Are Boat Slips Worth It? 5 Reasons They Are

Boat slips or boat docks are the best way to keep your boat on the water year-round. If your boat is readily available for use, you will be using it a lot more. Having to haul your boat to the water each time you want to use it can be a hassle.

Boat slips are parking spots on the water for your boat. They come in different sizes and can accommodate almost any type of boat. Boat slips are rented on a monthly basis or in some cases can be purchased for a one-time fee. Boat slips are a great option for storing your boat.

I have personally slipped my sailboat and it was the best thing ever. I was able to sleep on my boat overnight and wake up on the water, which is one of the best things about slipping your boat. Morning coffee on the water is amazing. Check out my list below of 5 reasons why a boat slip is worth it.

  • Convenience – You will use your boat more if it is already on the water waiting for you, guaranteed.
  • No hassle of towing – You won’t have to tow your boat around every time you want to use it.
  • Overnight stays – A lot of docks will let people sleep overnight on their boats. It’s a great feeling.
  • Amenities include – Marinas will sometimes have showers, laundry, and a small store available for use.
  • Community Engagement – There will sometimes be community events for everyone who slips their boat at the same marina. A great way to meet people and learn about boating.

These are just some of the perks of slipping your boat on the water. The only real negative I can think of is cost. That is the main reason people don’t slip their boats. The second reason is because of the waitlist to get a slip at the marina of their choice. Popular marinas will usually have a waitlist so long, that you will never get in there.

This article will discuss boat slips, docks, and everything else about storing your boat.

How Much Does A Boat Slip Cost?

A boat slip will cost anywhere from $12/ft per month to $50+/ft per month. The two biggest factors that will affect the price are the length of your boat and the location where you are slipping it. This price does not include any utilities that may be available at your slip, such as electricity.

A boat slip is a great thing to have. You will use your boat a lot more if it is already on the water waiting for you. The monthly fee of having a boat slip can be pricey sometimes, so be sure to shop around and find the best deal. There are a few factors to consider when looking for a boat slip, see the list below:

  • Size of slip
  • Covered or not covered
  • Electricity availability
  • Running water availability
  • Amenities (shower, washer, etc.)
  • Marina available

Most boat docks will have an attached marina, but I have seen plenty where it is just a slip with nothing else to offer. Be sure everything you need is available or at least close by. Renting is not your only option.

Is It A Good Investment To Buy A Boat Slip?

Purchasing a boat slip can be a good investment for the future. To buy a boat slip you will have to pay a large one-time fee and a monthly fee after that if utilities are involved. Buying a boat slip can be a great return if you are in an area that is growing in boat owners.

Purchasing a boat slip for a one-time price can be difficult. These prices vary so much you can’t really estimate the average. I have seen some go for 70K before and that was just on a small lake. Not having to pay a monthly fee would be nice, but 70K is a big check to write.

I have a friend that built their houseboat and bought a slip for it on the water. This was a good decision because it’s a houseboat and they use it almost every weekend. I think they have had this boat and slip for over 15 years now. If they were paying for it monthly at a price of $400, that would add up to…… 72000 dollars! They paid a little less than that so it worked out!

When thinking about buying a slip consider the time frame you will be using it.

Do Boat Slips Appreciate Over The Years?

According to a study online, boat slips on coastal waters will increase in value between 8 and 12 percent annually.

That is an amazing return on investment. Especially in today’s economy, when your savings account doesn’t even get half of that. Maybe boat slips are a new investment to make.

My personal opinion is, that if you plan on never leaving the area and have a boat you will be using regularly, then purchasing a boat slip may be the right choice.

Let’s look at some other possible options in case you don’t want to go with a boat slip for storage.

What Is A Dry Boat Slip?

A dry boat slip is when the boat is stored out of the water usually in a building for protection. This is very common storage used for the off-season. Since most people do not boat in the winter, they will store their boat in a dry slip saving them more money.

Dry slips are a great option if you are not going to be using your boat for long periods of time. They are cheaper than wet slips, making them a great option for saving money. Some storage facilities are indoors and some are not so be sure to get what you want.

I know of some marinas that will set you up with a dry slip and pull it out and put it in the water whenever you want. They usually require 24 to 48 hours’ notice though.

If you are going to be going with a dry slip I recommend a boat cover as well. If it is going to be indoors you can get away without one, but it will help keep the inside clean and the small bugs and animals out. Definitely get one if you will be storing your boat outside!

What Is A Mooring Ball?

A mooring ball is a ball that is anchored out in the water by a large weight. Boats drive up to the mooring ball and tie their boats to it. This keeps their boat in place without having to use an anchor.

A mooring ball is a very common thing to see when sailing the world. A lot of places will place a bunch of these in a cove for sailors to tie up to when visiting the area. Sometimes there is a charge for overnight mooring but it is much cheaper than docking your boat at the marina.

Another important thing to remember is mooring balls are in the middle of the water. They do not connect you to land. You will need to swim or use a dinghy to get to land.

My Final Thoughts

I personally think a wet boat slip is the best way to go. The convenience of having your boat on the water waiting for you every time you want to use it makes it all worth it.

My Catalina 22 was slipped for a year and it made my life so much easier. The lake I went to was also an hour and a half away from my house. Having to tow my boat each way would have been a huge hassle. I also didn’t have a vehicle to transport it. I rented a U-haul to move it at the beginning and end of the season. Crazy to buy a boat you can’t move, but I did it anyway. Still worth it.

Just remember to weigh all the pros and cons and make the best decision for you and your boat.


Boatlifehq owner and author/editor of this article.

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