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Georgia's Anchoring Ban: Anonymous Marina & Boater Survey

Update 7/76/20: We’ve removed the survey – see the next blog post for survey responses. That said, Georgia has walked back this legislation. Kudos to the Save Georgia’s Anchorages group on Facebook for organizing to share the message and gain support.

Click here to read survey responses thus far.

Changes are coming to Georgia’s anchoring rules – or, came and went without much discussion, it seems. As of January 1, 2020, House Bill 201, passed by the 2019 Georgia legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, became effective.

Further Reading on the Topic

As of yesterday, 2/26/2020, some progress had been made – from James Newsome of the Save Georgia’s Anchorages Facebook Group:

Thanks to all who have supported our effort to establish the Georgia Anchoring Advocacy fund to retain Scott Draper, a professional lobbyist. We have reached 63% of our funding goal in a matter of days with your help. In less than a week Scott has come up to speed with the issues we have identified in HB201, Georgia’s anchoring law that took effect January 1st, 2020. He was able to broker a conference call with GA DNR Commissioner Mark Williams, his team and our anchoring coalition which we just conducted today, Feb 25, 2020.

Over the course of almost two hours, we had open dialogue on the problems DNR was trying to address with HB201 as well as some of the issues the cruising community had with its incarnation as law. All parties felt the call was productive and there is agreement in principle to refine Rep. Ron Stephens’ HB833 to best achieve our mutual objectives and to push the legislation through the current session in the next few weeks. HB833, if it passes, is expected to replace most parts of HB201.

We are not out of the woods yet, but Georgia policymakers appear to now be responsive to changing some of the most questionable facets of the laws passed last year, including restrictions for where vessels may anchor, the identity of cruising and transient vessels. Commissioner Williams is not willing to rescind the Administrative Order signed on December 30, 2019 that prevents boats from anchoring within 1,000 feet of structures throughout the coastal region of the state, until a legislative fix, HB833, is passed by the General Assembly.

We are optimistic about today’s progress and look forward to working with Commissioner Williams, with his support, on HB833. Your support is needed now more than ever to assist in the funding of lobbying efforts that have helped us achieve some degree of success in having Georgia DNR and lawmakers hear our collective voice. Our fight continues in the legislature in the days ahead. Please join nearly 100 other boaters from across the country and around the world who have supported this effort. Contribute at www.greatloop.org/Georgia

By: Becky at Marinas.com, published on February 04, 2020
Categories: Industry-News

Top-Rated Marinas of January 2020

The Boaters’ Choice Awards are once a year, but boaters submit new marina reviews every day! We’re trying out some new ways to show off marinas that are putting the work in throughout the year. This is the start of a new monthly blog series to give credit where credit is due: the marinas throughout the U.S. who, based solely on the month’s reviews, represent the best of the best. Without further ado: the Top-Rated Marinas of January 2020.

