Virginia Beach Makes Top 10 Cities for Boaters

Best Cities for Boaters Banner

With Labor Day weekend just around the corner, millions of boat owners will be fueling up their tanks in preparation for the last big hurrah of the boating season. According to Discover Boating, an estimated 89 million Americans go boating each year. If you’re one of those boaters, you’ve probably dreamed of owning property on a river, lake or ocean and living the ultimate American Dream. To help guide you in the right direction, Redfin worked with our friends at Discover Boating and The Weather Channel to determine which major metropolitan areas have the most waterfront property for sale, the longest boating seasons, the most boat vendors and the largest boating communities.

But before diving in to waterfront homeownership in one of these areas, be sure to talk to a Redfin real estate agent. “There are a few things to keep in mind before buying a waterfront home,” said Cyndy Stewart, a Redfin real estate agent in Austin. “Most properties will require flood insurance, which increases your overall monthly costs. You should also research how much the water ebbs and flows; if the water levels have been declining due to drought and overuse, your home might not be on the waterfront in 10 years. If your dream is to build a private dock, you’ll need a permit, so you should also do your research on that first.”

So without further ado, here are the top 10 places to live, work and play on the water:

Best Cities for Boaters List

1. South Florida – Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach Metropolitan Area

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 32.1%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $295,500
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 12
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 6.16
  • Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 7,324
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Hillsboro Beach, Highland Beach, Bal Harbour

In addition to the Atlantic Ocean, cities in South Florida have canals and lakes that increase the amount of waterfront property available. With so much water and warm weather year round, it makes sense that residents would take up boating as a hobby.

“Boating is life here in Florida; people of all backgrounds own a boat, and everyone loves to go out on the weekends,” said John DePhillipo, a Redfin real estate agent in West Palm Beach. “The ocean and lakes are popular for sailing and motorboating, and on the smaller bodies of water you’ll see people kayaking and paddleboarding. There’s a lot of waterfront property available thanks to the rivers and lakes, but the homes on deep canals, inlet waterways or the ocean will fetch a premium price. The sea life is great here; sometimes manatees will jump out right on your dock, and you can see dolphins in the waterways. Florida has so much to offer for boaters!”

2. Tampa, Florida, Metropolitan Area

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 14.1%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home:$260,000
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 12
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 6.16
  • Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 7,324
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Indian Shores, North Redington Beach, Redington Shores

With great weather, an avid boating community and plenty of coastlines, Tampa came in a close second to the Miami area as a great city for boaters. The city has fewer canals and lakes, reducing the amount of waterfront property available, but there are still plenty of options.

“The Tampa–St. Petersburg area has a lot of great places to boat, including the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Caladesi Island. You’ll always see sailboats and motorboats in the water when you’re hanging out at the beach,” said Wendy Peterson, a Redfin real estate agent in Tampa. “There are a lot of homes on canals, so many people store their boat on a private dock, or if that’s not an option, they keep it at one of the many yacht clubs or dry dock marinas. One thing to consider when buying waterfront property here is the cost of flood insurance; now that private companies are offering insurance, it has become a little less cost prohibitive, but it’s definitely something you need to research beforehand.”

3. Minneapolis, Minnesota, Metropolitan Area

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 6.8%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $359,650
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 4
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 4.52
  • Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 24,164
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Mound, Annandale, Maple Lake

Minneapolis has a short boating season, but the residents don’t seem to mind. The percentage of people who own a boat in Minnesota is more than three times that of Florida. The city has many small lakes and rivers that allow for a lot of waterfront property in the city, and of course the Great Lakes are only a few hours away.

“Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and whether you have a canoe or a Cabin Cruiser, there’s a lake that is just perfect for you. Minnesota has the largest number of boat owners in the country and per capita there is one boat for every six residents,” said Chris Prescott, a Redfin real estate agent in Minneapolis. “The boating season is not as long as we would like it to be, so for the other six months of the year you’ll need to find a place to keep your boat. Many people use their third garage stall for boat storage, or maybe a parking pad next to the garage if the city allows it. If you’re not interested in the hassles of boat ownership, boat clubs are becoming very popular. Twin Cities recreational boaters tend to love the Lake Minnetonka area and the homes around the lake have always been and should continue to be in high demand.”

4. Virginia Beach, Virginia, Metropolitan Area

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 11.9%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $334,800
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 6
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 1.98
  • Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 4,534
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Norfolk

Virginia Beach had the third highest percentage of waterfront homes, thanks to the bays, lakes and ocean. There aren’t as many boaters as Minneapolis, but there are a few more months of the year where temperatures are above 60 degrees.

