do big boats subsidise small boats in marinas? - or is it the other way round

dylanwinter

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I was trying to get my head around the economics

clearly we use the showers just as hard - unless the eight berth behemoth has eight people on board (never happens)

we often take up a whole pontoon finger

sometimes we are charged per meter - sometimes a fixed overnight regardless of size

we are charged for power usually at a fixed rate - which makes a laptop charge a bit pricey

when the lift is used we are sometimes charged the same as a big boat and the marina has to have a massively overspecced lift that is big enough for the converted MFV

after sitting in the cockpit for 30 minutes with my arrival scotch my head was so muddled that I drank three scotches without noticing and all rational thought stopped

I am enjoying the first world angst of the marina threads on here
 
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Seajet

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I remember being alongside French boats in the Channel Islands, smaller than my 22' but they seemed to have about 16 people per boat, a constant stream of polite but still noticeable feet going to and fro all bloody night !
 

FullCircle

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IMHO it is some and some.
No doubt my use of every available amp in heating, kettle, lights, water heater etc etc far outweigh the use of a smaller boat.

Most marinas seem to have a minimum charge of 8m and then per metre after that. Perhaps the lecky charge could be similarly apportioned?
Dunno, but I find the lift charges vary wildly, but the yard I use is per foot for a travelhoist, very reasonable (£70 for 36ft)

I think the 3 scotch rule is pertinent to all boat lengths....
 

Seajet

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£70 seems extremely reasonable !

I know someone who went into Northney Marina to have the mast lowered for £150, was kept waiting for 5 hours " we don't have anyone H&S qualified to do it, we'll have to get someone in " so missed the tide - and free hoist out of the whole boat at our club.

I couldn't help wondering exactly what the staff who so officiously order boats here and there are exactly qualified for, apart from wearing the shirt and having a shouty voice...:rolleyes:
 

FullCircle

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£70 seems extremely reasonable !

I know someone who went into Northney Marina to have the mast lowered for £150, was kept waiting for 5 hours " we don't have anyone H&S qualified to do it, we'll have to get someone in " so missed the tide - and free hoist out of the whole boat at our club.

I couldn't help wondering exactly what the staff who so officiously order boats here and there are exactly qualified for, apart from wearing the shirt and having a shouty voice...:rolleyes:
At the yard I use, our sailing association pulls it's own masts down using the yards equipment at a nominal hire fee(licensed operators) Means the last time I pulled my mast there it was £30 down and up as we all shared the cost, but all mucked in to get the work done.
 

Seajet

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At our club the larger boats raft up and work as cranes to lower the inbteweenies mast.

This chap thought he'd do better paying the marina to do it, and man did he pay for his mistake !

We were all standing around looking at our watches and the ebbing tide - not heard of anyone using the marina services since...
 

Koeketiene

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do big boats subsidise small boats in marinas? - or is it the other way round

IMHO big boats subsidise smaller ones.

Don't get those whole 'charge by boat length' thing.
Alongside now - all 44' of us. Next berth, boat is 40' He pays less than we do, yet we share the same pontoon.
We don't we pay by pontoon length?
 

Tranona

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We don't we pay by pontoon length?

Some marinas charge that way in the Med - then the people with slightly smaller boats bitch that they are being charged for pontoon length they don't need. Whatever method is used, be it length, berth size or area (L*B) somebody will feel hard done by.

Marinas want a system that is simple to operate and maximises the use of the space they have. Length is far and away the simplest and has the benefit of being progressive - the bigger the boat the more you pay - and can be easily evidenced by the registration document for visitors (even if the figure quoted is not accurate).
 

Robih

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Smaller boats generate more income per SqM of water than larger boats. Generally, in the UK market, tariffs do not rise sufficiently in the bigger boat sizes to compensate for the additional water area used. It's not just the berth itself you also have to consider the fairways approaching the berth.
 

BobnLesley

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"Some marinas charge that way in the Med - then the people with slightly smaller boats bitch that they are being charged for pontoon length they don't need. Whatever method is used, be it length, berth size or area (L*B) somebody will feel hard done by"

We had a friend sailing with us on and off a few year back who had a Sadler (I think?) 34, with documentation showing him as something like 10.04m, in seemingly every marina where we stopped, they would allocate him an 'up to 10m berth' next to us, but then insist that he had to pay the higher 10 - 12m charge-band rate; it sent him ballistic!
We've been surprised to note that in the USA - Bahamas too - many marinas levy a higher $ per foot rate on larger yachts, water/electric are invariably charged separately, so other than 'because the market will stand it', we really can't see why this should be? The rate step is usually a 45 or 50 feet.
 
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mlthomas

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Marina's should charge by LOA and put you in an appropriate berth, there are two variables to this which are the length of the vessel (sail or motor) and the pontoon. No point having a 15M finger with a luxuriously tied up 10M vessel and horrendous to have a 15M vessel on a 10M finger. Back to passage planning, ring and reserve a berth suitable for your LOA
 

jac

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Whilst charge by area used is perhaps one element of the cost that makes up the charge it is only one. Staffing costs in terms of taking fees, monitoring radio, taking lines are the same, shower costs are the same, you probably get the same number of car parking spaces (for home berths), capital cost of an electricity bollard & water installation for each boat is the same. Similar number of cleats on all pontoons , same method of joining the finger to the walkway.

