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Finding a slip can be a real pain

Old 07-08-2015, 04:57 PM
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Default Finding a slip can be a real pain

Hi All,

I'm fairly new to boating and bought my first boat (Carver Mariner 350) here in Orange County California just a few months ago.

I had a VERY difficult time finding a slip. They are fairly rare here in Orange County - I had to spend a lot of time even finding what marinas existed for a certain city/bay as they are mostly owned by seperate companies. I had to call many marinas to see if they even had anything, get put on waiting lists, use google maps to see the location, etc etc.

Wouldn't it be great if....
I could go to a website, enter my boat length, beam, and the zip code of where I want to be and get a current list with pricing of what was currently available. I could see all of the listings on a map too to get a sense of what part of the bay they are in. I could also choose to be put on waiting lists with a single click.

Is this a good idea? Have you had similar issues or is this just a pain in certain areas?

Why am I asking? I'm a web developer and thinking this might be a worthwhile side project.

Any input/advice or info on your own experiences would be greatly appreciated!
Old 07-08-2015, 05:12 PM
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Default Finding slips

I would imagine that it would also be a PITA to get the marinas to update you with what they had. Unless you were in a very competitive environment where marinas were really trying to get your business as opposed to putting you on a wait list, there would be little in it for them. You would also need a density of marinas high enough to make it worthwhile.

I suspect it's a good idea - just a whole lot of work. The coding being the easy part.

Where I live, the city owns the docks. They are always oversubscribed. They are happy to put you on the list, they're friendly and helpful. But it would not be easy for them to keep you updated on open slots unless you were giving them some sort of software to help manage the issue. That would be a great idea since they currently use a set of wall maps with push pins. I rather doubt you had getting various marinas into the 21st Century as part of your plan, though.
Old 07-08-2015, 05:28 PM
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I think it sounds like a great idea.

I live on the Gulf Coast - Alabama/NW Florida - I can assure you, after weekends like July 4th, if there was a website as you mention it would do very well. There are about 15-20 marinas that are 15-30 mins apart and what they offer and their costs vary tremendously.

Whether it be a day, week, month or yearly rental I think it would do well.

(I had a friend that did a similar thing with dinner reservations and sold the site for quite a bit of money) He basically had contacts in major cities and would get restaurants to join at no cost to them - the person booking would pay. You could do the same, daily rentals may be $3 a foot, book on your site and it is $4 a foot - no cost to the marina and it is basically free advertising.

Good Luck!
Old 07-08-2015, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Renlar View Post
I think it sounds like a great idea.

(I had a friend that did a similar thing with dinner reservations and sold the site for quite a bit of money) He basically had contacts in major cities and would get restaurants to join at no cost to them - the person booking would pay. You could do the same, daily rentals may be $3 a foot, book on your site and it is $4 a foot - no cost to the marina and it is basically free advertising.

Good Luck!
big thanks for encouragement and potential revenue model!
Old 07-08-2015, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ldc0618 View Post
big thanks for encouragement and potential revenue model!
I too think it's a good idea.

But, how do you get marinas to update availability and occupancy data? What is their incentive when wait lists prevail? One idea is to prove that your service raises their unit price with more exposure or higher end clients.
Old 07-08-2015, 06:40 PM
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Congrats on the boat. I grew up in Newport and know they is a hard place to find a slip. Did you find one? What's the per foot cost? Just curious and want to compare to San Diego. I think I'm at $11 per foot in mission bay.
Old 07-08-2015, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Johnston View Post
I too think it's a good idea.

But, how do you get marinas to update availability and occupancy data? What is their incentive when wait lists prevail? One idea is to prove that your service raises their unit price with more exposure or higher end clients.
There are definitely roadblocks and maybe show stoppers on the marina end but I wanted to validate the idea from a boaters perspective.

I do wonder if there is any software out there currently marinas are using to manage their customer, inventory, automated billing etc. I might have to create that for these to be enough value for the marina.
Old 07-08-2015, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bird Rock View Post
Congrats on the boat. I grew up in Newport and know they is a hard place to find a slip. Did you find one? What's the per foot cost? Just curious and want to compare to San Diego. I think I'm at $11 per foot in mission bay.
I'm embarrassed to admit we pay in the $30-35 per foot range for a mid 30 foot slip. Less if you get in the city owned marina but that's a 2-5 year waiting list. You gotta REALLY love Newport beach. Huntington Beach is less than half that and so if dana point.
Old 07-08-2015, 09:16 PM
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Having kept a boat in Newport Beach for many years, you sure are correct. But for SoCal, it is an anomaly down there. You could move up to San Pedro and find a spot easier, maybe even further south of OC too but OC, tough.

Most get the slip first, then the boat, or know to work a slip into the terms of the deal if you are buying new from a dealer.

Very tough.
Old 07-08-2015, 09:25 PM
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Did you finally find a slip? A 36' slip is really hard to come by in OC without a 6 - 8 year wait. You might try Long Beach or Mission Bay. A bit of a drive but a lot more available and a whole lot less expensive.
Old 07-08-2015, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bird Rock View Post
Congrats on the boat. I grew up in Newport and know they is a hard place to find a slip. Did you find one? What's the per foot cost? Just curious and want to compare to San Diego. I think I'm at $11 per foot in mission bay.
$11 per foot a month?
Old 07-08-2015, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ldc0618 View Post
There are definitely roadblocks and maybe show stoppers on the marina end but I wanted to validate the idea from a boaters perspective.

I do wonder if there is any software out there currently marinas are using to manage their customer, inventory, automated billing etc. I might have to create that for these to be enough value for the marina.
There are several popular dealer management software programs out there. DockMaster and Lightspeed come to mind, but there are others. I believe there are pared down versions without the sales and service modules being used by places that are strictly marinas.

I think it's a decent idea, but getting real time inventory info would be the issue. I'm guessing you can adapt to the management systems to feed the info? Or at least make it beyond simple for the marina to feed it to you?

If you could keep real time info it could be useful to cruising people for transient dockage as well.

Good luck.
Old 07-08-2015, 10:55 PM
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I don't understand why it would be hard to manage in in tory hotels can do it and so can camp grounds on reserve america.

I think it's a good idea maybe even a cell app to include transients slips.

God dome of you guys pay a ton I pay 6.50 a for when I was in ny I was paying 12 though.
Old 07-09-2015, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam9066 View Post
I don't understand why it would be hard to manage in in tory hotels can do it and so can camp grounds on reserve america.

I think it's a good idea maybe even a cell app to include transients slips.

God dome of you guys pay a ton I pay 6.50 a for when I was in ny I was paying 12 though.
Transient slips - now there is an idea. It is a hassle to call the harbormaster or dock boss, wait till they figure out who you are and where you could go and then watch the entertainment as you try to navigate a new marina with dodgy instructions.

Screams cell phone app. Still need the data update piece though.
Old 07-09-2015, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ColdWetDog View Post
Transient slips - now there is an idea. It is a hassle to call the harbormaster or dock boss, wait till they figure out who you are and where you could go and then watch the entertainment as you try to navigate a new marina with dodgy instructions.

Screams cell phone app. Still need the data update piece though.
There is an app called "Slipfinder" that claims to do this, I have no affiliation nor have I used it, just saw it advertised.

https://www.slipfinder.com/
Old 07-09-2015, 09:27 AM
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Snag a slip

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