The Best Liveaboard Marinas In Florida

If you own your own boat, you may have considered using a liveaboard marina to dock up for extended periods of time. They are a great way to settle down when you are not exploring the ocean, and they provide you with all of the amenities you could want and need. 

Living on a boat is certainly an experience, and while it is not for everyone, it can be life changing and perfect for others. It is a great way of traveling, and it can be far more financially viable in comparison to renting long term. 

When thinking about Florida in particular, there are so many great places to visit. It is certainly a perfect location to consider when thinking about settling down. However, when it comes to liveaboard marinas, you will want to ensure that you are choosing the best option for you. 

In this article, we will be chatting you through the best liveaboard marinas that Florida has to offer. We will be discussing their amenities, things to take into consideration, and whether or not they are a viable option for you.

What Are Liveaboard Marinas?

As its name suggests, a liveaboard marina is a marina that allows owners to dock up and live in their boats. Whether this is for a short period, or an extended length of time.  It is a fantastic and interesting alternative way of living, and in recent years it has become increasingly popular. 

Liveaboard marinas work in a similar way to campsites in some ways, as you pay a certain charge in order to dock your boat for an extended period. In addition to this, you will typically have access to a number of different amenities, such as water and electricity. 

If you are looking for something different, or if you are something that wants to travel using their boat, they are certainly an option to consider. The cost of these marinas varies depending on the area and often what the marina has to offer. Even so, they are a lot more affordable than many people first realize

The price will also vary on the size of the boat. Smaller boats will be charged less, and larger boats will be charged more. The cost covers a year of living in the marina typically. 

When choosing a marina, it is always important to ensure that they allow you to liveaboard before docking. While this is acceptable in some marinas, not all marinas allow this for an extended period, which is worth keeping in mind.  

Why Florida? 

There are many places in the United States that offer liveaboard marinas in addition to Florida, however, Florida is home to some of the best options available. Florida is a great place to consider because there is so much to see and do. From great places to eat, to theme parks, and job opportunities, Florida has it all. 

In general, the weather is great, and the state is a safe place to settle down. It is easy to access other locations in America from Florida, and it is not too expensive on the whole. While some people tend to have their reservations about Florida, it is truly a wonderful place to visit and stay. 

In comparison to a lot of the other states in America, you do not have to pay income tax in Florida, which is a great incentive for many people. This means that you will have more money to save and spend on the things you enjoy. When you combine this with liveaboard living, it really is a win-win situation.

The Downside To Florida

While there are many great reasons why you should consider moving to Florida, there are also some downsides to this too. The main downside being the weather. Floridian weather can be unpredictable, especially when it comes to hurricane season. 

This is something you will really need to take into consideration because if there are hurricanes and storms forecast, you may need to evacuate your boat for certain periods of time. The potential damage that could be caused to the boat cannot be completely ignored, especially when you are living in the boat.  

In addition to this, the weather is quite humid. While this may not be a problem for everyone, it may not be to certain people’s tastes. Other than this, Florida is a great state to live in. While some areas are livelier than others, there is something here that will appeal to everyone. 

The Best Liveaboard Marinas In Florida

You may be surprised to learn just how many liveaboard marinas there are in Florida. What is great about them is that they are all individual and have many different things to offer. The option you will choose will be most suited to your own lifestyle and needs. 

Here are our top picks that we have carefully considered:

Harborage Yacht Club And Marina

One of the best liveaboard marinas in Florida is the Harborage Yacht Club and Marina. When it comes to lavish options, it is one of the best to consider. However, this is certainly reflected in the price. And, as a result, it is one of the more expensive options we have featured. 

There are a number of different costs you will need to take into consideration with this marina, such as monthly liveaboard charges, footage costs, and yearly costs. You will also need to pay for your utility bills in addition to this, which are given on a metered basis. 

However, in the grand scheme of things, it is not too expensive on the whole, and it is a great option to consider. There are an abundance of different amenities available to keep you occupied and busy. Some of these include a laundry room, steam room, and a gym too. 

The staff are particularly helpful, and you can rent a bike free of charge, which is useful if you are looking to travel to the local and surrounding areas. 

Melbourne Harbor Marina

Melbourne Harbor Marina is fairly reasonably priced on the whole, and it is located around a quarter of a mile South of Melbourne Causeway. While it doesn’t offer the same amount of amenities in comparison to some of the other marinas featured in this article, it is quieter. 

It is the perfect option for those looking for a quieter lifestyle, and a marina that is deep-rooted in history. This part of Florida has plenty to see and do. There is plenty of choice in the way of dining and entertainment options too. 

While it is not the most expensive option, you will need to pay a significant amount in the form of a deposit to secure your spot. For liveaboard, you will need to pay a low monthly fee in addition to the dockage. You can do this on a weekend basis too. 

The electricity is metered, and will be charged on top of the dockage. You will also need to pay a deposit to secure a spot, which is a month of rent in addition to 7% Florida sales tax. 

Legacy Harbor Marina

Legacy Harbor Marina is a beautiful option to consider. It is known as a safe haven, and it is the perfect location if you take security seriously. It is located along the Caloosahatchee River, which is convenient. 

Being a short walk away from Fort Myers, there is plenty to see and do, as well as a rich nightlife. In addition to this, there are plenty of historic sites to see, and the area has a rich history. 

The Marina itself is not too large, which is great if you are looking for a smaller location. There are plenty of amenities, such as Wi-Fi, metered electric, laundry, and cable TV. Legacy Harbor Marina also has a fitness center and heated pool you can use. 

To liveaboard in this marina, you are required to stay for more than 10 days per month. The water rates are free of charge, but you will need to pay a monthly liveaboard fee in addition to the electricity. The cost of the rental will vary depending on the size of your boat. 

