The Wilmington area is one of the best places in the United States to go boating year around. Surrounded by water on the Atlantic, the Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway, there are many options for boaters looking to enjoy a day out on the water.
Vessels of all sizes and types can find a home or temporary docking in Wilmington at one of the many marinas and yacht clubs in the area. Whether you are traveling down the intercoastal and just passing through or launching for a day adventuring on Masonboro Island, Wilmington’s marinas are some of the best in the country.
In Wilmington you will find marinas with restaurants, fuel, ice and supplies, wet slips and dry storage, there is absolutely something for every boater. Now with that said, the demand for slips and dockage is higher than the supply, so unless you have an inside connection you are most likely going to need to add yourself to a waiting list.
This article outlines the top 11 marinas and yacht clubs in the Wilmington area.
1. Bradley Creek Marina
Bradley Creek Marina was founded in 1964 and a is a private marina very close to Wrightsville Beach, located next to Airlie Gardens. If you find yourself being one of the lucky ones to find a slip in this marina you will benefit from location, being only a mile or so from Wrightsville and Masonboro Island. This marina specializes in wet slips and accommodates vessels from 17 feet all the way up to 65 feet.
2. Dockside Marina
Dockside Marina has been a Wilmington tradition for over 30 years. It’s location is one of the most scenic in the city, located off of famous Airlie Road next to the Wrightsville Beach draw bridge. The Marina features a number of exclusive wet slips and the club house is a restaurant and bar with outdoor and roof seating. Dockside Marina is a great place to tie up if you are lucky and its also a great place to relax, enjoy a drink and some tasty local seafood after a day out on the ocean.
3. Creekside Yacht Club
Creekside Yacht Club is one of the best members only yacht clubs in the Wilmington area. With its close proximity to Wrightsville Beach and Masonboro Island, the club is located on Bradley Creek right off Oleander Dr. The facility provides over 6 acres of marine storage for boats 18 feet all the way to 30 feet. You can also find a full ships store, marine detailing and repair services, a member lounge, bath house, and over 1,000 feet of floating dock with fuel. Slips are very hard to come by, make sure you reach out to get on the list or find out about purchasing one.
4. Wilmington Marine Center
Wilmington Marine Center is a sheltered marina located very close to Wilmington’s Downtown River District. The Marina is set up to handle very large boats up to 100 feet and is in an enclosed basin along the Cape Fear River. Wilmington Marine Center offers both wet and dry slips as well as a full service boat yard, fuel dock and 75 ton lift. The service center is equipped for complete diesel, gas and outboard service.
5. Masonboro Yacht Club
Masonboro Yacht Club is a members only marina situated just off the Intracostal Waterway about half way between Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach. This is definitely one of the quietest and homey marinas in in the area. The yacht club sits in a residential neighborhood making it private and ideal for family boating. Masonboro Yacht Club offers wet slips and dry storage for boat up to 40 feet. After a long day of sailing or boating go back and hang at the club house, meet friends and have a drink.
6. Cape Fear Marina
Cape Fear Marina is a quiet mooring located upriver from downtown Wilmington. The marina is set up to accommodate a large variety of vessels including pleasure, commercial and luxury craft, large sailboats and motor yachts. Cape Fear Marina is members only and specializes in boat slip rentals in a gated, secure dock setting that includes amenities such as a bathhouse, showers, and an on-site laundry facility. The marina is designed for large vessels and a minimum of 40ft is required and a maximum of 100ft.
7. Bridge Tender Marina
The Bridge Tender Marina is a classic local marina, located on Airlie Road right before the drawbridge to Wrightsville Beach. The marina is in a prime to location to access the beach and is within a short walk to great restaurants and shops. The Bridge Tender is set up to accomadate vessels of all sizes, with fuel, pump out and pressure washing services, the marina is a perfect pit stop when traveling the Intracoastal Waterway. The Bridge Tender Marina is right next to the Bridge Tender Restaurant and Dockside Marina.
8. Inlet Watch Yacht Club
Inlet Watch Yacht Club is considered the largest marina in North Carolina. Located in a prime location close to Carolina Beach, the marina is stacked with amenities and is set up to handle vessels of all sizes. Dry slips are set up for boats that range from 35ft all the way to up 45ft.
9. Seapath Yacht Club
Seapath Yacht Club is centrally located in Wrightsville Beach just off the intracoastal waterway. The marina has nearly 200 wet slips and floating docks. Seapath is also a living community with luxury condos complete with the marina and a boathouse for entertaining.
The marina is set up for transient vessels as well as locals and provides slips that range in size from 22ft to 65ft. Boat slips at Seapath are privately owned and are available for purchase from existing owners as they come available.
10. Carolina Beach Yacht Club and Marina
Carolina Beach Yacht Club and Marina is a full service marina situated on the north end of Carolina Beach just off the intracoastal waterway. Carolina Beach Yacht Club and Marina is a great launching point for a day on the water. With nearly 70 wet slips, the marina can accommodate vessels of all types and sizes offering both long term leases and docking for those traveling down the intracoastal. What makes this marina great is its amenities and it’s daily boat rental program that makes rentals available for both full-day and half-day boating adventures. Carolina Beach Yacht Club has a number of amenities including a fuel dock with both diesel and gasoline, a holding tank pump out station, fishing line recycling, a clubhouse with showers, laundry facility, ship store with general supplies, ice, food and drinks, wireless internet and a dog park.
11. Marsh Creek at Scotts Hill Marina
Marsh Creek at Scotts Hill Marina is located about 6 miles north of Wrightsville Beach just off the intracoastal waterway in Wilmington. The private marina offers 40 wet slips and 350 dry storage slips for vessels that range from 13ft all the way to 35ft. You find this marina to be quiet and an easy launch point with a ton of amenities including a fuel dock with gasoline, transient public dock for short term mooring, a convenience store with food, ice and snacks and even a restaurant that serves great sea food and refreshing drinks.