Can I Boat to Put-in-Bay?

Put-in-Bay Restaurants
Put-in-Bay Restaurants

Boat to Put-in-Bay Marina

South Bass Island offers several marinas and docking facilities where you can moor your boat on Put-in-Bay. The most prominent marina is located in Put-in-Bay, which is the main town on the island. Some of the marinas offer transient docking, allowing you to stay for a short period, while others offer seasonal or overnight options. Check out Fishing and Boats for more information on boating.

Dock Slip Reservations

It’s advisable to make reservations at the marina of your choice, especially during peak boating seasons. This ensures you have a guaranteed spot for your boat and avoids disappointment if the marina is full. If you do not have reservations, call the marina on VHF or by phone to see if they have openings. The marina at Put-in-Bay also offers tie-up buoys that can be reserved. These are stand-alone buoys that hold your boat in place.

Docking Fees and Permits

Marinas typically charge docking fees, which can vary based on the size of your boat and the duration of your stay. If you need electric or water service at the slip, it usually comes with a fee. Be prepared to pay these fees in advance or upon arrival. Additionally, inquire about any required permits or documentation for your boat, such as registration and proof of insurance. Typically a marina will want to see proof of insurance and a current registration card.

Amenities and Services

perrys monument

Most marinas on South Bass Island offer amenities such as restrooms, showers, fuel docks, and pump-out stations. There are bars and restaurants within walking distance from the marina. This is also a full-service dock. If you need anything such as supplies or fuel, they can provide it.

Navigational Considerations

Before you embark on your journey to South Bass Island, ensure that you have nautical charts, GPS, and proper knowledge of Lake Erie’s waterways. The island is well-marked with navigational aids, but it’s essential to be aware of potential hazards and safe navigation practices. There are a lot of shallow points, shoals, and other islands around. To be sure you avoid those, study the nautical charts before setting sail.

Safety and Regulations

Boaters should adhere to all safety regulations, including life jacket requirements and speed limits in designated areas. Be aware of any local boating rules specific to South Bass Island and Lake Erie. There is a no wake area as you enter the North marina on Put-in-Bay. It is marked and is strictly enforced. The no wake area is there so boats already docked do not get damaged. Keep in mind if there is a North wind the marina can get choppy.

Weather Conditions

Keep a close eye on weather forecasts before and during your trip. Lake Erie weather can change rapidly, so it’s important to be prepared for varying conditions. Be cautious of strong winds and waves that can develop on the lake. Lake Erie can get rough in a hurry, watch the weather forecast for wind and storms. If you see a gray or black sky on the horizon, it’s best to head to safety as soon as you can.

Boat Waste Disposal

Properly dispose of trash and waste at designated locations on the island or within the marinas. Environmental stewardship is essential to maintain the pristine waters of Lake Erie. Make sure you know the regulations for dumping waste in Ohio.

Put-in-Bay Attractions and Activities

Once you boat to Put-in-Bay, you can explore South Bass Island and enjoy its many attractions and activities. Visit historical sites, enjoy outdoor adventures, dine at local restaurants, and immerse yourself in the island’s unique culture and charm. There are plenty of places to eat and drink within walking distance of the marina. Golf cart rentals are available if you want to go explore the rest of the island or South Bass Island State Park.

Camping on south bass island


When you’re ready to depart South Bass Island, ensure you’ve paid all docking fees, retrieved any necessary documentation, and have a plan for your journey back home or to your next destination. Follow safe boating practices as you navigate Lake Erie.

In conclusion, bringing your boat to South Bass Island is a fantastic way to experience the island’s beauty and recreational opportunities. Between these guidelines and being well-prepared, you can have a memorable and enjoyable boating experience on Lake Erie and explore all South Bass Island offers.