Tuesday, October 20, 2020

St Johns Yacht Harbor- Provisioning and Laundry


A quiet time in the morning as we headed to pick up our courtesy car to provision

What makes a good marina? For me, it's not the bathrooms or showers since we prefer the convenience of doing all that aboard Fleetwing (why leave the boat when not required?). After many years of living aboard, we want easy access to laundry facilities that actually work, preferably at a good price per load. Another of our requirements is a courtesy vehicle so we can provision quickly. Equally important is good WiFi with a dependable connection to at least 3 Mbps in speed. Not many marinas meet the first three of my requirements. Bonus points go to marinas with a dog park and let's not forget a reasonable price per foot. Oh yes, I much prefer floating docks for easy tie-up but I can get around that if the other requirements are met. 

This is only a dull photo if you never
 do launndry while underway ($1/load too!)

So how does St Johns Yacht Harbor stack up against those requirements? First off, they have a free courtesy car (no charge for use up to two hours) and it can be reserved in advance so you can plan your day, not all marinas offer the reservation feature if they have a car. Secondly, the laundry facilities here are second to none with four spin washers and four dryers at a $1.00 per load price - and they all are fairly new and they all work. 

Next comes the WiFi that delivers a solid signal, no problem there. They have floating docks with ipe wood at $2/ft. However, if you have BoatUS, you get a 10% discount and if you're a veteran like me, you'll get another 10% discount on top of that which makes for a very reasonable price. As gravy, they have a dog park advertised with a fence but it's not all there - nevertheless - Hoolie had a good run. 

Nice ipe floating docks

Personally, I don't think any marina deserves a 5 star rating unless they offer a courtesy car, the other points can be debated perhaps but a courtesy car is truly a step up. On the downside, the marina is in a river and the current can run 2 to 3 kts. For us, it was not a problem since we're used to such current from our days at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club on the Hudson River. Here, we even had a face dock which can always be approached into the current, not a problem. 

Given all of the above, we'll be coming back here on our way north, it's a fine marina. 


Mark Rinkel said...

You are absolutely correct about courtesy cars - we just wrote about that yesterday in our blog: https://ourpositivelatitude.com/one-of-the-best-marina-amenities.

Hopefully, they don't all disappear in the future!

Jay Tull said...

The people at St. John’s are fantastic. E and Stan are very nice and helpful. I left my boat there a couple of winters ago and they looked out for me and my boat. Terrific place and people.

Rosie Phillips said...

Hi Bob and Ann, we missed the fact that you guys were already in Charleston or in the area! I know that you are still "staying safe" as are we and it is no fun but I wanted to offer if you guys need anything to let us know. I see that the marina had a car so that is great. We have our bimini and isinglass off still for repairs and are looking forward to getting it back on and us off the dock. We haven't decided if we are going too far from home this time as we do enjoy exploring the towns and restaurants and it is not going to be time yet for that. If you are still here, let us know if we can do anything for you. Wave as you go by the Toogoodoo!


We called St. John's trying to get in on the 26 October, no luck will be calling every AM. The Captain Larry has family in Charleston and importantly we need a tech to come out to look at our refrigerator still not working. BTW thanks for all you do for us cruisers, invaluable!

CAPT Larry (USN RET) 1st Mate Erin (USN RET)