Friday, May 01, 2015

FREE DOCKS!

Jacksonville, FL

We are in downtown Jaxonville.   Since Tarwathie is tied up at the JAX public dock, I thought that might make a good blog post on a subject that I've never touched before.

Libby and I are big fans of Skipper Bob cruising guides.  (We don't like The Waterway Guide; we owned one but gave it away.) Our favorite words in Skipper Bob are FREE DOCK.  (Probably the favorite of most others too.)

Below is a list of all the FREE DOCKs that I can think of, arranged North to South.  I do not list many "dock and dine" docks, nor docks that enforece "No Overnight".    Here's a chance for some fun.  I suspect that my list includes less than half the actual number on the USA East Coast.  Blog readers who know of others are invited to post comments to this post.


  • ME, NH, MA, RI, CT (can't think of any.)
  • Vermont: Vergennes city docks.  On Otter creek at the base of Vergennes Falls.  This is our favorite.  You can't find a prettier scene.   Free 15A power, free water.
  • NYS Canal System.   90% of the locks and 50% of the non-lock facilities offer free docks for 48 hours.  I'll mention below our favorites.
  • Whitehall, NY  on the wall above the lock.  Free showers.  Free 30A power (on again, off again).  
  • Lock 11, idyllic green and serenity
  • Lock 9, idyllic green and serenity
  • Mechanicville, on the wall downtown, free 30A power & water & showers.
  • Waterford,  30A power ($10) free water & showers.  Loaner shopping carts and nearby supermarkets.
Erie Canal
  • Lock 7, idyllic green and serenity. Free 15A 120V power,
  • Lock 11, Amsterdam, Free 15A 120V power. urban, noisy.
  • Lock 15, Canajoharie, Free 30A power & water.  Neraby Arkel Museum!
  • Lock 16, Fort Plain, green & nice.
  • Lock 17, Little Falls, landing in the canal above the lock, good to take a walking tour of the historic town.
  • Floating Dock, General Schuyler Mansion.  Tie up for an hour and tour this revolutionary era mansion.
  • Lock 20, Marcy,  Free 15A power & water.  Pavilion beside the dock has concerts Thurday nights.
  • Rome NY, urban, noisy, but close to Fort Stanwix
  • Sylvan Beach,  next to and amusement park, nearby restaurants.  Avoid weekends!!!!
  • Lock 23, green & quiet.
  • Palmyra Public docks.  Go there to see the Mormon Pagent, outstanding experience.  Also tour the museums downtown.
  • Newark canal wall.  Free 30A, water, showers, nearby clock museum and Wegmans and ice cream stand.  Great place!
  • Medina canal wall.  Visit the great RR museum.
Hudson River & South
  • Athens Public dock.  Says "no overnight" but not enforced.
  • Mariners restaurant docks, Poughkeepsie.  Not pretty, very very noisy train, but the only place to stop or anchor in nearly 50 miles.  Another dock and dine across the river that we have not tried yet.
NJ, DE, MD, VA
  • Cambridge, MD public dock.  Sailing the Choptank is nice.  No facilities here, but nice.
  • Porstmouth, VA basins.  Two basins downtown.
  • Elizabeth Docks, on the DSC side of the Deep Creek Lock.  Nearby Food Lion, and Auto Parts stores. Visit with Robert the lock tender.  He has great stories.
  • NC Welcome Center, Dismal Swamp Canal.  One of our favorites.  Water, no power, WiFi.
  • Elizabeth City Public Docks,  Famous for the Rose Buddies hospitality and wine & cheese parties.  Water, no power, nearby showers $5.  All kinds of stores.
  • Oriental Public Docks,  A favorite for everyone.  No facilities.
  • New Bern, Union Point Park.  No facilities.  Says "no overnight" but not enforced.  Downtown New Bern is a jewel.
  • Provision Company, Southport, NC.  I think these docks are no longer available.
  • Sisters Creek.  Brand new.  Just 200 yards north of Sisters Creek Bridge, 300 feet of excellent docks.  No facilities.
  • Jacksonville Landing, where we are tonight.   No facilities. 
  • New Symrna Beach, floating docks and piling lined walls.  No facilities.  Nearby charming downtown.
  • Cocoa FL, Public Dock.  Says "three hours only" don't know if that is enforced.
  • Okeechobee Waterway: Labelle City Docks.  Brand new.  Free 30A power & water.  Close to Log Cabin BBQ - yummy.
Readers, please comment with descriptions of your favorites. I'll edit them into the list above.

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