Are you considering getting a boat slip but not sure whether to rent or buy one? Boat slip can be a great investment, however, is it worth owning one? There are many things to consider before you can decide whether or not renting or buying a slip is more beneficial for you.
If you are more interested in renting, then you should be aware of how much you’ll be spending and what to expect. The cost of renting a boat slip may vary from marina to marina and the price can also change depending on the season and how long you intend to rent it. So, here is everything you need to know about renting a boat slip.
Cost of Renting a Boat Slip
So, how much does it cost to rent a boat slip? Rates differ depending on many factors. But on average you can expect to pay at least $2-3 per hour during the day and around $4-6 per night. If you plan on renting for a month, the price ranges from $20-25 per foot every month. Annual rental is also available which costs around $23 per foot per month. Again these prices are only estimates, you may pay more or less than these rates depending on the location, season, and amenities.
Example of Slip Cost in Several U.S Locations
- $12 to 50/ft per year for regular docking slips
- $120 to 240/ft per year for prime locations
- $192-240/ft per year for expensive marinas such as Marina del Rey
- $80-250/year for annual moorings regardless of overall length
$20-45/night for transient moorings regardless of boat length
Things to Consider When Renting a Boat Slip
Renting a boat slip can be very expensive, and of course, you would want to get the best value for your money and the safety of you and your boat. Before deciding where to rent a boat slip, here are some factors that you may want to consider.
This is the first thing you need to know and consider when renting a slip unless money is not an issue, but even so, you wouldn’t want to pay more than you are supposed to. Slip prices differ and there are also other options to keep your boat without renting a slip. You can opt for moorings; they are more affordable but the safety of your boat is not guaranteed. Public docks are also an option to consider but they don’t provide tight security, unlike with yacht clubs or with private marinas. Most private marinas and yacht clubs offer several amenities and other privileges but expect to pay more.
Another one of the top factors you should consider is security. Make sure the place where you are leaving your boat has parking lots that are well lit and are far from dangerous neighborhoods. You may be tempted to rent in one of these places because of discounted rates, but the safety of yourself and your boat should be your main concern. Besides, you can end up paying more if your boat gets damaged on the marina slip.
Minimum Slip Length
You may think that having a small boat means paying less, however, most marinas have a minimum slip length. This is because they want to maximize their profit. Even if your boat does not take all the space, it still prevents them from fitting another boat. For instance, if the slip is 25 feet long and your boat is only 20 ft in length, you would have to pay for the whole 25-foot slip. So, it’s best to ask what the minimum lengths are so you can compare different offers from several marinas.
The Expertise of Marina Operators
The people who will take care of your boat should be knowledgeable about their job as well as provide good customer service. When deciding where to rent a slip, find out how well the marina operators know their job, how they practice safety, if they keep the place clean, understand the needs of boaters, and how tight their security is.
Accessibility of the Marina
As much as possible, the marina should be at least near your home. It may not be easy to find a local marina near your place, but it shouldn’t be too far that it would require you to drive for hours or sit in traffic for a long time.
Congestion and Water Traffic
Traffic does not only happen on the road but also on the water. It is vital to assess how heavy the traffic is, as there may be risks of collision. In addition to that, it may take a while before you can depart the marina.
Amenities and Services
Most marinas offer other services and amenities, however availing of these services have corresponding fees. Some services and amenities you can enjoy at some marinas are the following:
While water may not cost much, this is something that everyone may need at the marina. For 250 gallons of water, you’ll probably spend around $10. Of course, not everyone may need that much water, so marinas also offer them by the gallon.
If you decide to stay in your boat while renting a slip, you won’t have to worry about using your appliances as marinas will provide you with electricity. The cost per day will depend on the wattage that you’ll consume. The average cost of electricity per day ranges from $10 to $50.
Many marinas offer bottom painting jobs. If you think your boat needs a new paint job, you can ask the marina to do it for you. Bottom painting can cost a lot of money so be prepared to spend around $20-$30 per foot for labor and materials.
Your boat may need power washing when it had spent quite some time on saltwater. You wouldn’t want the salt to build up on your boat as it may cause early deterioration of your vessel. Rates for power washing are around $5 per foot.
Other services and amenities you can expect are private showers, private lockers, waterproof dock boxes, laundry facilities, dock steps, and so much more. Slip prices will depend on the services and amenities available. To get the most out of it, you need to decide which ones you need and how much you are willing to spend.
Dry Dock or Wet Dock
Deciding whether to use a dry dock or wet dock may depend on how often you’ll use your vessel and your budget. Dry docks are less expensive, but it is more comfortable to rent on wet docks as all you need to do is to go to the dock and ride your boat anytime you want.
Ease of Docking
This is also very important as this may have an impact on the fun and enjoyment of your trip. If it’s hard to dock and get out of the marina, then you may have to hard before deciding.
Transient, Seasonal, or Annual
To get the best value for your money, you need to decide whether you plan to get annual slips, transient slips, or seasonal slips. All three have their disadvantages and it will ultimately depend on how you want to use your slip. Transient passes can be paid per hour, day or night, and a week, while annual passes are paid monthly but for the whole year. In some parts of the Northern States, some marinas offer seasonal passes.
