Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Free Walls, Docks, Moorings, etc. for Cruising Boats
including some low cost options…..

( Eastern USA and Canada, listed counterclockwise from the Gulf Coast )

( Expect that no services are provided unless stated otherwise, expect surprises too! )

We recommend you check  for most recent information as changes can occur without notice see our notes about this listing.  Also note that “NO” signage may only be for legal or liability purposes…..

               Gulf Coast

Madisonville, LA, some space with elec and water, may be $10/night but not much enforcement.

Mandeville, LA, (east of Madisonville) may have free wall space with elec and water, register at the police station (2 mi).

New Orleans, LA, Municipal Yacht Harbor, not been rebuilt since Katrina?, water available at the yacht club, had no elec. (next to Orleans Yacht Harbor with same accesses.)

Ocean Springs, MS, Small Craft Harbor. Water and Elec. at $10/ night. Notify Harbor Master at office on site.


Apalachacola, Fl, free dock with access to downtown, Day and Overnight reported, call city manager

Fort Walton Beach, FL, dock. call City Manager for permission or call the police dept.. Free pump-out & water.

Pensacola Beach, Fl, Quiet Water Pier, daytime okay, anchor nearby at night (see private dock option)

White City, FL, LDB fixed and floating dock space.  Pavilion in park.

Clearwater, FL  Day docks at Clearwater Beach S of boat ramp and also Indian Rocks Beach, FL, (overnight?)_.   

St Pete, FL, reported space back in RH corner of marina next to the St. Pete Pier on S side, city reportedly has several slips ?

Venice, FL, dock wall, day use dock, near new mooring field?

Ft Myers Beach, FL, old dock next to Ballard Oil, S side, unofficial permission? given when fueling.

La Belle, FL, Ft Myers side of the canal, med tie, room for 3+ boats with water and limited elec.

Islamorada, FL, Lignumvitae Key, free mooring ball, state run, can be used for a few days, see A/C.
Islamorada, FL, Shell Key, free mooring ball, state run, can be used for a few days, see A/C.
Islamorada, FL, Indian Key, free mooring ball, state run, can be used for a few days, see A/C .

          Florida East Coast

New Smyrna, FL, – Right downtown (?note: sign saying no overnight dockage but cruisers have stayed without trouble)

Cocoa, FL – Right downtown (?note: sign saying no overnight dockage but cruisers reported stays without trouble)

Jim King Park, free floating dock by Sister Creek Bridge on ICW, three day limit!  PO, water & trash…. On side creek.

        St Johns River

Jacksonville, FL, The Landings, many free floating dock options downtown, also at the marina downstream LDB if there are no events.  Can stay for three days! 

Palatka, FL, two new floating docks (no svcs) next to older city dock/pavilion w/ limited elec and water, also the Burger King dock is reportedly closed but available?

Welaka, FL, city day use dock

          ICW / Eastern Seaboard

St Marys, GA, room for a 60’ boat, water, possible overnights

Darian, GA. 8 miles off ICW.  Elect & water. 2 nights allowed. Nice restaurants nearby. 

Conway, SC, dock, with elec, located up the Waccamaw River.

Myrtle Beach, SC, Barefoot Landing (in front of the Outlet’s and restaurants), you can stay for 4 hours for $5

Calabash, NC, space available commercial dock, N of Little River Inlet near Myrtle Beach.

Beaufort, SC, nice floating dock next to marina and anchorage, free all day usage.  Also a free bulkhead wall upstream.

Georgetown, SC, free day docks, two different floating docks for 1 or 2 boats.

Southport, NC, entrance to Cape Fear heading East (N), Room for only one boat, elec and water, restaurants nearby.

Morehead City, NC, Sanitary Restaurant has room for a few boats, elect & water, $20

Oriental, NC, 48 hour municipal dock, for webcam

Chocowinity Bay, S of Washington, NC, Cypress Landing Yacht Club, floating docks/friendly neighbors.

Washington, NC, 25 miles up Pamlico R. from Belhaven (mm147.5 on the ICW), five newer 80' face docks - 24 hour limit. Also noted large anchorage nearby.

