The Vineyard Haven Marina is the very best marina in the Haven. It has an amazing staff and is a good facility overall. Perhaps the only advice I can offer is to try for a slip close to the beach and have your bow to the shore or the sea. It was a little rocky just behind the T-head, but now that I am on the face dock with my bow to the beach, it’s perfect. In fact, I’m going to leave my boat here for a week while I fly home. The Dockmaster is always checking everyone’s lines and fenders, and I’m sure I can get one of the dock crew to check on my boat while I am away. It’s the kind of place you don’t really worry about security and let’s face it, if Obama is arriving later today for a 10 day vacation then the island is pretty well secured. Be aware however, that if the wind decides to swing around from the NE, then the harbor will get quite bumpy.
There are some strange liquor laws here in the Haven, but there is a second floor self-service bar at the end of the dock. There is a good mix of both big boat crew and owner operators, but everyone is very friendly.
If you really love this place, then it’s for sale for just over $4,000,000.00.
The Haven is by far one of the best stops on your way North.
I’ve added a short video of a bad day in the Vineyard Haven Harbor. In this short clip the wind speed is 22knots and we have swells rolling in the bay and marina. This is rare here but it does happen, when it does, move to a slip that allows ou to spring your boat off the dock.
On our journey to Acapulco, Mexico via the Panama Canal on Litos a 98′ Azimut Leonardo, we spent a month in Roatan, Honduras. The best marina choice is Barefoot Marina and resort. A small key on a private island with plenty of water. Run by a nervous couple from America, they have some great villas for rent, a restaurant, pool and likely the best little spot on the island.
On a windy evening, as I was coming alongside the face dock at Canyon Club Marina in Cape May, NJ, I found myself with a spring line on the dock and my wheels in the mud. I was steaming mad, to say the least, and I may have taken it out in the unknowing dock attendant as black silt filled my cooling systems.
As a rule, I am very careful in choosing marinas with controlled depths of 6′ or better. Further more, when I make reservations and I am on approach via VHF, I inform the Dockmaster that my draft is 5′ when in fact it’s less than that. So you can see why I was very upset with the situation.
On a perfectly calm day I would normally abort the landing, as I saw I was losing water. However, in this situation I was crabbing and fighting the current in the small approach channel. I had no choice but to commit to the landing because of the wind.
Fortunately there was a soft silt floor and no damage done. Once we were settled on the dock we looked around and felt somewhat out of place. As shown in the photo below, you can see that we are the only motor yacht on the dock in a sea of sport fishing boats.
This marina was very clean, safe and the staff were very helpful. However, it’s located on the wrong side of the bridge and you can not walk into town as there are no sidewalks. Not recommended for yachts over 45′ or with a draft over 4′
Liberty Landing Marina, NJ (NYC Harbor)
Most notably, NO WAKE in this protected marina! Decent floating docks, a few big face docks for the big boys and plenty of water!
The only negative thing that makes me always want to move to Newport Marina just up the block is that it’s a real pain in the ass to get home if you are having a late night out in Manhattan. There is a ferry on site but stops running around 7:30pm and if you take the 24 hour PATH train to NJ, it’s a $8 cab ride to the marina through a not-so-great area.