If you are getting an annual pass, there are marinas that have promos where they store your vessel on dry docks storage over the winter and wet storage during summer at a discounted rate. Many marinas prefer annual contracts because they can guarantee income for the whole year. Annual passes can also be beneficial for you because you won’t be affected by seasonal price changes.
Holiday pricing is a thing in marinas just like with other industries where marinas charge more during holiday seasons. However, they also offer holiday weekend bundles, so if you think that you need to leave your boat in a marina during holidays, try to research where you can get the best value.
Most people are confused when it comes to transient passes especially between hourly and nightly rental costs. Some may think that slip costs more during night rentals than an afternoon in a marina. However, you may realize that you will be paying almost the same amount.
You may also want to check if the marina offers to live aboard while your vessel is at the slip if you plan to stay in your boat. Not all marinas offer liveaboard but some may allow you to stay in your boat but not for the long term.
However, rates for live aboard can be higher. This is also the reason why some marina operators allow transient tenants as it may mean more money for them since you’ll be expected to use some of the services and amenities.
Access to Shopping
Now, this may not be a concern for many boaters, but some would love to have easy access to their shopping needs and restaurants, especially if you plan to live aboard. However, the downside of being close to nightclubs and restaurants is that they tend to get noisy in the evening when other people are trying to have a good time and may disturb you while you are trying to get some sleep.
Depth of Water
You can check how deep the water is by using a long pole. Make sure to check for other obstructions or boulders that may harm your boat. The depth of water is important especially if you have to dock stern for your propellers. So, make sure there’s sufficient water for your draft and keel.
Wind and Current
Wind and current is another factor to consider when deciding where to rent a slip. You may want to know where the direction of a high-altitude wind is and the current and how strong they are. If the water is calm and has little wind, it is ideal to dock where you’ll crash against the dock and not be pulled away.
Height of the Dock
How high the dock is can be an important factor for some boaters. Of course, you would prefer a dock where you can easily access your boat without having to use a ladder or stool to get in and out of it. However, you can always use the cockpit side or side deck to easily get in and out of your vessel.
Space for Personal Watercraft
If you own a personal watercraft or a dinghy, you may need to find out beforehand if there’s room beside your vessel to keep your dinghy. If there’s none, you can ask for a different arrangement or look for another slip. So, it’s recommended to check with the marina operator before you sign long-term leases for your vessels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a boat slip worth it?
Whether or not a boat slip is worth it will largely depend on how long you plan to stay in the area. Buying a boat slip can be a great investment if you’re settled as it can protect you from the rising market prices in your area.
How much does it cost to keep a boat in a marina?
The cost of keeping your boats in the marina can vary based on the size of your vessel, location, length of stay, private or public docks, dry or wet storage, and a lot more. Regular docking slips in the United States may cost around $12-$50/ft per year. It can be higher in some expensive marinas.
How much is a boat slip at Marina Bay?
Marina Bay boat slip price can vary depending on the length of the vessel, how long you plan to stay, and the season. Here is an example of their slip rates. A boat with a length of 40′-45′ costs $2.20 per foot per day for transient passes (staying for a few days but not more than 30). Pricing differs when you plan to store your boats annually. The cost for annual passes which is more than 9 months would be $1.05 per foot per day. Generally, the longer your stay is, the cheaper the costs will be.
What are slip rates?
Slip rates are the fees you need to pay when you want to rent a slip for your vessel. Boat slip rates differ from one marina to another. Rates are affected by the size of the boat, length of stay, amenities, and services you will avail of, season, location, and whether or not the marina is private or public.
What does a boat slip look like?
A boat slip is almost similar to a single parking space, surrounded by three walkways. Two walkways are placed on the two sides of the boat and the third one in front. It differs from a boat dock wherein there is only one side against the dock. A slip is more popular in marinas as they can save more space and boaters have better peace of mind as slips keep their boats more secure compared to docks.
Which is better – to rent or purchase a boat slip?
Now this will depend from person to person. First, purchasing a boat slip can be very expensive but it has a lot of advantages. However, not all people can afford to buy one, so budget is a big consideration. If you travel a lot and do not stay in one place for a long time, it would be best to just rent a slip. There are marinas that allow transient passes that offer to store the boats for three months or for just a week.
How much are boat slips in Florida?
There are lots of marinas in Florida and pricing for boat slips differ, especially if you plan on mooring at popular marinas in South Florida. You can reserve boat slips for as low as $1 to up to $4.75 per foot per day.
Do you think it is more reasonable for you to rent boating slips annually or as transient? Whichever works for you, it is important to find the appropriate slip that would suit your budget and needs. Generally, if you are on a budget, you may opt for marinas with fewer amenities and not at a prime location. You can also find one that offers a flat fee if you think you’ll save more. Boating is a fun activity but owning and maintaining one can be very expensive. However, the satisfaction and enjoyment it will bring you will all be worth it.