Bath, NC, T-dock, state dock east side before Bath Harbor Marina on Bath Creek. 4 to 6 boats, 72 hour limit. small gazebo & bench

Belhaven, NC, Jordan Creek, W side of Pungo R. between Pungo and Bellhaven markers, 6-7 feet channel away from the shore, favor greens, large anchoring basin over black mud. Nearby River Rat Yacht Club has pot luck suppers 2nd Saturdays ea month! YCA member may accept guests; call252-964-6100

Edenton, NC, Downtown Harbor, W end of the Albemarle Sound, 1 day, (first 2 days free with longer paid stay)

Elizabeth City, NC, Mariner's Wharf city docks downtown, Bulkheads for overflow, Rose Buddies Reception?, Fuel/pumpout across river, maybe free movies!  Small docks at college above bridge are an option too.

NC Welcome Center, The Dismal Swamp Canal - water only.  Restrooms and trash at rest stop.  Rafting expected.

New Bern, NC , Union Point Park town docks, 6 slips. Day use only, no services. Walk to everything downtown. Free anchoring in Trent River Anchorage nearby. Free dinghy dock at Hilton.

Columbia, NC, Scuppernong River, town docks. Free Food Lion shuttle. Walk to pharmacy, restaurant, and stores, 24 hour limit

Plymouth, NC, (6 mi up Roanoke River), Downtown waterfront. No facilities. Free for 48 hours. Walk to banks, shops, café.

Chesapeake (Great Bridge), VA, SE of lock, docks on either side of bridge, walking to grocery, hardware, restaurants.

              Chesapeake Bay Region

Portsmouth, VA, two different basins for overnight mooring, LDB, fixed dock can be wet at high tide!

Corinthian YC on the Potomac, $25 flat rate in 2013, boater friendly club with many docking options.

St Marys, MD, first capital of MD, free day dockage at the College, visit the historic sites too!  Good anchorages nearby.

Cambridge, MD, free wall in good location, room for a few boats, picnic table at municipal building.  Close to downtown.
Also free dockage at MidShore Electronics past bridge if you need any electronics work.

St Michaels, join the Maritime Museum to get day dockage privileges and town access, good anchorages nearby

Rock Hall, MD, city bulkhead in main harbor, close walking to town. Bad rolling in strong S winds…exposed bolts.

Chesapeake City, MD, Engineer's Cove, 4 boats on face wall and one next to dink dock, 4’ draft ?reported problem with shoaling

Northeastern Shores

Hadley's Harbor just west of Woods Hole and South of Buzzards Bay, about 20 FREE moorings. Very well protected and scenic. No facilities

                Interior Rivers, Lakes, Canal Systems

Many of the locks on the NYD Canal System reportedly allow overnight docking, 2 days may be the maximum stay in NY.

Athens, NY, dock on Hudson River

Waterford, NY, dock/wall w/ water, elec, showers, restrooms. Pump-out available $$

Mechanicsville, NY, Lock 3 on the Champlain Canal, elec. and water, reported free pumpout nearby.

Ft. Edwards, NY, wall with elec and water on the Champlain Canal, restrooms and shower$$

Whitehall, NY, Lake Champlain, long cement wall with 3 elec. posts and water

Vergennes, NY, Champlain Canal, up Otter creek, dock for at least 6 boats

?Geneva, NY, (mm16.2 Cayuga-Seneca Canal) city dock, elec.

Erie Canal System – Most of the NYS Erie canal locks allow 2 nights of tie-up along the walls to the locks. Almost all locks have parks associated with them that allow tent camping as well. Most locks are at or near towns for easy biking to get supplies.

Seneca Falls, NY, Cayuga-Seneca Canal, city dock, elec/water, several nights. The C-S canal connects Erie Canal to Seneca Lake (Watkins Glen at the south end, famous for the races and scenic gorge), Cayuga Lake (Ithaca and Cornell U. south end).

Canjoharie, NY, public dock and park, elec.

Lyons, NY (mm222), bathrooms

Newark Terminal, NY (mm225.8) elec, water, bathrooms and free laundry. 
May also be newer floating dock S side of the canal.

