Cost To Dock A Sailboat

Cost To Dock A Sailboat | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

May 17, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Boat dock prices vary based on location and the amenities they offer
  • A boat’s length is typically the deciding factor in price for a boat slip
  • The monthly fee to dock a boat is roughly $500 a month on average in the US
  • Prime locations can range up to $1,000 a month or more in average prices for a dock slip
  • Small towns usually have some of the best dockage fees

The cost to dock a sailboat varies based on many factors. Have you ever wondered what the average boat slip cost is for boat owners?

The average boat slip cost ranges anywhere between $15 and $30 per foot of your boat. For boats that are under 30 feet you can expect to pay around $50 a day or roughly $500 a month. These costs can also range much higher if your boat is in a prime location or you need certain amenities.

In my experience, marinas typically charge by the foot of your boat in order to lease out temporary parking space for your boat. Smaller towns will typically have cheaper docking fees but these also vary in your length of stay.


Table of contents

Costs of Docking a Sailboat

Common docking costs might range up to $2 a foot per day. The longer you stay the more you will end up paying of course but some places might offer a discount.

In order to figure out how much you will be paying per day or month you simply need to multiply the rate you see by your current boat length. Keep in mind that some places will charge you a flat rate to fit you in a certain space. For example if your pontoon boat might be 24 feet long but they might put you in a 30 foot spot if the dock is positioned in a certain way or if you need the adequate space to allow other boats to navigate.

Location Matters

Boat docks in Florida will be different in price versus those in Maryland. Prime locations in these states will offer the highest rates. These can range in price between $100 and $300 per foot a year.

Initial Deposit

Every marina you come in contact with will likely have some sort of list to get on and put a deposit down. This is similar to putting a deposit down on an apartment but you will not be getting it back.

These are an upfront payment to the dock to ensure that you are a reliable renter. These are required for long stays and sometimes that payments can be as high as the first month’s rent.

Access Keys

You might need keys in order to get into the marina or leave as you wish. If that is the case and you want an extra key you will have to pay up to $50.

Common Utilities

Utilities are exactly what you have in mind and include:

  • Fresh water
  • Electricity
  • Removal of waste

These can be a fixed rate up to $20 a month. In some cases you might be charged by the meter on electricity if applicable.

Fees for Living Aboard

Liveaboard fees could also become much higher if you intend to live on your boat full time or call it a second home. These can vary up to half of the cost of your slip rate.


When choosing a permanent dock or just a place to dock a boat for the night you need to have the right materials. These include but are not limited to:

  • Fenders to protect the boat from the dock
  • Heaters and ice eaters to help during cold months
  • Waterproof covers for your seats
  • Paint and other epoxy to help keep your boat’s coat sealed

How to Save Money on Docking Fees

There are a handful of ways to save money on a boat slip rental cost. These costs will vary on many locations and marinas.

Planning Ahead

Navigating your trip ahead of time can save you a lot of money in the long run. Planning your trips and knowing the best places to stop to take on fuel on groceries can help narrow down your costs in docking.


A much cheaper way to dock your boat is to use your own anchor and ground tackle. Anchoring significantly lowers the price but you miss out on a lot of the amenities or utilities and even security.

Keep in mind that you should not anchor your boat in unsafe locations or areas that are not friendly to that. Most locations will clearly post signage that states you cannot anchor.

Different Dock Types

If you are able to build your own dock or can find a location that has one of these then you can save money in the long run. Since you are attempting to dock your boat in one of these smaller locations you are not using other amenities or increased price ranges.

  • Floating dock - These change with the rise and fall of the tide and cannot sink
  • Crib dock - very sturdy and permanent dock
  • Piling dock - vertical support that are used for anchoring or aid in piers

Best Locations for a Boat Dock

Reading reviews before arriving at a dock is one of the best ways to get a good feel for the quality of service you are about to receive. The locations that are best for you will differ from other boat owners based on desired sailing areas and your budget.

Launch Service

Marinas often offer a launch service so that you can safely get to and from your boat. Some are small enough that you can easily walk to your boat from the dock and do not have to worry about it.

Refunding Deposits

A lot of marina owners do not give back deposits. In some rare cases you could get one back but keep in mind that you are paying up front to show the owner you are serious in staying there. Some marinas might not allow pets or have other rules so be sure to read those before paying your deposit.

Choosing the Right Berth

Locating the right berth should allow your boat a variety of comfort. These comforts include:

  • Protection from the elements and waves
  • Easy access in and out of the marina with little traffic
  • Security or in an area where it is safe

If you plan on keeping your boat for a long period of time at a dock or at an outdoor boat storage you should consider:

  • Covering your boat with tarps or covers helps keep out the weather and birds
  • Make sure to properly tie your boat so that it does not damage other boats or become loose
  • Keep navigation lights on at night so other boats can safely see you

Types of Berths to Consider

There are a few berthing options to consider based on your needs to park your boat. Keep in mind that prices vary heavily and could have a flat fee depending on who owns the area of berthing.


A permanent mooring location allows you to park your boat on the water. This permanent spot enables you to hook onto it and then you leave it behind once you are done. You will likely need a small dinghy in order to get back and forth to the land.

Transient mooring means you are renting it on a daily basis. Transient moorings typically cost more per day compared to being averaged out for a monthly rate. Mooring is more offshore and docking gives you access to land so each will have various costs.


These spots allow you to anchor your boat using your own anchors. This also means you do not have easy access to land so a dinghy might be needed too. Anchoring is great if you have the necessary tools to get the job done.


Marinas will allow you to dock at their location for various fees. Some are floating docks while others are stationary. You simply tie off your boat and use fenders to protect it from the dock.

Cost To Dock A Sailboat
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

Read more articles

by this author

Home /

Cost To Dock A Sailboat

Cost To Dock A Sailboat
7 Best Places To Liveaboard A Sailboat >>Can You Live On A Sailboat Year Round? >>

Most Recent

Important Legal Info

Similar Posts

Popular Posts

Get The Best Sailing Content

Welcome aboard! Check your email...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

(866) 342-SAIL

© 2024 Life of Sailing
Address: 11816 Inwood Rd #3024 Dallas, TX 75244
DisclaimerPrivacy Policy