Originally Posted by healhustler
I'm also struggling with the idea of a swim platform, and have been studying others successes and failures. A lot depends on what would make the boat more facilitating of the way you use it. Our boat is delightful in following seas, and we don't want to spoil that, but when we look at the platforms of the Mirage Great Harbor, for example (a similar style to our boat), we can see that for us, the boat would probably double in it's practicality. We love to gunk-hole and explore shallows, and swim whenever we can. Climbing up a skinny ladder and crawling over high gun wales is not as easy as it once was. We'd probably double or triple our weekend use of the boat if it were also our platform for swimming at a nearby cove or one of the sand bars in Biscayne Bay.
We're planning for the loop in 2014, and the Admiral says she wants to visit marinas along the route at least 1/3rd of the time. That means we'd be paying for the length of the platform at most marina stops. So now it's either forget it, make it foldable, or at least easily removable. Maybe someone will eventually design a new dinghy that conforms to any stern and doubles as a stylish and unobtrusive swim platform.
I've been at marinas now for 60 nights on this trip and yet have paid extra because of my swim platform/pulpit. Most just ask what your length is and if it's remotely believable...that's what they write down.
One thing is about length of stay...spend time at a face dock or need a longer slip because of it you might pay....but as an overnight or two transient...no extra at least for us yet. And one place (Isle of Hope in Savannah we stayed 15 days).
So far I have been pleasantly surprised at marina costs off season north of Florida....I have been at many that were only charging $1.00 per foot or even less sometimes if I stayed a couple nights.
Maybe it is because most of the marinas aren't nearly full ...and there's hardly any transients during the off peak snowbird season....seems like they are bending over backward to get the business.