Battery Park Marina – Sandusky, OH 

Portside Marina – Kelleys Island, OH 

Presque Isle Yacht Club – Erie, PA 

DuSable Harbor, The Chicago Harbors – Chicago, IL 

Balfour’s Marina – Clay, MI

Harbor Centre Marina – Sheboygan, WI 

McKinley Marina – Milwaukee, WI 

Reefpoint Marina – Racine, WI 

Hansel’s Marina – Deale, MD 

Inner Harbor East Marina – Baltimore, MD 

Pungo Creek Marina – Belhaven, NC 

Southport Marina – Southport, NC 

Barefoot Marina North – Myrtle Beach, SC 

Blue Springs Marina – Ten Mile, TN

Bay Springs Marina – New Site, MS 

Florence Harbor Marina – Florence, AL 

Caribe Marina – Orange Beach, AL 

Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina – St. Thomas, VI 

West Coast

Lake Havasu Marina Lake – Havasu City, AZ

Redondo Beach Marina – Redondo Beach, CA 

Richardson Bay Marina – Sausalito, CA

Freeport Marina – Sacramento, CA

Marina Bay Yacht Harbor – Richmond, CA

Roche Harbor Resort & Marina – Roche Harbor, WA 

Arabella’s Landing Marina – Gig Harbor, WA 

Northeast 

Brewer South Freeport Marine – South Freeport, ME 

Tern Harbor Marina – Weymouth, MA 

Cuttyhunk Marina – Cuttyhunk Island, MA 

Woods Hole Yacht Club – Woods Hole, MA 

F.L.Tripp & Sons Inc. – Westport Point, MA 

Wessagussett Yacht Club – North Weymouth, MA

Boston Waterboat Marina – Boston, MA 

Dockside Marina – Oak Bluffs, MA 

Provincetown Marina – Provincetown, MA

Boston Yacht Haven Inn and Marina – Boston, MA

Safe Harbor Plymouth – Plymouth, MA 

Fox Point Marina – Providence, RI 

Clark Boat Yard & Marine Works – Jamestown, RI 

Warren Boat Yard – Warren, RI

Mystic Seaport Museum – Mystic, CT 

Glastonbury Yacht Club – Glastonbury, CT 

Lakeview Point Landing – Syracuse, NY

Port of Rochester Marina – Rochester, NY 

Strong’s Yacht Center – Mattituck, NY 

Clayton Harbor Municipal Marina – Clayton, NY 

J & S West – Baldwinsville, NY 

Morrison’s Beach Haven Marina – Beach Haven, NJ 

Southwinds Marina – Forked River, NJ 

Florida 

Stock Island Marina Village – Key West, FL 

Tampa Convention Center Marina – Tampa, FL 

Pink Shell Beach Marina & Resort – Fort Myers Beach, FL 

Titusville Municipal Marina – Titusville, FL </p>

Clearwater Harbor Marina – Clearwater, FL 

Marker 8 Marina – St. Augustine, FL 

Safe Harbor North Palm Beach – North Palm Beach, FL

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, Autograph Collection – Holmes Beach, FL 

Longboat Key Club Moorings – Longboat Key, FL

Safe Harbor Old Port Cove – North Palm Beach, FL 

Fort Pierce City Marina – Fort Pierce, FL

Beach Marine – Jacksonville Beach, FL

Fontainebleau Marina – Miami Beach, FL 

Seafood Shack Marina – West Cortez, FL

Gulfport Municipal Marina – Gulfport, FL 

The Galleon Marina – Key West, FL 

Safe Harbor | Harborage Marina – St Petersburg, FL 

Coastal Marine Yacht Service Center – St. Petersburg, FL 

Legacy Harbour Marina – Fort Myers, FL 

A & B Marina – Key West, FL

Kennedy Point Marina & Yacht Club – Titusville, FL 

Key West Yacht Club – Key West, FL 

Marlin Bay Resort & Marina – Marathon, FL 

By: Becky at Marinas.com, published on January 31, 2020
Categories: Best-Of

Marina Reviews that Show the Love

As promised! For the three weeks leading up to Valentine’s, we picked one (ok, maybe two) new marina reviews each day that included a thoughtful comment for the marina team.

Note: The review didn’t have to rate the marina as 5 stars or be Pulitzer-worthy writing-wise – but you did need to include some care and context behind the rating, and actionable feedback if the marina needs to improve.

Without further ado, the winners are:

2/14/20: Boater rechkof for his review of Deer Harbor Marina in Deer Harbor, WA:

I have stayed in this marina for many years in my once 25, now 29 Searay with the family - what a lovely spot! Very protected from weather, peaceful unpretentious vibe, friendly boat neighbors. They have a nicely stocked store with the best egg and cheese croissants for breakfast, nice shower area and a pool you can access on hot summer days . There’s a relatively new cider and pizza place across the road, and an Inn on top of the hill for dinner with a killer view of the area. It’s quiet most evenings, so if you’re looking for evening rowdiness, this isn’t your spot.

2/13/20: Boater bradm85 for his review of Port of Friday Marina in Friday Harbor, WA:

Great marina. If you need to check customs, do it here instead of Roche. The custom agents here are always friendly and great representatives of the US. The ones at Roche would prefer to hassle you as much as possible. Every time!