“With the ocean, bay, river, lakes and many other bodies of water, there are so many places to boat in the Hampton Roads area,” said Alyssa Cokinos, a Redfin real estate agent in Hampton Roads. “Some of the most popular are Lynnhaven Inlet, Rudee Inlet and Smithfield Station, where you can pull in for fuel and restaurants. You can find a boat parked in someone’s driveway or yard in almost any neighborhood here, and there are neighborhoods such as Alanton in Virginia Beach that have their own neighborhood boat ramp and a waiting list to be able to dock your boat at the pier there.”

5. Providence, Rhode Island, Metropolitan Area

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 4.6%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $424,950
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 4
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 5.63
  • Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 5,995
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Portsmouth, Barrington, Bristol

Much like Minnesota, residents in Rhode Island don’t mind braving colder weather to get out on the water. The state has a lot of registered boats and boat dealers, and there’s a lot of waterfront property thanks to the river, ocean and bays. Because boating is so popular, boat slips are often sold for a premium; for example, there’s one that is on the market for $310,000.

“Boating is huge in Rhode Island! I think there are 12 or so high schools in the state with sailing programs,” said Jeremy Krause, a Redfin real estate agent in Providence. “Rhode Island is called the Ocean State for a reason; you can basically boat anywhere from Westerly all the way up to Providence and back down to Newport. The state has an amazing amount of waterfront property with direct access to the water, especially on Aquidneck Island.  Other popular communities for boaters include Narragansett, East Greenwich, Warwick, Barrington and Bristol.”

6. Long Island, New York

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 7.5%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $639,000
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 5
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 2.23
  • Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 3,685
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Westhampton Beach, Southold,Mattituck

Long Island lives up to its name, with water everywhere you look. However, the residents don’t own as many boats as they do in other cities on the top 10 list, and there are fewer boat dealers as well.

“Long Island offers plenty of places to boat, including the Great South Bay, Long Island Sound, the Atlantic and multiple harbors,” said Peggy Papazaharias, a Redfinreal estate agent in Long Island. “There’s a lot of waterfront property, and many of the homes have bulkheads and docks where people store their boat. Some even have lifts for jet skis! Because boating is so popular here, having waterfront access and a place to store your boat would definitely increase the value of your property.”

7. Baltimore/Annapolis, Maryland, Metropolitan Area

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 3.5%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $629,900
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 6
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 3.19
  • Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 4,899
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Grasonville, Chester, Stevensville

There are a lot of people who own boats in and around the Chesapeake Bay area, particularly in Annapolis, but there’s not as much waterfront property as other cities on the list, which means that homes on the water are a lot more expensive. The median sale price of homes that aren’t on the waterfront is $242,115, but that number jumps to $629,900 for homes on the water – representing a 160 percent home price premium, the most of any city on the list.

“People who dream about living on the water have a lot of options in Maryland. From the posh waterfront condos in Baltimore’s inner harbor, cliff-side homes along the Severn River, neighborhoods with community boat slips around Annapolis and quaint fishing towns on Kent Island, there are homes for sale at a variety of price points,” said Kim Dixson, a Redfin real estate agent in Annapolis. “Maryland’s capital city of Annapolis is considered America’s Sailing Capital. Annapolis is home to the U.S. Naval Academy where midshipmen in their crisp white uniforms are a common sight. From the Eastern Shore to the port of Baltimore, there is a vibrant boating, sailing and water-loving culture all along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.”

8. Chicago, Illinois, Metropolitan Area

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 4.9%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $265,350
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 5
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 1.68
  • Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 4,537
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Fox Lake, Wilmington, Lake Barrington

The only thing preventing more people from owning a boat in Chicago may be the cold fall and winter months. During the summer, Chicago residents have plenty of lakes to choose from, including the fifth largest in the world, Lake Michigan.

“Between the Chain O’ Lakes and Lake Michigan, there’s a lot of waterfront property and places to boat in the Chicago area. Some people here have been boating all of their life and have inherited a boat from their family,” said Glenn Rickel, a Redfin real estate agent in Lake County.  “There are definitely people willing to pay extra to live next to the water and be part of a boating community. Homes on the waterfront can be anywhere from a few hundred thousand to a million dollars depending on how big the lot is, but right across the street the homes can be a third of the price because they’re not right on the water. Because the lake freezes over and we have such a short boating season, people usually keep their boats in a storage yard for the winter, or for smaller boats, they’ll keep them in a garage.”

