Other reports have commented in the poor conditions of the docks and the on-shore facilities, but all agree that if you want to visit historic Tarpon Springs the location of the Tarpon Springs City Marina cannot be beat!
We recently spent three days at Tarpon Springs Municipal Marina. There were absolutely no issues with water depth the entire length of the Anclote River, and plenty of room to maneuver in vicinity of the marina. There is a no wake zone from Buoy 29 all the way into the downtown area (about 2.5 miles).
We arrived at about 1730 on a Tuesday, and were met by the dockmaster, who was not pleased that we were arriving after closing. While backing into the slip, we had to fight a fairly stiff inbound current, so we had to line up about a slip and a half to the west as we backed in. Although we made it into the slip with no problem, the dockmaster was screaming directions to me the entire time, and overpowering the recommendations my wife was making. Because I have limited visibility aft from my flybridge, and I depend on my wife to be my eyes aft, this added to the challenge of the mooring evolution. Apparently the pilings are in very bad shape and he was concerned that if I leaned against one, it might snap. Once tied up, the dockmaster gave me an earful for being late, and then left for the day without giving us a key to the bathrooms or helping us with shore power.
As soon as we hooked up shore power (two 30 amp cables), we lost power to one of the cables. Soon after, the other cable lost power as well, leaving us with no air conditioning on a 95 degree evening with no breeze. Welcome to Tarpon Springs! There were no breakers on the pier to be reset, so we searched for a breaker panel for a while with no luck, and unfortunately our 50 ft cables wouldn’t allow us to reach another power outlet. Since there was no “after hours” number for the dockmaster, my wife called the local police station. Fortunately, the local police contacted the city electrician, who came down, checked things out, replaced the ancient breakers, and then stayed until he was sure that everything was good with our power (it was). The electrician was super friendly, and spent a good three hours (including a trip to Home Depot to buy new breakers) ensuring we were set. I can’t thank him enough, because I was so mad by that point that I was planning to call other marinas on the river to look for dockage. In addition, the police dispatcher called a little while later to ask if everything was good. Needless to say, after initial bad impressions, I was impressed with the friendliness, capability, responsiveness and professionalism of the city employees.
Most of the restaurants in the Waterfront area close early, so we headed across the bridge and had dinner and a few drinks at Captain Jacks. The food was good and there was a lot of it.
The next morning, I tracked down the dockmaster, who obviously had heard about our travails from the evening before, and was very apologetic. He was also very responsive and professional the remainder of our visit. The rest of the next day and a half was spent enjoying the Greek restaurants, and shopping.
The marina itself is pretty shabby, but the location can’t be beat to enjoy the charms of Tarpon Springs. It appears that there were four slips available at the marina. We called ahead and were the only ones there over the three days. On a weekend, I would call ahead to ensure you have a reservation though. The electrician indicated that they were planning to upgrade the breaker panel, so hopefully on future visits, there won’t be similar issues to what we faced. Apparently, there are also plans to upgrade the docks and replace the pilings, which are pretty flimsy. The finger piers were so short that they were unusable on my boat, so we had to debark the boat from the ladder on the stern. The bathrooms are locked after hours, so you have to pay a $5 deposit to get a key. There weren’t any showers that I could see. We used the showers on the boat. Once we resolved the power issue, the remainder of the visit to Tarpon Springs was excellent, and I would recommend it to others.
Captain Glenn Zeiders
We visited Tarpon Springs in April 2010. The town offers some great restaurants and several souvenir shops. I would have to agree that the marina needs updating. We were 45 minutes late but the dock master waited for us and was accommodating. He allowed us to stay in his slip and even provided an adapter for our shore power cable.
Oh yes, we agree with you on the status of the marina. It is right on the main road and the docks are open to the public. By the way, the restrooms do have showers but they were very “ruff” and needed a good cleaning.
Captain Scott Daniels