2/12/20: Boater Harry G. for his review of Safe Harbor Essex Island in Essex, CT:

Special because it is spectacular. Great staff that are eager to help and assist. All the amenities that you want and need. Pool and yard games. Great on site restaurant or a short walk to town with more restaurants or Gas barbecues and fire pits for onsite use.

2/11/20: Boater masonprops for his review of Belhaven Marina in Belhaven, NC:

Will definitely be coming back! Greg the dock master was very nice and informative. Showers/Laundry facility. Lovely little small quaint town and the people were so friendly!

2/10/20: Boater nstenger for their review of North Point Marina in Winthrop Harbor, IL:

Westrec is doing a great job tackling a back log of deferred maintenance that they inherited from the State of Illinois. Also doing a great job bringing events and activities to the marina since it is indeed a ways out of town.

2/9/20: Boater tdemarzo for their review of Donovan’s Shady Harbor Marina in New Baltimore, NY:

Visited once and decided to make it our home. AAA+ Marina. The marina, restaurant, ships store, pool and amenities are all top notch. The Donovan’s and staff make you feel like family.

2/8/20: Boater NancyKay74 for her review of South Haven Municipal Marina in South Haven, MI – one of the best reviews we’ve seen to date!

2/7/20: Boater JennBujak for her review of Stock Island Marina Village in Key West, Florida:

Great Marina in the heart of downtown Key West! Only steps from all of the excitement. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. We would definitely stay here again!!

2/6/20: Boater baldeagle52 at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady, NY

2/5/20: Boater fjellyenta for their review of Carolina Beach Mooring Field in Carolina Beach, NC:

Great and easy access to the mooring. Calm and comfortable overnight stay! Already recommended it to friends who are coming down the ICW and looking for a safe place to stay 😊

2/4/20: Boater boatinggary for his review at Waukegan Harbor & Marina in Waukegan, IL

2/3/20: Boater hafnutz67 at Reefpoint Marina in Racine, WI

Reefpoint is by far our favorite marina. My wife and I have always enjoyed our stays here. The manager, Carrie, does a wonderful job of making sure everything runs smooth at Reefpoint and the rest of staff could not be any nicer or more accommodating. The marina’s amenities are plentiful, as are those of the surrounding area. Reefpoint is well protected from the unwanted forces of Lake Michigan. Even when the wind and wakes are at their worst, the water at the slips remains calm and peaceful. If you haven’t been to Reefpoint, do yourself a favor and add it to your list of “must visit” marinas. You won’t be disappointed.

2/2/20: Boater callingone at Gulfport Municipal Marina in Gulfport, FL

2/1/20: Boater goldenpearl at Conch Harbor Marina in Key West, FL

1/31/20: Boater kellmer at Hansel’s Marina in Deale, MD

1/3020: Boater tburton for his review of Fisherman’s Wharf Marina in Venice, FL

1/29/20: We had a slew of reviews come in today, so couldn’t pick just one. Here are our three winners:

From boater bigbaby69 re: J & S West Marina in Baldwinsville, NY:

I can’t thank [email protected] for recommending this marina. We were only going to overnight there for a concert. One night became two and then the season, and then a 2nd boat (purchased there) and a 2nd slip. We couldn’t be more happy with the level of service from Denise the manager to Christopher running the canvas shop, to Bradley in mechanics. We now consider them family and look forward to many seasons ahead. Love Y’all.

From boater advantage1 re: Lake Havasu Marina in Arizona:

This marina is a godsend especially on the major Summer holiday weekends… It includes one the the best launch ramps in town along with shore power and dump station. It is very well lit for nighttime use. The staff is very friendly and helpful. I recommended all of my fellow boaters to use this marina when boating in Lake Havasu.

From boater kicknsho re: Harbor Centre Marina in Sheboygan, WI:

Enjoyed 5 weeks only in 2019 and we’re looking forward to a full season in a couple of months! Staff is VERY friendly. The docks are big, beautiful, well appointed and clean! The clubhouse is beautiful with many amenities including large, well it, and CLEAN shower facilities! Definitely a home away from home! The other boaters we’ve met have been not only welcoming but a blast to be around and talk to! So glad we have made this our marina to call “home”!

