14 things to consider when choosing a good marina

Margate Marina Hobart Berths

Choosing a marina for your boat is more than just about location and facilities. There are other important factors to consider such as weather protection, berthing access, other facilities, parking, staffing, security, and more. Here are a few hints and things to consider when trying to find the right marina for your boat. We have also included what Margate Marina offers for each to help you compare our Marina to others in your search.


1. Is there good marina and berth access?

Good access is essential to make your boating experience seamless. A few questions you need to ask when choosing the right marina are:

  1. Is there good access to the marina and your berth at all tide levels?
  2. Do you have to navigate a plethora of moorings to get to the marina?
  3. h are the depths of the marina approach, the fairways and berths?
  4. Is there much of a tidal flow (affecting access and berthing)?
  5. Do the marina’s water depths allow increased wave motion?

What access does Margate Marina provide? Margate Marina has excellent access at all tide levels with hardly any outside moorings to be a hindrance. Depths for berths range from 3m to 11m. The Marina also has generous depths for all fairways. This means the chance of wind driven wave action is not increased. Finally, as we’re located in a bay and part of the protected “Channel”, any tidal flow affecting the Marina is negligible.


2. What shelter does the marina offer?

When selecting a berth you’ll need to consider more than just its features. You’ll need to know that the marina offers sound protection from the elements to keep your boat safe.

What shelter does Margate Marina offer? Margate Marina has a specially engineered wave attenuator with protective baffles extending 2.4m below the surface. This minimises the effects of any wind driven wave action. The 300m attenuator also has a 60m right angled section heading westwards. This, coupled with the deep protective baffles, provides a safe haven within the Marina precinct.


3. How is the marina constructed?

Some marinas, especially older ones, consist of a series of fixed wharves (that don’t move with the tides). Most modern marinas are the floating pontoon type. These provide ease of access in boarding, irrespective of tidal movements. However some floating pontoon marinas are constructed with lightweight jetties and arms, often made of plastic and meshed walkways. These are more susceptible to wind and wave action and can have considerable movement.

How was the marina at Margate Marina constructed? Margate Marina consists of interlocking floating pontoons, enabling ease of access no matter what the tide. It utilises the more robust solid construction method of concrete arms supported by internal foam floats, specially engineered and built to Australian Standards (AS3962). These have the significant mass necessary to minimise wave action and movement.


4. Is there space to manoeuvre within the marina and what berth sizes are available?

Many marinas were built prior to new regulations introduced under Australian Standards. As a result some “fairways” (or distance between berth finger extremities) in older marinas may be quite narrow and create difficulties (translate to damage) when manoeuvring, especially when there’s some decent wind.

Also, many berth pens are too small for the vessels occupying them, reducing the lateral support from mooring lines.

Is there space to manoeuvre at Margate Marina? Margate Marina was built to Australian Standards (AS3962). It has generous fairway widths between berth finger extremities; 18m (60’) between the two opposing 12m berth finger extremities and 23m (75’) between the opposing 12m and 15m finger extremities. Also, our pontoon finger lengths are 80% of the berth’s size. This enables strong lateral support for berthing.


5. How secure is my boat when berthed?

Good marinas should provide access to at least four double cleats per berth, three on the finger per side and one aft centred between two adjoining berths. The cleats need to be large enough to take the size of the ropes and robust enough to take the load of berthed vessels.

What security does Margate Marina provide for my boat when berthed? For its 10m to 25m berths, Margate Marina has at least four cleats per berth; three on the finger sides and one centred on the arm between the adjoining berths. Larger berths (30m to 40m) have 4 to 5 cleats on finger sides plus the centred cleats between berths. Boat owners should provide their own fenders and mooring lines (appropriate to their vessel) and are responsible for deploying them effectively.


6. How secure is the marina as a whole?

There are some important security questions worth considering when selecting a marina for your boat.

  1. Does the marina have security gates and an electronic access control system?
  2. Does the marina provide overnight security for protection of the vessels?
  3. Is there CCTV that maintains a record of events at the marina?

What security does Margate Marina offer? Margate Marina is a “members only” facility with 24 hour CCTV. It has a security gate with electronic access operated by tags issued to members. The Marina office is manned 7 days a week all year (closed Christmas day, Boxing Day and Good Friday). After-hours access is restricted to members with security tags. The office phone diverts to a team member after hours. The land area is protected by perimeter security fencing and locked gates. All areas including the marina, hardstand, slipyard and trailer storage areas are under recorded CCTV surveillance.


7. Does the marina offer slipping facilities?

Some marinas don’t have their own slipping facilities. If they do, there may be limitations in the type, size and weight of the vessel that can be slipped, as well as whether owners can have access to do their own maintenance.

Does Margate Marina have slipping facilities? Margate Marina can slip vessels up to 18m (60’) and up to 23 tonnes, including catamarans. We use a Roodberg slipway trailer (a Dutch world leader in slipway transport systems) – the height adjustable padded carrier pads meet with the hull of the boat seamlessly and prevent damage. Boat handling is not only faster and more economical, but also safer. The slipyard area has ample space and facilities for sand blasting, pressure washing and general maintenance by trades and owners.


