Southport Marina – A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! – lies just west of the Cape Fear River along the northern banks of the Waterway hard by flashing daybeacon #2A.
Before I get to the marina, I need to report that there are alternatives to using the marina and they are within the safety of the harbor. The staff at Fishy Fishy Restaurant tell me that they often provide free overnight dockage (no elec) if you dine there. It’s the second restaurant on starboard with the green roof which has their name set into the roof tiles. Your chances, they say, are better if you arrive nearer sunset when fewer boats are likely to arrive for dinner. Ask the manager when you call. Fishy Fishy can be reached at 910-457-1881. The same used to be true of The Provision Company, the first restaurant on starboard, at 910-457-9900. It’s worth a call to see if they still do.
There is also a free tie-up (which we have used before and a local confirmed today that it is still available for overnight transients) at the T-head of the town docks. Look for a large black-on-white sign posted on the end of the pier on your port side as you enter the harbor. The tie-up is small but we managed to tie our 32 footer with an array of breast and spring lines using four fenders to avoid damage to our topsides. The sign told us to call the local police to report our stay which we did.
This year, we stayed at the marina. The laundry room has two 30 minute washers and two 45 minute dryers. They are $1.75 each but they get the job done with no extra quarters.
The marina has floating docks which are in excellent condition and the finger piers are long so you can go bow-in and have room to back out.
When we landed at the gas dock, we met Captain Jeff who is the most nimble and well informed dock hand we have ever seen. He will take good care of you.
The wifi works fine here (we were near the main building so I don’t know about the piers out in the 3rd world area) and has no `cyper-hoops’ to jump through to use it.
The town, which is a short walk from the marina, has many bar/restaurants and shops, mostly antiques. We liked the bar at the Cape Fear Restaurant, 101 West Bay Sreet. Say hi to Gary. The Walmart is about two miles from the marina.
This is a truly, well maintained marina with many gregarious live-aboards and, in my opinion, worth the cost.
Regrettably, the marina Tiki bar is closed but you can create your own tiki bar experience because the bar is still there and boaters hang out there even there is no bartender.