1/28/20: Boater ellenw46 for her review of Key West Yacht Club in Key West, FL

1/27/20: Boater latitude for their review of Safe Harbor Harbortown in Fort Pierce, FL

1/26/20: Boater thejourney for their review of Bay Springs Marina in New Site, MS

1/25/20: Boater andrewgutowski for his review of Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina in Stuart, FL

1/24/020: Boater jimmythehat for his review of Richardson Bay Marina in Sausalito, CA

1/23/20: Boater coddiwomple for reviewing Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond, CA](https://marinas.com/view/marina/g9c3mn_Marina_Bay_Yacht_Harbor_Richmond_CA_United_States)

1/22/20: We chose two winners to kick things off!

Boater monytorris for his review of Fox Point Marina in Providence, RI:

Keith is very helpful and is very accommodating. Fox Point Marina is walking distance to many restaurants and bars. Very fair pricing and there is a lot to do in the area. The marina is behind the hurricane barrier so your boat is safe even in bad weather. Would recommend for long stays as well as transient docking.]()

Boater skipperdarrel’s review of Port of Rochester Marina in Rochester, New York:

We spent six weeks there in 2019 and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is plenty of water to maneuver in. The transient dock is a long facing dock on the west side of the basin. The staff is terrific. The shoreside attractions and services are very pleasant… the best marina on the south shore of Lake Ontario. We’re going back in 2020.

This blog post was originally published on January 22, 2020, and was last updated on 2/18/2020. 💕

By: Becky at Marinas.com, published on January 21, 2020
Categories: Kudos

Show Marinas the Love!

For Valentine’s Day 2020, show your favorite marinas the love! When you do, you’ll be entered into our daily giveaway of $25 in dockage credit at any of Dockwa’s 1,000+ partner marinas.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a review – here’s how:
  • Visit our Marinas.com homepage

  • Log in – or create your free Marinas.com account if you don’t already have one

  • Search for the marina you’d like to review

  • Click “Write a Review”

  • Repeat for all the marinas you’e visited

  1. That’s it! We’ll pick daily winners throughout the next few weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day 2020.

💘 Click here to see the winners! 💘

FAQs:

Do all reviews enter me to win?

Nope! One-word or baloney reviews need not apply. Make sure your review is 1) legitimate (i.e., you’ve actually been there and not because you’re an employee or the family member of one) and 2) thoughtful.

What makes a thoughtful review?

A star rating can mean a hundred different things, so make sure to tell your story. Here are some tips:

  • Include some context around your stay. What kind of boat were you on? Where were you coming from? What time did you arrive? Had you been to this marina before?

  • Explain your rating. If they went above and beyond, what specifically did they do? If you docked them a star or they got low marks, how could they do better next time?

Will a negative review enter me to win?

If you submit a less than glowing review on a day that no other reviews come in, maybe. But the campaign is called “Show the Love,” after all – we’re giving preference to 4- and 5-star reviews, and 3-star reviews that include some positive aspect of the marina.

Can I enter more than once?

Yes! If you’ve visited several different marinas, you can submit a review for each one.

How will I be notified?

We will email you directly to the email you put on file for your Marinas.com account.

Where can I see the winners?

We’ll be adding them to the Marinas.com blog along with the review that wins

Why can’t I review marinas with my Dockwa login?

We’re working on it! Stay tuned. Email [email protected] to let her know you want the team to hustle faster on this fix.

How do I review a marina so that the review appears as “Verified”?

If you’ve reserved at a marina using your Dockwa account, the team at Dockwa emailed you after your reservation with a specific link to review. Click that link, review, and the review will appear as Verified. (Sorry, we cannot re-issue this link.)

Where can I find the Terms & Conditions?

Right here, fancy.

By: Becky at Marinas.com, published on January 20, 2020
Categories: Kudos

California's Top-Rated Marinas of 2019

The Gold Coast sets a high bar for cruising destinations. As the Marinas.com community grows out West, we wanted to give a shout-out to the marinas that are leading the pack!

