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Old 11-17-2017, 10:33 AM   #1
jasonr_nh
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Default Valet

Looking for peoples experiences with valeting a boat vs slip rental. Considering valeting a 22' - 24' pontoon boat next season at a local marina. Just wondering if this causes more wear and tear on the boats? Is it as convenient as it sounds? General pros and cons would be great. Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:50 AM   #2
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Looking for peoples experiences with valeting a boat vs slip rental. Considering valeting a 22' - 24' pontoon boat next season at a local marina. Just wondering if this causes more wear and tear on the boats? Is it as convenient as it sounds? General pros and cons would be great. Thanks!
Not all marina's valet pontoons but I would think it would be less wear and tear on a boat because it's out of the water when not in use. Not all wear and tear comes from use. Depending on how protected your slip is a boat can get pretty beat up at the dock all season.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:44 AM   #3
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Not all marina's valet pontoons but I would think it would be less wear and tear on a boat because it's out of the water when not in use. Not all wear and tear comes from use. Depending on how protected your slip is a boat can get pretty beat up at the dock all season.


My neighbors valet their boat and it seems to work for them. He has mentioned he keeps his eyes open for slips so perhaps he feels that is more geared towards his usage. What is the price difference for you?


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Old 11-17-2017, 11:56 AM   #4
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Default Valet Considerations

When we first got our boat there were no slips available down Alton-way so we had to use valet at West Alton Marina.

As mentioned above, it's good to get the boat out of the water when you're done. It's also cheaper than a slip, too.

There are a few considerations, however:
> You do not have a slip to dock at should you need to load alot of supplies. Not an issue if you are on mainland but an important issue if you're an islander.
> You do not have a slip to leave your boat in if you need to run to the store for an hour or two. Again, more an issue if you're an islander.
> You usually have to call ahead to let them know or you'll be standing around waiting until they have a chance to put it in for you. This is a big deal if you are coming up in the evening and you forgot to call ahead (believe me - we got half way up from NY one night and realized that we hadn't called and that by then the marina was closed!).

Overall, we really had no bad experiences with boat wear/tear with valet. The guys at WAM were very helpful and it was not an unpleasant experience. However, being an islander it did not fully meet our needs and once a slip became available to us on our 2nd year, we rented one.

Best of luck to you!
- R
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:20 PM   #5
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Pricesdtavern: It depends on the marina. At MVYC there are about 20 docks for valet. You can load/unload, run errands, go out for the evening, etc. You just let the attendant know so they don't pull your boat while you're at the grocery store. Price is about half what it costs to rent a slip, but with the slip, you also get all the social stuff, room for a grill, and dock parties.
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:40 PM   #6
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I valeted out of Meredith Marina with a 22í tritoon for 2 seasons and found them very responsive and careful with our boat...works out well but there were times we could have stayed on the lake longer rather than have to be back before the 5 oíclock closing time. A slip is the better of the two but Iím sure, has itís own set of pros and cons.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:01 PM   #7
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I valeted out of Meredith Marina with a 22í tritoon for 2 seasons and found them very responsive and careful with our boat...works out well but there were times we could have stayed on the lake longer rather than have to be back before the 5 oíclock closing time. A slip is the better of the two but Iím sure, has itís own set of pros and cons.
I've been at Meredith Marina for the past two years and you don't have to have the boat back by 5. I've been out to dinner and got back around 7. I tie it up and cover it and they pull it out the next morning. It also works for early morning as well. I tell them to get it out the previous evening for a 7 am launch. It is waiting when I arrive the next morning to boat to breakfast.

I have also found Meredith Marina VERY accommodating. I had a lot of work done on my boat last year and they were always willing to have contractors come in to do upholstery and electrical work. When I wanted to do a spring cleanup they pulled my boat near a hose and I worked on it all day (weekday in the spring). We went to take the boat out the first time and the battery had gone dead. One of the mechanics came down immediately with a jump start battery and we were on our way in 15 minutes.