In other words, there are a lot of fixed costs that are fixed by each berth. Only the length / width of each berth is size related.
 

rwoofer

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Having had boats from 20ft to 44ft, it was only at the biggest end I could justify a marina. 3 or 4 years in a marina for the smallest boat was more than the boat was worth, whereas with the bigger boat it was nearly 20 years before the fees were more than the value of the boat.

On that basis, I would say big boats benefit the most which is why there are mostly big boats in marinas.
 

Koeketiene

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Having had boats from 20ft to 44ft, it was only at the biggest end I could justify a marina. 3 or 4 years in a marina for the smallest boat was more than the boat was worth, whereas with the bigger boat it was nearly 20 years before the fees were more than the value of the boat.

On that basis, I would say big boats benefit the most which is why there are mostly big boats in marinas.

This is not our experience.
We spend summer on a swinging mooring and winter in a pontoon berth.
Most boats on a mooring are 40' or more - also several cats.
In the marina 30-36' is more the norm.
Berths for 40'+ boats are very rare. We have to wait for some boats to lay up for winter before we can get a berth for winter.
 

Tranona

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"Some marinas charge that way in the Med - then the people with slightly smaller boats bitch that they are being charged for pontoon length they don't need. Whatever method is used, be it length, berth size or area (L*B) somebody will feel hard done by"

We had a friend sailing with us on and off a few year back who had a Sadler (I think?) 34, with documentation showing him as something like 10.04m, in seemingly every marina where we stopped, they would allocate him an 'up to 10m berth' next to us, but then insist that he had to pay the higher 10 - 12m charge-band rate; it sent him ballistic!
We've been surprised to note that in the USA - Bahamas too - many marinas levy a higher $ per foot rate on larger yachts, water/electric are invariably charged separately, so other than 'because the market will stand it', we really can't see why this should be? The rate step is usually a 45 or 50 feet.

That is the advantage of registering a boat on the SSR as you determine the LOA on the document. Clearly big variations from the real are problematic, but your friends boat could be 9.95m - although a Sadler 34 is actually 10.7m!

Banding where the per metre rate increases is also common in the Med, often 12m being the break point reflecting perhaps relative scarcity of larger berths as well as a belief that owners of bigger boats can afford to pay more.
 

jdc

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I think Tranona has probably got it right as to why it's length - simple and people will stand it / can afford it. However in Gijon I was charged for area (LOA * Beam).

The economics are maximise income from an asset - the marina.

Area of marina allows a certain number of berths
Complication may be that some areas are awkward or shallow and so smaller craft can go there, but let's ignore that.

The pontoons take up a certain width, which is mildly dependent on boat size or weight (a more substantial pontoon needed for a bigger craft?) but let's say 2m.
Finger width let's say is 1.2m.

The turning area / gap between rows will be dependent on boat LOA (bigger boats need more room)

Showers etc all per boat not a function of LOA (assume crew size not really a function of boat size unless a super-yacht), but probably insignificant anyway.

Assume pontoon cost is not strongly dependent on berth size, ie the greater strength (big boats) and more fingers (small boats) cancel out.

Now do the sums assuming all boats are identical, of length L and beam B

Further assume for simplicity let's assume a marina of 200m x 100m (~5 acres).

45' (13.7m) boats case:
Number of pontoons across the 200m is:
one at each side which takes up 2 x (2 + 13.7) = 31.4, plus a gap between (for driving down) of one and a bit boat lengths, so 45.1 plus a bit.
per pontoon takes 3 x 13.7 + 2 = 43.1 (two boats, a pontoon and one boat length gap). Hence can fit 3.6. Round down to be 3.
Hence we fit 8 boats across the 200m width.

The pontoon length is 100m less one pontoon and less turning space (1 boat length say), and each boat needs 0.5 of a finger and beam of 4.5m plus 0.5m of space, so 5.6m / boat.
So number of boats is (100 - 2 - 13.7) / 5.6 = 15.

So it fits 120 boats. Lets charge £2 per metre LOA per day -> income is 120 * 2 * 13.7 = £3288 per day assuming 100% occupancy (unlikely with such big boats!).

32' (10m) case:

Number of pontoons across is:
one at each end which takes 34.0 plus a bit.
per pontoon takes 3 x 10 + 2 = 32, hence we can fit 5.
Hence we can fit 12 boats across the 200m width.

The pontoon length is again 100m less 2m less 10m, and each boat needs 0.5 fingers and 3.4m beam and 0.4m space, so 4.4m / boat.
So number of boats across is (100 - 2 - 10) / 4.4 = 20.

So it fits 12 * 20 = 240 boats. Lets charge £2 per metre LOA per day, -> income is 240 * 2 * 10 = £4800 per day assuming 100% occupancy.

Rather crude, but I reckon that smaller boats would be better to have for the marina owner were all boats to be the same. Now the complication: but boats come in all sizes, so the marina has been built to accommodate that. It's a fixed asset, so you want to maximise income, and can't fill it every day. Each time a bigger boat arrives and can be fitted in, it gives a higher income. So the fair policy is to charge long term berth holders by Length x Beam, but visitors by length only.
 

Koeketiene

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Electricity anf water if metered are good earners for marina

Another rip-off.

When you book an hotel room, do you have to pay extra when you want to run a bath or, heaven forbid, switch on the light?
Why should marinas be different?

Luckily we have a large battery bank and we're pretty solared up.
Can, and do, survive without shore power for months.
 

JumbleDuck

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Marina's should charge by LOA and put you in an appropriate berth, there are two variables to this which are the length of the vessel (sail or motor) and the pontoon.

And depth, and width, and whether electricity is needed, and access, and orientation of berth, and side.
 
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