A yacht marina is a type of dock or series of docks at which a yacht or yachts can be moored or otherwise secured when not in use. These docks are small and cannot accommodate large passenger ships; many yachts can be stored at the marina, and boat owners often pay storage fees to be allowed to keep the boat in the yacht marina. This dock system is usually equipped with all the equipment necessary to safely dock and store the boat, and many marinas even employ security staff to prevent damage, theft, and other threats to the boats.
The location of the yacht marina can vary. Some of these areas are located along the banks of large rivers, while others are situated along the sea. The yacht marina may instead be built inland from tidal waters to prevent damage to boats, though locating the marina inland can limit its size considerably. Many marinas feature dry-dock services as well, and such services can be located inland from the docks themselves. Dry-dock storage involves removing the yachts from the water and storing them on racks; this prolongs the life of the boat, since the hull will be removed from water, and it maximizes storage space within the boat yard by stacking boats on top of one another.
Services and amenities can also vary significantly from yacht marina to marina. Visiting boaters may have access to restaurants, bathrooms and showers, lounges, and other facilities, while at other marinas, boaters may only have access to a dock and basic services such as refueling stations. Ship chandlers are often on hand to sell boating equipment to visiting yachters, and repair services may also be a part of the yacht marina. In other cases, the marina may only act as little more than a parking space for the boat.
Long-term dock spots can be booked for a local yachter, though space is often limited and a yacht owner may have to wait several years until a spot opens up. Some dock spots are reserved specifically for visiting yachters so they will have access to the marina whenever they show up. Fees for staying in the yacht marina can vary as well, and the fees often depend upon what services the yachter will use during his or her stay. A basic fee may be compounded, for example, if the boater uses shower facilities, repair services, or refueling stations.