The Cheapest Place To Dock a Boat in California (7 Places)

Written by Desiree Vilar in Cost of Sailing

It can be a challenge for most sailors or boat enthusiasts to find a budget-friendly marina. If you're looking for affordable marinas to dock your boat, you're in luck. California's coastline offers a diverse range of sailing conditions, from calm bays to rough open seas to lakes and reservoirs. California has several of these that cater to different boating needs, from the scenic coastlines of San Diego to the bustling harbors of Los Angeles.

For budget-friendly docking, try Newport Beach or Ventura Harbor. Morro Bay also offers cheap docking rates, as does Long Beach. The cheapest liveaboards can be found in Stockton. For marinas with affordable watersports activities, you can choose Lake Tahoe, but for other recreational activities, Sausalito is your cheapest option.

Docking options are not just confined to beaches or the sea, because California also has many beautiful lakes and reservoirs that offer affordable docking options for boaters. Let's find out which lakes offer the most affordable docking rates, so you have more options to choose from.


  • California is home to many beautiful lakes and reservoirs that offer affordable docking options for boaters.
  • The affordability of docking rates on California's coastlines and lakes will depend on the location you choose, the amenities and additional services you seek, the size of the boat, and your length of stay.
  • Some of the affordable marinas or docks around California can be found in these places: Newport Beach, Ventura Harbor, Morro Bay, Stockton, Lake Tahoe, Long Beach, and Sausalito.
  • There are also affordable docking sites in some of California's lakes, such as Lake Shasta, Bass Lake, Alpine Lake, and Silverwood Lake.

7 Places in California With Affordable Docking Rates for Boats

Below is a table showing the cheapest average docking rates per foot per day in seven of the most affordable marinas in California:

Marina Docking Rate per Foot per Day
Newport Beach $0.95
Ventura Harbor $0.80
Morro Bay $0.60
Stockton $0.50
Lake Tahoe $1.00
Long Beach $1.25
Sausalito $2.00

Newport Beach offers a budget-friendly docking

With its prime location on the coast, Newport Beach offers plenty of opportunities for sailing and boating enthusiasts.

One of the best options for docking in Newport Beach is the Marina at Larson's Shipyard. This marina offers short and long-term rentals starting at $100 per night or $2800 per month. The dock is located across from Lido Island and Lido Village, making it a convenient location for exploring the area.

Another great option for budget-friendly docking in Newport Beach is the Lido Island dock, which is available for rent at $3500 per month.This dock is 50 feet long, providing plenty of space for your boat. Plus, it's located on Lido Island, which is known for its beautiful beaches and upscale shopping and dining options.

If you're looking for storage options in Newport Beach, Newport Dunes Resort Marina is a popular choice, offering wide concrete docks with full-service utilities and modern amenities. The marina is located between the scenic Back Bay and Newport Harbor and offers full marina services with Wi-Fi, a clubhouse, a pool, and more.

The Ventura Harbor is best for economical mooring

If you're looking for an affordable place to dock your boat in California, Ventura Harbor offers a variety of mooring options for sailors and boaters of all types, with prices that won't break the bank.

The qualities of a marina that offers good mooring are described in this article.

One of the best things about Ventura Harbor is its location. Situated in the heart of Ventura, California, the marina is just a short drive from many popular attractions and amenities. You'll have easy access to restaurants, shopping, and entertainment, making it a convenient place to dock your boat.

When it comes to pricing, this marina offers a variety of slip sizes and mooring options, with rates starting as low as $1.50 per foot per day for guest slips. If you're looking for a long-term mooring option, you'll find rates as low as $12.13 per foot per month for inside ties.

This site also offers a range of amenities for boaters, such as a fuel dock, pump-out station, laundry facilities, showers, and restrooms. There are also several restaurants and shops located within the marina, making it a convenient place to stock up on supplies or grab a bite to eat.

The Morro Bay offers low-cost slip rates

Located in the beautiful Central Coast region of California, Morro Bay is a popular destination for sailing and boating enthusiasts.

The Morro Bay Marina offers both covered and uncovered slips, accommodating boats up to 50 feet in length. The marina has a total capacity of 40 slips, with additional moorings available. It also offers a variety of services, including boat rentals, cable TV on the dock, electricity on the dock, phone service on the dock, restrooms, showers, transient berths or tie-ups, and water on the dock.

The slip rates at Morro Bay Marina are very reasonable, especially compared to other marinas in California. Currently, the monthly slip rates for uncovered slips range from $175 to $300, depending on the size of the boat. Covered slips are also available at rates ranging from $450 to $650 per month. The rates include water and electricity on the dock.

