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Old 10-13-2017, 02:51 PM   #1
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Marina Arrival Time

People have often posted that it's best to check into a marina early so you get your "money's worth". You pay so much per night whether you check in early or late.

Of course, sometimes you're just making a quick stop for the night and leaving early to make time but other times, you're stopping to visit the town, swim in the pool, etc.

I've gotten to marinas at 11:00 AM a few times with no complaints but this morning I heard someone calling a marina for a slip about 9:30 AM. That seems early to me.

So my question is, How early is too early? Have you ever gotten any grief by the marina staff or been charged extra for arriving early?
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:01 PM   #2
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No grief, but sometimes (often?) the assigned slip isn't cleared before published check-in time... because the previous tenant (usually a transient) is still there.

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Old 10-13-2017, 03:04 PM   #3
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We try not to arrive before 12 if the slip we will be taking is currently in use. Some places are as late as 14:00 to vacate. Best to call ahead IMO.
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:12 PM   #4
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Call, if they say OK, self explanitory.

If they say its extra, or thats tomorrows departure time that isnt agreeable, or no you cant come till XXXX, then that's the deal.

Its not like they need time between deoartures and arrivals like a hotel to teady the room.

Never had a marina say no unless they were full till someone left....have arrived before ten at a number of marinas and usually they said yes with a smile.

Busy times and high demand marinas obviously may hold you to afternoon arrival times.
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:40 PM   #5
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I have checked into a hotel as early as 9:30 AM after an overseas flight. If the room is ready then why not. Same with marina slips.

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Old 10-13-2017, 04:47 PM   #6
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It's really simple. Communicate with the marina. Fortunately, they are not like hotels. I once was in an Atlanta Hotel from 8 AM to 2 PM and had to pay for two days. They said I could wait and check in at 10 AM. I'd been on a plane all night and just wanted sleep.

As to marinas, we have checked in very early but the transient dock wasn't full. When we were on the loop, We left Muskegon for Grand Haven at 7 AM, arriving at 9 AM. Grand Haven to Saugatuck the same and Saugatuck to South Haven the same. Before that we'd gone from Cheboygan to St. Ignace and arrived at 9 AM, and we crossed from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City and checked into Straits at 8 AM.

We depart at 7 AM about 80% of the time, so anything within 40 miles or so, we'll arrive by 9 AM. There are typically a lot of boaters departing prior to 9 AM.

Now, we confirm our plans the day before and then we contact the marina again on our way there, about an hour before our planned arrival. I can remember a couple of times they asked if we could wait a little as a boat they expected to leave early had not or was "still working on it". So we did. We just cruised around or slowed way down or whatever it took. We never treated it as if they had to let us in or we'd be angry. Always acted like they were doing us a favor.

One thing I've learned after hundreds of marinas. Their number one complaint is lack of communication from boats coming there and boats leaving. A lot of boats make reservations and don't show and don't call them. Some arrive much earlier than anticipated or even a day earlier, which they could accommodate but would have been much easier had they been advised. Then leaving. While there are a few with firm check out times, most will work with you if you just talk to them.

As do most hotels. I'd say 95-98% of the time I've asked for a late checkout it's been given. I do remember once they had the entire Mary Kay convention checking in that day and a lobby full well before noon. I could understand no late checkout. In fact once I saw the lobby, I wanted to escape from Pink World quickly.
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Old 10-13-2017, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
So my question is, How early is too early? Have you ever gotten any grief by the marina staff or been charged extra for arriving early?
Never either but always let them know. Have gotten teased for being early risers and asked "What time did you guys get up this morning?"
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:34 PM   #8
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It's not uncommon for me to anchor out nearby the night before and roll in when they open. I can get grocery shopping and other reprovisioning done in one full day. See no need to spend 2 nights if there's no sightseeing.

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Old 10-13-2017, 07:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
It's not uncommon for me to anchor out nearby the night before and roll in when they open. I can get grocery shopping and other reprovisioning done in one full day. See no need to spend 2 nights if there's no sightseeing.

Ted
Wifey B: Ultimately same reason as us except provisioning for you and sightseeing for us, but it's early so you can get a full day there to do what you want.
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:37 PM   #10
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I know of one marina that is sits between two tidal rapids. Arriving boats come in with the tide just before slack. The leaving boats all leave with the tide just after slack. For 1.5 hours itís a real cluster muck. Itís a 5 star resort and they are very polite on the radio but itís still the best entertainment of the day.

I stay at the one star lodge next door. No electricity, no water, no dock hands and no concierge but no wait to get a slip and front row seat for the days entertainment.
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
It's not uncommon for me to anchor out nearby the night before and roll in when they open. I can get grocery shopping and other reprovisioning done in one full day. See no need to spend 2 nights if there's no sightseeing.

Ted
Thanks. That answers my question. Have you ever gotten any grief or extra charges for doing this?
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:39 PM   #12
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I know of one place that charges by the hour for day use, and a different price schedule for overnight. So if you arrive before 5 PM (or whatever) you are charged an hourly rate until 5, then the overnight rate until 9 AM (or whatever.)

Very few marinas do hourly day rates. I can think of two others, both popular day stops where local boats drop in to visit the town. Two of the three are municipal "town docks" and the third is an island business catering mostly to small boats.

So it can happen. Best thing is always to just ask.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:54 PM   #13
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The Port of Friday Harbor does it right, in my opinion.

I called them this morning to ask if they had space, he said yes. He said he didn't care how early we got in...so we arrived at 10:30 from a local anchorage. As a result, we bought lunch ashore, rented a car, and toured inland today. We will have dinner ashore tonight as well.

Just last Monday, we came over for lunch ashore. Courtesy mooring for a few hours at Friday Harbor is free.

I hope Friday Harbor is able to convey to local businesses just how much spending originates from the marina.
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:02 PM   #14
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Even the hourly places I have been, unless teally busy, seem to let you slide if there for the night. Maybe not at 8 or 9 in the morning, but by 10 or 11 never bothered with hourly fees.

Of course like many things, what they did yesterday or did for one boat may not be the same the next day.
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
Thanks. That answers my question. Have you ever gotten any grief or extra charges for doing this?
No. If you're polite / friendly and the space is open, I don't think most marinas care. If you have a good attitude, I think most are just happy to have your business.

Ted
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