You’ve chosen your vessel, a sparkling gel coat exterior that shines in the sun, and a solid Florida boat insurance policy. It’s time to select a marina, also known as Home Sweet Boat Home.
Here’s what to consider when choosing where to lay your boat’s Welcome mat.
Marina security & theft prevention.
If you have expensive systems or accessories on your boat, will they still be onboard when you return for your next adventures? Ask the marina owner what type of security measures are put in place to avoid such theft and vandalism.
Of course, this problem can be avoided by bringing your electronics with you each time you embark – but who wants to go to such trouble? Carting fishing equipment to and from a marina can be frustrating as well.
If your boat is going to be stored in an interior space, will fire protection be available? Check for sprinklers. Ask the marina owner about further protections.
Severe weather considerations.
What happens if a hurricane hits and your marina is in the direct path of the storm? Marina operators have thought about this and should have a severe weather plan. Know your role in this scenario. Are you responsible for securing your vessel? To what extent?
We have two words for you here: tides and bridges. If your boat’s clearance under a nearby bridge is going to be tied to the status of the tide, you may want to select a marina that offers more open access. This is an obvious concern for sailboat owners, but it can affect boats of other sizes as well. When the T-top is so close to the bridge top that your passengers are cringing, it’s time to consider a different marina.
Location, location, location.
Don’t make access difficult. If you identify the ‘perfect’ marina that just happens to be thirty minutes down the road, be honest with yourself. Will you take that boat out on a whim? Consider transit time. That’s thirty minutes before you’re able to pull anchor, and a thirty-minute drive home when your voyage is done, and another thirty minutes if you forget your cooler full of ice cold drinks in the garage. All that back and forth adds up to time lost out on the water.
Luckily, Florida has many high-quality marinas to choose from. Identify one close to your house that meets all of your needs.
The marina agreement.
Read it carefully, but you shouldn’t see much more than common sense requirements. The marina owner will expect you to keep the vessel in good working condition and to carry appropriate insurance. Vessels must be secured — after all, having a boat drift away and damage another is not a positive outcome.
Often, an outside operator will have to be approved by the marina operator before entering the premises to complete repairs. Pumps and sewage must be handled as the marina operator sees fit. Imagine the results if they didn’t – a marina is most definitely not an ideal dumping ground.
Need help deciphering that marina agreement or selecting the right marine insurance for your vessel? Contact the specialists at W3 Insurance at 727-522-7777.