Renting or Buying A Slip Or Dock: Which is Better for Marina Living?

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Marina living is one of the most unique and exciting ways to live. It has its own culture, many boat slips and docks are rented instead of purchased, some boat owners can’t be on their boat or in the area at all times so they decide to rent the space to someone else when not in use and put their boats on the hard for longer-term storage. Marina living may sound like a dream come true but there is more than meets the eye with this lifestyle choice.

So what’s better: rent or buy a slip or dock space? That’s the question many boating enthusiasts and liveaboard boaters ask themselves. In this blog post, we will explore both sides of renting vs buying boat slips and what you should think about before making your decision!

Buying A Boat Slip Isn’t Always A Great Idea.

The boat slip rental process can be easier than buying a dock space or boat slip for many reasons.

Depending on the area it is sometimes cheaper to choose boat slips for rent than purchase them. Purchasing a slip can be a hefty upfront payment for those who are unsure how frequently they will visit the water. If you have not been a long-time boat owner and are unsure of how often you will go out on your boat, perhaps renting at first would be a better idea until you are sure that boating will become a regular activity for you and your family.

The Cost Of Owning A Slip Vs Renting

While it may seem like owning your own dock space will save you more long-term because of paying off the value of the slip or dock over time do not forget to include interest from the loan as well as other costs like dock maintenance fees. There could be some benefit financially in buying one when compared to leasing one year by year through a reputable marina due to appreciation of the asset. Just like homes, a slip or dock space in a growing area could easily appreciate in value. Interest rates are low right now due to the economy that boat slip rental might not be worth it when you could be building equity in your investment instead of paying for others to build theirs.

Also to mention maintenance costs for your boat and dock space, which can add up if your boat is also a charter boat or rental and you require a boat maintenance company and/or marina staff on hand for guests.

Boaters who buy a boat slip may feel like they’re getting a better deal long-term but could possibly wind up spending more money overall than boat slip renters.

The boat purchase process can be expensive in itself, especially when you are new to the boating world and know nothing about boat maintenance or upkeep. If a boat owner doesn’t have the funds required for boat repairs that may arise unexpectedly (like holes from cruising through debris on waterways that require immediate patching), and this could put a strain on your finances needed to pay for a slip rental or purchase. Only experienced boaters should buy a slip without trying renting first.

Renting Or Buying A Slip While Living Aboard

Boating life is best enjoyed by everyone when marinas are full of boat living renters and owners, not just empty lots. Liveaboard is a lifestyle in which many people enjoy, but it’s not for everyone. Docks can be crowded and there may not be much room between you and your neighbor. Also, there are often many people coming a going on docks at all hours. Most docks are near marinas with restaurants and other amenities, which can seem like a good thing at first, but maybe not if there is a band playing at 11 pm when you are trying to sleep. Study the surrounding locations carefully before buying a slip location and never buy it sight unseen. However, if you do find the right location, living aboard your boat at a marina can be a very fun, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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