Thursday, May 10, 2018

Marina Review – Brunswick Landing Marina (2018) Brand New!

Welcome to another marina review on the On Board Life. Using the N D S, A A, P P marina analysis model, I'll break down what you can expect when you make the marinas I'll be reviewing this season your destinations also. The views expressed are strictly my own. 

I'm not sure what my expectations of Brunswick Landing Marina were exactly, but I feel like they haven't been met. I guess I expected the marina to be good, and it certainly was. But I didn't expect the town itself to be such a dud. 

N: Navigability – Just follow the well-marked channel in St. Simons Sound. You can't miss it. Plenty of water all around.

D: Dockage – No problem at all. The marina is made up of 16 docks with a total of 347 slips. Some of the slips, like the one we were in, are huge! If you have a big power or sail cat this is the marina for you.

S: Services – Gasoline, diesel, pump-out, a full-service boatyard. There's a West Marine on the other side of the peninsula.

A: Amenities – Everything is very clean and all-together. It's a bit rustic but well maintained. There are several out-buildings with toilets, sinks, and showers. There are also free laundry machines adjoining the lounges. Once you get a very short distance onto land from the shore, though, everything kind of ends. The downtown itself is struggling. There are a few restaurants, a couple of resale shops, and that's about it. The downtown grocery stores they talk about are not much. The wifi at our slip was good. No pool. The operators of the marina produce several events in The Yacht Club (the clubhouse) every week. 

A: Accessibility – You need a car. Quite a few people are very generous with their cars and will either drive you or let you use their car, apparently. There is an Enterprise Rent-a-car. There is Uber and Lyft, and according to my apps, it's the same three cars.

P: Provisioning – There's a Winn-Dixie 1.8 miles on the other side of the peninsula in the same shopping center as the West Marine. There are a Walmart and other big-box stores 5.1 miles north of downtown according to Google Map. 

P: Price – Their published transient price is $1.75 per foot with some pricing plans for stays of other durations. Rates also depend on which dock you're on. Also, make sure you understand their add-on fees. There were several. For instance, there is an up-charge to pay with a credit card. They say it's a discount for cash, but, ya' know, it's an up-charge.

It's hard to put my finger on how we feel about this marina. It is large with good accommodations, and the management goes out of their way to make things cozy. But the town of Brunswick was a huge let down; the action is on St. Simons Island or even back at Jekyll Island. Provisioning is difficult, there isn't any nearby shopping, and there's no readily available transportation. It reminded us more of an RV park instead of a marina: everyone seemed to be sitting around biding their time until it was time for happy hour again, or time to leave. There's nothing wrong with that, I guess, but it's not our thing.

We are destination boaters; we look for cool, fun, and interesting places to go to. Brunswick ain't one of them. There are a few isolated marinas by themselves that we like going to, such as Whitaker Pointe in Oriental, NC. But for the most part, there has to be more to draw us someplace. For us the Brunswick marina mantra of “It's a social place, it's pet-friendly, and there's free beer,” isn't enough. We're not anti-social but not big-time partiers either, we don't have a pet, and I'm not a big beer drinker. What's left?

Brunswick Landing Marina gets three out of five stars. 

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