Blind Pass Marina

If you are looking for a marina that was created specifically for liveaboard users, then you may want to consider Blind Pass Marina. It is the only marina in Florida that is a licensed liveaboard facility. 

It is located in the beautiful area off St. Pete Beach Florida, and there are 110 protected deep water slips. This is a good amount in terms of a community feeling, but it is not too large. There are many security cameras that are dotted around the marina for security purposes, which is reassuring. 

The marina offers a deck and BBQ area to use, and there is also a jet ski rental on site. You can hook up to cable TV, internet, and phone, which is useful, and there is a laundry room on the site. The electricity is charged per bay, and per foot the charges are fairly low. 

The marina is located in a convenient area, and there are plenty of things to see and do. There are also local schools children can attend if you are planning on settling down here. 

Twin Dolphin Marina

The Twin Dolphin Marina in Florida is located off the Manatee River. It has close access to the Gulf Islands, and Tampa Bay, making it a fantastic location to consider. It is picturesque, and offers something for everyone. 

While there is nightlife to offer in the local area, it is a family-friendly marina, and you will not easily run out of things to do. The SRQ airport is only 20 minutes away from the Marina, and the marina in general is in a well-connected location. 

There are 225 wet slips in total, making this one of the larger marinas featured in this article. While they offer short stays, you can liveaboard here too.

There are plenty of amenities, such as a restaurant, heated pool, pump out at your slip and a boater’s lounge. It has a resort-like feel to the marina, which is perfect if you are looking for an option that is more upmarket and fast-paced. 

The dock system is hurricane engineered, which helps to put your mind at ease during hurricane season, and pets are welcome at the marina too! Out of all of the choices we have featured in this article, this is one of our favorite marinas to visit. 

As the marina offers its users a lot, it is a more expensive option to consider. You will need to pay a monthly liveaboard rate, which increases depending on the amount of people living on the boat. If you are a larger family, this can quickly add up. 

In addition to this, there are seasonal charges to pay, and the electricity is metered. The rates you pay do include access to all of the facilities within the marina, however. 

Rivera Dunes Marina

Last, but certainly not least, we have Rivera Dunes Marina. This is another fantastic option to consider, especially if you are looking for a community feeling. The facilities at this marina are fantastic. When you take this into consideration, you may assume that it is a more expensive option. However, this is not the case.

Rivera Dunes Marina is not more expensive than the other marinas in the area, even though its facilities are impressive and immaculate. There are 219 wet slips in total that can accommodate different boat sizes. 

When it comes to amenities, there is cable TV, electricity, water (which is included in the price, freshly brewed coffee, and a laundry room. Pets are welcome, and it is a safe and secure harbor to consider. 

Your rates can be charged annually, and they are based on the size of the vessel. The electricity rates are based on usage. This is not too expensive, and these charges include the Wi-Fi and cable TV, which is fantastic. 

Things To Consider About Liveaboard Marinas

When you are choosing a liveaboard marina, it is important not to rush your decision. After all, choosing a place to settle with your boat is a big decision. The majority of marinas will charge on an annual basis. As a result of this, you will want to ensure you are happy with everything it has to offer before you come to a decision.

Location

Firstly, the location of the marina is important. It should always be in a place that is convenient for you and close to the amenities you need. For example, transport links, shops, and entertainment. 

These preferences will change depending on the person, and some people may want a busier or quieter lifestyle. We would encourage you to check out the surrounding areas before deciding on a location to ensure it is the best option for you. 

Amenities

The amenities that are available to you in the marina and surrounding areas are important to consider. You will want to ensure that you have access to things such as grocery stores, and shops. 

While some marinas will be busier and more vibrant, others will be more basic. This really does depend on personal preference. When visiting a marina, ensure that you are taking a close look at everything that it has to offer, and contains everything you will need.

Cost

When it comes to the cost of a spot in a liveaboard arena, you will need to calculate how much rental you have to pay on an annual basis. The lease will vary depending on the location, and in some instances, the cost will depend on the size of the boat you own. 

In addition to this, you will need to take into account the cost of your bills if you are planning to hook up to the grid. While electricity, gas, and water can be included within the lease, this is not always the case. 

This is why it is important to ask this before taking out a lease. Whether or not these charges are included can potentially affect which marina you choose.

Social Aspects 

The social aspects of a marina and its surrounding areas are important. Even if you are looking for a more relaxed and individual lifestyle, there will still be activities you will enjoy doing in your spare time. 

You will want to ensure that you have everything to suit your interests, and that the atmosphere of the marina suits what you are looking for. For example, if you have children, then you may want to be close to things such as local parks or movie theaters. If you enjoy nature, you may want to be close to beautiful landmarks.

If dining out and entertainment is important to you, then you will want to ensure that the marina and the surrounding areas are able to offer this for you. 

Security

Finally, another important aspect to consider is the security. When you are living on your boat, it will store all of your valuables and personal belongings. As a result of this, you will need to ensure that they are safe when you are at work or on day trips. 

It is important that the marina has good security, in the form of security guards and CCTV footage. This will help you to feel more safe and comfortable living at the marina. It will also help to deter thieves, which is important. 

Summary

We hope you have found this article helpful and insightful. As you can see, there are many fantastic liveaboard marinas to choose from in Florida. They are all unique and have different things to offer. This is why it is so important to take a good look at each marina before deciding on one in particular. 

Living on your boat is a truly fantastic way of life, and it allows you the freedom to travel anywhere you’d like. The most important thing to take into consideration is your budget, and the amenities each marina has to offer, to ensure that it is the best option for you. 

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