Here's another marina report on the Why Knot Great Lakes Grand Tour. Using the N D S, A A, P P marina analysis model, I'll fill you in on what my experience was. The views expressed are strictly my own.
Big luxury marina at Port Washington, LI NY. We wanted it to be our starting point to go into New York City. It was that and more.
It should be noted that there are two Capri marinas next door to each other: Capri West and Capri East. This is about Capri West.
N: Navigability – Coming from the south, past New York City, past the Throgs Neck Bridge into Long Island Sound, it is in Manhasset Bay on Long Island. The channel into the bay is marked. (Keep a sharp lookout for the no-wake zone markers. They're kind of in the middle of things.) There is shoaling coming out from Plum Point. On charts the marina appears to be in shallow water; depths are very adequate. The marina hosts some very large yachts.
D: Dockage– Floating docks of varying lengths and thoroughfare widths. The slips all around the marina seemed to be large in size with plenty of maneuvering room in the thoroughfares. This marina is dominated by yachts and power boats of all shapes and sizes. The docks are large and long. It's a big marina.
S: Services – Capri is a full-service marina. They offer electricity, water, and a complete service department next door at Capri East. They do haul-outs and on-the-hard storage during the off-season. The Port Washington pump-out boat is available to come right to you and your boat. There is a large mooring field in the bay. I used Dockwa to book our stay. Make sure you follow up with a phone call to confirm any changes you may make to your itinerary. They offer diesel and gasoline fuel. Note: the dockhands all hang out at the office up on shore, not at the shack on the fuel dock. When you radio them for assistance when you arrive, they drive a golf cart down to the fuel or transient dock to assist you. Be patient. It takes a couple of minutes.
A: Amenities – As I've said in the past, there are two features that a marina must provide to make a marina eligible to be a 5-star marina in my opinion: a swimming pool and pump out at the slip. Check and check. Overall, the facility is clean and well maintained. It's got a classy, yet not ostentatious vibe. There's a little bistro dockside on the shore with some better than average bar food. (It's a little pricey, but not terrible.) It's comfy. Now, that being said, I've been on a season-long rage about bathrooms that are not very good, particularly about cleanliness (especially showers) and roominess. (Many of us older gents are bigger than when we were younger.) Capri falls a tad short here. The bathrooms are big enough, and they are clean. (Tip for management. Have someone go through them with a mop a couple of times a day. Swimmers track in a lot of water onto the floor of the toilet stalls.) Their problem is that they are not air-conditioned, and when we were there it was, at times, hotter than hell. It doesn't do much good to take a shower then be soaked with sweat within minutes. Aside from that, it's a fine place with lots of good points about it. NOTE TO TRANSIENTS – The transient slips are at what is probably the furthest point away from the shore. It's a hike. But during the days the dockhands will be glad to give you a lift in one of the golf carts. They'll even come down to your boat and pick you up if you hail them on the radio.
A: Accessibility – Our strategy was to use Port Washington as our jumping off point to get to New York City. We wanted to go into full tourist mode and our plans worked to perfection. Well, not perfection; there were a couple of burps, but it worked out just fine. Getting to NYC from Capri West (and Capri East) is not complicated at all. One block down from the marina is a bus stop for the N23 Mineola-Manorhaven route of the Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE bus service. This stop is called the Orchard Beach Blvd – Park Lane stop. This bus takes you directly to the Long Island Rail Road station in town. Now, THIS IS IMPORTANT – the bus line's schedule is, shall we say, adhered to in a very flexible way. If the schedule tells you that a pickup time is at 8:02 am, be at the stop by 7:30 am. The fare is $2.75 per person per ride. THEY ONLY ACCEPT QUARTERS or one of their pass cards. Once you get to the station all you have to do is buy your ticket for the train (peak and non-peak fares are different), hop on, and get whisked away to Penn Station in Manhattan. Boom! There you are. To get back to the marina just reverse the plan. Now, you can also take the N23 bus to nearby stores such as Target, West Marina and Stop and Shop. Lisa did ride her bike to Target. It was a longish trip but not hard.
P: Provisioning – Like I just said above, there is provisioning possible, but it may be a bit more hassle than you want to put up with. That's your call.
P: Price – Their transient rate was $4.00 per foot according to Active Captain, plus electricity. No discounts. We booked our slip through Dockwa dot com. I need to add here that I changed our schedule several times and they were very accommodating to our needs.
Verdict – A nice marina with lots of good, solid, positive points about it. Access to NYC is spot on. It is expensive, that's true, but it feels as if the money is being put back into it. The hot, wet bathrooms were a downer, though.
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