Help ! Marina Boat Slip vs Trailering... Advice Needed !

Messages
90
Likes
15
Location
Charlotte, NC
Water Crafts
Looking to buy a Sea Doo 210 Challenger
#1
Just need some advice, pros/cons on Wet Docking/Boat Slip verses Trailering my new boat. There is a very nice Marina minutes from my house that I can dock my boat on the river with easy lake access for a pretty reasonable rate for the area. With that said, there are also 2 different boat ramps close by as well but I have already found that weather conditions play a major role in how hard launching, docking and retrieving can be. Since this is my first boat, I would like to hear from some of you with more experience than myself and get your opinions on the two options. Thanks in advance !
 
Last edited:


JPass

Active Member
Messages
779
Likes
40
Location
Orlando, FL
Water Crafts
2012 Challenger 210 SE
#2
Dry storage at the marina is fine, but I wouldn't leave her in a slip for prolonged periods of time. Should you spring a leak, you could be in trouble. I believe the manual warns against storing in water as well. I've left mine in for several days without any issues, but long term would be different.

If you're OK with the risks, then go for it. Maybe pick up a secondary, high volume bilge just in case.
 
Messages
90
Likes
15
Location
Charlotte, NC
Water Crafts
Looking to buy a Sea Doo 210 Challenger
#3
Dry storage at the marina is fine, but I wouldn't leave her in a slip for prolonged periods of time. Should you spring a leak, you could be in trouble. I believe the manual warns against storing in water as well. I've left mine in for several days without any issues, but long term would be different.

If you're OK with the risks, then go for it. Maybe pick up a secondary, high volume bilge just in case.
Thanks JPass, Is this due to it being a Jet Boat and not a typical stern drive boat ?
 
Messages
71
Likes
7
Location
Rochester, NY
Water Crafts
2007 Seadoo Islandia SE
#4
I prefer boat in driveway so I can keep an eye on it from theft, vandals, etc. Also didn't want crud building up on it from sitting in a slip for several months. If you boat alot then it may be a time saving to having a slip. If you are on Lake Norman there is a place that dry stores your boat on pallet racks and then launches the boat for you when you need it. May be expensive though?
I think this is the one. I stumbled across it when I was looking for boats.
Dry Boat Storage Lake Norman NC | Dry Dock Storage Lake Norman
 
Messages
90
Likes
15
Location
Charlotte, NC
Water Crafts
Looking to buy a Sea Doo 210 Challenger
#5
I prefer boat in driveway so I can keep an eye on it from theft, vandals, etc. Also didn't want crud building up on it from sitting in a slip for several months. If you boat alot then it may be a time saving to having a slip. If you are on Lake Norman there is a place that dry stores your boat on pallet racks and then launches the boat for you when you need it. May be expensive though?
I think this is the one. I stumbled across it when I was looking for boats.
Dry Boat Storage Lake Norman NC | Dry Dock Storage Lake Norman
Thanks Slaizer, I don't do Lake Norman since it is what too crowded but mostly stay on the northern part of Lake Wylie. The Marina I am looking at is actually on the Catawba River which feeds the lake and is actually a very secure area with gated docks and access but the cleaning will definitely be needed form time to time. Its about 5 minutes form my house and would offer a very convenient way to boat pretty much anytime, Even after work ! Just want to hear all sides and experiences before I decide, so thanks for your input !
 

JPass

Active Member
Messages
779
Likes
40
Location
Orlando, FL
Water Crafts
2012 Challenger 210 SE
#6
Thanks JPass, Is this due to it being a Jet Boat and not a typical stern drive boat ?
Actually stern drives are just as bad. Several marinas we looked into would not let you leave a stern drive in a slip. Too much risk for leaks from the bellows. We have a similar bellows where the driveshaft comes through the hull to mate up with the PTO.
 
Messages
46
Likes
3
Water Crafts
0
#7
I recently bought a Challenger 210 and am keeping it in the water all summer. We have short summers here in Minnesota, so the majority of boats are in the water all season during the warmer months without issue. I unfortunately don't have the time, space or desire to launch/retrieve the boat for each use. I drive solo quite often so there's tons of value in having it in the water and ready to go versus spending the time to launch, retrieve and trailer it. At the end of the season I will have a bottom/hull cleaning/detail and it will look good as new before storage. My slip is fairly tight with frequent choppy wave and docking has gone quite well - just make sure it's tied up properly and I use fenders and dock bumpers.
 
Messages
9
Likes
0
Location
lake st clair michigan
Water Crafts
2012 seadoo 210 wake
2014 scarab 195 impulse - sold
2012 seadoo rxpx - sold
#8
This is my second year with my seadoo 4th year keeping a jet boat in the water all season. Never had an issue at all minus the added cleaning of growth and water lines. I also live in Michigan so it's only in for about 4-5 months and I'll typically pull it for a few days in the middle just for cleaning.
 
