The Best Liveaboard Marinas in Florida for 2024

Imagine waking up to gentle waves and golden sunrises—that’s life at Florida liveaboard marinas! The top liveaboard marinas in Florida offer everything you need: sparkling pools, safe harbors during storms, and the warmest boating community you’ll ever join.

Whether you’re escaping cold winters or embracing year-round boat life, you’ll find your perfect, sunny home here. At liveaboard marinas in Florida, every day feels like a vacation with fine beaches, tasty seafood, and endless fun. Dive in and discover why Florida is a boater’s paradise.

The Best Liveaboard Marinas in Florida

Our list includes some of the best marinas in Florida for liveaboards. We also recommend these marinas if you are looking for a short-term transient slip.

1. Fort Pierce City Marina

Florida liveaboard marina sunset

Image credit: Fort Pierce City Marina

Location: Fort Pierce City Marina is located on the Treasure Coast in historic downtown Fort Pierce, Florida. This area is known for its scenic views and close proximity to the Bahamas.

About: Established in 1938, Fort Pierce City Marina has a rich history. It features a cutting-edge dock system. The marina has an Eco-friendly Storm Protection System, making it a safe and reliable option.

Amenities and Services:

  • Water hook up
  • Free Wi-FI
  • Pump out
  • Two Fueling stations
  • Laundry
  • Transient Dockage
  • Diesel Fuel in Slip
  • Gasoline
  • Boat Ramps
  • Supply Store
  • Pet Friendly

Contact:

2. Bahia Mar Yachting Center

Location: Bahia Mar Yachting Center is located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

About: This premier Suntex marina and resort is a key destination for yachting enthusiasts and the home of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The center features a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and offers a fantastic waterfront experience.

Amenities and Services:

  • 300 slips for boats up to 300 feet long
  • 5,000 feet of floating docks
  • Shopping and dining options
  • Access to Fort Lauderdale Beach
  • Pool, private bathrooms
  • washers and dryers
  • waterfront grill area

For more information, you can visit their website or contact them at (954) 000-0000.

3. Dinner Key Marina

Location: Dinner Key Marina is located in Coconut Grove, one of Miami’s most scenic areas. It’s easily accessible and offers beautiful views of Biscayne Bay.

About: This marina is one of Miami’s largest, featuring 587 wet slips. It’s an ideal place for those looking to live aboard their boat, thanks to its prime location and extensive facilities.

Amenities and Services:

  • Accommodates boats between the size of 30 and 135 feet length overall
  • 30/50/100 Amp Service
  • Laundry Facilities & Pumpout
  • US Customs Clearing
  • 24 Hour Staff / Security
  • Fishing & Diving Charters
  • Protected Slips to 7′ Draft
  • Wooden Finger Piers
  • Concrete Docks

Contact:
For more details or to make a reservation, you can visit the official Dinner Key Marina Website.

4. Halifax Harbor Marina

Location: Halifax Harbor Marina is located in the heart of Daytona Beach, Florida. You can easily access it from the Intracoastal Waterway, making it convenient for boaters.

About: This marina has 550 slips and covers 60 acres. It is owned by the City of Daytona Beach. Halifax Harbor Marina welcomes both permanent and seasonal boaters.

Amenities and Services:

  • Year-round docking
  • Seasonal and overnight accommodations
  • Warm, friendly community
  • Private bathrooms
  • Onsite parking
  • Security services

Contact:

5. Riviera Dunes Marina

Location: 102 Riviera Dunes Way, Palmetto, FL, 34221.

About: Riviera Dunes Marina has 219 wet slips that can accommodate boats ranging from 35 to 110 feet. It’s known for having some of the safest waters on the Gulf Coast, with average depths of 18 feet.

Amenities and Services:

  • 219 wet slips ranging in size from 35 to 110 feet
  • Gas and Diesel Fuel Dock
  • Pumpouts Available
  • Electrical Services
  • Water Included
  • 10 foot Wide Floating Docks
  • Average 18-foot Depths, the Safest Gulf Coast Marina
  • Two Heated Freshwater Floating Pools
  • Security Cameras throughout the Property
  • Pet-Friendly Walking Area
  • On-Site Laundry Room
  • Private Bathrooms with Large Showers

Contact:

6. Safe Harbor Lauderdale Marine Center

Location: Lauderdale Marine Center is located in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, known as the “Venice of America.” The marina sits on the New River and spans 65 acres, making it one of the largest yacht facilities in the country.

