boating slipsTexas marinas have a lot to offer boaters.  They are accessible to lakes, gulfs, and bays.  There are wet and dry slips. There is open and covered storage equipped with gas and supplies. Many have great restaurants and decks with food and music. As with anything when there is an important decision to be made, you must consider specifically what works best for you.  What are your needs and what type of boat do you have?

Many boat owners desire a marina that is safe from wind and waves in a protected cove. These are slightly more expensive but it eliminates the worry of weather conditions that can be harmful to your vessel.

When choosing a marina, you want to consider the water depths.  In Texas, lake levels fluctuate constantly.  It is important for the slip to have a minimum depth of six feet.  You might want to check the management for the number of times the slip has encountered dry conditions.  Some boat owners will choose a floating slip. Floods and droughts are good examples of why floating slips and entrance ramps are critical in the selection of a marina. Covered slips are nice in Texas because of hurricanes.

Boat owners should evaluate the entrance channel. Check for markers with working lights for night navigation and depth of the entrance.  Verify height restrictions when there are bridges.  This is important for navigation into open waters. Ask about stumps and sand bars and other hazards.

Check out the condition and age of docks. Ask other slip owners about the quality of maintenance and repairs.  Check on cleats for bow and stern lines. What services are available?  Is there a fuel dock and pump station.  Are mechanics available?  Are boats cleaning services available? What type of security does the marina have?  Are there closed circuit cameras for observation?

Check into utilities and electrical connections. Many marinas have showers and toilet facilities. If you plan on living on your vessel, make sure that the marina allows you to sleep aboard.  Many marinas do not allow this.  You also want to inquire into what insurance policies are needed to store your boat at a particular location.

There is a lot to consider when choosing a marina. Of course, the decision will be based on your boat and your boating needs.  In Texas, hurricanes and droughts have to be considered.  Just like everything else in Texas, the choices are numerous.  Everything is big in Texas.

Source: “Marinas in Texas.” Texas Marinas. Web. 01 Apr. 2013.

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