Pittsford, NY, (mm253.7) DIY pump out and water on a 22 foot dock W of RR bridge, north bank. Elec on the south wall E of main street bridge, 75 foot wooden dock, north wall just W of the State Street bridge, elec.

Rome, NY, dock

Little Falls, NY, two "walls". Main terminal wall is ~$1/ft. "Day use" wall at Benton's Landing is free, but no overnight use, good for food, supplies, etc., and closer to town than terminal wall.

Spencerport, NY, (mm270.4) dock, elec, water and showers

Herkimer, NY,

Amsterdamare, NY,

Fairport, NY, dock, downtown adjacent to stores and restaurants (considered a town attraction), may be a small charge now.

Oswego Canal Locks, free lock walls/docks at Phoenix (30 amp), Fulton, and Minetto (dock - 30 amp, GFI breakers may trip).

          Lake Michigan

Grand Haven, MI, City wall LDB, notify municipal marina, can roll from Lake MI waves.

St Joe, Mi, Park wall (sheet piling) on LDB above railroad Swing Bridge, can roll from Lake MI waves.

?Milwaukee, WI, reported tie-up, Discovery World Dock (couldn't find anyone to pay). Reported free wall space down town on the
along river walk.

          Illinois River

Joliet, IL, RDB Bicentennial Park, concrete wall with some services.

Ottawa, IL, RDB city docks and wall with elec and water.

Peoria, IL, reportedly can stay on wall (posted but not enforced?)

Ohio River

Paducah, KY, now allowing overnights?

              Cumberland River

Clarksville, TN, 280-foot floating dock w/ elec, 931-645-7476 for permission.

              Tennessee River

Decatur, AL, Ingram Park launch ramp LDB,  ½ mile downstream of the railroad bridge.  Two docks lining 75 yard deep small boat launching area.  No hassle.

Guntersville, AL, LDB SE of Bridge, lots of floating dock space at large L-shaped dock, some protection inside old pilings wall.

Shell Mound Rec. Area, AL, RDB Nickajack Lake, two fixed T-docks.

Knoxville, TN, city dock.

           TennTom River System

Blue Bluff Rec. Area, mm368 TennTom, T-dock on western shore beyond the bluff.

Convention Center, Mobile, AL, RDB wall.


Private Mooring Ball, 3 mi N from Picton, nr Kingston, ON
Lat 44.142724, Long 77.055350
Go North from Picton towards Deseronto, along the beautiful waterway of Haywards Long Reach, pass Huff's Landing on starboard, you will see a number of cottages in a small bay where you will find our green/grey cottage with two wooden docks and our TaylorMade 18" White Mooring Ball in 17' of water.   Kim & Kenn Morrison, m: 613.561.7823, e:

Hawkesbury, ON, Outaouais River, dock with free 15 amps hydro, and access to bathrooms

? Orillia, ON, Trent Severn Canal, may have free dockage after beginning of October before canal closes. Once they close up the park, service is limited. Substantial amenities available in adjacent downtown in Orillia.

Little Current, ON, day use of wall & docks, with services, on a space available basis.

          Restaurants, etc. Dockage W/ Purchases (suggest calling to confirm)

Jackson’s Restaurant, Downtown Tampa, FL, across from Convention Center, 50’ OK, reportedly overnight with dinner.

St Petersburg, FL, city reportedly has several slips including a 50’ next to Fresco's Restaurant.

Clearwater Beach, FL, several day use docks with poss overnight.  Rockaway Restaurant & Island Way Grill. Day docks at Clearwater Beach S of boat ramp and Indian Rocks Beach, FL.   

Longboat Key, FL, Moores Stone Crab Restaurant, overnight docking w/ meal purchase.

Isle of Capri (Marco), Blue Heron Restaurant 4 new docks up to 70’, overnight when dining, elec for donation,239-394-6248

? New Smyrna Beach, FL, rumored restaurant dock on the west side is free.

St Johns River, FL, Six Mile Marina and Outback Crab Shack Restaurant, free docking w/ lunch or dinner, 1500’ dock....check!