About: Lauderdale Marine Center is well-equipped and features 160 slips that accommodate boats up to 200 feet long. The marina is a popular choice due to its extensive repair and maintenance services.

Amenities and Services:

  • Secure and gated access
  • On-site restaurant and shops
  • Laundry facilities
  • Fitness center
  • Full-service shipyard
  • Boat lifting and storage

Contact:

7. Oasis Marinas at Fernandina Harbor Marina

Location: Oasis Marinas at Fernandina Harbor Marina is located in Fernandina Beach, Florida. It sits along mile 716 of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), near the Florida-Georgia border.

About: This marina is known for its scenic views and close proximity to downtown Fernandina Beach, filled with restaurants, shops, and historic landmarks.

Amenities and Services:

  • Boat Slips: The marina offers boat slip rentals, accommodating various sizes of vessels.
  • Fuel Dock: A brand-new fuel dock provides easy refueling.
  • Mooring Field: There is a mooring field available for boaters.
  • Deep-Water Dockage: The marina has 4,000 feet of alongside deep-water dockage.
  • Facilities: Modern amenities for visiting boaters, ensuring a comfortable stay.

Contact:

8. Panama City Marina

Location: Panama City Marina is in the heart of downtown Panama City, Florida. It’s located on the beautiful St. Andrews Bay.

About: This marina is a popular spot for liveaboards, offering a welcoming community and a great place to dock your boat. Its central location makes it easy to access local shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

Amenities and Services:

  • Docks: Modern floating docks that can accommodate vessels of various sizes.
  • Facilities: Clean restrooms and showers.
  • Laundry: On-site washers and dryers.
  • Wi-Fi: Free high-speed internet access.
  • Fuel Dock: Easy refuel options.
  • Parking: Secure, convenient parking for boat owners.
  • Security: 24/7 surveillance to ensure the safety of your boat.

Contact:

Why Would Someone Want To Live Aboard Their Boat In Florida?

Florida is a fantastic place to live on a boat. There’s plenty to do, plenty to see, and employment opportunities abound.

Florida is very safe, has strict laws, and has impressive transparency. If that appeals to you, that alone may be a good reason to move there.

If you’re looking for a financial incentive, consider that there is no income tax in Florida. That’s right – zero income tax. 

So, moving to Florida is like getting an instant raise. It’s also important to keep this in mind when calculating your marina budget.

You will have much more disposable income and be surprised at how much more you can spend on quality mooring in a prime location.

Choosing the best marina depends on many factors, some of which have already been mentioned. But in most cases, it comes down to two things: location and price. Just like buying a house, location is everything. You also want to look at their websites for list of services and pricing and for any marina marketing and offers they might run.

Speaking of location:

What To Consider When Living On A Boat In Florida?

boating in Florida

Not everything in Florida is glamorous. Many of the things are, but not everything. Florida is very hot, which is great. Also, Florida is very humid, which you may not like. 

Much of Florida is swampy terrain, which provides the perfect climate for mosquitoes and other insects, combined with the humid air. If this bothers you, Florida may not be for you. On the other hand, there are far fewer insects if you live on the coast or near the city. Not zero, but fewer.

Depending on where you live in Florida and your personal preferences, you may also find the party culture unpleasant. South Florida can be crazy, but the marinas give you easy access to the big cities. It’s a playground for the young, the party lovers, and the rich. If that’s not a problem for you, that’s great!

On the other hand, if you’ve left partying and drunkenness behind, it can get pretty annoying over time. If you want to avoid this kind of nightlife, you should stay in Tampa Bay. Even though it may not seem like it, Tampa is much more laid back.

The weather has already been briefly mentioned, but there is nothing to worry about on a day-to-day basis. Bugs are annoying but not necessarily the biggest problem. A more serious challenge is the tropical storms, which Florida has many, especially during the Hurricane season.

Devastating hurricanes do hit Florida, and people might need to evacuate to safer waters before that happens. For people living aboard their boat, it’s literal. They have to pull up the anchor and sail to safer waters. A hurried trip up the coast to New York is a headache. And it can also be costly.

