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Must Haves At A Marina

Must Haves At A Marina

Article by Roselle Tenefrancia

When you are cruising or having a boating adventure along the east coast of Australia, chances are you may end up staying a night or two at a marina. Even if your boat is self-contained, you will have to get out of your boat for many reasons: use the amenities  (shower and laundry); go shopping; or go out for a walk or exercise.

Of course, you plan to be under way – or anchored at some exotic site – most of the time, but there are a few things that may become very handy in case you do end up staying a night or two (or more) at a marina.


When you slip into a marina berth for a night or so, you will obviously have access to shore power. While some marinas will provide you with a power cord, it is essential to have your own power cord and adaptors. Be aware that shore power cords are the number one cause of marina fires. A new, heavy-duty cord that is free of corrosion reduces the risk of complications. When you don’t have a centralised power system in your boat (in the case of smaller cabin cruisers), it may also be useful to have a power board handy, so you can use it for multiple items that use minimal electricity, such as device chargers, etc.

Always be safe and be sure to inspect every receptacle for damage before plugging it in.


Even if you have your own toilet and shower facilities in your boat, using the marina amenities is something that would be preferable while you are docked. When you have to go to the marina bathroom, there’s nothing worse than carrying a pile of loose toiletries except when you drop your shampoo on the dock. So, if you plan on living at a marina for a few nights, make sure you have a shower caddy handy.

For your laundry, a strong drawstring bag will be useful when you decide to do a bit of washing. While many use a laundry basket, a drawstring bag can be a more practical and space-saving alternative.


Sitting in a stationary boat with windows shut will create stuffy conditions. If opening the hatches and windows for that needed fresh air will also allow insects and bugs to enter the boat, it is definitely worth looking into installing hatch screens. After all, you want to feel at home, and not camping out in the open.

A DIY hatch screen can be sewn using marine-grade mesh and using velcro to attach. If you want to buy one, commercial hatch covers come with mosquito nets, and are held down by weights. These hatch covers help to reduce UV damage to your hatch as well as minimise the light entering your boat.


If you’re living on a boat at a marina or pretty much anywhere, curtains will be very useful in offering some morning darkness and afternoon shade from the hot sun. At a marina, they become very helpful because they offer some extra privacy. When you are at anchor, you decide how far you can be from the other boats. But at a marina, you are actually very close to a neighbour! You will do yourself (and your privacy) a favour by buying or making your own curtains for your portholes.


Hot, sunny days at a marina can be a real problem. If you are stopping for a while, it is worth having a shade cover handy. Whether it is to cover the bow of your bow rider, or extending shade over the aft area, you will appreciate that extra shade. It can also serve to keep uncovered areas in your boat a bit dry during an unexpected shower.


If the marina assigns you a slip that is at the end of a very long dock, carrying stuff and provisions to and from your boat will be very exhausting. A folding metal cart will be very convenient to have. The marinas will always provide the large plastic carts to haul items, but then you will have to return them at the entrance.

Having your own will just make it easier, so you don’t have to retrieve and return all the way to the entry.


Marinas along the east coast are accessible to shopping centres or restaurant strips. Walking is fine, but it may be more convenient if you have a form of transport just to make it easier to go around for sightseeing. If you are not doing big shopping, scooters (or foldable electric bikes) are the most practical and cheapest transport. If you are going for that big purchase for provisions, you can always take an Uber or a taxi.


When you book for your marina berth, you will probably not have any choice which slip you will be assigned. You may not be familiar with the specifications of the dock nor the condition of the dock. Having extra fenders to make up for unexpected conditions will be very helpful in protecting your boat. Sometimes, you may need that extra cushioning depending on the water conditions as well.

For sure, there could be more things on the list. But you will know what else you would need as you go along your cruising adventure. Nevertheless, you really do not need a lot to survive living on the boat. While comfort is always important, “less is more” should always be your goal.



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