Moorages with a dock that runs parallel to the bank with floating houses in outside slips offer the best unobstructed views of the river for its residents. Outside & Inside Slip configurations offer the outside floating home the best views and, while the inside slip river views may be partially obstructed by another floating home, typically, the shore views are lush and green and provide convenient access to launch boats and water toys just as the outside slips do but tend to cost less than homes in outside slips if all other things were equal.
Finger Row configurations feature a dock running parallel to the bank and from this dock rows of finger docks run perpendicularly from there. This configuration allows for unique views of the moorage itself, as well as upriver and downriver views. This configuration typically offers access to the river at both the fronts and backs of the houses. The floating homes located at the end of each finger row offer the the least obstructed views up- and down-river and are typically priced accordingly. Double-Sided Finger Row dock configurations generally have similar views as do homes on finger rows with a house only on one side of the finger row, however, river access is limited to just one side of the home. Houses on finger rows with houses on each side of the walkway tend to be more affordable than houses where there are houses only on one side of the finger row.
Other elements to pay attention to when touring a moorage relate to its condition and maintenance. Few moorages offer concrete walkways which make walkways easier to navigate in high heels or during snowstorms. Some moorages have composite decking such as Trex. By far, wooden docks are the most common. Wooden docks require the most maintenance and some moorages keep their docks in tip-top shape, while some moorages allow docks to become squishy or are more tolerant of nails sticking up from the dock boards which can catch long pants legs as you walk by.
Ramps tend to be made of metal with either a metal walking surface or wood decking. Some ramps are wide which feel less constrictive than narrow ones and make it easier to cart larger items to you home. Some ramps feel unstable or rickety, while others feel solid.
Some moorage managers ensure that their residents maintain the exteriors of their homes, while others are lenient with rundown homes.
Flaking paint near docks is always a sign of neglect. Living on the river, we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of our waterways and this includes ensuring that flaking paint does not end up in the river.
Paying attention to all of these details when touring moorage will help to give you an idea of the kind of management which exists at the moorage.
MOORAGE INFRASTRUCTURE & APPEARANCE:
To connect necessary utilities to a floating home, electrical lines, internet lines, fresh water, waste lines, and fuel lines or pipes will all need to travel from the uplands area to the houses along the docks. Some moorages try to disguise and conceal this infrastructure by placing it underneath the docks which creates clean and clear docks. Other moorages place this infrastructure along-side the walkways or even on top of the docks which can make the walkways appear more cluttered. Some moorages have placed electrical lines overhead which can obstruct river views along the pathways.
At some moorages there are sheds near the parking lots to conceal trash and recycling containers.
Some moorages go the extra mile and pride themselves on landscaping and abundant flowers, custom signage, or sculptural welcome gates.
At a few moorages where the water isn’t very deep, when the river level is very low, some floating houses can touch bottom. This phenomenon tends to be rare. As soon as the river rises, the homes will also rise off of the river bottom. The process of dredging is when heavy marine machinery scoops out the soil and silt from the bottom of the river to, essentially, make it deeper so that houses don’t hit bottom when the river is extremely low. It can be very expensive and disruptive to disconnect floating houses and shuffle them around temporarily until the dredging is complete. Many residents learn to live with this rare phenomenon because of the disruptions and also because that kind of expenditure would likely raise rents or HOA fees to pay for the dredging.