I give them an hour notice and the boat is ready. Note: on busy summer weekends I try to give them 2 hours. I like the convenience of them filling up the gas tank as well (they ask if I want gas each time).

The only slight inconvenience I have had is, if they are busy, the boat might be a little late (15 minutes) getting in the water. If you have to be somewhere for say dinner reservations, you are better to give yourself an earlier launch.

Valet has been an excellent solution for me after I sold my house on the water.
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:28 PM   #8
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I've been at Meredith Marina for the past two years and you don't have to have the boat back by 5. I've been out to dinner and got back around 7. I tie it up and cover it and they pull it out the next morning. It also works for early morning as well. I tell them to get it out the previous evening for a 7 am launch. It is waiting when I arrive the next morning to boat to breakfast.

I have also found Meredith Marina VERY accommodating. I had a lot of work done on my boat last year and they were always willing to have contractors come in to do upholstery and electrical work. When I wanted to do a spring cleanup they pulled my boat near a hose and I worked on it all day (weekday in the spring). We went to take the boat out the first time and the battery had gone dead. One of the mechanics came down immediately with a jump start battery and we were on our way in 15 minutes.

I give them an hour notice and the boat is ready. Note: on busy summer weekends I try to give them 2 hours. I like the convenience of them filling up the gas tank as well (they ask if I want gas each time).

The only slight inconvenience I have had is, if they are busy, the boat might be a little late (15 minutes) getting in the water. If you have to be somewhere for say dinner reservations, you are better to give yourself an earlier launch.

Valet has been an excellent solution for me after I sold my house on the water.
All around a good marina and friendly people...I know coming in late was option but truth be told I was skeptical about doing this thinking someone would think I didnít belong there and cut the boat loose...I also called at end of day so I could go fishing next morning many times...Alex on the forklift was great too!
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:02 AM   #9
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Won't name the marina because it's probably a rare accident but one year,shortly after spring launch,I found my tritoon listing at the dock.
A brief inspection revealed damage to one of the pontoons caused by a forklift.It had caused a small split in one of the seams.
They owned up and made the repair so all is well.
One of the techs that we know told me that they had been training a new summer employee on the forklift......no harm done but always check your boat for damage after it's been lifted.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:10 AM   #10
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The answer to this question completely depends on your usage. If not up often, when you're up is during business hours, and if you plan ahead, valet is great. If you're using it a lot, last minute, or after hours, a slip is much better.

One consideration is parking. We valeted at Trexler's for a season and they were great--boat was fueled, cleaned, covered, etc. whenever necessary, and the staff is fabulous. I really hated the walk up/down the hill with a bunch of gear, however, especially after a long day of boating in the sun. (NB: Many times, we were able to park at the store and carry gear over, but the car still needed to be parked up the hill.)

Another consideration is bathroom availability. If you've just driven a while to get to the marina, you'll want easy access facilities (for both valet and slip, if you don't own in the area).

Godspeed!

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Old 11-20-2017, 09:34 AM   #11
jasonr_nh
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Default Thank you!

Thank you all for your feedback. These posts were very helpful. We are considering Meredith Marina so the replies were perfect! See ya on the lake. Thanks to all!!!
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:11 PM   #12
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One thing to think about, valet gets filled fast. Make sure you get on their list. You may want to call to verify when they start taking reservations and call then.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:02 PM   #13
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How does valet work if you are going to be out boating multiples days in a row, say you live off the lake and are up for a week and want to spend the week out on the water. Do they take it in and out every night and you call ahead to have them put it in for the morning?
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:16 PM   #14
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Depends on the marina and how much valet dock space they have Also varies with how early/late you want to be in/out when they are not open. Most places are very flexible, but you have to work with them to keep things open for other valet customers.
Most can be a lot more flexible on weekdays, not so much on busy weekends.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:33 PM   #15
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Default Advance notice

I valet at Meredith Marina. I do a week on Winni and a week on Waukewan in the summer.

For the Winni week I let them know I wonít be back for a week when I pick it up. No issues and just dock at the rental.

