Monday, April 30, 2018

Marina Review - The Marina At Ortega Landing

Welcome to the first On Board Life Marina Review. In the months to come, I'll be publishing these reviews about all the marinas we will be staying at during the cruising season using my N D S, A A, P P marina analysis model. The views expressed are strictly my own.

Here's the On Board Life video Liveaboard Boating Cruise Planning: How to pick the perfect marina (Part 2) 2018   CLICK HERE

We're starting off with a good one, maybe the best, The Marina At Ortega Landing in Jacksonville, Florida. And if you've watched any of my On Board Life videos, you'll already know we think very highly of this place. But why?

We've called The Marina at Ortega Landing our home away from home for 2+ years.
Unfortunately, it's time for us to leave.
N: Navigability – Downtown Jacksonville itself is inland on the St. Johns River. The Ortega River, where the marina is located, is a short distance further west than downtown. It's 24 statute miles from where the ICW crosses the St. Johns River to the drawbridge that crosses the mouth of the Ortega River. The marina is just past the bridge on the north shore. There's plenty of depth the entire way from the mouth of the St. Johns River to the Ortega River, but the approach of the river off of the main channel of the St. Johns River can get shallow for the deepest draft vessels. Watch it. But for almost any other boat there's plenty of water. Watch out for Red 2 and go on around that, then back toward the drawbridge. Don't cut that corner. Once you're past the drawbridge, you're in the clear.

Plenty of room to maneuver.

D: Dockage No problem at all. The fairways between the concrete floating docks are wide, and the pilings are very substantial. The slips are of different sizes to accommodate different size boats. Our finger dock was 32' feet long. Security at the docks is very good.

Casual luxury
S: Services – There is no fuel. According to ActiveCaptain, there is fuel available at Lambs Yacht Center a bit further on in the Ortega River. There is pump out at the slips. Thursday seems to be the regular weekly scheduled pump-out day, but you can get a pump out anytime when you make an appointment. You get one free pump out a month. There's a fee other times. You have to sign up ahead of time. If you need technical support, there is not only a plethora of freelance technicians in the area but two full-service boatyards nearby as well.

A party on the patio.

A: Amenities – Let me describe Ortega Landing's amenities this way: In our opinion, they are the best. Period. The clubhouse is beautiful, the swimming pool is great, the staff is top-notch, the grounds are gorgeous, the bathrooms and showers are not only roomy and modern but cleaned every day, and the laundry is free. If there is to be any criticism at all it would be that the laundry room is cramped. Big fat hairy deal. There's also plenty of parking if you have a car.

Spacious and sophisticated.

A: Accessibility – Pretty much everything you need is within walking distance. There's a Publix Supermarket, a Chick Fil A, a Panera Bread, a UPS Store, a CVS drugstore, locally owned restaurants, and, get this, a West Marine, all within a hair more than a half a mile of the marina. And, by the way, that distance is confirmed on Google maps. It's usually a shorter distance than that, but there's a construction project blocking part of the way.

Everything you need is nearby, and you can walk to them.

P: Provisioning – See Accessibility.

P: Price – All this luxury and convenience is at a price point that you should like. Our monthly rate was $15 a foot. For our 45 foot boat, that came out to $675. Electricity is extra. We've stayed at marinas that cost twice as much but deliver half the value.

All in all, the Marina at Ortega Landing, an IGY property, is an incredible destination. Jacksonville is a great town with plenty to see and do. Add in all the conveniences that are all around the marina and you get what we think is the best marina experience in Florida. Yes, in the entire state.

The Marina at Ortega Landing gets five out of five stars.

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