on the lake since 1983. The focus of the marina is service, storage, and a gas dock. The roots of the marina go back to the 1940s, and boats of all sizes are welcomed.

Bergers is located among numerous shops and restaurants, making it an excellent spot to rent a slip and visit the area surrounding the Lake of the Ozarks. The amenities that you will find with the marina are complete services, covered boat storage, slip rentals, boat launching, and gas dock.

Taking Your Boat to the Marina

There are a couple of ways to get your boat to the marina of your choice. Many people have their boating trailers that fit the boats they own, and they hook them up to their trucks or 4X4 SUV. When getting the boat into the water, it is essential to make sure that the vehicle can make it back up the loading dock. These docks are often wet or covered with moss. 

Sometimes boat owners are not comfortable taking their boats to the marina on their own. Some of these newer boat owners have never used trailers and do not want to cause damage at marinas or to their boats. These boat owners are the ones who will call upon professional transport companies to get their boats transported to the marina of choosing. 

Oversized boats can also cause problems for owners trying to move them. These larger vessels, often in the yacht category, will have to be moved by a professional company. Don’t just choose any professional boat transport company to move your boat (or yacht). There are highly trained companies that can transport your boat without all of the hassle or worries you may have doing it on your own.

Choosing the Right Boat Transport Company

If you do decide to have a professional transport company move your boat to the marina of your choosing, make sure you look into their credentials and their licensing. The professional and legitimate transport companies will have a United States Department of Transportation number as well as a motor carrier number from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Check into the insurance that the transport company carries. You want to make sure that your boat is covered during the transport procedures. The transport company should have a clean moving record, especially for boats. You need a professional transport service that can accommodate the needs of your boat.

A-1 Auto Transport offers transport for all of your boating needs. Our company has been in the business of supplying customer’s transport needs for over 30 years. When you need a professional transport company that can accommodate all of your needs for boat transport, call A-1 Auto Transport for a free boat shipping quote today.


Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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