I have not stayed here, but we passed it by car in the spring of 2005. It is on Pellitier Creek and offers dry storage for 350 boats. They are also a dealer for the sale and repair of Mercury, Volvo and Yamaha outboards. Judging from that, it seems like it would not be an appropriate marina for a sailboat.
If you are a deep sea fisherman or have thrilled at those pictures of magnificent fish literally battling for their lives against a human antagonist on the other end of yards and yards of seemingly invisible line and a rod bent almost double by the strain, you should probably try to schedule some time in Morehead City in June, usually the first or second week, for one of the oldest and most competitive fishing tournaments in North America. Prize money invariably exceeds $1 million in this contest which is now in its sixth decade. Unfortunately, unless you are an accomplished fisherman with your own boat and/or significant discretionary cash, you probably will not get to see those majestic battles but you can hang around the docks and dockside restaurants and see the spoils of battle as they are weighed, measured, and photographed. And regardless of which group includes you, the after fishing celebrations are usually open to all comers.
Hospitality is very important these days. I had an opportunity to go "Bottom Fishing" with the greatest crew at Morehead City, North Carolina as well as in other areas along the Atlantic Coast. The experience began when I made a call to the Continental Shelf. What a name, I had no idea that this would be a trip of great fun. The man on the other end of the line was so warm and genuine, with such patience and so informative about the trip, the boat, and the staff. I was ready to pack and drive right down there to make the trip. He is "Bill". It was well worth the 200 miles of driving it took to get there. Such hospitality they give you and to see all of the staff working together and having so much fun.
The captain of the boat was also personable. He pulled one of his mates to helm the boat while he came amongst us to cheer us on to catching the best. His knowing the best places and taking us there was one thing, but when we began to reel in the fish was the real deal. As one shouted out that they had caught one, there he was; right there on the spot with camera in hand to get a good shot of that person with their big catch. It was so exciting and everyone was having fun. I don't believe there was anyone who fished that that day who did not catch plenty of fish. Not only did we catch them, but they cleaned and fillet them after our 12 hour fishing trip. The time went by so fast. Great cruzing and there were plenty of snacks and a cook who could cook the best burgers on the Atlantic Ocean aboard that boat. We went out about 50 miles and cast out lines out to about 250 feet to the bottom. Beautiful fish of many colors and types are there for the catching including. Snappers, Groupers, Bass, King Mackerel
Equipment: There are not many things you have to bring on this trip. The only things you would want to bring are your, camera, sun shades, a cap or sun visor and a towel to wipe your hands after taking your fish off the line. If you want to, you can bring lunch if desired, but there is a gentleman who fixes wonderful homemade cheese and hamburgers. Needless to say, the crew was available to assist those who not familiar with fishing or that have a tangled line.
This group provides the fishing gear and bait and tackle. If you want to bring in your fish at a high speed, you can rent an electric reel from them right there on the boat. The greatest thing they would tell you to bring is the "Large Cooler" because you will need something to store the big ones and all the others you catch. You can leave it in the car until you return. Parking is across the street, no very far from the dock at no additional charge for earlier arrivers. Most of all, that kind gentleman who answers the phone is right there and can see where your vehicle is parked. A very safe place, so you don’t have that to be concerned about.
Overnight dockage for $10 (for any size boat) is available at this restaurant if you come in to eat. For lunch, there wouldn't be any charge. They have 15 feet of depth at and approaching the dock if you go in from the turning basin, but only 5 feet if you come in from Bogue Sound.
Equipment: No electricity or water is provided. There is a sign that absolutely prohibts feeding the seagulls at the dock.
The marina is apparently selling slips of 45, 50, 55, 60 and 65 feet in length. They can also take larger boats. The Morehead City Yacht Basin was established in 1947 on Calico Creek. It has a sheltered deepwater basin with little or no current. The 14 foot deep channel to the Yacht Basin and 8 - 10 foot minimum depths at dockside gives larger boats lots of room. The website says:
"The new Morehead City Yacht Basin, owned by MCYB, LLC, and managed by the developer of Matthews Point Marina is offering for sale boat slips ranging from 45 feet to over 65 feet in length and some are over 24 feet in width. Morehead City Yacht Basin will be able to accommodate yachts in excess of 200 feet. All of the slips will be served by floating docks of a design and quality surpassing any built in North Carolina to date. The floating docks are engineered to exacting specifications and are surfaced with Brazilian Cumaru wood and washed river gravel aggregate panels. The amenities being offered also include new clubhouse and lounge facilities, new restrooms, laundry and ship's store."
Equipment: I have not stayed at this marina, but slips for transients costs were $1.30/ft with a 25% Boat US discount
Slip rental was reported to be $1.30/ft for transients. I have not been here. They have on site repairs, and one of the boats traveling north with us had a problem and they went in here to have it fixed. They have a 60 Ton Travel Lift owned & operated by marina and they do all below waterline repairs, bottom painting, shaft & propeller repairs, power washing, etc
The repair department is open weekends.
Equipment: Their website says:
DEEP WATER SLIPS & COVERED SLIPS Permanent and transient slips have two 30 and one 50 amp outlets. Electric included in transient dockage. Softened water is supplied .
BEST PROTECTED HARBOR Spooners Creek is fully protected by land on all sides, while conveniently located just off the ICW. Our boaters are not required to leave our safe harbor during severe weather such as hurricanes.
LARGE, CLEAN, RESTROOMS Check out our well maintained, spacious and clean restrooms with adjoining coin operated laundry.
NEARBY Tennis courts (separate business) adjacent to marina. Golf, beaches and downtown Morehead City within minutes. 24 hour Super Wal-Mart 1 mile. Ruby Tuesday, Applebees, Texas Steakhouse, Kabuta Japanese restaurants, banks and ATM 1 1/2 mile
Fishing is a big business in Morehead City. In addition to various kinds of fishing charters there are many tournaments in the area.
This one may have been the Friendly City Speckled Trout Tournament (which is actually out of Swansboro), or the Toys for Tots King Mackerel Tournament which are both at the beginning of November. Other tournaments are
New Years day - NC Saltwater Fishing Tournament
May 30 CCSA Cobia Tournament
June 7-14 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
July 19-26 CCSA King Mackerel Tournament
August 1-2 Annual Ducks Unlimited Billfish Tag and Release Tournament
October 24-26 Coral Bay Open
I have not used this marina.
Equipment: Cost in 2002 was $1.20/ft/night.
Claiborne Young says: "Berths are provided at ultramodern floating concrete docks with power, water, and newly installed dockside telephone connections. Showers and a laundromat are available shoreside. Depths alongside range from 11 feet at the outer docks to 6 feet on the innermost slips. Take care when approaching the docks, as swift tidal currents regularly scour the Morehead waterfront channel! Gasoline and diesel fuel are available, and an extensive ship's and variety store is housed on the first floor of the large condo project overlooking the marina. Mechanical repairs can be arranged through several local repair firms. A number of restaurants are within a two-block walk (see below). Over and above these attractions, I found the personnel at Dockside to be friendly and knowledgeable, ready to go the extra mile to help the visiting cruiser with all his needs. "
This marina is a very prominant building after you go under the fixed Morehead City bridge. We have not stayed there
According to the guidebook from 2002, rates are $1.25/ft with a 25% Boat US discount at floating docks with greater than 8' approach and dockside depth. They are within walking distance of restaurants.
Equipment: Dry stack and out-of water storage are available at Portside Marina, located between the North Carolina State Port and the Morehead City waterfront. Gasoline, diesel, 15 slips and repair services are offered. Boaters will also find showers, laundry services, cable television hook-ups and 30/50/100-amp power