As our dream of boat ownership becomes more of a reality, we have begun seeking out marinas and boat yards. While we are not sure exactly where we will be buying a boat, we have narrowed down our boat search a bit to include only those located on the East Coast. Yes, that is a rather large region, but thinking about this area has helped us to consider how we might use the boat, what type of storage we may need, and what timeline we will be dealing with if we want to be sailing this summer. And it is just plain fun to dream of warm weather and sunshine filled days aboard a boat!
Our plan is to get a slip for a month while we provision and prepare the boat. The East Coast of Florida is desirable as it is near Jeff’s folks place in North Port and would allow us some flexibility to work on the boat and crash at their place if need be (right Mom and Dad?). We could also use the boat during our winter and spring break if we kept it somewhere warm.
During our last trip to Florida we visited Fishermen’s Village, a marina in Punta Gorda. We had been there the previous year to have dinner and take a cruise with Jeff’s parents and their friends, Chip and Barbara, to see the holiday lights on the canals. A quick internet search of marinas on the Florida’s West Coast showed that this was a reasonably priced facility with good amenities. The live aboard fee is $135 a month with metered electric, and the monthly rate is $14.50 a foot with a discount to $13.00 a foot with an annual contract.
Upon visiting the office we met Stan, who promptly took us on a tour of the facilities but not before encouraging us to fill out an application for a slip. At that time Fishermen’s Village was full but he suggested that they would probably be able to accommodate our theoretical yacht by April. Since we had no immediate plans to put in an offer, this seemed like a fine way to proceed.
The docks at Fishermen’s Village can accomodate 111 boats up to 56′ with 31 free slips available for those visiting the mall or restaurants for the day. In addition to the facilities mentioned above there is also a Harbormasters office/ships store, cable tv, wifi, a dingy dock mail boxes, trash removal, and pump out services.
While the marina amenities are great, there are other advantages to docking at Fishermen’s Village. If you are planning to have guests, you can put them up at the Fishermen’s Village Resort, which offers vacation villas for $140/190 a night. Three on- site companies offer recreational rentals of paddleboards, kayaks, and motorboats, as well as day-trip cruises. When you are looking to unwind and grab a bite to eat there are three bars and restaurants in the mall, as well as many other food options within walking/biking distance, including a grocery store, in Punta Gorda. And, if you are seeking a little cultural stimulation, the community arts center is a stone’s throw away.
A few helpful links: