15 Best Liveaboard Marinas in Maine in 2024

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Maine’s rugged coastline and picturesque harbors make it an ideal destination for liveaboard boaters. Here’s a detailed look at the 15 best liveaboard marinas in Maine, each offering its unique charm and services.

The 15 Best Liveaboard Marinas in Maine

Here’s our list of the top liveaboard marinas in Maine:

Portland, Maine Marinas

1. Sunset Marina

Sunset Marina offers tranquility just minutes from the bustling city center. With modern facilities and a friendly atmosphere, it’s a perfect spot for those who love sunset views over the water.

2. Maine Yacht Center

Ideal for sailors and yachting enthusiasts, the Maine Yacht Center provides full-service facilities, including repair services and eco-friendly options, catering to long-term sustainability.

3. DiMillo’s Old Port

Located in the heart of Portland, DiMillo’s combines the convenience of urban life with the beauty of waterfront living. Its floating docks and on-site restaurant make it a popular choice.

4. South Harbor Marine

Known for its protective harbor and excellent customer service, South Harbor Marine is a haven for boaters looking for a peaceful yet accessible marina.

5. Portland Yacht Service

A comprehensive service facility, Portland Yacht Service offers everything from boat repair to winter storage, making it an ideal year-round home for your boat.

Kennebunk, Maine Marinas

1. Kennebunk Marina

Kennebunk Marina is celebrated for its quaint surroundings and exceptional service. The marina is a short stroll from local shops and eateries, offering a charming small-town vibe.

2. DiMillo’s Kennebunk

A sister facility to the Portland location, DiMillo’s in Kennebunk offers luxury amenities and impeccable service, making it a top choice for upscale liveaboards.

3. Yachtsman Hotel and Marina Club

This marina is part of a boutique hotel, providing unique amenities like pool access and hotel services, blending maritime and resort living.

4. General Marine

General Marine prides itself on its expert boat maintenance and customer-focused approach, ideal for those who prioritize care and upkeep of their vessels.

5. Arundel Wharf

Nestled in a picturesque setting, Arundel Wharf is a favorite among those who appreciate a quieter, more relaxed pace of marina life.

Rockland, Maine Marinas

1. Rockland Yacht Club

More than just a marina, Rockland Yacht Club offers a vibrant community for boaters, with regular social events and club races.

2. Landings Marina

Centrally located in Rockland, Landings Marina offers easy access to the town’s amenities and cultural events, perfect for those who enjoy a lively local scene.

3. Journey’s End Marina

Known for its professional staff and top-notch facilities, Journey’s End provides a safe and welcoming environment for long-term stays.

4. Knight Marine Service

Offering a range of services from boat repair to dry storage, Knight Marine Service is ideal for boaters looking for a comprehensive, all-in-one marina solution.

5. North End Shipyard

Specializing in traditional and classic boats, North End Shipyard attracts maritime enthusiasts who appreciate history and craftsmanship.

Why Live in a Maine Marina?

Portland head lighthouse and rugged coastline

Maine is a sailor’s dream; surprisingly, it has even more shorelines than California. Maine’s 3,478-mile tidal shoreline is the fourth-longest in the US. This impressive tidal shoreline figure officially takes into account sounds, bays, offshore islands (there are hundreds around Maine), rivers, and creeks.

In addition, Maine is a very quiet and peaceful state, home to a number of national forest parks. The Acadia National Park is nearby and offers an abundance of camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. If you want to take a dog with you, there are many great places for dog walking.

Fortunately, the cost of living in Maine is very low. So if you work from home, your money will go a long way. Buying or renting a car and living on your boat can be sustainable.

If you like to eat, you’re in luck. Maine has dozens of annual food festivals that will keep you busy. Also, let’s not forget about the famous Maine lobster!

Friendly locals

The people of Maine are friendly. Very friendly. For most people that’s great, because it’s very important to move to a new place and immediately feel like you belong.

And feeling not only accepted but welcomed into the community is a real blessing. Unless, of course, you prefer to be low-key.

If you prefer to be alone, Maine may not be the state for you. Chances are, your marina neighbors will stop by to say hello, introduce themselves, and try to welcome you into the community.

Whether it’s the city community or just the marina community. It is up to you to decide if this is a good or bad thing. It is a matter of personal preference.

