Renting a slip at a marina is a great way to enjoy many of the luxuries of living on land while relishing your sailboat. Being anchored out is lovely, especially if you value your privacy, but if you’re worried about the anchor dragging, there are strong currents, or there isn’t good anchorage around the coastline, a marina slip is an excellent alternative.
Table of Contents
- What’s the average boat slip rental cost?
- Factors Affecting Boat Slip Rental Prices
- Amenities and Services
What’s the average boat slip rental cost?
How much does a boat slip cost? To rent a slip for the day, expect to pay $2 or $3 per hour. For nightly rentals, look at $4 to $6 per night. If you are renting per month, boaters can expect to pay between $20 and $25 per foot per month. Annual rentals will generally cost around $23 or $24 per foot per month. Prices vary depending on slip location, amenities, and reservation time.
If you’re thinking about keeping your boat at marinas or yacht clubs, this is what you need to know about what you can expect to pay, depending on where you are and your next destination.
Remember that slips in popular sailing waters will likely cost a higher deposit and may even have a waiting list deposit, even during the low seasons but especially during peak season.
Factors Affecting Boat Slip Rental Prices
Getting a regular dock slip at a marina may not be as straightforward as you expect, even for a small boat. Many marinas are versatile in what they allow you to do, but slip fees will vary dramatically depending on your choices and the size of the boat.
Wet Slip vs Dry Slip
All of the slips that are listed in this article are wet slips at a marina. This means that you can take your boat in and out of the slip as you like. Slips at a wet dock generally cost more than dry docks.
If you’re looking for a way to store your boat where you don’t need to access it regularly, consider storing your sailboat at a dry dock.
Marinas are motivated to rent out their space as efficiently as possible. Boats that are too small to take up a slip but keep another boat from tying up there waste money for the marina owner.
For this reason, you’ll often see a cut-off for the minimum length of a slip. That means that you’ll pay more for the slip even if your boat doesn’t take up the entire slip since the marina owner won’t be able to fit another boat into that slip. If your boat is only 15 ft long, but the slip is 20 ft long, you may find that you’ll have to pay for a 20-foot slip.
Annual, Transient and Seasonal
Most marinas rent out their spaces in two ways: an annual flat fee or a transient pass. Transient moorings or slips may be by the hour, the day, the night, the week, or the month. Annual passes are usually paid by the month but come with a year-long obligation.
In northern states, you will find seasonal passes rather than annual passes. Many expensive marinas also offer dry boat docks storage for the winter and wet storage for the summer at a bundled rate.
If you need somewhere to store your boat all year, do your shopping and compare slip costs to find the best deal. A prime location is likely to cost more.
Annual slip contracts are good for marinas because they offer predictable income and a predictable tenant.
They’re good for you because you generally save money, may be protected from seasonal price swings, and know where your boat will be all year.
Liveaboard vs Non-Liveaboard
Some marinas do not allow you to live aboard your boat while it is at the marina. Some marinas allow transient tenants to stay on their boats but do not allow long-term residency.
As a rule, you can expect to pay more for liveaboard. Don’t worry too much about finding a marina that will let you live aboard.
Most marinas are motivated to let you live aboard since you are more likely to use other amenities that come at a cost, like electricity and water.
Living at a marina can be a great life and much more reasonable that living in a house or even an RV.
Hourly vs Nightly
One cost difference that confuses many new sailors is the difference between hourly vs. nightly costs.
You may end up spending the same amount of money to spend an afternoon at the marina as you would to spend the night.
This may be confusing for you, but from the perspective of the marina owner, they lose very little by renting a slip for the night at reduced costs compared to day rentals. Very few boats arrive after nightfall looking for a slip.
Holiday Marina Pricing
Marinas frequently charge more for holiday pricing. Bundles that cover holiday weekends are frequent since marinas would rather rent out their entire space and worry less about coming and going during the holiday weekend.
If you know that you’ll be taking your boat to a marina during a holiday, do some research to find the best deal for your trip.
Slip vs Face Dock
Sometimes marinas advertise different spots as face or slip, and sometimes they ask you what you want when you get to the marina.
In general, slips offer an individual parking space for your boat and trailer, where you can tie your boat off on all four sides. Face docking is more like parallel parking.
You’ll have room to tie your boat off, but you might not have pilings on all four sides.