This marina also offers a secure dock with a lock and plenty of parking. It is also conveniently located near a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, making it a great location for boaters who want to explore the area.

Stockton has many cheap liveaboard marinas

Stockton offers a variety of marinas that cater to live-aboard boaters, and many of them are quite affordable. However, you might have to wait for at least 3-7 years on the waiting list before you get a spot.

One of the best options in Stockton is the Stockton Downtown Marina. This marina offers dockage at a very reasonable price, and it's conveniently located in the heart of the city. You can easily walk to many of Stockton's top attractions from this marina, including the Bob Hope Theatre and the Stockton Arena.

Another great option in Stockton is the Buckley Cove Marina. This marina is located on the picturesque Calaveras River, and it offers a variety of amenities for live-aboard boaters. You'll find everything from laundry facilities to a swimming pool at this marina, and the rates are very reasonable.

If you're looking for a marina that's a bit further out of town, the Windmill Cove Marina is a great option. This marina is located on the San Joaquin River, and it offers a peaceful, secluded setting that's perfect for live-aboard boaters.

The rates are quite affordable, and you'll have access to a variety of amenities, including a restaurant and a swimming pool.

Lake Tahoe offers affordable docking and many watersport activities

With its crystal-clear water and stunning mountain views, Lake Tahoe is a popular destination for boating and sailing enthusiasts. There are several marinas around the lake that offer affordable boat storage and rental options.

One of the best places to dock your boat in Lake Tahoe is at Action Watersports. They offer top-of-the-line boats, jet skis, and equipment rentals at four convenient marina locations: Camp Richardson, Lakeside Marina, Round Hill Pines Marina, and Timber Cove Marina. You can rent a boat for as little as $70 per hour, making it an affordable option for a day out on the lake.

Another affordable option for watersports in Lake Tahoe is TNT Discount Watersports. This family-owned and operated business offers brand new 2021 Yamaha and Sea-Doo models for rent, including jet skis, Sea-Doos, and wave runners.

When it comes to boat storage, Tahoe Keys Marina offers a variety of options, including covered and uncovered slips, as well as dry storage. Prices start at just $160 per month, making it an affordable option for those who want to keep their boat at the lake year-round.

The Long Beach is a great option for economical boat storage

With its prime location on the coast, Long Beach offers a variety of economical boat storage options that cater to all types of boaters.

One of the best places to store your boat in Long Beach is Pacific RV Park. This locally owned and operated park offers both RV and boat storage, making it a great option for those who like to travel with their boat. The park is clean, well-maintained, and offers friendly service.

Another great option for boat storage in Long Beach is Life Storage. They offer both indoor and outdoor boat storage options, as well as 24/7 access to your boat. With their top-notch security features, you can rest assured that your boat is safe and protected.

Sausalito offers affordable docking rates and a picturesque view

Sausalito is a picturesque town located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. There are several affordable marinas in the area, including the Sausalito Yacht Harbor, which offers monthly rates starting at $10 per foot. Another option is the Clipper Yacht Harbor, which offers monthly rates starting at $12 per foot.

In addition to its picturesque views, Sausalito offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy, including art galleries, outdoor activities, shopping, dining, historical landmarks, and festivals and events that you may want to check out while your boat is docked.

Other Lakes In California With The Cheapest Docking Rates

Aside from Lake Tahoe, here are the five other cheapest lakes to dock your boat on in this city.

Bass Lake is popular for water sports activities

Located in the Sierra National Forest, Bass Lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and water sports. The lake covers over 1,400 acres and has over 6 miles of shoreline. You can find affordable docking options at Bass Lake Boat Rentals and Marina. They offer daily and weekly rates for boat slips and mooring buoys.

Lake Shasta is popular for houseboating

Lake Shasta is a man-made reservoir located in Northern California. It is a popular destination for houseboating, fishing, and water sports. You can find affordable docking options at the Shasta Marina Resort. You can also find affordable houseboat rentals at Lake Shasta.

Alpine Lake offers a peaceful setting for boaters

Alpine Lake is located in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and offers a peaceful setting for boaters. The lake covers over 20 acres and has a maximum depth of 40 feet. You can find affordable docking options at the Alpine View Campground.

Silverwood Lake offers many recreational activities for boaters

Silverwood Lake is located in the San Bernardino Mountains and offers a variety of recreational activities for boaters. The lake covers over 3,300 acres and has over 13 miles of shoreline. You can find affordable docking options at the Silverwood Lake Marina.

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