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Old 12-16-2016, 01:08 PM   #1
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Finding dinghy docks

Where is a good source for finding dinghy docks and mooring fields? Doesn't seem to be a lot on maps or Active Captain... seems local knowledge. Even in my own area they don't seem to be well published.

Sources?
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:14 PM   #2
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Where is a good source for finding dinghy docks and mooring fields? Doesn't seem to be a lot on maps or Active Captain... seems local knowledge. Even in my own area they don't seem to be well published.

Sources?
Mooring fields are listed in Active captain either under anchorages or marinas. Most of the AC mooring field listings will specify dinghy docks either in the information section or in a users remarks.

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Old 12-16-2016, 01:17 PM   #3
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If you look at marinas, under the dockage section, there is an information area for a mooring field if one is associated with the marina.

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Old 12-16-2016, 03:15 PM   #4
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You will find information in the cruising guides and possibly in the Skipper Bob books. It's also in Active Captain but you have to click on what looks like a mooring field or dinghy dock and read the information. There's no "list" of either.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:41 PM   #5
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You are right, dinghy docks don't get the ink (or bits) that they deserve. Neither Skipper Bob or Active Captain have a routine way of describing dinghy docks nearby to anchorages.

I often search the user reviews of an anchorage in Active Captain and sometimes there will be a reference to a dinghy dock, but not always.

The Newport, RI anchorage in Active Captain is a good example of good dinghy dock references. In the anchorage text, not the reviews, it talks about 4-5 public dinghy docks from Fort Adams on the west to 3-4 on the east shore, plus Ida Lewis (a private dock). But it is the exception and most anchorages do not say anything about dinghy docks in the main text, only maybe in the reviews.

But this is our fault, for not identifying dinghy docks when we designate an anchorage in Active Captain.

The fundamental problem is that there is no central database for anchorages. AC maintains a marina database. NOAA (or someone) maintains a bridge and inlet data base. But information on anchorages is provided by us users and we are fallible.

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Old 12-16-2016, 08:22 PM   #6
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Also read the reviews in AC. Often someone will mention dinghy dock or lack thereof as shore access is important to many reviewers. The information may not always be where it should be but is often there somewhere.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:02 PM   #7
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Yea, would be nice if available in one spot. AC does a great job and does have some info but you have to look for it. It could all be placed in info on the Marina, or perhaps in the anchorage dialog box somewhere.
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:32 PM   #8
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Seevee I can't see where finding a dinghy dock would be a challange. One should find dinghy docks in a few minutes in most all cases just putzing or rowing around a bit. Too much dependance on phones, pads and computers me thinks. Just seems like rowing around a bit is just more boating. Unless you're in urgent need of the shore head.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:41 PM   #9
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Seevee I can't see where finding a dinghy dock would be a challange. One should find dinghy docks in a few minutes in most all cases just putzing or rowing around a bit. Too much dependance on phones, pads and computers me thinks. Just seems like rowing around a bit is just more boating. Unless you're in urgent need of the shore head.
That's fine, but could be a PITA. Don't have enough experience with this, so could be a non issue.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:40 PM   #10
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That's fine, but could be a PITA. Don't have enough experience with this, so could be a non issue.
Most marinas have dinghy docks. If you're not docked there they normally charge. Anytime you see a state park or city municipal marina, they're highly likely to have dinghy docks. It's only those anchorages not near anything where it's a problem.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:29 PM   #11
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Most marinas have dinghy docks. If you're not docked there they normally charge. Anytime you see a state park or city municipal marina, they're highly likely to have dinghy docks. It's only those anchorages not near anything where it's a problem.
Band B,

Good info, thx. And that makes sense. Also, if you're stopping for fuel and for the nite you can alway ask, if for some reason you want to come back in for something.

Do a lot of marines let you hang by the fuel dock so you can get some groceries? Would suspect that depends. I've seen fuel docks that are huge and some that the space is premium.
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:37 PM   #12
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Often there is a guest dock nearby the fuel dock where the marina staff would probably prefer you to hang out for a little while.
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:26 PM   #13
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Band B,

Good info, thx. And that makes sense. Also, if you're stopping for fuel and for the nite you can alway ask, if for some reason you want to come back in for something.

