Five Essential Tips for New Boaters Staying at a Marina

Are you a new boater about to embark on your first marina stay? Exciting times lie ahead as you venture into the world of boating and docking at marinas. However, just like any new experience, there are certain things to keep in mind to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and stress-free stay. On that note, in this blog post from Key West Bight Marina, we’ll explore five essential tips for new boaters staying at a marina. Let’s get to it!

A boat docked in Key West Bight Marina near Half Shell Raw Bar.

1. Make a Reservation in Advance

Before setting sail to a marina, it’s crucial to make a reservation in advance. Marinas can get busy, especially during peak seasons, holidays, and special events. Calling ahead and securing your spot not only guarantees you a berth but also allows the marina staff to prepare for your arrival. Be sure to provide them with details like the size of your boat and the duration of your stay. This simple step can save you from unnecessary stress and disappointment upon arrival. You can request a reservation by clicking the button below or right here!

2. Prioritize Safety and Security

Safety should always be the number one priority for any boater, whether they are on the open water or at a marina. When docking your boat, always approach slowly and cautiously, especially in tight spaces. Be mindful of other boats, people, and structures. Properly tie up your boat with sturdy lines to prevent drifting and secure any loose gear on deck. Additionally, make sure to familiarize yourself with the marina’s safety guidelines and emergency procedures.

boat flotation safety device

3. Practice Safe Docking and Mooring

Docking and mooring your boat correctly are critical skills for any boater. Before attempting to dock, communicate with the marina staff, and let them know you’re approaching. Use fenders to protect your boat’s hull, and proceed slowly and cautiously. Learn how to tie proper knots to secure your boat effectively to the dock or mooring ball. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. Most marinas have staff or fellow boaters who are more than willing to help.

Bight Marina ariel image of the harborwalk, docks and boat slips.

4. Practice Environmental Stewardship

As boaters, we must do our part in protecting the marine environment. Properly dispose of waste, including trash and sewage, in designated receptacles. Avoid any activities that may cause harm to the local marine life or disrupt the ecosystem. Many marinas now offer recycling programs, so make use of them to reduce your environmental footprint. By being responsible stewards of the water, we can ensure that future generations can enjoy these beautiful spaces as much as we do.

Key West Bight Marina Dockmaster Image. Dockmaster office near Key West Bight marina docks.

5. Be Mindful of Marina Facilities

Marinas offer various amenities to enhance your stay, such as shower facilities, laundry rooms, restaurants, and stores. Take advantage of these services and keep them clean and tidy for the next person to use. Conserve water and energy whenever possible to reduce your environmental impact. Follow proper waste disposal practices and recycle whenever available. Being a responsible boater not only benefits the marina but also contributes to the preservation of our marine ecosystems.


To conclude, staying at a marina as a new boater can be an enriching experience, providing access to a supportive community and a range of amenities. By prioritizing safety, observing marina etiquette, utilizing available amenities, fostering a sense of community, and practicing responsible environmental stewardship, new boaters can make the most of their marina stay while contributing to the preservation of these precious marine environments. So, go ahead and immerse yourself in the marina experience – adventure and camaraderie await! We hope to see you soon at the Key West Historic Seaport and Key West Bight Marina!


Finally, for more information on the unique shops, restaurants, and activities available at the Key West Historic Seaport and Key West Bight Marina, visit and

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