Using my guide, Choosing A Marina – A Checklist For Finding The Best One, I’ve answered the first 25 out of 60 questions to give you a feel for the guide and why the collection of information is important before entering a marina for long term storage or as a liveaboard.
Additionally, I created a video review of just a handful of the things that I found important for sailors considering a berth at the Charleston Harbor Marina. Watch the video and then read below for more information.
Charleston Harbor Marina Review Video
Charleston Harbor Marina Review
Location of Marina: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA
Can you get to the marina (height/draft maximums)?: There are no bridges to pass upon entering the marina, however, at low tide we hit bottom with a 7.5’ or 2.4 meters. If in doubt, enter at high slack tide.
Are slips available?: Call marina. During our year long stay there were always slips available.
Cost of slip/berth?: Prices changed considerably during our stay. So did the ability for liveaboards to get long term tenancy contracts. Both transient and long term options are available but boat owners cannot live on their boat while at the marina. Before leaving we were on a transient contract paying $1,700/month inclusive of electricity, use of all the hotel facilities, 10% discount at bars/restaurants, and weekly free pump out.
Is there a discount for longer stays? You’ll need to call to find out. The pricing structure seems to change often.
Is there a fee for live-aboard status? There was a $3,000 fee to be a live aboard in addition to a monthly fee (our long term costing was around $1,000/mo plus electricity). When asking what the fee included, we were told ‘wear and tear.’ Live aboards are no longer accepted so this fee is no longer relevant.
Does the marina cater to your needs? Ex. Do they accept live aboards? The marina no longer allows live aboards.
Is the proximity from your home, airport or other transportation link to the marina acceptable? The marina is only a short twenty minute drive from the Charleston Airport. Unfortunately there are few direct flights into Charleston – in most cases visitors have to fly through a hub airport and transfer. By car it’s easily accessible from a variety of routes.
Is the marina easy to get to and from inexpensively? Depending on where you’re coming from flights are usually reasonable. When comparing flights into surrounding cities (Atlanta, Raleigh/Durham, etc.), Charleston often came up less expensive.
Insurance restrictions – Do you need a certain level of insurance to berth your boat at this marina? The marina has a strict policy on the type of insurance necessary to enter the marina. Please call to find out more regarding this matter.
Is there a fuel dock? Yes. The prices were slightly above average for the east coast of America.
Is there water hook up? Is there a fee for water? There are water hook ups on ever finger pontoon and the water came at no cost to all berth holders – short and long term.
Is there an electricity hook up that matches the requirements of your boat? What is the fee for electricity? The pontoons cater to American electricity (not European). Some contracts are inclusive of electric and some are not.
Is there a black water tank pump out facility? Is there a fee? Yes, there’s a black water pump out boat that comes around once a week to do pump-outs (on request). The service is free. The pump out boat, however, doesn’t run very well and is known to smash into berth holder boats (us included!).
Does the marina offer boat maintenance and repair services onsite? The marina has approved or suggested boat maintenance and services providers. Ask around – do your research on this topic.
Does the marina have a store selling boat parts, spares, etc.? If not, where’s the closest boat store? No, there’s no chandlery however there’s a West Marina within a few miles away. some things are easy to get and others were impossible. For example, we couldn’t find anyone in the whole city of Charleston to help us with Diesel engine issues.
Ease of entering and exiting the marina? (Do you have to go through a canal lock to get in/out? Does the tide create difficulties with boat handling?) Due to the depth at low tide and the fast running tide the ease of entering and exiting the marina is extremely difficult. See video for more information. Always enter the marina at high slack tide or low slack tide (if your keel isn’t too deep).
My overall star rating for the Charleston Harbor Marina is 1 out of 5
The value for money is terrible. Charleston, however, is one of the most amazing cities in America. It would be a terrible shame to miss this area if you’re passing by. So…I’d definitely stop by to catch a sunset either at the Bridge Bar (ontop of the Fish House) or the Reel Bar, part of the Charleston Harbor Resort. The bar staff at both venues are fabulous – absolutely fabulous. The best bar tenders I’ve ever come across.