New Bern, NC, Marina for Outback patrons, 5 face slips and dinghy tie-up, ‘C’ dock wave attenuator, Bridgepointe on Trent R, inside bascule bridge S side. Overnight if cleared with Marina 252-637-7372 (usually a charge?). Pumpout $5, water

Wilmington, NC, Restaurant dock, George on the Riverwalk, call to check

Sanitary Restaurant, Morehead City, NC, $10/night if you eat there, room for 3 boats

? The Provision Restaurant, Southport (mm309)

Highland, NY, Mariner's Harbor Restaurant, Hudson R. at Highland Landing, RDB, Just N of the old high railroad bridge

Harrison Township, MI, Crews Inn Restaurant, Clinton River off Lake St Clair in Michigan, free overnight dockage w/ dinin

          Frugal Stops/low cost docks, etc

Most Michigan Public Marinas, $1 per foot, a bargain for first class marinas. (A few others like Mackinac Island are more $$)

Ft Louden, TN, Little TN River, $25 flat rate with services. Most marina’s on the Tennessee River generally tend to be good value.

Hontoon Island State Park, Deland, FL, ? $1/ft, ($12/night according to website), includes water and elec!

Caladesi State Park, FL, between Tarpon Springs and Clearwater Beach, $1/ft, ($.5/ft if Florida residents and senior citizen).

LaBelle, FL, (Okeechobee), Port LaBelle Marina three mi E of LaBelle, S side of the river, 50¢/foot/night and $3.00/foot /month. Water and limited electricity at fuel dock. Staff is usually in the in the office from 9 to 1.

St. Lucie Lock and the Franklin Lock and Dam, Okeechobee waterway, $24 a day, $12 for seniors.

Boca Chita Key, FL, 1000’ wall, $20, be very busy on weekends)

Bill Baggs SP, No Name Harbor Anchorage, $20/night, day access to coin laundry, rinse shower, pump out, picnic shelter and restrooms.

Carolina Beach State Park Marina (mm297). $20/night including electric and water.

Savannah, GA, City docks, $1.50/ft for 24 hours, no charge for three hours or less.

New Bern, NC, Galley Stores Marina, stay 2 nights at .75/ft

Edenton (Albermarle), NC, 2 nights free with water and $10 elec, great town right at dock, $1/ft rate after 1-2 days. Go to and click on Harbor for reservation forms and info.

Dudey's Marina, Swansboro, NC; aging so $.75/ft, elec and wifi; ship's store, mini-mart; bulk fuel pricing. Skinny access, call on VHF16 before leaving ICW channel.

Wilmington, NC, City Docks, 1.25/ft plus $5 for 50 amp electric

Belhaven, NC, River Rat Yacht Club, welcomes visitors,call252-964-6100, pot luck suppers 2nd Saturdays ea month!

Parks Marina, Tangier Island, VA; Milton Parks, owner. Aging infrastructure; access is at least 7.5 ft from Chesapeake Bay side, 11 ft from Tangier Sound side; $25/day <> 25 ft, incl elec True Waterman's community. No cell service, no wifi on island. Good "home-style" restaurants, open at 5:00 am, close for the day by 5:00 pm; GREAT STOP!

Pocomoke City, MD, Municipal Docks, Park, electric

?Plymouth NC elec

Kingston, NY, town dock, low rate w/water and power, adjacent to downtown, marine service and restaurants. Town park next door has free jazz concerts in summer.

Lake Erie, yacht club members of the Interlake Yachting Association get one free nights dockage at a most yacht clubs associated with this organization and others offer reduced rates for the first night. Most yacht clubs limit transient stay to 2 to 3 days.