Messages
85
Likes
8
Location
Raleigh, NC
Water Crafts
2012 SeaDoo Challenger 210 SE
#9
I personally trailer mine. The lake near me is 20min and this allows me to fill it up from a gas station pump instead of a marina pump. Launching wise, if you have 2 experienced people, one that can back up a trailer and another that can properly handle and maneuver your boat in the water and around the dock, its not an issue at all. For me, depending on who I'm with, it takes me a matter of minutes with the time really being just me, or someone else, backing up the trailer down the ramp. Getting it on and off the trailer is a piece of cake.

Like others have said, leaving the boat in the water has its risk with leaks and making sure your bilge pump works in the event you do. If you do go that route of a leaving it in a slip, definitely have a good mooring cover.

I never had the chance to really leave my boat at a slip, but I keep my boat in my garage as I enjoy having easy access to it do whatever I want. Loading the boat and preparing it for usage is convenient as I can easily put all my equipment, vests, tubs, skis, poles, cooler, or whatever I want, all in my garage at the house. At the end of the day, wash the boat, unload all my wet equipment and gear to dry out and when the next time comes to use it, just load it with whatever I need that day. If I'm just going out with friends to relax and fish, can leave the tubes and skis behind, and vice versa if I'm bringing kids out. I don't have to always have to have everything on the boat with items taking up space.

Additionally, with trailering, it gives me the opportunity to drain any accumulated water in the bilge and, by keeping the boat in the garage, it isn't exposed to the high humidity, heat, rain, or other weather conditions that may wear out my seats of create an environment for mold. Since I had my boat repaired at the dealership for almost a year straight, even with dropping off it off with a nice vented mooring cover to be used when it isn't worked on, I picked up my boat and found mildew on my seats and some wear due inherent to a boat sitting outside on the trailer for a year. As I try to keep everything clean and neat, it hurt a bit but glad I can keep it in a garage. And when it comes to maintenance, its VERY convenient to work on it on a trailer in my garage with overhead lights and access to all my tools. Plus I can get under the boat to check my intake grates and impellers.

Ultimately, its a personal preference. If it is only you taking it out or you don't have anyone else to help you with it, then wet slip may be ideal for you, unless you are comfortable with the time involved with putting bumpers on, tying up the boat to the dock and so on. I think it takes me the same time to do that that as it is for me to install and remove the mooring cover on my boat by myself. I had the opportunity to store a boat in my garage, which I preferred, and I picked my boat because it was the biggest boat I could get that would fit in there. For me, Id recommend keeping it stored indoors to ensure its safe from the elements, clean, and don't have to worry about worn because of the elements.
 
Messages
90
Likes
15
Location
Charlotte, NC
Water Crafts
Looking to buy a Sea Doo 210 Challenger
#10
This is my second year with my seadoo 4th year keeping a jet boat in the water all season. Never had an issue at all minus the added cleaning of growth and water lines. I also live in Michigan so it's only in for about 4-5 months and I'll typically pull it for a few days in the middle just for cleaning.
Thanks for the info Jeff !
 
Messages
90
Likes
15
Location
Charlotte, NC
Water Crafts
Looking to buy a Sea Doo 210 Challenger
#11
Ultimately, its a personal preference. If it is only you taking it out or you don't have anyone else to help you with it, then wet slip may be ideal for you, unless you are comfortable with the time involved with putting bumpers on, tying up the boat to the dock and so on. I think it takes me the same time to do that that as it is for me to install and remove the mooring cover on my boat by myself. I had the opportunity to store a boat in my garage, which I preferred, and I picked my boat because it was the biggest boat I could get that would fit in there. For me, Id recommend keeping it stored indoors to ensure its safe from the elements, clean, and don't have to worry about worn because of the elements.
Thanks Anthony ! Keeping the boat inside is not an option for me so I already have a Poppy cover and keep the boat covered outside anyhow, so only difference would be having it in the water but only a few minutes from the house which is very convenient and allows me easy access to keep an eye on it as well as doing regular maintenance, cleaning, ect... I really think I may try it for a season and just see how it goes as I can always go back to trailering and keeping the boat at home if it doesn't work out. Thanks Again !
 
