This is another marina review 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.
There are (was?) two Barefoot marinas on the ICW in Myrtle Beach. Barefoot LANDING marina, a long wooden facing dock on the east side of the channel, is now closed except for daytime-only docking … for $10 per visit. A large portion of the Barefoot Landing shopping and entertainment area is being redeveloped. Barefoot Marina, the full-service marina on the west side of the channel, is the marina this review is about.
N: Navigability – Smack dab on the west side of the ICW. You can't miss it. During summer weekends the area is, however, swarming with runabouts and PWCs. Watch it.
D: Dockage – Three transient facing docks. Plenty of depth. They also have several basins with slips. (I was told all the slips are, so to speak, sold out. They all have long-term rentals in them.) The finger docks are long, and the thoroughfares are generous. The dock crew is alert and helpful. It's also appropriate to note that at least on the weekend we were there, they had plenty of workers. That's a good change from some marinas where the staff is stretched thin. It's also appropriate to note that we arrived there Memorial Day weekend, and it was nuts with pleasure boaters, PWC rentals, and people who have no business being in command of a boat sitting at helms believing they're driving their Toyota Camry. There is a current, but it's not Charleston-level. A lot of boaters pull in here to set themselves up to transit The Rockpile on a high-tide the next day.
S: Services – Gasoline, diesel, and pump-out at a fueling area on the transient dock. Local service technicians are available.
So far, so good.
A: Amenities – This is where it starts getting tricky. The marina itself (the docks, etc) is in tip-top condition. It's a pleasant place except that it is noisy during either of the two motorcycle weeks during the summer; we were there for the second. But things change the moment you walk up the ramp and through the magnetized security gates onto land. The marina is part of the larger Barefoot Resort. There is a large building that houses the bathrooms and showers, the condition of which I can attest was better in the past. They're cleaned every morning. The bases of the showers have that coating of perma-grime on them. In one bathroom there is an installed bench that is broken and disheveled. The linoleum tile floors are in need of upkeep. Like I said, they're clean, and I certainly don't want to make it sound like it's falling apart – it's not – but the underlying surfaces are showing wear and tear. There is a laundry with two washers and two driers – $1.25 per cycle. There is also a full-service restaurant that has an open/closed schedule that seems very fluid. There are three large timeshare (I guess) towers with a large swimming pool. Marina guests have access to the pool. We were docked fifty feet from the dockmaster's hut, and the wifi was marginal, then good, then marginal again, and back and forth.
Dockhand Denny is the guy that opens the marina up every morning. He works incredibly hard to make sure it is spic and span and cleaned up. Give him a tip.
A: Accessibility – You need a car to explore and enjoy Myrtle Beach at all. Simple as that, you need a car. The marina is on the west side of the channel and is isolated from everything else of interest or usefulness on the east side of the channel. You could certainly ride a bike or even walk, but it's a trek, and there's butt-loads of traffic to contend with. Uber and Lyft are available.
P: Provisioning – There's a Bi-Lo, Walgreens, and CVS 1.6 miles away as per Google Maps. There's a Walmart SuperCenter 4.1 miles away. There's a West Marine 6.5 miles away. NAPA auto parts: 2.7 miles. As already mentioned, they, along with everything else, are on the other side of the channel from the marina.
P: Price – Their published transient rate on Active Captain of $1.50 per foot is out of date. We paid $2.00 per foot. There was no additional charge for electricity.
Verdict – The marina is fine, no problems. But unless you want to burn some cash on Uber to get anywhere on the other side of the ICW, this is a rest stop. Take on some fuel, pump out, do some swimming, set yourself up to enter The Rockpile at high tide; its great for all that. Just be aware of some upkeep issues on shore.
There was a PWC rental business near us. It was noisy but not terrible.
This is a no-wake zone so there wasn't much rocking around.
Great swimming pool.
Big Random Thought
Where were all the transient boaters? There were only three other boats on the transient docks other than us. Has the whole Motorcycle Week(s) thing scared everyone away? This is a secure, substantial, and pleasant marina, even with the caveats.
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