How to store your boat
By far the easiest boating is trailer boating. A boat kept on a trailer means total freedom to travel and sail wherever you want to be, whether it's at home or abroad. No other type of boat storage can offer this amount of versatility or cruising range. Of course, you are restricted somewhat in size to a boat of about 23' in length with a maximum beam (width) of 8'6", for legal reasons.
Types of mooring – marina afloat or on land, on a buoy or piles mid-stream
Unless you own a trailerable boat, you will have to find somewhere to either store or moor your boat. Your choices are either ashore or afloat, on a mooring or on a marina berth.
Keeping a boat afloat a marina berth offers the ultimate in convenience and security, but at a price. Depending upon the size of your boat you can either moor alongside a pontoon in the water or, in some marinas, have your boat stored on land in a 'boat park' where the marina staff can place your boat in the water when you call ahead to use your boat.
Trailers and boats can also be stored or 'parked' at a marina where packages exist including unlimited use of the marina's slipway.
A swinging, deep water mooring on a buoy or on piles is often as much as 15 times cheaper than a marina berth. Your boat will only sit a few hundred yards away, however you will not have the luxury of stepping aboard directly from the shore onto your boat or the 24 hour security that is usually available in a marina. In this case, there is also the intervening water to overcome each time you want to go out on your boat. A tender therefore becomes a necessity unless there is a water taxi service to call upon.
Surprisingly, a swinging mooring is better for the boat than a marina berth. Less damage is done to a boat that is free to ride the water provided the necessary deck hardware is fitted.
Whether you own a cabin cruiser, fishing boat or sailing yacht, If your boat is to be kept on the inland waterways there are many inland marinas with maintenance, chandlery and leisure facilities. On canals, there are also opportunities to moor your boat on the canal bank, in designated areas.
Methods of charging and likely payment terms
Mooring charges are typically based on the length of your boat (cost per metre) and discounted according to the duration of stay. For example, annual mooring contracts cost less per metre than a week's stay. With an annual contract, you will probably be required to pay either 'up front' for your berth, for the whole 12 months before the season starts (in January or February) or possibly in two payments for 6 months, each in advance of the half-year. This cost will include the use of fresh water supplied to the pontoons, to wash your boat with and fill up water tanks, but electricity available on the pontoons will be charged extra, at the cost of metered use.
If you decide to own a Catamaran, expect to pay 1.5 times the price of a mooring for single hull boat, because of the significantly greater width of your Catamaran.
Tip - A selection of leading marina operators are listed in our Business Index section.