Our harbor is easily accessible from both Watch Hill Passage and Fishers Island Sound, the breakwaters provide an open passage into the North East corner of the harbor. Our boatyard's location offers a uniquely protected shelter from Nor' Easters and other storm quadrants. In addition to the harbors ideal location by water, our by land accessibility is that of the utmost convenience. Stonington harbor is a lively and vibrant hub, surrounded by the best food, scenery and rich history.
I would give zero if I could. I won’t even get into the 6 month fiasco that ended with my boat in worse shape than I sent it after wasting thousands of dollars. Just heed my advice and NEVER let Dodson’s service any part of your boat. The operation is unprofessional and incompetent from top to bottom. Go elsewhere, you’ll thank me.
Nastiest rudest manager I have ever encountered, ever. We had a reservation for a mooring and initially they insisted we raft up. When I explained that we had a reservation they "found" our reservation and assigned us a ball. We called the Office to confirm the pump out and fuel services were available the evening we arrived. The following morning, the management told us, and another customer the pump out and fuel docks were occupied by transients. We were told to leave with our full holding tank. "Go 3 miles off shore". Then the personal insults came...
In May we made reservations for a slip (at higher slip fees) After a 6 hour trip we arrived and ended up waiting for over 30 minutes for our "slip assignment". We were instructed to tie up to the fuel dock. After 20 minutes of confusion and head scratching on the dockhands' part, we were finally able to tie up with the help of friends who recently arrived. Before we could get settled another boat was instructed to raft against our port side. Hardly a "slip" situation. Had we known we'd be rafted we would have asked for a mooring. Furthermore, our sailboat was stern to stern with a 60' power boat. The exhaust from the power boat was less than 3 feet from our cabin entrance. When the power boat left, after waking us at 6am, we were literally smoked out of our bed by diesel fumes! We felt we should be somehow compensated for being gagged awake and for the change in "slip" so we spoke with Andrew (Dock Manager) who informed us Dodson's "doesn't really have any slips per se" and since they "accommodated us" they would be charging the full rate. The boat owners who were forced to raft with us attempted to get some sort of satisfaction, as they also reserved a slip, and were basically told they could leave if they weren't happy. Dodson's lists itself as a Marina/Boatyard - CLEARLY they are simply a working boatyard. NOT a Marina. Dodson dock staff are clearly not knowledgeable in simple tie up and line handling. Management is rude and has an obnoxious attitude. We had never been to Stonington, CT before and, as a result of this terrible experience, will probably not waste our time or money going there again.
My parents kept their sailboats at Dodson's for 20+ years. After my father passed away we asked Dodson's to sell it. After a year+ on the market the interior flooded while on blocks due to negligence on Dodson's part. To make mattes worse no one noticed the water in the interior for months and as a result the damage was extensive. Dodson's delayed and avoided any responsibility for 9+ months until my insurance said it would not cover the event as it was negligence. Dann and Bob made a difficult situation much worse through the use of threats, delay tactics, foul language and refusing to cooperate with independent surveyors. Dodson's wanted to "repair" the damage they created - their estimate came in half of what an independent surveyor reported. We ended up pulling the boat and sold it for scrap. Do yourself a favor and find another marina.
We recently purchased a used sailboat. One of the things noted on the survey was to replace the main halyard sheave, since it jammed during the survey and the surveyor visually inspected it and saw it was bad. The boat was taken to Dodson's by the previous owner to have the work done. The rigger went aloft and told the owner that there wasn't a problem, and never changed the sheave. We took the boat the following weekend on her shakedown cuise, sailing from Stonington, CT to Marblehead, MA. The second day out, the halyard jammed, along with the boom topping lift. It short-circuited our trip and we sailed the rest of the way under jib and engine. I took it to a very reputable yard in Marblehead (Marblehead Trading Co.) and they changed the two sheaves. The old ones were toast. Don't know how the rigger could have missed it. I sent photos of the sheaves to the General Manager, but my emails have been unanswered. The place may be nice to spend the night and go ashore, but at this point I don't recommend the yard sevice. If I could give it less than one star, I would.