Messages
85
Likes
8
Location
Raleigh, NC
Water Crafts
2012 SeaDoo Challenger 210 SE
#12
Thanks Anthony ! Keeping the boat inside is not an option for me so I already have a Poppy cover and keep the boat covered outside anyhow, so only difference would be having it in the water but only a few minutes from the house which is very convenient and allows me easy access to keep an eye on it as well as doing regular maintenance, cleaning, ect... I really think I may try it for a season and just see how it goes as I can always go back to trailering and keeping the boat at home if it doesn't work out. Thanks Again !
Welcome! Didn't realize you where that close to the water! In that case, being able to check on it and have easy access is the main concern, at least for me. Having a good Poppy cover was an excellent idea! I have the same cover and absolutely love mine!
 

wrench2ride

Active Member
Messages
129
Likes
12
Location
Ontario, Canada
Water Crafts
2011 Challenger 210 SE 310
#13
Mine stays in the water, never had any issues with it, I check for leaks from time to time, typically a leak will start off small and if it is ignored it can become a big leak, it is important to check hoses and clamps and any thru hull sealing points, but that should be done regardless if you leave in the water or not. it does require the bottom to be cleaned in the fall, but I find its worth it because I can leave work and go straight to the lake and be on the water in minutes vs. hauling the boat to the lake wait to unload it and when done for the night have to wait at the ramp to load it and haul it back home again. my fenders and ropes are attached to the slip so I just have to take the ropes off my cleats of the boat and throw them on the dock and drive away. when I get back I just have to pull into the slip and put the ropes back on and I can step off the boat put the cover on and I am done. if you get to know other people at the marina they will keep an eye out for your boat no different than you would tell them if there is something wrong with theirs.
 
Messages
90
Likes
15
Location
Charlotte, NC
Water Crafts
Looking to buy a Sea Doo 210 Challenger
#14
Mine stays in the water, never had any issues with it, I check for leaks from time to time, typically a leak will start off small and if it is ignored it can become a big leak, it is important to check hoses and clamps and any thru hull sealing points, but that should be done regardless if you leave in the water or not. it does require the bottom to be cleaned in the fall, but I find its worth it because I can leave work and go straight to the lake and be on the water in minutes vs. hauling the boat to the lake wait to unload it and when done for the night have to wait at the ramp to load it and haul it back home again. my fenders and ropes are attached to the slip so I just have to take the ropes off my cleats of the boat and throw them on the dock and drive away. when I get back I just have to pull into the slip and put the ropes back on and I can step off the boat put the cover on and I am done. if you get to know other people at the marina they will keep an eye out for your boat no different than you would tell them if there is something wrong with theirs.
Thanks and I appreciate the info. The funny thing is that I am getting conflicting reports of the ability of the hull to sustain being in the water for extended periods without damaging the Gel Coat. So you haven't had any issues other than cleaning the hull ? How often should I pull it and clean it too ?
 

wrench2ride

Active Member
Messages
129
Likes
12
Location
Ontario, Canada
Water Crafts
2011 Challenger 210 SE 310
#16
No, never had any issues with osmosis but I apply a barrier coat every year, you could apply a antifoul coat or a barrier coat but that goes for any Fiberglass boat.
 

JPass

Active Member
Messages
779
Likes
40
Location
Orlando, FL
Water Crafts
2012 Challenger 210 SE
#17
Thanks and I appreciate the info. The funny thing is that I am getting conflicting reports of the ability of the hull to sustain being in the water for extended periods without damaging the Gel Coat. So you haven't had any issues other than cleaning the hull ? How often should I pull it and clean it too ?
"Blistering" can take some time to occur, but every boat is different. Gelcoat is not impermeable.

I'd put a fresh coat of quality wax on before long term water storage. We have a friend who has kept his boat in the water it's whole life (20+ years). The entire boat is blistered below the water line.It's a Nautique, so the quality is pretty high.

I wouldn't worry about blistering after a couple of months of slip storage. Just keep an eye on your gelcoat throughout the season. Gelcoat repair can be extremely expensive.
 

kernal

Active Member
Messages
132
Likes
6
Location
Rochester NY
Water Crafts
2012 Challenger 210SE 430hp

2011 GTI 130SE
#18
With a marina that close I'd be hard pressed to trailer every trip if that's your primary place to go. Just wax it good, maybe pull it every couple of weeks to see how bad the bottom gets. Only thing I worry about with these newer Seadoo's is the water leaks. I would want to check the boat regularly unless you have shore power and an on board charger, in case the bilge pump is running often. Oh yeah, and make sure the bilge pump works.... If the slip works out see if you can add a lift. Then the water leak and boat bottom problems are gone.
 
Messages
90
Likes
15
Location
Charlotte, NC
Water Crafts
Looking to buy a Sea Doo 210 Challenger
#19
Thanks for all of the info guys. So far everything is going well at the new slip and I plan to pull the boat in a couple weeks to clean and inspect the hull but so far the boat is bone dry and I have seen no issues other than the normal lake/river grime at the water line. I do need to test the bilge pump to ensure operation so just posted about that but will keep everyone updated on how the boat is looking after my first pull. Thanks again !
 

Adsense

Usergroup

Administrator Moderator Premium Member