Imagine waking up to soft, warm sunlight, the call of seagulls in the distance, and the slow, rhythmic rocking of the sea underneath as you sip your morning coffee. Whether pretending to rule the seven seas on your floating home or taking the boat exploring on the weekends, you'll need to know a little about moorage services such as the types offered and the maintenance they afford.
Types of Moorages
When you pull up to a marina or floating community, a moorage, or the mooring area, is the place you dock your boat. The two main forms of moorages are commercial and private. A private moorage is a location where you can pay to dock your vessel or floating home for a few months at a time. Many places will allow you to join their floating community with a proper permit and may charge homeowner association(HOA) fees as well as community fees. These fees are much like that of a gated community or condo building and vary by location. Commonly included is your use of water, sewage, garbage disposal, and upkeep of common areas.
Commercial moorages, sometimes called transient moorings, function like paid parking spots or hotels and are owned by businesses or offered by the Harbormaster of the town. You can rent these mooring areas for a few days to a few weeks at a time and a permit is not usually required of the vessel owner. Commercial mooring areas can vary in price from $35 to $110+ per day. This price depends upon location and the size of your vessel and will more than likely double during winter months. For both private and commercial (if you are a business) moorages, a permit is required to be renewed each year. Some towns want to keep non-residents to a strict minimum and may not renew every permit the following year so ensure that you get your application in on time.
Docking your vessel or floating home requires that the mooring system be in safe working order and requires liability insurance and a yearly inspection. Many marinas like South Park Marina offer maintenance, repair, installation, storage, hauling, and inspection services. They may also help to ensure you are in compliance with local and neighboring-town regulations. A common offering is a rental of a mooring system used to secure your boat in one place. It includes, but is not limited to, the buoy, anchor, chains, and ropes. Rental rates vary from $1 to $2 per foot, per day. Another service, like hauling for instance, can be substantially more with a price of $87 to $200+. These costs depend greatly upon the season, the size of your boat or floating home, and the moorage location.
If you don't want to be tied down, literally, to any one town, it is important to know that many towns will have differing harbor ordinances. Remember to call ahead to potential marinas you have yet to visit. Doing so will cut down on the possibility of lost travel time and possible damage to your vessel and others if the locations cannot accommodate you. Finally, remember to enjoy your new life on the water, even if its only on the weekends.