9. Seattle, Washington, Metropolitan Area

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 3.9%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $498,000
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 4
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 3.48
  • Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 5,214
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Vashon, Mercer Island, Kirkland

Seattleites aren’t going to let a little rain get in their way of the water. Many neighborhoods are walking distance to a lake or Puget Sound, making it easy to find a great spot for any type of boat.

“We’re surrounded by water, so it’s only natural that there are a lot of boaters! In addition to the Puget Sound, there a ton of lakes and waterways where you can canoe, kayak, sail, crew, jet ski, paddleboard, kiteboard, you name it,” said Allie Howard, a Redfin real estate agent in Seattle. “There are a lot of waterfront homes, and most neighborhoods have access to water in just a few short minutes. For events like Seafair and the Fourth of July, everyone makes a point to go out on the water and celebrate together. If you’re a boating fan, Seattle is a great place to live.”

10. Austin, Texas, Metropolitan Area

  • Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 3.1%
  • Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $455,000
  • Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 9
  • # of Boat Dealers in State per 100,000 Residents: 2.03
  • Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 3,528
  • Areas with Most Waterfront Property: Spicewood, Lago Vista, Downtown Austin

Austin doesn’t have as many waterfront homes as other cities on the list, but it does have warm weather nearly year-round, making boating a favorite pastime for residents. On hot days people will cool off by kayaking on the river, or they’ll take their boat to the lakes nearby.

“People in Austin love to go boating on Lake Travis and Lake Austin. There are a lot of waterfront homes on both lakes, which are really expensive because they’re in high demand,” said Cyndy Stewart, a Redfin real estate agent in Austin. “Those who can’t afford to live right on the water often join boat clubs, where you can have access to a boat for a fee, but don’t have to worry about the storage and maintenance of it. Steiner Ranch is a popular place to live for those who like to boat, because it’s right in between both lakes, and has a private boat launch into Lake Austin. Lakeway is another popular spot for boaters; it used to be where many people had vacation homes, but now it has become a place where people want to live full time.”

Helpful Hint: To find homes for sale on the waterfront in your area, search for your city on, select the “more options” link, and then check the “waterfront” box. That will narrow down the search results to homes on the water.

Redfin data scientists evaluated 35 major metropolitan areas for this report. To find the percentage of waterfront property in each region, we looked at home sales from July 2011 through June 2014, and compared the number of waterfront listings with the number of listings not on the water. We also pulled sales information during that timeframe to find the median sale price of waterfront homes. Discover Boating, a public awareness effort managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, provided the data on boat registrations and dealers by state. We also collected information on the mean temperatures per month from The Weather Channel. Each of these elements was given a score of 1-10 and then the cities were ranked based on an average of that score.


Regulators for Labor Day Weekend!!

Come by and see our Regulators on Display at Bluewater Yacht Sales!!

2005 Regulator 26FS with Under 300 hours on Yamaha 250 Four Strokes

26' Regulator 2005 - Yacht for Sale | Bluewater Yacht Sales

26' Regulator 2005 - Yacht for Sale | Bluewater Yacht Sales

26' Regulator 2005 - Yacht for Sale | Bluewater Yacht Sales

26′ Regulator 2005 – Yacht for Sale | Bluewater Yacht Sales.


2008 Regulator 32FS with under 300 hours on Yamaha 350 Four Strokes. New 2013 Road King Trailer!!

32' Regulator 2008 - Yacht for Sale | Bluewater Yacht Sales


32' Regulator 2008 - Yacht for Sale | Bluewater Yacht Sales

32' Regulator 2008 - Yacht for Sale | Bluewater Yacht Sales

Or Just Come See One of Our New Regulators:

Princess Yachts: The Ship Is In!

The Ship Is In!

The ship is in!  The first of several shipments of new Princess yachts arrived in Philadelphia earlier today as we prepare for a very busy fall boat show season!  The “City of Brotherly Love” provides perfect access for our commissioning crew to offload, with each yacht then making the short journey on its own bottom to our facility in southern New Jersey.

Be sure to join us at one of our upcoming shows this fall to experience the 2015 model year lineup of Princess yachts, which will include several new model introductions throughout the course of the fall and winter show season.  See our fall show season schedule below, and follow the links for more information. 

Special thanks to our outstanding Commissioning Team for their hard work and long hours getting these yachts safely off the ship and underway!

