Marinas are like parking spots for boats. Boats are moored in boat slips where they are docked until needed. You can typically find marinas at waterfront harbors, ports and beaches. Marinas can accommodate a variety of boats, including motorboats, sailboats, fishing boats, cruise ships and yachts, as well as the house boat. Some marinas operate on a very large scale, catering to cruise boats, while others operate on a smaller scale, accommodating motorboats and sailboats. Be sure to keep that in mind when choosing a marina. Many marinas sit alongside restaurants, lighthouses and resorts, providing an escape for those who love to go boating. You can find listings of marinas near you by looking in the phone book or online. Consider whether you want to rent a boat or buy one for sale. If you decide to buy, look at boat yards or boat stores to find the boat you want. If renting a boat from a marina, contact the marina and inquire about services, products, reservations, business discounts and membership information. Some marinas are private, while others are public, so ask about that as well. Inquire about guides, maps and charts for sale or rent. You can choose from a variety of boats to fit your needs. Consider your budget when you flag down marina businesses through phone or e-mail and ask to see boats within your price range. See if they offer boating services such as reservations, maps, charts, boating sports, motor boat refueling, waterfront docking and information on location of lighthouses. In your quest for the best marina with the best rates and service, shop around. Compare prices, services, boat quality, availability, cleanliness and the friendliness of customer service. Choose a few different marinas to start with and do your research.