          Mooring Fields

Chicago, IL, $1/foot
? Sarasota,
? Venice
Fort Myers Yacht Basin has moorings for $6.00/day.
Ft Myers Beach, FL, city field, $13/day
Naples, FL, city field, $10/day, 4 day limit
Stuart, FL, Okeechobee Waterway
Marathon, FL, Boot Key Harbor, $21/day, 211 moorings to 45' & 15 moorings to 60’, ($105/wk or $275/mo)
Key West, FL
Coconut Grove/Dinner Key, FL (Miami Skyline): $19/night
Vero Beach, FL
St Augustine, FL, are $20 per day, $120/wk and $360/mo. Full access to the marina facilities
Fernandina, FL
Annapolis, MD (Spa Creek) $30/night (or USNA, clements creek?)
Georgetown, MD
Atlantic Highlands, NJ (S of Sandy Hook)
Staten Island, NY
NY, 79th st. Mooring field (Manhattan)
Great Kills (Richmond County
Canada, purchase "mooring pass", for Parks Canada docks and piers below and above Locks - Rideau, 1000 Islands, & Trent Severn Waterways.
Reciprocating Yacht Clubs (membership req’d)

          Chicago YC, IL

Platinum Point YC, Burnt Store Marina, FL

Savannah YC,

Carolina YC, Charleston, SC

Corinthian YC, Ridge MD. Mid Chesapeake Bay on the Potomac R.

Private Docks, by invitation!

Panama City Area -  recently expanded "Marina Gano" has two extra slips plus a pier walkway all the way to the end on one side of the boathouse. There is a slip on either side of Rich Gano's boathouse.  Contact Rich for approach info:

Houghton, MI, Lake Superior, dock or dockage assistance, transport or other assistance, Vance Nelson,

Greg and Carl Vernon host transient Loopers at their dock and anyone else who contacts them.
Treasure Island, FL, private dock on the ICW in S of Clearwater, 45-foot boat, 30- amp and water. See for the Treasure Island details, and other possibilities!

Miami Beach, FL, private dock, width 18', length unlimited, depth 9 feet. You MUST use dock and spring lines provided (diameter is 1" to 1.5" on stern and spring, and 3/4" on bow). 30 AMP service is provided. Dock is NOT available during summer months. Contact Tommy at

Private Dock, Childs River in East Falmouth on Cape Cod.  Dock available when Owner is gone cruising, but if not He has a mooring too.  water and 30A & 50A power at the dock.  Draft is limited to 4' at low tide but high tide will accommodate up to 6', but caution is important here.  Contact Joe Apicella at 508-548-8655, 508-353-2210, or for availability and directions.

?Suggested Private Dock Use Etiquette?
Call ahead to schedule your stay.
Stay one day unless invited to stay longer.
Respect the host and their neighbors (keep a low profile).
Leave a little thank-you something.


Active Captain – great resource for docks and anchorages

New York Canals - has sub pages for free and pay facilities on each of Erie, Oswego and Champlain Canal Systems


Listings are intentionally brief, see below:

LDB/RDB – Left/Right Descending Bank of River going downstream

List generally arranged in a counterclockwise circle from the Gulf.

All information is subject to change without notice (after all, it’s about boating).

Listings posted with a ? should be confirmed as information may be outdated or inaccurate.

This Friendly Moorings List is a compilation of “free” moorings (docks, walls, balls, etc) that are believed to be available for short term and overnight use. It has been compiled by Jim Quince (MV TWINS) from numerous sources and the experiences of many different cruisers. Of specific note are internet sources like the Great Loop and T&T, daily e-mail communities of which we have been active members for a number of years. Many notes and correspondences were saved for our use cruising North America’s inland and coastal waterways. While cruising, we have had the opportunity to obtain information and recommendations from other cruisers, as well as gaining direct experience while using many of the places listed. We use many free and paid cruising resources like books and guides, including but not limited to, those by Skipper Bob, Waterway, Fred Myers, Claiborne Young, Richardsons, Maptech, Ports, etc. as well as internet sources like and where additional information on many of the places listed will be found. As the list was compiled, other cruisers offered recommendations for the “Frugal Stops” and also “Private Dock” spaces so these have been added as well. This list is provided as a free guide for public use but all users must understand that they bear responsibility to confirm all related information to maintain their own safety and satisfaction. Periodic updates will be provided as information is added and updated. Anyone can copy and post this list or excerpt portions as long as it freely accessible to the public.

Please send any other listings, recommendations or changes to

Thank YOU!