Should your marina be on the list? If you’re a boater, submit your review. If you’re a marina, share your marina profile’s URL with boaters to let them know you’d love to hear their thoughts. (And don’t forget to claim your free profile so that you can respond and edit your marina information.)

To help spotlight some of California boaters’ favorite places to tie up, we crunched the numbers. Without further ado or frills, these are the top 15 highest-rated by Marinas.com users:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Napa Valley Yacht Club – Napa, CA
  • Cabrillo Way Marina – San Pedro, CA
  • Half Moon Marina – San Diego, CA
  • Al Larson Boat Shop & Marina – Terminal Island, CA
  • Peninsula Yacht Marina – Oxnard, CA
  • Westpoint Harbor – Redwood City, CA
  • The Harbor at Marina Bay – Marina del Rey, CA
  • Harbor Island West Marina – San Diego, CA
  • Bridge Marina Yacht Club – Antioch, CA
  • Cerritos Yacht Anchorage – Wilmington, CA

⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Antioch Marina – Antioch, CA
  • Belmont Mooring Company – Long Beach, CA
  • The Marina at Dana Point – Dana Point, CA
  • Safe Harbor Cabrillo Isle – San Diego, CA
  • Redondo Beach Marina – Redondo Beach, CA

By: Becky at Marinas.com, published on January 08, 2020
Categories: Best-Of

Marina Profiles added in January 2020

January kicked 2020 off with a whopping 50 new marina profiles added to Marinas.com. If you’re the owner of one of these fabulous destinations claim your profile and edit away!

  • Cotuit Bay Mooring – Cotuit MA
  • Hyannis - Fish Hills Mooring– Hyannis, MA
  • Hyannis - Lewis Bay Mooring – Hyannis, MA
  • EMV Marine Boatyard – Badalona, Spain
  • Marina & Club de Yates Isla Cortés – Altata, Spain
  • Broadsound Tuna Club
  • Badalona Marina
  • Puerto Deportivo de Benalmádena
  • Yacht Park Marina
  • Sowles Bay Yacht Club
  • Wildcat Marina
  • Kanopolis Tower Harbor Marina
  • Lake Wilson Marina
  • Lighthouse Bay Marina
  • Melvern Lake Marina
  • Milford Lake Marina
  • Nissequogue River State Park Marina
  • M & D’s Marina
  • Carr Creek Lake Marina
  • Clinton Yacht Haven
  • Carr Creek Lake Marian
  • Georgetown Municipal Harbor
  • Villa Hills Marina
  • Elk Lake Shores Marina
  • Grayson Lake Marina
  • Guist Creek Marina
  • Weather Oar Knot Marina
  • Gwinn Island Resort and Marina
  • Narrows Marina
  • Nick’s Boat Dock
  • Pandora Marina
  • Manhattan Harbour Yacht Club
  • Wax Marina
  • Forever Resorts
  • Ark-La-Tex Landing
  • Barron’s Landing & Marina
  • Big Bass Marina
  • Hooks Marina
  • Joshua’s Marina
  • Collins Ave Marina
  • Lake Winnisquam Point Marina
  • Ala Wai Boat Harbor
  • Waikiki Yacht Club
  • Hale’iwa Boat Harbor
  • Keehi Harbor
  • Pine Cove Marina
  • Ma’alaea Small Boat Harbor
  • Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Cafe
  • Okanagan Luxury Boat Club

Are the marinas near you on the map, claimed, and up to date? Email [email protected] to let us know if you spot one we missed.

By: Becky at Marinas.com, published on January 06, 2020
Categories: Product-Updates

Why are Marinas.com's Boaters' Choice Awards skewed toward the East Coast?

The Log, one of California’s leading boating and fishing publications, brought up a fantastic point with regard to the Boaters’ Choice Awards: why aren’t there more West Coast marinas on the list?

Out of the 259 winners, only two Cali marinas “made the cut” as determined by boater reviews left on their marinas’ profiles, while upwards of 100 in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island did. Any boater or marina manager with a shred of California pride would wonder, what’s the deal? We commented in response to The Log article itself, and are sharing here as well in an effort toward transparency and with hope it will help get the message out: Boaters’ Choice Awards are based on boater reviews, so marinas should claim their profiles (it’s free!) and encourage boaters to submit reviews.

