Saturday, June 18, 2016

Anchoring Out vs Staying in a Marina


The sailing life is a balancing act.  Should we keep the sails up and go slower, or turn on the motor to get there faster?  Should we wait another day before taking off in hopes of catching better winds or take off today and see what happens?  When it is raining, should we cook on the grill to reduce the heat in the cabin or get wet while cooking?

One of the biggest decisions we face is whether to anchor out or pull into a marina.   Mind you, sometimes there is no choice.  One area might have a marina but no anchorage.  Another might only have anchoring but no marina.  There are several things to consider when we make this decision.  Here is our personal list of the pros and cons of anchoring out vs slipping at a marina.

Anchoring Out Pros
  • Boat faces into the wind which means you can catch a breeze easier
  • Facing into the wind reduces the slapping of waves on the transom (back end of the boat)
  • More privacy
  • Cheaper
  • More natural setting
  • The sound and feel of the waves rocking you to sleep
  • The view
  • Feels more like cruising
  • Fewer flying pests
  • Much easier to pick up and leave quickly
  • No reservations required
Anchoring Out Cons
  • Mores susceptible to bad weather
  • Shore access is sometimes limited
  • Harder to meet other people
  • Refilling water and provisioning takes longer
  • Pump-outs not usually readily available
  • Electrical needs must be produced on board
  • Garbage and recyclables need to be stored on board
  • No guarantees of a spot
Marina Pros
  • Easier to meet people
  • Creature comforts-electric, water, showers, laundry
  • Amenities close by - restaurants, grocery store, live music
  • Easier to get exercise
  • Secure feeling
  • People close by willing to help out
  • Access to garbage receptacles
  • Easier to walk away from your boat for longer periods of time
  • Easier access for visitors
  • The toilets flush!!
Marina Cons
  • Depletes cruising kitty faster
  • Temptations to spend more on dining out/entertainment
  • People walking by your boat (looky-loos)
  • You don't usually get rocked to sleep
  • More boats around if weather gets really rough
  • View not usually as nice
  • Boat not always facing into wind and waves
  • Stress of docking/maneuvering a full-keeler in tight quarters
How does your personal list differ from ours?  For right now, slipping in a marina wins due to the hurricane season.  After the hurricane season passes, we will be doing a lot of anchoring out...hopefully in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas.

No comments:

Post a Comment