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 Pineo, published on January 21, 2020
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:
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
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 Pineo, published on January 20, 2020
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:
By: Becky Pineo, published on January 08, 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!
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 Pineo, published on January 06, 2020
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.
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.
By: Becky Pineo, published on January 02, 2020
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.
If your marina earned a Boaters’ Choice Award this year, click here for more information about sharing the news with your community.
By: Becky Pineo, published on January 02, 2020
We pride ourselves on hosting the most comprehensive list of marina locations on the web. That said, marina names can change with new ownership, or some locations were missing even before the crew at The Wanderlust Group acquired Marinas.com and all its glorious marina intel in 2017. Credibility matters, so we’ve been quietly making our way – virtually, for now – through the U.S. mapping every dock, ramp, and mooring field.
How do we go about doing that? We have someone on the team – our fearless “spider” – leading the charge, combing a specific region each week and filling in any gaps. In addition, we receive messages from boaters and marina managers/staff letting us know or looking to make updates. And on top of all that, the rest of the members of the Marinas.com team are often out on the water, reading articles about boating and the boating industry, and/or have a penchant for simply nosing around nautical charts dreaming about up adventures; if we don’t see a marina listed that should be, we ping our Spider pal with whatever information we were able to find in order to get the process of adding their profile under way.
We then verify the basic address information with Google, track down the marina’s contact info, and email the marina staff to let them know their business has been added and they can claim the listing for free in order to update contact details, photos, approach info, etc.
Below are the marinas we added in December alone. Marinas denoted with a checkmark have claimed their marina profile, which means they’ve also most likely updated and added information to help boaters find their way and make decisions about booking. We’ll update the checks at the end of January.
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 Pineo, published on December 31, 2019
The Boaters Choice Awards is a long-standing tradition within the boating community. This year, 249 marinas received the designation for their excellence in hospitality. Click here to see the full list of 2019 Boaters’ Choice recipients.
Each year the requirements for a Boaters’ Choice Award change; in 2019, the winning marinas, yacht clubs, and shipyards earned five or more reviews within the year which averaged a four-star rating or higher. The cut-off for reviews was 12:01AM ET on December 4, 2019. The Elite Fleet tier of the Boaters’ Choice Awards earned 10 or more reviews in 2019 averaging 4.8 star rating or higher by 12:01AM ET on December 4, 2019.
Thank you to the thousands of boaters who took time to share their feedback and praise on Marinas.com.
By: Becky Pineo, published on December 10, 2019