Menemsha Harbor was GREAT! Mr Spider, the assistant harbormaster was friendly and made us feel welcomed like family. NOTE that he mentioned that they allow “rafting” on the mooring balls do if Dockwa says there is no reservation available, there likely is. He told me if I return and can’t make a reservation to consider speaking to their office direct by phone or VHF. There is FRESH seafood dockside, gasoline and diesel, and a great food shack up a canal that is an easy walk or short dinghy ride. This “canal” was shown in the movie JAWS and is where “Captain Quinn” lived and where he kept his boat, the ORCA. It is well worth a rewatch of the movie before visiting Martha’s Vineyard. Also, at the movie theater in Edgartown, they show the movie JAWS every Sunday night on “the big screen.”
The dock was conveniently located in proximity to the the transportation center where we were able to catch a bus and visit Oak Bluffs snd Edgartown. There’s a West Marine Express about two blocks away and a Stop And Shop grocery store a half block away. The dock master was great handling lines and accommodating our needs. The bathrooms, showers snd laundry facility was very clean. Worthy of five stars but a worthy of NOTING… this is a “dry” town and the “Black Dog Tavern” sells drinks with a meal.
We tied off to mooring ball #1 which was closest to the dinghy dock and made for quick transits between the boat and shore. As everyone has previously stated, there is a lot of city noise; train horn every thirty minutes or so, a band playing about 200’ away, etc. I embraced it …. for one night. I was unable to reach anyone via telephone nor could I reach anyone on the VHF radio. Minor issue but as a normal courtesy, I like to communicate to make sure I am tying up at the right spot, not taking anyone’s assigned mooring, etc. The bathroom was open to the public and was well used. I preferred using the head aboard our boat. I will give kudos to the waterfront staff on resolving a minor Dockwa billing issue when I changed my reservation from four nights to one night. I was refunded the difference after exchanging several texts.
Block Island is a wonderful location and Payne’s Marina is conveniently located inside a harbor that offers reasonably good protection. I was surprised when we entered the marina and phoned the dock master, he indicated that they don’t use a marine VHF radio to give instructions. I was shocked that we were not going to COMMUNICATE with each other until we got within shouting distance. We had to wait several minutes circling around waiting for someone to give instructions to us. It just seemed kind of weird. The docks were in good shape, the bathrooms were spotless, there was an excellent bar with fair prices at the base of the dock but the electric outlets were not pedestal based so there was a plug in near the slip and the breaker located in a breaker box yards away. Not typical for a five star rated marina. Bottom line though is I would return with I feel is a pretty good endorsement.
We arrived late on a Saturday afternoon. The dock master met us at the dock and assisted us with our lines. He was skilled and made the process effortless. There was a an outdoor bar (near the pool) that was a very popular and it took us little time for us to join the crowd. The facilities were clean and in my opinion, this facility is worthy of a five star rating.
I can’t say enough good things about this marina and the staff that works there. I was greeted by Danny, a young college aged kid that had been around docks for a period of time. He provided clear instructions on the VHF and met me promptly at the slip, waving me in. I was single handed so it was great having a capable person on the dock anticipating when to tension or slacken the dock lines. At the dock master office he provided great local information which allowed for an enjoyable visit. The following day I met Alex and Don. Don seemed to be THE MAN running the show and he was great! He hooked me up with some discounted tour tickets (greatly appreciated), called me on my cell when my dog escaped from the boat and offered great dinner recommendations at a nearby restaurant (Stripers). I will definitely stop at Waterside Marina on my return trip.
We found paradise in South Carolina when we pulled into the Harbour Town Yacht Basin. Dock hand Maximilian greeted us at the fuel dock with a bottle of wine in hand. I am uncertain what the promotion was but we plan to return! Good job to the HTYB marketing team. Nancy and Jeff (inside the dock master office) were excellent and facilitated in helping us secure dinner reservations at an oceanside restaurant which was also excellent. Kudos to all at the Yacht basin!
The rates were reasonable, the staff was professional and efficient, and the services (fuel, security and utilities) were great. The marina has a video surveillance system and security guards that patrol the docks at night. During the day the marina staff keeps a close eye on things. The city has done a good job renovating the office (it used to be a tired houseboat) and I am certain they will tackle a dock upgrade when funds allow. Hopefully they can score a grant for floating docks! I would highly recommend this marina. The location is great, the rates are reasonable and the staff exceed all expectations! True professionals!!!