For Waukewan, I let them know a few weeks in advance and they bring it over for me the day I arrive to the public launch. No extra charge other than tipping the guys who bring it over. Same on the return. Work with them to agree on a day/time that works for both parties.

Great service and they are very willing to work with you.
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:56 PM   #16
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Agreed. If the service weren't great, we'd all call it "forklift" instead of "valet". Sounds like MM is way at the top of the quality service list.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:58 PM   #17
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We valet our 22' Wellcraft at Fays. So far it has worked out very well. We tend stay on the island for several weeks at a time so having a slip on the mainland is a waste. When we're at the lake, the boat is either on Welch or at the town docks. If we need to go to the mainland for an overnight, we tie up to a open "valet" slip. If I want the boat racked after hours I simply tie it to an open "valet" slip and notify them, then they rack it the next day. Likewise if we want the boat after hours they put it in the water and leave it tied to a "valet" slip for us. I like having the boat racked / out of the weather in a building when we're out of town instead of getting beat-up at a dock.

Having said all that, I have not noticed any pontoons in the valet storage area (not to say that they don't).

Mark

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Old 12-05-2017, 06:15 PM   #18
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I asked Meredith Marine about valet for a pontoon boat and they told me they didn't valet pontoons.

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Old 12-06-2017, 12:22 AM   #19
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I asked Meredith Marine about valet for a pontoon boat and they told me they didn't.

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They didnít what? Valet pontoons? I was there 2 seasons with mine.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:10 AM   #20
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They didnít what? Valet pontoons? I was there 2 seasons with mine.
They told me they didn't valet pontoons. Maybe they just didn't have anymore spots open but that's what I was told.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:49 AM   #21
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They told me they didn't valet pontoons. Maybe they just didn't have anymore spots open but that's what I was told.
Thatís wierd...
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:21 PM   #22
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I asked Meredith Marine about valet for a pontoon boat and they told me they didn't valet pontoons.

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I thought you were on Lake Waukewan?
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Old 12-16-2017, 02:04 PM   #23
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I valeted out of Melvin Village last season and it was great. In my mind it was a better and cheaper alternative to a slip. I called ahead and the boat was fueled and ready at a service dock. They would even stock the cooler with ice if asked. It was especially great when it was just me and my wife going on as they would assist in docking coming back in. Would do it again without any reservations at all.


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Old 12-17-2017, 03:45 PM   #24
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I thought you were on Lake Waukewan?
I am but I was thinking of buying a large pontoon and keeping it on a rack at MM and just using my jet skis on Waukewan. I don't really want to travel too far to any other marina. But I shelved that idea because they told me they didn't rack pontoons.
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Old 12-17-2017, 06:11 PM   #25
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I am but I was thinking of buying a large pontoon and keeping it on a rack at MM and just using my jet skis on Waukewan. I don't really want to travel too far to any other marina. But I shelved that idea because they told me they didn't rack pontoons.
Rack? They store them on the ground on wooden blocks though...is that not a good option?
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:15 PM   #26
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Rack? They store them on the ground on wooden blocks though...is that not a good option?
Maybe that's why they told me no but you would think that they would have explained that they stored them on the ground? I was told no and that's as far as I pursued it. Now that I know I will look into it this winter.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:06 AM   #27
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Maybe that's why they told me no but you would think that they would have explained that they stored them on the ground? I was told no and that's as far as I pursued it. Now that I know I will look into it this winter.
I agree, you should pursue! Good marina!
Hint hint...if you purchase your new pontoon/tritoon there you can bargain for a killer deal on valet and storage for the next season! Thatís what we did!
Good luck and merry Christmas!
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:39 PM   #28
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I agree, you should pursue! Good marina!
Hint hint...if you purchase your new pontoon/tritoon there you can bargain for a killer deal on valet and storage for the next season! That’s what we did!
Good luck and merry Christmas!
Thanks for the inside info. I will have to check into that after the holidays. Merry Christmas to you also.
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