5 Best Liveaboard Marinas in Texas for 2024

From paddling the backwaters of Caddo Lake to sailing the Gulf breezes along Galveston Bay, Texas serves up big aquatic adventure. And Texans sure love going big – even when living on houseboats and yachts! But finding that just-right Texas liveaboard marina with all the best amenities and community can be trickier than a tight turn in the Houston Ship Channel.

Not to worry, though. I explored every port, inlet, and harbor from Port Arthur to Port Isabel finding the best places for liveaboard boaters. I’ve got the legendary spots – and some hidden gems worth their salt, too. So grab your cowboy hats, and let’s shove off touring the very best Texas marinas!

5 Best Liveaboard Marinas in Texas

Texas, also known as the Lone Star State, offers a variety of marinas perfect for those who love the liveaboard lifestyle.

Liveaboard fees in Texas are generally reasonable. Depending on the marina, you might pay anywhere from $150 to $1,000 per month. The fee typically covers dockage and basic utilities.

1. Seabrook Marina

Location: Seabrook Marina is on Clear Lake in Seabrook, Texas. It provides direct access to Galveston Bay, making it a prime location for boaters and liveaboards.

About: Seabrook Marina is one of the largest liveaboard marinas on the texas gulf coast. With more than 650 slips, it can accommodate sail, power, and motorboats up to 125 feet, including multi-hull and catamarans.

Amenities and Services:

  • Year-Round Docking: Both permanent slips and seasonal or overnight accommodations are available.
  • Modern Facilities: Clean showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities are provided.
  • Security: Gated entry and 24/7 surveillance ensure a safe environment.
  • Convenient Access: Proximity to Galveston Bay and local attractions makes it ideal for both leisure and boating.


2. Waterford Harbor Marina

Location: Waterford Harbor Marina is located at 800 Mariners Drive, Kemah, Texas, 77565. It sits on Clear Lake and is adjacent to Galveston Bay, providing easy access to the Texas Gulf Coast.

About: one of the premier marinas on the Texas Gulf Coast offering a blend of Williamsburg-style charm and modern amenities. It’s a part of the larger Waterford Harbor Marina community, known for its elegance and welcoming atmosphere.

Amenities and Services:

  • Floating Docks: Wide, stable, and floating docks.
  • Hurricane Hole: Designed to provide safety during storms.
  • Marina Amenities:
    • Water and electric hookups
    • Laundry facilities
    • Restrooms and showers
    • Wi-Fi access
  • Community Features:
    • Yacht brokerages
    • Social events
    • Boating clubs


3. Island Moorings Marina

Location: Island Moorings Marina is located in Port Aransas, Texas. This private marina is situated in a wind-protected area, making it safe and secure for your boat.

About: At Island Moorings Marina, you will find a friendly liveaboard community. The marina offers a quiet and serene environment where you can enjoy coastal living. This marina is also known as a “hurricane hole,” offering protection during storms.

Amenities and Services:

  • Slip Rentals: Available for daily, monthly, quarterly, and yearly leasing.
  • Ship Store: Stocked with frozen bait, snacks, beer, soft drinks, fishing tackle, and 20lb bags of ice.
  • Fuel Dock: Offers gasoline and diesel.
  • Showers and Restrooms: Clean and well-maintained facilities.
  • Laundry: On-site laundry services for your convenience.
  • Wi-Fi: Free internet access available throughout the marina.
  • Pet-Friendly: Pets are welcome.


4. Pelican Rest Marina

Location: Pelican Rest Marina is situated in Galveston, Texas. It’s located on the north side of Offatts Bayou, a popular spot for yachting.

About: Pelican Rest Marina is known for its upscale facilities. It’s one of the newest marinas in Texas and offers many amenities. The marina is often called the “Gateway to Galveston,” highlighting its prime location.