Princess V52

Princess V62-S

United States Powerboat Show       TICKETS & INFO
Annapolis, Maryland ~ October 16th – 19th

  • Princess V39
  • Princess 43 North American Premiere
  • Princess V52
  • Princess 56
  • Princess V62-S

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show       TICKETS & INFO
Fort Lauderdale, Florida ~ October 30th – November 3rd

  • Princess V39
  • Princes 43
  • Princess V48
  • Princess V52
  • Princess 52
  • Princess 56
  • Princess 60
  • Princess V62-S
  • Princess 72 Motor Yacht



Baby Sailfish Marlin Swordfish | Marlin Magazine

Baby Sailfish Marlin Swordfish | Marlin Magazine

Suitable for White Marlin Open Week!! Good Luck to All The Anglers and Thank you Marlin Magazine.


Baby Sailfish Marlin Swordfish | Marlin Magazine.

Fishing Boat Review: Jarrett Bay 43 | Marlin Magazine

When is a 43-foot sport-fish boat not just another 43-foot sport-fish boat? When it’s the latest creation from Jarrett Bay Boatworks — the builder of the intensely customized and equipped hardtop with a full tower built for Greg Barber of Newport, Rhode Island, aptly named Gregarious.

The boat started life as a bare 43-foot hull, and over the next 20 months, morphed into one of the more-beautiful and surprisingly well-equipped boats I’ve tested, regardless of size. The real feat involved getting everything the owner wanted into such a diminutive space, while keeping the space organized and accessible for functionality and ease of service. The team at Jarrett Bay, working with Capt. Peter Nickerson, accomplished the task with flying colors, managing to transform a day boat into a two-stateroom overnighter with all the amenities you’d expect in a 60-plus-foot convertible. To pull it off, twin Cummins QSC8 diesels with Zeus pods became the obvious choice because they mount farther aft than traditional inboards, leaving more room for creature comforts.

General Appearance

My initial look at Gregarious took place while it was up on supports before launching, which provided the opportunity for a close inspection. An Aristo blue boot stripe tastefully sets off the Kingston gray hull. They painted the house cloud white, with the undersides of both tops on the tower are matching gray, as is the upper pipework. A teak toe rail leads to the bow, where a work of art in teak and stainless steel takes on the shape of a pulpit that supports a stainless-steel anchor and chain. Attention to detail is found everywhere, including the line chocks and anchor-locking mechanism on the pulpit. The chocks keep the dock lines from rubbing against the toe rails when tied up. The house appears a bit tall, but when you consider the owner stands 6 feet 2 inches tall, the need for headroom becomes understandable. Walking around to the stern, two things immediately caught my eye; the beautiful teak transom adorned with the boat’s legend, and the Zeus pods, each with twin counterrotating props.


“Greg Barber likes wood,” says his -captain, and the cockpit area marks your first step into Barber’s world. The covering boards, cockpit sole and mezzanine deck are all made from teak. Blue-and-white upholstered split couches sit on either side of the centered door to the cabin. The transom sports a dual-purpose livewell/fish box with ice on demand from the Eskimo Ice system that also feeds a cooler under the port mezzanine deck. This is a New England boat, so there had to be cockpit controls somewhere, right? There are, cleverly hidden under a deck hatch alongside the cooler. Lift it up, and there’s an auxiliary joystick and engine controls, plus a USB port for an iPad linked to the Furuno helm electronics. You will also find a freezer and tackle-storage compartments in the mezzanine deck, and doors located on either side under the gunwales that provide access to washdowns, receptacles for electric reels and a Glendinning shore power cable reel.


While most boats this size feature an open-express configuration, this one comes with a completely enclosed, air-conditioned house and an electrically operated door to the cockpit. The entire helm and salon space is done in ropy cherry with painstakingly matched grains that recall the atmosphere of a Victorian library, except the cabinetry is probably better done here. The floors throughout are exotic African sapele set off by light maple border strips. There’s a dark blue settee to port with a cozy reading chair to starboard next to a large, built-in flat-screen TV. The helm area features a pair of custom Stidd captain’s chairs, and the navigation center is done in dark gray upholstery. There are drawers and cupboards for storage, two VHF radios, three Furuno LCD screens for sonar and navigational electronics, engine controls, and three electrical control -panels built into the cabinets with breakers -segregated among them by function.


To port of the centered helm, a set of stairs leads belowdecks. Since Barber has grandchildren who will be aboard, there is a slide-out child gate concealed in a pocket at the top of the stairs to prevent falls. At the foot of the stairs, a well-equipped galley with overhead space opens to the cabin above. Dark granite countertops and cherry woodwork dominate the galley, head, and staterooms. A pair of Sub-Zero refrigerated drawers holds ample food, and a drop-in freezer is set into the countertop for the owner’s ice cream. The cabinetry is intricately designed with each drawer or door revealing purpose-built interior spaces. There is even a garbage disposal built into the sink. A cleverly hidden hatch in the galley deck opens to reveal a large storage area, and a day couch located on the starboard side of the galley space has a cutout so you can stretch out your legs should you decide to lie down for a quick nap.  


