10 Best Liveaboard Marinas in North Carolina for 2024

Are you dreaming of a life on the water in North Carolina? Finding the perfect marina isn’t just about great amenities and scenic views—it’s about discovering a place you can call home. Many boaters face the challenge of choosing a marina that matches their lifestyle, offers essential services, and provides a supportive community.

Fortunately, North Carolina is home to some of the best liveaboard marinas that combine all these elements, allowing you to live your dream with ease. Let’s explore the best liveaboard marinas in North Carolina that stand out for their facilities, vibrant communities, and unbeatable locations!

10 Best Liveaboard Marinas in North Carolina

  1. Northwest Creek Marina
  2. Town Creek Marina
  3. New Bern Grand Marina
  4. Cape Fear Marina
  5. Wilmington Marine Center
  6. Mackey Marina
  7. Blackwell Point Marina
  8. River Forest Marina
  9. The Pelican Marina
  10. Seapath Marina and Yacht Club
  11. Cypress Cove Marina

The Top 10 Liveaboard Marinas in NC

1. Northwest Creek Marina

tying up a boat in the marina

Northwest Creek Marina is located 6 miles downstream from historic New Bern, NC, and about 18 miles upstream from the ICW, providing easy access to the Neuse. This excellent marina is located in the community of Fairfield Harbor, making it a safe place to dock.

Not only is Northwest Creak one of the cleanest marinas in North Carolina, but it also offers a long list of incredible amenities. The air-conditioned facilities offer the following amenities:

Restrooms, showers, laundry, WiFi, library/TV room, hot tub, sauna, fitness center, and indoor and outdoor pools. They even have a miniature golf course and plenty of parking spaces. This marina offers a comfortable environment for you and your fellow boaters.

Northwest Creek Marina is located in a well-protected harbor with 274 berths and can accommodate boats up to 60 feet.

2. Town Creek Marina

Town Creek Marina in Beaufort is North Carolina’s only full-service marina. The marina has world-class facilities and state-of-the-art floating docks. And it also offers some of the most beautiful coastal waters nearby.

Located on Highway 70 in Beaufort, this excellent marina is the gateway to Beaufort, both on land and water. Town Creek Marina offers world-class restaurants. There will be great maritime history and top-notch boutiques within walking distance of the marina.

This family-run marina provides everything to make your sailing days memorable. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and can help you with any boating questions.

This is one of the most beautiful places in Beaufort, especially if you want to watch the fishermen bring home the day’s catch or watch the sunset.

Town Creek’s Hurricane Storage Program gives you the peace of mind that you and your boat are in a safe place even in adverse weather conditions.

While exploring the top spots for liveaboards in North Carolina, don’t miss out on the neighboring charm and warmer waters of the South Carolina liveaboard marinas.

3. New Bern Grand Marina

Located at 101 Craven St, New Bern, NC 28560, the New Bern Grand Marina truly occupies a prime waterfront location.

The combination of historical charm, modern amenities, proximity to local attractions, and competitive rates makes it one of North Carolina’s best liveaboard marinas.

With 223 boat slips, a complete floating dock facility with a 728′ wave attenuator, and availability for 30′ to 65′ boat slips, catamaran slips, and boat lifts, you’ll find everything you need for a secure and comfortable stay. The marina even welcomes liveaboards with over 50+ full-time residents calling this picturesque harbor their home.

What sets New Bern Grand Marina apart is its prime downtown location. Just a short one-block walk, and you have your choice of over 25 restaurants, unique pubs, shopping destinations, art galleries, parks, the civic center, and theater. The best of New Bern’s cultural attractions is right at your doorstep!

Thinking about convenience? This marina has you covered. Enjoy air-conditioned restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, and access to a full Dock Master’s staff to ensure a clean, safe harbor experience. High-speed Wi-Fi, cable TV connection, and even a marina cam of each dock and pier bring the modern comforts of home to your boating experience.

Whether you’re planning a transient stay or looking for a long-term berth, New Bern Grand Marina offers flexible rates tailored to your needs. Special US Boater DISCOUNT Rates are also available, adding an extra touch of affordability to your visit.

4. Cape Fear Marina

Cape Fear Marina is located minutes from downtown Wilmington, known for its many attractions. The upriver Wilmington liveaboard marina is one of the best in southeastern North Carolina.

This marina is limited to recreational and residential use only. So you’ll be far away from the noise that is common in marinas that allow tour boats, charter boats, and dive boats.

While this marina is close to a fantastic city, it still has a rural feel. The tidal flats of the marina attract herons, egrets, and cormorants, making it a wonderful place to visit.

This marina caters primarily to recreational boaters and offers you the opportunity to spend a day at Wrightsville Beach. You might take a guided river cruise, visit a fine restaurant and enjoy the boating experience in a tranquil setting.

Cape Fear is an excellent marina if you like a friendly company in a natural, uncomplicated setting. Amenities you can enjoy include WiFi, a social area, discounted rental cars, laundry, a place for pets, and more.

5. Wilmington Marine Center

The Wilmington Marine Center has increased wet berths from 90 to 120 and is located in an enclosed basin overlooking the Cape Fear River.