Marina managers or staff:

Here’s our response:

First off, thank you for your interest in Marinas.com’s 2019 Boaters’ Choice Awards. Regarding West Coast representation on the list of marinas, you make a valid point that we, too, noted internally as we crunched the numbers to reveal this year’s winners.

In summary:

  • It was certainly not our intention to slight West Coast marinas!
  • Your article refers to the list “as selected by the website, Marinas.com,” however Marinas.com set the requirements and does not “select” the winners – boaters, in effect, do this as they leave reviews throughout the year. Therefore:
  • For more West Coast marinas to earn Boaters’ Choice awards, their managers can claim their Marinas.com profiles if they haven’t already, and encourage boaters to submit reviews after their stay – and:
  • West Coast boaters can proactively review marinas to commend their hard work and good facilities, or to give feedback on what can be improved
  • We will be working this year to balance our user base throughout the U.S. and beyond.

To provide more detail and backstory:

Marinas.com’s user base – made up of boaters and marina managers/teams – is stronger on the East Coast, and we’re working to grow both communities throughout the country. There’s clearly work left to be done, and balancing geographic distribution is one of our top priorities.

As you noted, the 2019 Boaters’ Choice recipients earned this year’s designation based upon the cumulative reviews submitted by boaters on Marinas.com throughout the year. Prior to The Wanderlust Group’s acquisition of Marinas.com in 2017, becoming a Boaters’ Choice Award recipient had been more of an advertising play; namely, a way in which some marinas could pay for the designation of “best.” One of our priorities during the transition of Marinas.com was to democratize the Boaters’ Choice Awards in a way that would legitimize the award while leveraging one of the site’s key features: boater reviews. We considered conducting an end-of-year vote, but that method is subject to its own biases (e.g., ballot-stuffing). We took a page from travel industry leader TripAdvisor, and decided to lean on the “votes” submitted organically and continuously: boater reviews.

We’re working to improve our communication efforts with marina teams to educate them on Boaters’ Choice Awards requirements, as well as why online reviews matter, why receiving a Boaters’ Choice Award matters, and how Marinas.com can further help their business across the board. All businesses are eligible to be honored; there is no ranking system, and no cap on the number of marinas that can earn a Boaters’ Choice Award. Further, since the reviews on which the award is based are within one calendar year, earning a Boaters’ Choice Award is a milestone that all marinas can reach despite changes in management, construction projects, etc. More marinas achieving Boaters’ Choice status indicates, among other things, an increase in marinas going above and beyond to provide awesome experiences to their boaters, and leveraging relevant avenues to promote their marina and communicate with customers in order to continue to improve and grow their business.

The list of Boaters’ Choice Award winners is intended as a celebration of the businesses that Marinas.com boaters are most excited about, not an intentional judgment with regard to the quality of inland and West Coast marinas. The representation was and is due to, admittedly, a geographically-skewed user base. We’re sincerely looking forward to announcing this year’s awards in December 2020 and the months leading up to it as we grow Marinas.com in regions where we currently have less of a presence. Thank you for drawing attention to Marinas.com and the Boaters’ Choice Awards to help us kick those efforts into high gear.

Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions, I and the team here are happy to continue the conversation. Thank you to you and your team for all you do to promote boating.

Click here to read the original post in The Log.

By: Becky at Marinas.com, published on January 02, 2020
Categories: Boaters-Choice

Press rolls in for 2019 Boaters' Choice Award Winners

After a chance to recharge over the holiday, it seems marina teams and local press are ready to keep cheering for the 2019 Boaters’ Choice Award winners! We’ll update as more reports come in. Share the news, or share our tweets and Facebook posts to help get the word out.

Industry publications:

Local news outlets:

From Patch.com:

If your marina earned a Boaters’ Choice Award this year, click here for more information about sharing the news with your community.

By: Becky at Marinas.com, published on January 02, 2020
Categories: Boaters-Choice