Do a lot of marines let you hang by the fuel dock so you can get some groceries? Would suspect that depends. I've seen fuel docks that are huge and some that the space is premium.
It varies widely with marina policy and with how crowded and busy the marina is. Also, with your attitude and what your intentions are. If you ask nicely, you'll get a lot further than those who act like the marina owes it to them. Most in our area charge, but for the fee, they give you more than the privilege to dock, they give the privilege to use their showers and laundry.
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:35 PM   #14
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It varies widely with marina policy and with how crowded and busy the marina is. Also, with your attitude and what your intentions are. If you ask nicely, you'll get a lot further than those who act like the marina owes it to them. Most in our area charge, but for the fee, they give you more than the privilege to dock, they give the privilege to use their showers and laundry.
BandB,

Good points, it's always good to be courteous to the Marina. I've never had much of an issue with any one. Ya pay the fees and most bend over backwards for you. I really wouldn't expect to have use of the laundry and showers with a dinghy, but would be appreciated. '

Pretty much similar to a lot of service organizations. I'm also in aviation and see issues at the FBOs (aviations equivalent of Marines). Unfortunately it's way different and I have HUGE issue paying exorbitant fees to drop someone off on an airport that I've already paid for with federal taxes. Hope I don't see that with Marinas. Some have gone crazy with fees.

Just getting used to Marinas, so far no problems.
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:52 PM   #15
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Day use is free at both Vallejo and Benicia marinas, without utilities. (But the Vallejo fuel and guest docks and the office are closed on weekends. ). Undoubtedly, some other marinas have a similar practice. Martinez, however, charges a day fee.
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Old 12-17-2016, 09:01 PM   #16
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Day use is free at both Vallejo and Benicia marinas, without utilities. (But the Vallejo fuel and guest docks and the office are closed on weekends. ). Undoubtedly, some other marinas have a similar practice. Martinez, however, charges a day fee.

Just curious...where is Vallejo and Benicia? Have no clue. Thx.
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:07 PM   #17
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Central California, San Francisco Estuary, Carquinez Strait; Vallejo, Benicia, and Martinez are.
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:55 PM   #18
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Most marinas have dinghy docks. If you're not docked there they normally charge. Anytime you see a state park or city municipal marina, they're highly likely to have dinghy docks. It's only those anchorages not near anything where it's a problem.
In the PNW I have never seen any marina charge for using their dinghy dock.
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:16 AM   #19
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Marinas run from no frills, work yards to exclusive, members only, transients barely welcome to regular, down to earth but nice marinas in cruising areas that get it about transients and anchor outs/ mooring ball types.

There is no standard what you can do or what you get for your money.

Heck, marinas are suprised when I come through in December and ask if they have a seasonal rate. I say because you have winterized your water system, the WIFI is off for thecseason, the pool is closed, the bathrooms have no or limited heat, store and office hours are limited, the restaurant is closed, the water taxi has stopped, etc.

And they are amazed I think their $2.00 a foot for a 12 hr stay could be slightly discounted from the summer where they ACTUALLY provide something more than 800 square feet of water to float in.

So the mentality of marina ownership and what they feel they should provide for free or a fee and what they will allow outside their standard fees is all over the map in given areas and also varies pretty well geographically.

Never hurts to ask for what you want....but my go to source is Active Captain and reviews that give me an idea what to expect. Dingy docks in crowded areas can be as easy as cruising by homes with docks and asking people where a good tie up place is.....I have had many say hey...right here isvfine, want a beer?
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:37 AM   #20
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In our area they go from free to $20 for 3 hours. The one that is $20 for 3 hours though has a mooring field for $40 a night with free access. That's part of the selling point of the mooring field, so I can see why they can't then say it's free to those who don't use the field.

Look on Active Captain, if the info isn't there, just call. Outside of private membership only marinas I think 99% have access, just a matter of whether a charge or not. I've seen that waived often based on purpose. Almost all places waive it if you're there to grab lunch at their restaurant. However, if you're there simply for convenience and to pass through to go get provisions, using their dock, spending nothing with them, seems to me a charge is more than appropriate.
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