How did you choose your Marina or did the Marina choose you?
In our case we most definitely choose the Marina, partly because it is where we bought our first boat and partly because we had visited it many times before and we were always comfortable with the clean surroundings and the numerous restaurants. There are other Marinas in close proximity but ours always seems the most friendly and helpful, I might say others seemed too elitist and unless you were a berth holder could be difficult to access, even if you were looking for a boat and berth! Now, this is not entirely a bad thing to have limited access but you do need staff that are at least helpful and friendly.
If you are looking for a Marina, then with the experience we now have I can hopefully give you a few pointers to help your decision making process to ensure your boat will be well cared for, and that at a minimum you are satisfied that the Marina of your choice will be run by helpful, competent professional staff.
Firstly, what about the location? ideally you need to be close to the Marina, it is not much fun if you are a regular user and every time you visit turns out to be a major planned journey!
What facilities does the Marina offer? simple things like plenty of good clean shower and toilet facilities are essential when you have spent the day at sea and you return to the Marina to get freshened up and changed ready for finishing your day in one of the nearby seafood restaurants.
Is the Marina adequately staffed by sufficient helpful Marianas, especially when you are returning to your berth and the wind is up, you need to be able to call on assistance when you need it, on this subject, is the Marina always available by 24 hour radio and telephone contact?
Does the Marina have qualified maintenance engineers and work people to hand, does the Marina have lift out facilities? at some stage your boat will need to be serviced or repaired and at least annually needs to be lifted to allow bottom cleaning and anti-fouling.
Does the Marina have electric hook up and running water to the individual berths? obviously essential to keep the batteries charged and for supplying power when you are on the pontoon, running water, again essential for cleaning your precious boat and topping up it`s tank.
Does the Marina have fuel facilities? no point in planning a cruise thinking you have to needlessly head for a fuel stop.
Security, is the Marina well served with CCTV? you need to know someone is watching out for you when you are not around. Ideally you should be able to log into the cameras remotely to view wherever you are in the world.
Does the Marina provide WiFi facilities? I find that being able to connect to the outside world when spending time on the pontoon is essential, even for simple things like being able to update this blog!
Does the Marina have secure car parking? this should be on the Marina and not a long walk away, you frequently have to hump stuff from your car to the boat and visa-versa.
And finally, does the Marina have good club facilities and social scene? this will give a good indication to the friendliness of the Marina.
Is the Marina well served with good restaurants and bars? even if they are not directly on the Marina they need to very close so no time is lost when you are ready for that first ice cold beer and Paella after a days sailing!
Disfruta de la Vida