Amenities and Services:

  • Fuel Dock: You can refuel your boat with gasoline or diesel.
  • Deep Draft Slips: Suitable for deep draft boats and mega yachts.
  • Sport Fishing Support: Ideal for sport fishing boats with all necessary facilities.
  • Upscale Facilities: The marina offers high-end amenities for a luxurious experience.
  • Community: You’ll find a vibrant community here. It’s a great place to meet other boating enthusiasts.


5. JMK5 Marina

Location: JMK5 Marina is in Kemah, Texas on Clear Lake, making it an ideal spot for liveaboards and boating enthusiasts.

About: “The best kept secret on Clear Lake” is known for its friendly and helpful community. The liveaboards here are welcoming, and the marina staff goes out of their way to assist you. It’s popular for its affordable rates and working-class vibe. There’s no pretentiousness, just good people and good service.

Amenities and Services:

  • Wet Slips: 314 floating dock slips, suitable for power and sail vessels up to 55′ long and 34′ wide.
  • Dry Storage: Available for runabouts or boats up to 30′.
  • Clean Restrooms and Showers: Maintained regularly for your comfort.
  • Pool: Perfect for relaxation and socializing.
  • Clubhouse: A great place to meet other boaters.


Basics of Liveaboard Life in Texas

As a liveaboard enthusiast thinking about docking on the Texas coast, you should be familiar with the legalities, lifestyle, and practical considerations of marina living in the Lone Star State.

Legal Aspects of Liveaboards in Texas

Before you dock your home on the water, understand that Texas has specific legal requirements for liveaboards. Registration isn’t complicated; you need your boat to display current decals proving you’re legally living at sea.

However, it’s not mandatory to register your boat as a liveaboard as long as you have the necessary decals for boat validation in Texas waters.

Defining the Liveaboard Lifestyle

Living on a marina slip comes with a lifestyle that blends adventure with the comforts of home. Imagine waking up to the sound of waves and spending your evenings fishing under the stars.

This liveaboard life in Texas includes enjoying local cuisine, joining a community of sea-loving neighbors, and having the freedom to navigate the coast whenever the mood strikes.

Hurricane Preparedness

The Texas coast can be a harsh host, especially during hurricane season. Choosing a marina means checking for “hurricane holes,” considered safe havens during storms.

Facilities like Island Moorings Marina in Port Aransas are known for sheltered spots offering more protection.

Safety Measures

Your well-being is paramount, and good marinas are equipped with safety measures like secure docks, lighting, and access to help.

They also provide a community watch, ensuring that someone always has your back.

Marina fees

Costs vary widely, but what you pay usually includes more than just your slip. Expect fees to cover amenities like power, water, Wi-Fi, and maintenance.

While rates are generally reasonable, places with exceptional liveaboard communities and facilities might have a heftier price tag, reflecting their value for your lifestyle.

Always check the rates and what they include before committing to a liveaboard marina recommendation in Texas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best liveaboard marinas in Texas for beginners?

Safety, amenities, and a welcoming community are essential for newcomers to liveaboard life. Island Moorings Marina in Port Aransas is popular for its friendly atmosphere and reasonable prices.

Is Texas a good place to cruise or liveaboard?

Yes, Texas offers diverse boating experiences with its long coastline and numerous bays. Marinas, like Clear Lake, provide excellent amenities and are favorite spots for cruising and liveaboards.

Can you recommend some marinas in Galveston that are suitable for liveaboard lifestyle?

Galveston has several marinas that cater to liveaboards, with good facilities and strong communities. Locations such as Kemah are known for their liveaboard-friendly environment.

How can I find marinas in Texas that are open to having liveaboards?

Contact marinas directly to understand their policies on liveaboards and what costs might be involved.


Our tour of prime Texas marinas, from the hot spots of Clear Lake to the quiet channels of Port Mansfield, wraps up with lots of great options for liveaboard sailors. Marinas like Pelican Rest Marina keep you close to the action while hidden gems like JMK5 Marina offer peaceful relaxation.

With this guide covering what Texas marinas have to offer – from amenities to community fun – you can discover the liveaboard life on the Lone Star waters. Fair winds, y’all!