East Coast Slip Rental Prices Chart
|Miami, Florida||Miamarina at Bayside||$23.00 Per Ft/Month (Annual, Non-Liveaboardl)$5.00 Per Ft/Night (Transient)$42.00 Per Ft/Month (Transient)|
|Miami, Florida||Dinner Key Marina||$23.00 Per Ft/Month (Annual, Non-Liveaboard)$24.00 Per Ft/Month (Annual, Live-Aboard)$5.00 Per Ft/Day (Transient, Overnight)$42.00 Per Ft/Month(Transient, Monthly)|
|Tampa, Florida||TCC Marina||All boats are $2 per foot, per night, with, a minimum of $52, plus tax.$3 an hour on a first-come basis (To reserve a slip, a day pass is required and is valid for up to 4 hours)|
|Palm Beach, Florida||Marina Village||$2.90 Per Foot, Per Day Slip $3.90 Per Foot, Per Day Face dock $25.00 Per Foot, Per Month Annual$29.00 Per Foot, Per Month Annual Seasonal $32.00 Per Foot, Per Month Annual Monthly|
|Oriental, North Caroloina||Sea Harbour||Boat length: Boat length: <28 Annual Amount: $2,710 Quarterly Billing: $677Boat length: 30 Annual Amount: $3,240 Quarterly Billing: $810Boat length: 31 Annual Amount: $3,345 Quarterly Billing: $837Boat length: 32 Annual Amount: $3,455 Quarterly Billing: $864Prices continue to increase by size. Check site for specifics.|
|Annapolis, Maryland||Mears Marina||Annual Rental Rates:20′-24′ – $5,750 41′-47′ – $14,790 – $16,21825′-30′ – $6,630 48′-59′ – $18,360 – 19,63531′-35′ – $8,87460′-80′ – $22,74636′-40′ – $11,628 Transient Rates:Rate: $3.75 per foot, per day. Includes all amenities.|
|Portland, Maine||Port Harbor Marine||Summer Dockage Rates: Docks up to 28ft. – $120.00/ft.Docks 30ft & over – $130.00/ft.TRANSIENT DOCKAGE RATESBoats up to 39ft: Daily $3.00/ft., Weekly $15.00/ft.Boats 40ft. & Greater: Daily $4.00/ft., Weekly $20.00/ft.|
|Yarmouth, Maine||Yarmouth Boat Yard||Slip Length: Seasonal Rate: Quarterly Payment: Slip Length: 20 foot, Seasonal Rate: $2,782.00, Quarterly Payment: $695.50Slip Length: 24 foot, Seasonal Rate: $3,908.50, Quarterly Payment: $977.13Slip Length: 26 foot, Seasonal Rate: $4,223.50, Quarterly Payment: $1,055.88Prices continue to increase by size. Check site for specifics.|
|Georgetown, Maine||Robinhood Marine Center||Entire Season (Full service) >59′: $100.00/Ft.Season (Min. $1,750.00): $88.00/Ft.Month (incl. 30A elect): $40.00/Ft.Week (incl 30A elect): $17.50/Ft.Day (incl 30A elect): $ 3.500/Ft.|
Amenities and Services
Most marinas offer a wide range of amenities to go along with the slips that they lease out. Showers, parking lots, laundry facilities, proximity to public docks, and other premium services may be a big deal to you and be worth the added rental costs, or it may not matter at all.
Depending on whether you use amenities or not, you can dramatically increase the price of staying at a marina and get more out of your slip rentals.
Here are some of the amenities and services that you can expect at most well-stocked Marinas:
- Bottom painting. Whether you are storing your vessel in drydock or keeping it at a wet slip, many marinas offer bottom painting services. If your boat or dinghy is at a slip, the marina will pull it out to perform the bottom painting. Bottom painting is expensive, both in materials and in labor. Expect to pay between $20 and $30 per foot to have the bottom of your boat repainted.
- Power washing. If your sailboat has spent much time out on the open ocean, it may have salt crusted on it. It will look even worse if it spent any time under a flock of seagulls. Power washing is a thorough way to clean the entire deck for around $5 per foot on average.
- Electricity. One thing you may be excited about when you stay at a marina is getting electricity for your favorite appliances, especially the air conditioning. Expect to pay between $10 and $50 per day for electricity, depending on the wattage that you use
- Water. Water isn’t usually a huge expense at the marina. Expect to pay about $10 a month for around 250 gallons of water. Additional water may be charged by the gallon at a rate of around a nickel a gallon.