It is a great place for boaters who want convenience and not to worry about currents during their stay. This Wilmington liveaboard marina is just a 10-minute drive from charming and historic downtown.

In addition to providing the highest level of security and privacy, this marina offers some of the best protection from storms and swells in North Carolina. And that’s not all: this marina is famous for its quality floating docks, friendly staff, reasonable rates, and gorgeous sunsets.

This is a great place if you want minor cosmetic repairs or a complete boat restoration. Don’t miss out on a great shopping experience; here, you’ll find some nice gifts for boaters you can buy before returning to the marina.

6. Mackey Marina

Located on the south shore of Albemarle Sound, Mackey Marina offers long- and short-term accommodations and a variety of amenities for boaters.

Mackey has everything you need, including docks, elevators, and casual dining, to enjoy your boating excursions and a beautiful day on the water. It is a quiet deep water marina that can accommodate boats up to 45 feet.

If you are looking for a great place to fish for the world-famous Albemarle crabs or catfish, this full-service marina may be a good choice for you.

7. Blackwell Point Marina

Located on the banks of Smith Creek, the picturesque Blackwell Point Marina is part of a gated community in Oriental, North Carolina. It is a secure marina that offers several on-site amenities and is close to several restaurants, stores, bars, and boutiques.

Blackwell Point Marina offers clean showers, bike rentals, ample parking, a picnic area, a gym, WiFi, and more. This marina offers an incredible culinary experience in a picturesque setting near the water. If you’re looking for a marina that will provide you with the perfect liveaboard vacation, Blackwell Point Marina is for you.

8. River Forest Marina

For over seven decades, River Forest Marina has been an excellent retreat for boats large and small. Located on Belhaven’s beautiful coastline, it’s more than just a place to dock your run.

River Forest Marina is a fantastic recreational marina that you will want to visit again and again. It offers a safe harbor on Pantego Creek, providing convenient access to the great Pamlico Sound and the Pungo River.

The highlight of this marina is its renovated docks, which offer 375 feet of berthing space for vessels up to 150 feet. This marina’s first-class amenities include showers, a travel lift, a mobile mechanic, electric golf carts, and more.

9. The Pelican Marina

For over 40 years, Pelican Marina has proudly served boaters on the Camden Causeway. It is located in Elizabeth City on the Pasquotank River and is an ideal location for those boating on the Atlantic ICW.

Whether you are looking for a short, long, or temporary berth, Pelican Marina offers all the amenities that make this an excellent residential marina. In addition, the marina has a boating supply store with everything you need for your boating excursions.

You will have access to all the amenities, private bathrooms, showers, a laundry room, snack store, WiFi, and security for your peace of mind. This is a great marina if you want a great place to take a short break from your cruising adventures.

10. Seapath Marina and Yacht Club

Seapath Marina on Wrightsville Beach is a premier stopover with first-class floating docks. The marina has 190 slips and nearly 600 feet of front dockage. Seapath is strategically located on the ICW and Masonboro Inlet.

Seapath Marina is a sail-free zone that provides ample security. In addition, the sites are equipped with water, electricity, wireless internet, and many other amenities. This lovely marina with friendly staff is sure to become one of your favorite stays on the East Coast waterways.

11. Cypress Cove Marina

Ask any boater, and they’ll tell you that boaters love marinas that offer safe and easy access to inland waters. That’s exactly what Cypress Cove Marina offers. Located in Columbia, North Carolina, the marina is world-renowned for its safe and easy docking on the Scuppernong River. It also has easy access to inland waterways like the Albemarle Sound.

This fantastic marina has 55 wet berths with a lifting capacity of 25 tons. It also offers essential services such as repairs to all parts of your boat, fiberglass repairs, bottom painting, and hull polishing.

If you’re looking for a beautiful place to explore the sleepy town of Columbia and its historical past, Cypress Cove Marina is the place for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you live on a boat in North Carolina?

You can live on a boat in North Carolina. An extensive coastline, numerous marinas, and relatively mild climate make it a feasible option for many boat owners. Popular areas for liveaboards in North Carolina include Wilmington, New Bern, and the Outer Banks.

What is the largest marina in North Carolina?

Inlet Watch Yacht Club, located in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, is one of the largest marinas in the state offering over 700 slips.

Can you live on a boat in Wilmington NC?

Wilmington features several marinas and houseboat communities where people can dock and live year-round. For instance, The Cove Riverwalk Villas offers 35 stationary floating villas designed for both short-term and long-term stays, providing a unique living experience on the Cape Fear River​.

Living on a boat in Wilmington is feasible year-round due to the mild climate. However, marina space can be limited during peak boating seasons in the summer, so it is advisable to secure a slip well in advance. Additionally, many marinas have waiting lists for permanent slips, reflecting the high demand​


North Carolina offers an array of top-notch liveaboard marinas that cater to a variety of lifestyles and needs.

Whether you seek a bustling community, a quiet retreat surrounded by nature, or a facility rich with amenities, you’re sure to find a marina in NC that feels like home.

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Featured Image credit: Northwest Creek Marina