8. What boating destinations are nearby?

Its different strokes for different skippers. Some are quite happy to take their boat out occasionally (or rarely) to amble about, perhaps with family and friends just for an hour or two. However, others see their boat as a more integrated part of their lifestyle and enjoy the attraction of overnight or day cruising. What type of skipper are you?

What boating destinations are close to Margate Marina? Margate Marina’s location is a major positive for those who like to use their boat more than once in a while. The cruising waters of “the Channel” are a major attraction with a wealth of places to explore and enjoy. Compared to many other boating areas including the Derwent, we’re blessed with many more places of interest and a lot less marine traffic. We even have a few (FIFO) customers with long term berths. One, from Melbourne, quipped “We always enjoy it here…sailing round and round Port Phillip Bay is pretty boring.”


9. Is there parking and room to load/unload?

Many marinas around Tasmania seem to have a shortage of land, with the result that parking areas are often limited.

Is there parking at Margate Marina? Margate Marina is fortunate to have plenty of parking with easy access to the main jetty. Naturally, we also have a supply of carts/barrows for the convenience of loading and unloading. We also have ample parking for trailer storage customers enjoying our ramp access.


10. What facilities are available at each berth?

One of the many benefits of having a marina berth is having shore power and ready access to fresh water.

What berth facilities do Margate Marina provide? Margate Marina provide metered power and water connections to each berth.

Power -All berths have 1 x 15amp connection. In addition, the 20m berths have 32amp 3 phase connections and the 25m, 30m and 40m berths have 63amp 3 phase outlets.

Water – The 10m to 18m berths share a 12mm (½”) hose tap with the adjoining berth. The 20m to 40m berths each have their own 12mm (½ inch) tap.


11. Can I maintain my boat, fuel up & pump-out?

Access to all the services that make boating easy and reliable are essential to the overall marina experience. Being able to maintain your boat, access fuel and pump-out are facilities that will make your life easier.

What facilities do Margate Marina provide?

Fuel – Our floating duel (Diesel and Unleaded 91) pontoon is open 7 days a week during our office hours. It’s a self-serve system available to members and visiting boats. Pricing is competitive (just a small margin above retail service station prices). 

Pump-out facilities – our pump-out facility will be operational in late 2020. It will be free of charge to members and the public.

Maintenance – Margate Marina’s slipyard has been operational for many years. Most trades are located nearby and are familiar with the slipyard. Owners are welcome to work on their vessels in the slipyard area. (Future plans include a 750sq metre marine trades building which will be tenanted to trades such as shipwrights, riggers, mechanics, electricians, chandlery and a boat sales brokerage.)


12. What other facilities does the marina provide?

Most well established marinas have more facilities than just marina berths, providing they have the land area. Some additional facilities could be showers and laundry facilities, a place to enjoy a beverage or bite to eat, trailer storage and more.

What other facilities does Margate Marina offer? Apart from our slipway services and marina berths, Margate Marina also has a dedicated hard stand area for those wanting to store vessels on a short or long term arrangement. We also have a special trailer storage area, popular for those wanting secure storage for their trailer boats and the flexibility to use our trailer ramp facility as often as they want to. Both these areas have CCTV surveillance. We also have future plans for a new building that will include a new Marina office and reception, café and toilet/shower facilities for members, and a 750sq metre marine trades building tenanted to trades such as shipwrights, riggers, mechanics, electricians, chandlery and a boat sales brokerage.


13. What days and hours is the marina office open?

Is the marina staffed when you need them? Marinas are service businesses and should be open on the days and hours when you need them most. Marinas should have dedicated weekend staff and be open on public holidays.

When is Margate Marina open? The Margate Marina office is manned 7 days a week all year except Christmas day, Boxing day and Good Friday. Office hours are 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday and 10.00am to 4.00pm on weekends and public holidays. The office phone diverts to a team member after hours. Also, during office hours there’s usually someone available to help you berth if it’s windy or you’re skippering solo. We can also provide contacts for specialist marine trades if you have a technical problem.


14. Does the marina offer value for money?

Finally, the consideration of value is a factor of how the product or service meets your needs. It’s often “different strokes for different folks” as everyone has different budgets and needs.

Marina fees are a factor of convenience, location, recency of build, protection, security, facilities and service. These have to be weighed up against your needs and what you’re prepared to pay. In boating, like most things, it is worth paying for convenience, service and quality.

Does Margate Marina offer value for money? Margate Marina believes it has a compelling combination of very positive attributes that are unique in Tasmania; a wide range of stable floating pontoon berth sizes (10m to 40m), each with power and water, a dual fuel pontoon open 24 hours, 7 days a week (open to visiting vessels as well), greater manoeuvring room between berth arms (18m / 60’ and 23m / 75’), gate tag access for members 24 hours, 24 hour CCTV surveillance and an office open 7 days a week. Development is also continuing and ongoing to further improve the Marina and ensure our customers are very happy.


Choosing the right marina for your boat is a big decision and will contribute to your overall boating experience. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how our marina fares up then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact our team or pop by the marina for a chat.