What to Do With Your Boat When You Live in Sanibel

What to Do With Your Boat When You Live in SanibelSanibel Island is not just a dream destination to live or visit, it is a boaters' paradise. There are so many great places to enjoy boating around the island and within a few hours to a few days from the island. If you own a home on the island and are considering a boat purchase or are thinking of purchasing a home on Sanibel and have a boat you might be wondering what your options are for keeping the vessel near your home.

Owning a Boat and Living on Sanibel Island Gives a Homeowner 3 Options

  1. Purchase a Home on a Lake, Canal, or Coastline with a Dock
  2. Keep the Boat at A Marina
  3. Store the Boat 

Purchasing a Home on the Water

Sanibel Island has many amazing waterfront properties, some homes are located in communities with boat owners in mind. If you have not purchased a home in Sanibel or are considering a move to keep your boat at your house, we are here to help. Sanibel has a great collection of canal-front properties with easy access to open waters. It is good to remember that some homes not right on the coastline may have obstructions that will only allow for smaller vessels to pass through such as passing under the Periwinkle Way bridge. 

Some of Sanibels premier boating communities with dock space already available at homes include:


  • Mariner Pointe
  • Tennis Place and Harbour Cottages
  • Captains Walk
  • Seawind
  • Sanibel Moorings
  • Sanibel Arms

Single-Family Homes

  • Betts and Dinkins Bayou
  • Del Saga
  • Castaway Estates
  • Caloosa Shores
  • Sanibel Isles
  • Water Shadows
  • Sanibel Harbours
  • Shell Harbor
  • Sanibel Estates

Storing Your Boat Nearby

Some Sanibel Island Boat owners choose to store their boats in dry storage. This is a helpful option for boat owners who use their boats for day boating rather than longer excursions. Boat barns at marinas are increasing in popularity for Sanibel and Captiva Island boat owners, especially with smaller watercraft. There are several areas to place a boat in dry storage in and around Sanibel Island. The newest option is The Sanibel Toy Box, a dedicated space to expertly store a boat in dry storage. There are also marinas that offer boat barns. 

The Sanibel Toy Box carries the name Sanibel but is located not too far from the island in Fort Meyers. The Toy Box is located just 1 mile from the Port Sanibel Marina, 2.3 miles from the Punta Rassa Boat Ramp, 2 miles from the Causeway, and 5.3 miles from the closest point on Sanibel Island. The Toy Box broke ground last year. The storage facility is built with the highest quality safety features and able to be customized to your specific boat storage needs. The facility is also available to store cars, RVs, and other household goods. 


If you need to dock your boat but do not have the capability of doing so at your home there are several marinas in southwest Florida. Marinas located on Sanibel and Captiva that offer storage include:

Sanibel Marina

The Sanibel Marina has 65 slips located near the Sanibel Island Lighthouse. The Marina has the ability to hold boats up to 70 feet. Sanibel Marina welcomes transient docking as well as short and long-term slip rentals. The marina also has boat rentals, guided fishing excursions, a fuel dock, and a marina store. 

The dock has newly open since the hurricane and is under new ownership. There is direct access to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Stop by Gramma Dot's for lunch or dinner every day of the week and enjoy an adult beverage at the only Seaside Saloon on the island. 

McCarthy's Marina

McCarthy's is historic on Captiva Island. It was founded in the early 1900s and known at the time as the City Dock. Everything that came by boat was brought here. These boats served as a lifeline carrying all supplies to the island until the Sanibel Causeway was constructed in 1983. What was the City Dock became Andy's in 1940 which became a fishing pier and waterfront Saloon. It was the place to be on Saturday night on Captiva. Later the area was purchased by Paul McCarthy in 1986 and became the Marina it is today. 

The Marina has slips to hold up to a 25-foot boat. It is a family-owned business. The marina offers both Transient Dockage slips and annual dockage slips. Docks are rented on a first come first served basis.

If you are looking for a home on Sanibel Island, contact me any time. I am here to help you find the perfect home on Sanibel, whether you are looking for a full-time home, a home with a dock, a vacation home, or an investment property. Contact me any time with any Sanibel real estate needs. 

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