The 8 Best Liveaboard Marinas in Chesapeake Bay

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The Chesapeake Bay’s maze of shorelines and rivers lures boaters into her historic ports to uncover over 200 years of maritime culture. With endless aquatic adventures to be had on the largest estuary in the U.S., the appeal of living aboard seems irresistible. Yet finding a marina in the Chesapeake Bay brings its own challenges if you are not familiar with this area.

We’ve visited dozens of marinas around the bay to bring you this guide to the best Chesapeake Bay marinas. Read on for our insider tips for finding marinas with access to everything the Chesapeake region has to offer boaters.

The 8 Best Liveaboard Marinas in Chesapeake Bay

1. Shipwright Harbor Marina

Situated within a serene natural environment, Shipwright Harbor Marina offers you quick access to Herring and Chesapeake Bays.

It’s located in Deale, MD, making it a short commute if you’re coming from Washington, D.C., or Northern Virginia. The marina boasts a protective cove to shield your vessel and a tranquil setting to call home.

2. Bowleys Marina

Bowleys Marina, found on the picturesque Middle River, is a convenient option for liveaboards in Baltimore.

Your vessel will be nestled in a tranquil spot with modern facilities. The marina’s accessibility to the Upper Chesapeake Bay makes it ideal for weekend cruising adventures.

3. Chesapeake Harbour Marina

Annapolis is known as the sailing capital of the U.S., and Chesapeake Harbour Marina lives up to that title. Here, you have access to full-service amenities in a luxurious setting.

The marina is just a stone’s throw from the heart of Eastport Yacht Center and downtown, placing you at the center of maritime activity.

4. Herrington Harbour North

Herrington Harbour North gives you the best of both worlds: high-quality marina services and eco-friendly facilities. It’s another gem on the western shore that takes pride in being part of the Herrington Harbour family of marinas.

Your stay here includes access to lush green spaces and extensive amenities, including a pool to relax by after a day on the bay.

5. Tidewater Marina

Located in the historic Havre de Grace, Tidewater Marina sets you at the head of Chesapeake Bay. The marina provides professional services and floating docks for easy access, no matter the tide.

Your stay here also places you within a vibrant community full of maritime heritage.

6. Safe Harbor Narrows Point

On Kent Island, you’ll find Safe Harbor Narrows Point. This marina is nestled right where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Chester River, providing a picturesque environment for liveaboards.

The facility is well maintained, offering a full range of services to meet your boating needs.

7. Haven Harbour Marina

When you dock at Haven Harbour Marina, located in Rock Hall, you’re treated to an array of services that make living aboard a breeze.

The marina is recognized for its excellent customer service and a friendly atmosphere that feels like family. It’s an ideal setting for those who seek a quieter liveaboard lifestyle.

8. Somers Cove Marina

If the Eastern Shore’s charm is what you’re after, Somers Cove Marina in Crisfield is your destination. It’s one of the largest facilities, with over 500 slips, catering to a diverse boating community.

Here, you can enjoy the tranquil waters and local seafood delights of the Chesapeake Bay region.

Why Visit the Chesapeake Bay?

  • The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States.
  • The Bay itself is approximately 200 miles long and has a surface area of about 4,479 square miles.
  • The Bay’s watershed covers about 64,000 square miles.
  • Chesapeake Bay has an average depth of 21 feet, with the deepest point being about 174 feet in the shipping channel.
  • It’s home to more than 3,600 species of plants, animals, and fish, including the famous Chesapeake Bay blue crab and the Eastern oyster.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the costs of purchasing a boat slip in liveaboard marinas around Chesapeake Bay?

The price of a boat slip in Chesapeake Bay can vary widely depending on location, amenities, and marina facilities.

Some marinas may offer slips for purchase, akin to buying property, while others operate on a lease basis. Costs can range from affordable to premium, so contacting marinas directly for precise figures is vital.

What are the legal requirements for living aboard a boat in Chesapeake Bay marinas?

Living aboard your boat in Chesapeake Bay requires adherence to specific regulations, including obtaining a liveaboard permit, following sanitation and waste disposal rules, and ensuring your boat meets safety and operability standards. Each marina might also have its own set of liveaboard policies.

The Takeaway

Our tour of the best Chesapeake Bay marinas for liveaboards wraps up with great options along historic shores.

Full-service marinas like Chesapeake Harbour Marina have city action. Tucked-away gems like Shipwright Harbor Marina give liveaboards peace and quiet.

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