Re: Marinas / harbours in Hawaii


We stayed at Ala Wai Marina in Honolulu for several months. We found it delightful--and infuriating.

It was convenient to downtown, and easy to live in without a car.  It is right on the edge of Waikiki, so it is a bustling place.  If you prefer peace and quiet it might not be the best choice for you.  It is in the middle of the city, and that is both good, and sometimes, not so good.  Drug use, and homelessness are problems about which they do not have even a clue to a management, much less solutions.

Like almost all marinas in Hawai'i it is owned, and run, by the state.  The people who run it are friendly and delightful, but totally constrained by the "Rules."  And there are a LOT of rules. Customer service is NOT a priority.  Just as an example: the staff is not allowed to help a boat when it approaches the dock because of "Liability." Fortunately, dock neighbors are (as a rule) helpful. 

Maintenance is terrible.  Two boats while we were there broke free of their bow moorings because the chain had corroded away to nothing while waiting for the work order to replace it to be approved.  The office and payment systems were humorously archaic--at best. Think typewriters.  Seriously.  We have never been at a marina with an office more technologically backward--anywhere.

Facilities are adequate.  Certainly not the best place you have ever stayed.  On the other hand, convenience is great.

A reservation is required, or at least highly recommended.  We made the reservation before we left California, and updated our arrival time en route by satphone.

You can find a lot about our time in Hawai'i on our blog if you start here:  

We also visited Ko Olina Marina on Oahu.  It is (I think?) the only private marina on the island, but found it far too remote for our automobile-less life.

The issues are serious, and sometimes funny, but all things considered, if we were back on Oahu, we'd stay there again. Alternatives did not meet out needs.

Feel free to contact us by email if you have any questions.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Hollywood, Florida, USA

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