The Benefits of Owning or Renting a Boat Slip
A slip is essentially an enclosed private parking space in a marina, park or beach that you can rent or buy for storing and loading/unloading your boat.
Before we get into the benefits of renting or owning a slip, note that not all boat parking spaces are known as slips. If your boat is tied up to a single structure with no two other structures enclosing it on both sides, that would be called a dock or mooring. Now that we got that out of the way, here are some of the benefits of having a boat slip at your disposal.
What are the Benefits of a Boat Slip?
Owning or renting a boat slip means you have a ‘round-the-clock place to park your boat that provides easy access from water to land and vice-versa. It’s especially convenient to have that reserved spot if there’s a particular body of water you enjoy frequenting. Just make sure you choose a slip suitable for the size of your boat with plenty of room to dock and depart with ease.
If you enjoy boating often with friends and family, you have a quick access spot for them to load and unload their gear before launch. It’s especially convenient if you have special needs family members or friends who need assistance with mobility. And it doesn't hurt to have one either to give children and pets a surrounding dock to play on and stay out of the way while you're busy prepping up your boat for launch.
When choosing a slip, it’s recommended renting or buying from a marina that’s a short commute from your home, so you can enjoy more boating without wasting time stuck in traffic. Also, find a marina that has shopping nearby for quick supply runs. If nightlife is appealing to you, having a boat slip near bars and restaurants would be a plus, as you’ll have a nearby place to crash after a night out. However, keep in mind that if you plan on living in your boat or just sleeping in it, a busy marina district may be too noisy for you.
Saving Space at Home
Keeping your boat at a slip also comes with the benefit of saving garage, driveway and yard space at home. Your boat on its trailer won’t take up all that precious real estate if you keep it at a docking facility. A boat slip allows you to store most, if not all of your boating equipment right in your vessel. And if you have a dinghy, you can keep it parked beside your boat at a large enough slip.
Boat Slip Security
Renting or owning a slip at a marina comes with added security. Most marinas have 24/7 staff monitoring the area, plus plenty of surveillance cameras to help deter boat theft. Marinas typically employ a knowledgeable staff that enforces rules for safety and cleanliness, as well as security. You’ll also have neighboring boat owners that look out for each other, as fellow boaters tend to do. Just make sure if you’re going to invest in a slip that it’s in a safe, well-lit facility, and that 24/7 security is provided as an amenity. Speaking of …
Boat Slip Amenities
Owning or renting a slip at a marina comes with a host of amenities that may include electricity, Wi-Fi, clean water, private showers, fueling stations, ice machines, lockers, dock boxes, spare supplies and even laundry facilities. You may have to pay extra for some of these amenities, but they help make renting or owning a slip worth the investment.
When pondering whether to rent or buy a boat slip, consider the following:
Boat Slip Cost
Just like with renting or buying a home, the cost of a slip will depend largely on its location. Supply and demand for a particular location will factor into whether a slip is reasonably priced or ridiculously overpriced. Obviously stay within your budget, and also weigh the pros and cons of paying more for a slip at a private facility versus a much cheaper one at a public dock with little to no security or amenities.
Boat Slip Location
The location of the docking facility will largely influence the cost, but there are other things to consider, like where the actual slip is found within the facility. Consider whether you prefer to be docked closer to open water or to land. In other words, do you prefer having your boat slip further down the marina with quicker access to open water, and likely more peace and quiet? Or do you prefer closer proximity to the land, where it’s a short walk to use the facility’s amenities, but it’s likely in a much busier and noisier spot.
Wet Boat Slip vs Dry Boat Slip
Another thing to consider, especially for the boating offseason, is whether you want to keep your boat in a dry slip storage off the water. While a wet slip costs more, it’s worth it for the convenience of already having your boat in the water ready to launch. However, when you’re not using your boat for extended periods of time, a dry slip is not only generally cheaper, but it also protects your boat from elements that cause corrosion and mold-and-mildew.
Should You Rent or Buy a Boat Slip?
We’ve mentioned renting or buying a boat slip, but haven’t touched on whether you should do one or the other yet. The decision of whether to rent or buy a boat slip should come down to your permanent residence. In other words, if you permanently live where you sail and you can afford one, you’re probably better off buying a boat slip than renting it.
Buying a boat slip means you can be its "landlord" so to speak, and rent it out to others if you ever decide to move away or sell your boat. Ownership of a boat slip could provide a great return on investment in the long run whether you decide to keep it, rent it out, or sell it at a time where market demand and pricing increases.