We know that Charleston is great for the food, the views and the history, but what about boating? Is this southern city the place to be if you are a boat enthusiast. Stay tuned to find out a bit more about what Charleston has to offer when it comes to boating.

Do a lot of people own boats in charleston?

The state of South Carolina has over 4,550 registered recreational vessels. With that being said, how many people own boats in the third-largest city of South Carolina? The greater Charleston area accounts for 26% of the state’s registered recreational vessels. In fact, 1,176 boats are registered in the area.

What locations make up the list surrounding the greater Charleston area?

Charleston- 565

-Mount Pleasant- 358

-Johns Island- 128

-Isle of Palms- 70

-Sullivans Island- 25

-Folly Beach- 30

These numbers don’t reflect how many locals actually enjoy being on the water. Numerous boat clubs are in the area to include Freedom Boat Club and Carefree Boat Club. With hundreds of members, these vessells are on the move daily. 

Why Are There So Many Boat Owners In Charleston?

Considering that 26% of the registered vessels are in Charleston, boating is extremely popular, but why is this the case?

Fishing in Charleston

This is a huge reason why people buy boats in the city and surrounding areas. 

Inshore fishing here is excellent. Short runs can lead you to bountiful catches of local favorites like sea trout, redfish, flounder, and blue crab. 

Just offshore are made man wrecks that hold sharks, black sea bass, amberjack, tripletail, and more. 

Long runs to reefs and wrecks are known as the snapper grounds. Here locals find grouper, snapper, cobia, and kingfish. These trips require a full day and fair seas.

For the avid blue water fisherman, the trolling grounds are even further from land. Most of these people have twin-engine large vessels. Troll for tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, and marlin.

Private Beaches in Charleston

The destinations to private beaches untouched by development are plentiful. Places like Bear Island at just over an hour run time from Charleston. Bear Island is over 12,000 acres in size and remains undeveloped. Here you can bike, fish, birdwatch, and hike. 

A second serene and undeveloped island is Capers Island. At nearly 1,100 acres, which includes 200 acres of beach, you may not see another single soul. Deer and other wildlife inhabit the island. Here you will find a picturesque setting. 

Just Plain Cruising

For the restless boater who cant kick back on anchor and relax or for young children, Charleston is great for cruising. 

Get up close and personal while remaining a safe distance to some of the largest cargo ships in the world. You will realize how deep in the shadow your boat will be as they tower past.

Motor past historical sights such as Fort Sumter situated just off the peninsula of downtown Charleston. In Mount Pleasant, just a short ride from downtown is Patriots Point. Get a view of the retired military ships by water. 

These water a typically filled with bottlenose dolphins. It’s not uncommon for these porpoises to come boat side as they meander through the water.

Embark for a sunset journey and enjoy the spectacular colors. Once the sun has fully set, look at the downtown skyline lighting up the night.

Waterfront Dining in Charleston

Charleston is a dining destination. No shortage of restaurants will be found here. Check out these places by boat.

  1. Shem Creek– Just a short run from the peninsula is Shem Creek. A row of restaurants line the creek and are open for lunch and dinners. Ample docking space is available. The party can continue well into the night with live music and elevated bars. 
  2. On James Island is the Charleston Crab House. Located on the intercoastal waterway, get a taste of fresh local offerings. 
  3. At Ripley Light Marina in Charleston is Califonia Dreaming. California Dreaming is a more upscale offering. Known for steaks and ribs, indulge in turf based delights.
  4. One of the busiest marinas in downtown Charleston is City Marina. Call in advance for availability. Once you’re dockside, every cuisine type available is at your fingertips. Hop in an UBER, and you’re on your way.

It’s pretty clear to see why a lot of people in Charleston own boats. The opportunities are endless. Check with your local marina about storage options unless you can keep the boat at the house. Marinas often have a waitlist and, in particular, Charleston because of wide spread boat ownership. You won’t regret your time spent on the water.