If, after all that, you’re still looking forward to living in Florida, maybe even more so, it’s time to decide where you want to live. Choosing a marina is not as big a commitment as renting an apartment. Leases can be much shorter and are much more flexible. However, this usually comes at a price. 

You can get a much better deal if you opt for a longer lease. Therefore, it is essential that you choose the best marina the first time. In the long run, this could save you a small fortune. This section will help you do just that.

What To Look For In A Marina?

Your marina should work for you. How much money you can get differs from place to place. Do you want to live close to a big city? Great, but maybe you can only afford to live in a marina with little or no additional amenities.

Utilities may not even be included. Here are some things you may not have known you needed but may miss once you’re without them.

1. Electricity and water connections

Not all marinas have electricity and water hookups. You will not only want but need both if you plan to stay there long term. If electricity and water are not included in the lease, you will need to discuss their additional cost.

Electricity costs, in particular, can add up over a year. Solar is a great alternative and can help you find your way to energy freedom. Keep electricity costs in mind when comparing multiple locations.

2. WiFi

Not all marinas have WiFi, and those that do may not have particularly good WiFi. You can, of course, connect yourself with a satellite router. However, this is not always ideal. 

If you can find a marina that will provide you with WiFi, you should have a head start, even if it’s not free. If you plan to work from your boat, it may not be ideal or even impossible to do so without WiFi.

3. Facilities for washing and drying

If you live on your boat, you probably don’t have a washer and dryer unless it’s a megayacht. That means you have to rely on a laundry facility. That’s fine, of course. But when you consider that you probably don’t have a car, it can become a real pain. You’ll have to do laundry at least once or twice a week. 

Driving across town with all your laundry on public transport is a hassle at the best of times. That’s why it’s so important to choose a marina with good washing and drying facilities. It can save you a lot of time and money because the equipment is usually free. 

4. Other Amenities

You might want to grab a hot coffee in the mornings or some iced drink during a hot day, so a coffee bar and a small restaurant can be handy.

If you have pets make sure that the marina is pet-friendly. 

Sailing with children and pets

You might also want to use the recreational areas and see if there is any social area nearby for smaller gatherings and private parties.

5. Security

Good security is essential. Everything you own is likely located there if you live aboard your boat. Boats are not particularly difficult to break into.

Someone who is up to it could enter and leave your boat with everything of value in 5 minutes. Choosing an enclosed marina with video surveillance and even 24-hour security is ideal and advisable.

6. Health & Fitness Facilities

Being stuck on a boat is many people’s idea of living in paradise. But it’s not always ideal for your health. This comes from someone who lived on various boats for more than a decade.

Humans need to move around, and walking or jogging is good for your mental and physical well-being. People living on a boat typically don’t have much space, but that’s not a problem with portable fitness equipment.

It’s a hassle to drive across town to find a good gym, but some marinas have a gym and pool in their facilities. It’s not a necessity, but worth considering if you have to choose between two identical marinas.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the cost of living on a boat in Florida compare to living on land?

Living on a boat can often be cheaper than renting or owning a house. Marina fees range from around $800 to over $2,000 per month, depending on the location and amenities. Additional costs like electricity, water, and boat maintenance are on top of this.

What are the legal requirements for living aboard a boat in Florida?

To live aboard a boat in Florida, your vessel must meet safety regulations and local marina rules. You may need to register your boat with the state. Most marinas also require proof of insurance. Always check with local authorities and marina management for specific legal requirements.

How do I find liveaboard marinas with available slips in Florida?

You can start by checking online listings and websites of marinas in Florida. Many websites provide details on availability, rates, and amenities. Calling marinas directly can also help you get the most up-to-date information on slip availability.

Are there liveaboard communities with social activities in Florida marinas?

Many liveaboard marinas in Florida have vibrant communities with social activities and events. Marina residents often organize gatherings, barbecues, and other social events. These activities can help you feel more connected and make new friends within the marina.

Takeaway

Florida’s liveaboard marinas offer an unparalleled boating lifestyle with top-notch amenities, vibrant liveaboard communities, and endless sunshine.

Whether you are looking for a seasonal escape or a permanent home on the water, liveaboard marinas in Florida ensure every day feels like a vacation.

See Also:


Featured Image Credit: Fort Pierce City Marina