Whether you’re buying a new boat or moving the storage location of the boat you already own, it’s important to understand how to find docks in your area. Some get tired of trailering back and forth to a local boat ramp and would instead prefer to maximize convenience by having the vessel in the water or on the shoreline. Each has its benefits and drawback, but let’s explore the three ways to find a boat dock near you because you will likely have many to chose from. 

Word of Mouth

The most reliable way to find a local boat dock is by word of mouth. Friends, neighbors and fellow boaters will likely have personal experience to share with you on one local marina or another. When speaking with them, these are great questions to ask.

-Do they have both wet (in water storage) and dry(the boat is stored on land) options?

-What is the cost per foot for each type of storage?

-Unfortunately, some marinas deal with theft issues, inquire about the security of the marina.

It may be necessary to contact the marina directly, but ask what type of availability they have. 

Internet Searches

Technology is one of our most significant resources today. At your fingertips, you have access to endless information. Likely most local boat docks will have a webpage offering information on the facility. Remember, not everything you read online is accurate; it may be best to pick up the phone. Here are some good keywords to use when performing an online search. 

-Top-rated marinas in (city name or name of lake).

-Best dry storage boat facilities in (city name or name of lake).

-Marina rates per foot in (city name or name of lake).

-Best marina rates available in my area.

-(City name or lake name) Marinas.

Searching for each of these terms will allow you to compile a solid list of marinas worth checking out in person.

Driving Around

Stopping in at local marinas will most likely happen after first doing internet searches or speaking with people about personal experiences. It would not be easy to commit without seeing the facility with your own eyes and communicating with the marina staff. Here is what you should look for on your site inspection.

-Locked gates accessing the docks if you’re keeping a boat in the water.

-Check out the amenities available such as bathrooms, showers, and cleaning tables for the avid fisherman. 

-Inspect the boats on the dry racks. Do they appear to have dirt, oil, and salt dripping from the vessels above, and is the dry rack enclosed?

-If you see a marina patron, ask them about the experience they have had.

-Consider the facility’s location and how long it will take you to get to the areas you prefer to fish, cruise, or dine at waterside establishments. 

-Inquire about the operational hours. 

-Speak with the dockmaster about security and what measures they are taking to keep your boat safe.

-Look at the waterway the boat is in, will your boat get beat up dockside.

-Ask about details on the contract agreement.

  1. How long do I have to keep my boat in the marina without being penalized for removing it?
  2. What is the fee if I decide to take my vessel out of the marina before the contract expires?
  3. Do you have additional fees on top of the monthly rate?

-Check if the marina has a fuel pump; driving to another location to fuel up can be a hassle. 


Determining what marina to chose can be a difficult decision. It’s always a good idea to visit multiple options on your list and make an educated commitment to what location best suits your needs. The process is time-consuming, but in the end, it will be worth your while. Following the three steps will take away a lot of the headaches. Enjoy your boat’s new home.