There has been a lively discussion about Alligator River Marina taking place on the MTOA List-Serve. We have secured permission from the authors to copy several of their messages below. Capatins Jim and Talley’s missive was sent directly to the SSECN.
Alligator River Marina lies on the western shore of the Alligator River/AICW, just north of the swing bridge and southwest of flashing daybeacon #12.
Alligator River Marina is just in the right place, 42.5 miles from Dowry Creek Marina and 32 miles to Elizabeth City or 31 miles to Coinjock. Good dock hands. Nice store and personnel. The Grill closes PROMPTLY at 7:30pm, so they encourage you to be in no later than 7pm. They give you an informative handout with souvenir pen in a baggie. Nice touch. Nice place. Week Verizon coverage, but it works. Weâ€™ll make this a regular stop on the ICW north and south.
Jim and Talley Powell
What y’all may not know is the Alligator Marina restaurant is “Known” for its N. C. BBQ. I know boaters that call there by VHF to order some BBQ and then just do a touch and go to pick up the food. Also, the diesel fuel prices are very competitive and sometimes even better than in Coinjock.
Hi, would love to try Alligator marina…it all sounds so great… passed by it twice because I was worried about ‘skinny’ water. We draw 5’6”… any issue?
Michelle and Doug Jacoby
Changer… you parallel the bridge to the west to enter the marina. I don’t believe that 5’6” would be a problem, but the area is very influenced by wind/weather. You would need to ask the marina about depth in the approach.
Don R, m/v Andante
Glad to hear that things have changed so dramatically at this marina when we experienced some of the worst customer serviceâ€¦no, make that THE worst service we have encountered up and down the east coastâ€¦.that is in 5 years of cruising. There were no dock hands because â€œit was rainingâ€ the service was curt and definitely not helpful. We felt unwelcome and could not leave fast enough the next day when things were no better. We are polite, nice people and easy to deal with. We took the high road with our manners but left as soon as we could.
I suppose in a fix we would stay there again, but it is doubtful.
Sami and Bari
I have stayed here a number of times over the last few years. It provides the only fuel on the 75 mile stretch between Elizabety City / Coinjock and Dowry Creek / Belhaven. It also provides a rest stop before or after you cross the Albemarle Sound and on a bad day, you are going to be glad it is there.
Entrence is easy via a well marked channel just north of the Alligator River bridge. However the passage thru the breakwater can be a bit tricky during high winds. Once in the marina, protection is pretty good.
Both gas and diesel fuel are available at reasonable prices. The slips are a bit narrow with short finger piers on one side. The slips have both electric and water. Showers and a lounge are just a short walk away as is the main building with its small restaurant. Food in the restaurant is limited, but what I have had has been very good.
This is a marina, not a resort. They provide ll of the basics at a very reasonable price with no frills. Most of the staff is friendly and will help you, if you ask. They are not thrilled with pets, but I have never had a problem. One thing to keep in mind is that they may be closed during some winter months. It is always a good idea to call ahead and get the current conditions.
My favorite “Miss Wanda” story, talking about “terse”, was I fueled up oneSunday morning and had an early BBQ lunch. I went to pay the fuel and lunch bill and her employee ran my credit card. He said it didn’t work! I thought that was strange so I gave him a second and then a third. No joy. He asked for cash and I told him I didn’t have that much cash, but if he called Miss Wanda she would be able to process the card on the phone with her bypass code since his machine was obviously broke.
He said if he called her she would be pissed. I asked him if he would take a check? He said no, Miss Wanda doesn’t allow checks. I asked him if she would be more pissed if I cast off and promised to pay her on the way back north in the spring? He decided to call her and get her out of church.
She arrived, over 6′ and dressed to the nines, processed the credit card charge and then began to tear the poor guy a new cloaca. Bottom line is don’t mess with Miss Wanda!
Phil “TrawlerPhil” & Aven Rosch
M/V “Curmudgeon” MT-44TC
I have been there three times, usually for a berth and fuel. The first time we could not get to the fuel dock as a large sport fisher was hard aground at the dock waiting for a tow. I fueled up the next morning. The second visit was uneventful. The third was a touch-and-go for soda, ice and bread. I stayed with SAOIRSE; one of the crew went to the store and spent about $30.00 and the first mate went to the marina bathroom. The marina owner asked me if I needed fuel and I told him we topped off earlier that morning and were good. He then intercepted the first mate as he was coming back from the bathroom and demanded that he pay $5.00 for the privilege. I asked the marina owner why? He surely recognized me and the boat from previous visits. He did but got angry and told me that he was not running a free toilet facility. I looked around for the Candid Camera crew but did not see it. I looked for a grin on the owners face but no joy there either.Then I got angry. I handed him a 5-dollar bill but he would not accept it and said I had to pay it at the store. I left SAOIRSE, went to the store, and told the cashier I had to pay $5.00 because one of the crew had used the toilet. She laughed and said she never heard of such a thing. She said that people using the gas station used the bathrooms all the time. I assured her that her boss had required the payment and requested a receipt. That receipt is now pinned to SAOIRSE’S bulletin board and I wave it every time I pass the Alligator River Marina bye!
M/V “SAOIRSE” 40′ MT Sundeck