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Monday, February 15, 2010

How We Selected A Marina

From day 1 of owning our boat, we have been casually looking at marinas on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Our plan was to move Ariel, to the nearby coast, in the Fall 2010. Recently, we decided to accelerate this part of our plan and move the boat this April. The marina that we have chosen is Sail Harbor Marina in Savannah, GA.

How did we arrive at this decision given the thousands of marinas on the Atlanta and Gulf coasts of the United States? Since we are list people, the first thing we did was to make a list of the characteristics that would make up our idea marina.

These characteristics include the following:
  1. Within 6 hour driving distance to Atlanta
  2. Reputable marina with personal recommendations
  3. Fair prices
  4. Full service boat yard
  5. Laundry facilities
  6. Shower facilities

Characteristic 1 meant placing Gemini 3200 in the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic ocean. It also meant the marina had to be in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Alabama.

Characteristic 2 was accomplished by seeking recommendations from the various boating forums we frequent (such as the Yahoo Gemini Users). From the recommendations that we received, we narrowed our search by getting a feel of the marinas via phone conversations with owners/managers. If the owners/managers didn't take time to talk to us or we didn't receive a call back, we marked the marina off the list.

Finally, we visited the remaining marinas. These visits were unannounced; we wanted to see what the marinas were really like on any given day and get a final gut check. The visits also gave us an opportunity to see a majority of the route that a transporter would have to navigate.

We feel very confident in the marina that we selected.

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