If you’re like most boating enthusiasts, every vacation is another opportunity to get out on the water.
That’s why many boating enthusiasts eventually choose to invest in a vacation home in a community where they can create a “home away from home” — skipping a lot of the hurdles required in planning a boating getaway from scratch each year.
If you’re considering investing in a vacation home, prioritize finding a location that will make it easier for you to enjoy boating opportunities by looking for the following features in any real estate option you consider.
If you’re investing in a vacation home to return to regularly over the years, you want to find a location that you’ll feel comfortable spending a lot of time in — one that feels like home.
There are a range of factors that can define livability for you. For example, some people naturally prefer the vibrant community and culture of a more urban lifestyle, and others will prefer the quiet of a more remote spot out in nature. If you’re approaching retirement age, you’ll probably be looking for easy access to great health care and fitness opportunities in any location you’ll be spending significant time in. If you have younger kids, you may want to spend extended vacations in a place where there are other children, too, or at least activities for children.
Access and Convenience
The access and convenience of your vacation home for a boating enthusiast should encompass two things: The ease of getting to the location from your primary residence, and the ease of accessing your boat from your vacation home.
First, of course, you can choose a location within a reasonable distance of an airport with direct flights from your home. Of course, if you prefer a more remote, out-of-the-way boating experience, you may consider the extra travel time worth it. But consider that you’ll be making that trip over and over as the years go by, so it may become a headache eventually.
Beyond the travel time to your vacation home, of course, there’s the consideration of where you’ll be able to store your own boat or rent one easily.
Look for a community that has a variety of public and private marinas and easy access to boating amenities like fuel docks, paved launch ramps, covered boat slips, and boat-trailer parking. You may also appreciate the opportunity to access many different types of boats and watercraft (houseboats, speedboats, or fishing boats) to add some variety to your vacations.
Water Quality and Ease of Navigation
Of course, we all want to spend our time on and around water that’s clean and beautiful. It also helps if you can enjoy interesting features as you enjoy the water, both natural (hillsides and beaches) and man-made (from quaint seaside villages to hilltop mansions to impressive high-rises).
You’ll probably also want to look for waterways that offer boating opportunities for a range of experience levels. Long before you decide to invest in a vacation home for its boating appeal, make sure you understand how factors such as tides, currents, swells, boat traffic, and water level changes will affect boating opportunities.
Other Recreational Activities
Vacations can be a lot more fun when you and your family can also take advantage of recreational activities such as these.
- Water sports and activities – Activities like beachgoing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, skiing, and wakeboarding.
- Nature activities – If you love whale-watching, birdwatching, and hiking, plenty of destinations offer plenty of options in this area.
- Culture – Many boating destinations that offer a taste of city life feature plenty of dining and shopping options, as well as museums and aquariums to visit when you’re not on the water.
- Luxury – Some boating destinations that cater to tourists also feature resorts, spas, tennis courts, and golf courses that can be fun to visit while you’re on vacation.
- Fishing – If you like fishing, trolling, deep sea fishing, and crabbing — or are interested in trying them — look for a location where you can do those things easily.
A Local Boating Community
Many boating-friendly destinations have a vibrant boating community complete with customs, traditions, and unofficial gathering spots.
Here are just a few examples mentioned here in this article in Boating Magazine:
- Just north of the Destin bridge in Destin, Florida in the summertime, boaters gather on Crab Island, an “underwater island,” to enjoy partying thanks to a variety of “burgers, ice cream, steamed shrimp and other culinary treats” sold by barge and boat vendors.
- Boaters in the Seattle area converge on Lake Washington and the Montlake Cut for the Windermere Cup Opening Day Regatta and Boat Parade
- Lake of the Ozarks sports dozens, if not hundreds, of dockside cafes and watering holes.
Pleasant Weather (and Longer Boating Access)
What each person deems acceptable as far as boating weather can vary quite a bit. But you should get a real feel for how the weather will affect your ability to boat throughout the year before you invest in property. For example, in the winter in many regions in the U.S., boating becomes difficult, impossible, or even illegal.Get a real feel for how the weather will affect your ability to boat throughout the year before you invest in a vacation property. Click To Tweet
If the main draw of your vacation home for you will be the nearby boating opportunities, you may be able to rent out your vacation home during non-peak times of the year. Make sure you understand the local rental market first to ensure that your vacation home continues to be a worthwhile investment.
Other Special Perks and Features
If the vacation home you choose is located in a community or development right on the water, you might have even more perks developed just for boating enthusiasts.
The concierge can retrieve your boat from the nearby marina and bring it right to you at Upper East River’s dock. The concierge can also provide you with a boat and a captain for whatever excursions your heart desires, or simply provide you with just a boat to take out on your own adventures.
The marina concierge will be available to provide crew staffing and management for day trips to nearby destinations such as Hilton Head, Daufuskie, St. Catherines Island, Sunbury Crab Co., Sapelo Island, Wassaw Sound, and more. In addition, the concierge boating service includes opportunities to teach individual and group boating lessons for all levels. Residents will also be able to book inshore, nearshore, or offshore recreational activities such as fishing, dolphin sightings, kayaking, etc.