Newb Slip/Dockage Question

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by Scooter90254, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. Scooter90254

    Scooter90254 New Member

    5
    Jul 25, 2020
    Grand Haven
    Shopping
    Boatless
    First of all great forum! I have been lurking for while and the search function has answered the majority of my questions so this is my first post.

    We are looking at boats now with the intention of buying our first cruiser to use next year.

    I live in Michigan on the West Side. I'm hearing from folks that slips are become very hard to get. My home port would preferably be Grand Haven but Muskegon or Holland are close by too.

    Are there years where you simply can't find a slip? That would be an issue.... HAHA

    Are most slips leased for a season or purchased outright. In then there seems to be a lot of short term slips. The whole thing is a little confusing. If we have to purchase a $30k slip we might hold off and sock cash away for another year. Its hard to find this information online.
     
  2. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2009
    IL
    281
    V8
    Don't know the specifics in Grand Haven, but in general most slips are seasonal rentals. And once your in, you get the right to renew first. With boating regaining popularity, marina's are getting full. Even mine, which was less than half full is beginning to add boats.
     
    firecadet613 likes this.
  3. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    Indiana
    '07 V358
    T- VP 5.7GXi
    In most areas, you lease for the season. You then have first rights to that slip for next year, by putting down a deposit by XXX date. In many marina's, you can be put on a list to move to a different slip if it becomes available - I did this last year.

    Had my deposit down to keep the same slip but swapped to a different slip that opened up. Due to all that's going on with COVID, many marina's are selling out. Pre-COVID, Chicago had a years long wait list.
     
  4. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I would imagine you'd be able to find slippage in Grand Haven next year. Grand Isle has been hovering at 50% capacity for the last few years it seems. It only appears "full" this year because they closed one side of the marina due to high water. If water subsides a bit and they reopen that side next year, poof, another 100 +/- slips available in GH.
     
    Scooter90254 likes this.
  5. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Scooter, welcome aboard as a member of CSR.

    I can't speak of current conditions regarding slips in Grand Haven (though my boat once 'lived' there!) but I'll address your questions from what I know about out here.

    First of all, I would you find the biggest slip you think you'll ever need and get your name on the waiting list for it. If it's available, take it. Most people buy their boat then go looking for a slip only to be told "there ain't none available."

    Out here most slips are leased/rented on an annual basis and you must sign an annual contract to keep it. That may be different in MI because of the winters and boats being hauled out for the winter. I'm sure someone from MI will chime in on that.

    Now, a couple of things about buying your first boat. DON'T. Buy your second boat first. By that I mean that most people go boat shopping and fall in love with one without really knowing what they want or need in a boat. They own it for a year or two only to find out it really wasn't what they needed so they trade it in on their second boat. Trading gets REAL expensive because of depreciation, etc.

    So take your time. Walk on a LOT of boats. Go to boat shows. Walk the docks and talk to boat owners who have the style of boat you're thinking of and ask them what they don't like about their boat or what they would change if they had the opportunity.

    I'd suggest you get a slip if you can, then spend the winter traveling to boat shows. I'd bet there's one in Detroit and probably Chicago where you can look at a lot of boats and accessories. Time spent looking at a lot of boats will save you in the long run. Six months invested in boat shopping will pay huge dividends next summer when you have your second boat first.
     
    dtfeld, Shaps and Scooter90254 like this.
  6. Scooter90254

    Scooter90254 New Member

    5
    Jul 25, 2020
    Grand Haven
    Shopping
    Boatless
    Ok, now the conversations I've been having make more sense. With half of Grand Isle closed there was probably a big influx into the other marinas. And that's why no one will really commit to what "think" will happen next year. Maybe it all depends on water levels.

    Thank You
     
    firecadet613 likes this.
  7. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    Indiana
    '07 V358
    T- VP 5.7GXi
    If your getting a boat though, get your name on the waiting list. Don't wait.
     
  8. Scooter90254

    Scooter90254 New Member

    5
    Jul 25, 2020
    Grand Haven
    Shopping
    Boatless
    Thanks Gofirstclass, that's great advise.

    Again this site has been a wealth of knowledge. I feel bad not participating more but most things I find answers to through search.

    We were kicking tires this spring but with the whole Covid thing we decided to wait a year. We aren't in a rush and will take our time making the final decision. But like you said, being that this is our first one we are still trying to figure out what we need. Obviously slight intimidated by the bigger boats. 30-35ft is probably our comfort level. I would like to be able to use it for fishing as well which complicates things. One problem we are seeing is everything around here that is priced fair sells very quick. Its basically a bunch of "I don't really want to sell it" boats on the market. We imagine that will change in the fall/spring.

    Getting a slip first is not something we considered. I will start looking into that. My luck I'll get a slip and not find a boat next year.... lol

    Thanks again.
     
  9. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2009
    IL
    281
    V8
    Boat market is nuts right now. Like you said, the one's priced right sell before the ink dries. You'll help yourself by narrowing down the specific brands/models you like. Get to know everything you can about them and then be ready to jump when you find the right one. Good luck.
     
  10. Pirate Lady

    Pirate Lady Member

    65
    Jun 2, 2020
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River
    1991 250 Sundancer & Goplus 7.5' / 2.6hp outboard.
    Previous: 180BR, 220DA, 268DA, 250DA, 268DA
    7.4 Bravo 1
    as Gofirstclass said - get the second boat - experience here. Bought a 19' bowrider as first boat - for the Chesapeake Bay. HUGE mistake. Traded it in after 5 weeks on a new 268 Sundancer. They should not even be selling a bowrider for use on the Bay. Took a $$$ hit, but at least i am alive to retell the story. Ask anybody who ventures out in the 'washing machine' at the mouth of middle river on a summer weekend.
     
  11. brewster16

    brewster16 Active Member

    538
    Aug 9, 2009
    Long Beach Island, N.J.
    '07 44 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins QSC 8.3
    I totally agree.....don't buy any boat until you know your "needs." I would also like to add that many times bigger boats, especially twin engines, are much easier to operate as far as maneuverability, than single engines. Of course I have no idea of your capability or experience but too many folks are intimidated by size. I guess my point is to first and foremost understand your "needs" for the type of boating you will do. Money is one thing, but you shouldn't be intimidated by size.
     
  12. brewster16

    brewster16 Active Member

    538
    Aug 9, 2009
    Long Beach Island, N.J.
    '07 44 Sundancer
    Twin Cummins QSC 8.3
    Oh, let me add one thing......I also own a 23 ft. 250 HP center console. When I was shopping for it I almost bought a 21 foot with a 150 HP. Many times I run around on the bay with guests and other families on board. There is no way a 21 footer with a 150 HP would get on plane without a lot of effort with the type of boating I do! My point....Whatever you buy you need to factor in a few things.....Kids get bigger and you will have lots of guests on your boat.
     
  13. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drives
    Look at the Amber Jack... with the open aft deck they are designed for fishing.
     
  14. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer
    2001
    Axiom 12 MFD
    Cat 3126 V-Drives

    Correction... buy you LAST boat first!
     
  15. Scooter90254

    Scooter90254 New Member

    5
    Jul 25, 2020
    Grand Haven
    Shopping
    Boatless
    Amberjack is our number 1 target. They are fairly hard to come by around here though. We have looked at a couple of them that seem over priced and have issues. One sold the other didn’t so we are learning the market.
     

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