The forward VIP stateroom features a pedestal double bed with two -hanging closets, and storage everywhere you look. Recessed lights and controls for the stereo, lighting and room temperature are concealed under the headboard. The bed lifts to access a large storage area beneath. The aft stateroom features twin beds with a large dresser-type cabinet separating them. Raising the starboard bed provides access to the hot-water system, accumulator tank and more, while the port bed offers a deep storage area below. Storage cabinets abound here too, along with controls and 110-volt power receptacles for charging cellphones and other electronics while you sleep.  

Tower — Upper Station

The Palm Beach tower is beautifully crafted, and features a platform over the hardtop for the radar and FLIR units, and a recessed cradle for a six-man Zodiac life raft. Making the climb to the top of the tower reveals a -complete upper control station where the captain can run all the systems. Engine controls include both traditional levers and a joystick with transfer unit and digital readout, along with controls for the ACR spotlight in a lift-open compartment starboard of the wheel. Navigational and fishing electronics are monitored through a small Furuno LCD and an R33 unit in a matching compartment on the port side. Teasers can be adjusted from the station via a remote-control system for the Miya Epoch US9 reels, and there’s a VHF and hailer for -communications in the console face.

Engine Room

Accessed through a hatch aft of the cabin door, the engine room contains an amazing array of equipment and systems laid out to provide access to everything that requires servicing. In addition to the Cummins diesels and the pods farther aft, you will find a water maker, 12.5 kW Onan genset, two 55-gallon freshwater tanks, six batteries and a charging system, an Iso-Boost unit to control shore power, an ice maker, a 12-volt inverter, Racor filters, AC compressors, a descaling system, black and gray water tanks, a sea chest, pumps for the livewell, and more. If greater access is needed, the cockpit sole rises on rams to raise the overhead.  


The Jarrett Bay 43 performs well with the Cummins/Zeus propulsion system, which offers an interesting alternative to traditional inboard power. Throttle up on the QSC8 engines, and the dual counter-rotating props push the boat on plane like oversize outboards. The bow rises momentarily, then settles quickly into a level running angle. The boat responds aggressively to input from the helm for the simple reason that with pods, you are steering the boat with the props rather than a rudder. The boat backs down well, although the engine computer needed tweaking to raise the rpm limiter in reverse, and it spins around like a dervish for chasing hooked fish. The trim tabs integrated into the pods can be operated manually or on automatic, which lets the computer level the boat and determine the angle of attack. The high-revving diesels are redlined at 3,080 rpm by a governor, and can push the 37,000-pound boat to 36 knots with a fuel burn of 63 gph fully loaded. This boat likes to cruise at 2,600 rpm, making 28 knots at 43.6 gph. The engines are unusually quiet and smooth.

Gregarious is a mind-blowing engineering achievement with a level of sophisticated luxury beautifully executed by Jarrett Bay’s staff of talented craftsmen that has to be seen to be believed.


Fishing Boat Review: Jarrett Bay 43 | Marlin Magazine.

Viking 42: Summer’s Fun Four

Viking‘s prowess at building a model within a model is a mainstay in our efficacy to regularly introduce new members into the Viking family as our popular 42 series so readily demonstrates. The 42 hull is the genesis for the 42 Convertible, the 42 Open, the 42 Sport Tower, and the 42 Sport Coupe. Each is powered with fuel efficient Cummins QSC 600 mhp diesels matched to the Zeus pod-drive propulsion system with joy stick controls for rapid response and amazing maneuverability.

Viking 42


There’s no mistaking the modern yet classic style cues of the 42 Convertible, which showcase Viking’s attention to detail flowing from bow to stern. Equally impressive, the inviting salon is reminiscent of its larger siblings.

42 Open


The 42 Open expresses your passion for offshore fishing and cruising with delightful overnight accommodations in its two-stateroom layout with a full galley and salon.

A three-sided fiberglass deckhouse complements your style aboard the 42 Sport Coupe while upping the convenience factor. Easily customized, you can quickly add personal touches for all your boating needs.


Equipped with a custom tuna tower and overhead rod lockers designed by our subsidiary Palm Beach Towers, the 42 Sport Tower broadens your horizons. Go ahead and take the wheel.