Mild Weather

The weather in Maine can best be described as mild. But it does rain, a whole lot of it. If the fact that it rains over 170 days a year in Maine is a problem for you, you might want to look elsewhere.

Rain is more important to someone who lives on their boat than it is to someone who lives in an apartment.

If boaters in Maine opt not to winterize their vessels, they frequently set sail south during the colder months.

Boaters seek the year-round boating comfort offered by liveaboard marinas in South Carolina or the tropical climate of Florida Keys marinas where the winter weather is more accommodating for liveaboard enthusiasts.

Nature and coastline

Acadia national park

Maine is a fantastic place to live. There are many things to see and beautiful hiking trails that the whole state is a nature lover’s dream.

If you’re moving to Maine because you want to retire, the endless hikes, waterfalls, forest trails, and fishing lakes may be just what you’re looking for.

Maine has nearly 3500 miles of rocky and rugged coastline that can be explored from both land and sea.

If you are ready for even more adventure, Maine is a great starting point to sail across the Atlantic.

What Amenities Should a Maine Marina Have?

Boats in bar harbor maine

Image credit: iStock

A marina that offers all the essentials at a reasonable price and in a good location should be at the top of your list. Fortunately, there are many such marinas in Maine.

Marinas are not cheap, so it is very important that you make sure you are getting good value for your rental. Below are some factors to consider when comparing Maine marinas to ensure you get the most for your money.

Amenities

Good amenities include many things. A good shower building with adequate bathrooms can play an important role. Swimming pools or hot tubs may be available for residents.

Access to a private gym at no additional cost is a great benefit that is often overlooked. An on-site laundromat with washers and dryers is a boon you will surely miss if it is not available.

If there are no services, you will have to get the things you need elsewhere. Whether it’s having to carry laundry a few blocks to find a laundromat or finding a gym.

You might be eager to grab a cup of coffee in the mornings, so a cafe or a small restaurant can be handy.

Security

When you live aboard your boat, you will have very few possessions. For some people, this is a problem, but for most, it is a blessing. Minimal possessions are easier to manage and much more sustainable.

However, there are some disadvantages to having all these possessions on your boat. If a burglar were to break into your boat, they could take everything of value.

Unless you plan to guard your boat 24 hours a day, you should rely on good marina security.

Good security means video surveillance, guards on duty, high fences, secure gates with access codes, and friendly neighbors. Neighbors will watch your boat for you and keep an eye on events.

Location

Maine has a very long coastline. This is because it is very rugged and hilly. In practice, the coastline is very short.

There are very few towns along the coastline that are worth staying in. Therefore, the choice of the right device depends very much on the task at hand.

If you don’t have a job yet, the best advice is to follow the job. Find a job and choose the port accordingly. If you have the luxury of not having to work or being able to work from home, try a few marinas first before deciding on a longer-term rental.

Cost

In Maine, the cost of living is very low. This means that food, rent, utilities, and activities are relatively inexpensive compared to the rest of the country. That doesn’t mean wages are low. This makes Maine an affordable place to live.

You can rent a marina in Maine for less than $3000 per year. That’s much less than renting in California or Florida, which can be anywhere from 2 to 5 times as much.

This means that you’ll have more funds available to treat yourself and your loved ones to some fantastic gifts for boaters.

WiFi

If you need to work from home regularly, whether full or part-time, you need WiFi or good cell phone service. Probably both. In the modern world, it’s very difficult to get by without a stable internet connection.

You can’t pay your bills, you can’t keep in touch with your family, and you can’t look for a job when you need one.

Even if you already have a job, you are expected to be within reach. Whether it’s via email or text/call, you need a way to communicate with your colleagues and clients.

Even if that’s not a problem, you need to think about your personal life. Not being able to watch movies, exercise, stream music, or chat with friends will be very tiring. Sure, for a week or two, it might be nice.

Maybe even a month. But after that, you’ll be bored and lonely. At least most people will be.

Takeaway

We have been around Maine many times, and it’s an incredible place to live. Maine has a long tidal coastline, plenty of nature, delicious food, friendly locals, and affordable liveaboard marinas.

The low cost of living means your money will go further. Especially if you’re thinking of staying there for longer. You’ll get more bang for your buck and have more disposable income to spend on the things that matter most to you.

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Featured Image credit: Sunset Marina, Portland