What is a Marina Dockmaster? How Much Do They Make? [Video]

Running a dock takes a great deal of work and effort and that’s exactly what a marina dockmaster is going to be about. So, if you’re thinking that this is something you might want to do or something that you want to find out more about, you’re definitely going to want to think about all of the things we’re going to discuss and just how a dockmaster needs to be able to perform. 

What is a Marina Dockmaster?

 A marina dock master could also be known as a dock operations manager. They are the ones in charge of the marina during operating hours and could be responsible for incidents that happen at a marina.

In short, they’re responsible for everything that happens within the marina. They need to know about any incidents or problems and they will handle any of those things for you. Not only that but they can answer any questions that you might have and will help you to get the service that you need to care for your boat. If you’re working in the marina they’re the ones that you can go to if you need help or if you have any questions about operations.

Whether you’re an owner of a boat stored at a marina or you’re someone who works at the marina, knowing who the dockmaster is should be one of the first things that you do. After all, you want to make sure that you know where to turn at all times. If you don’t know the dockmaster then reach out to any of the workers on the dock and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

What Does a Dockmaster Do?

Some of the standard duties of a dock master includes ensuring safe arrival, docking, and departure of vessels. They may also be tasked with setting up repairs to vessels in the marina and depending on the size of the marina there may be multiple dock masters on duty. 

These individuals are the ones that are going to keep the marina running and keep the people who store their boats there happy. They make sure that the boat owners get everything that they need and that they are comfortable with each of the tasks that are being performed for them, such as general care and maintenance of their boat. The dockmaster is the one that people will go do with anything they may need.

How Much Does a Dock Master Make?

While top earners of dock masters at major marina ports crack $150,000 per year the average earnings of a dockmaster is about $75,000. This will obviously vary by experience and dock size as well as dock activity requirements. 

Some dockmasters may be able to make even more and some may make less. It will also depend on whether the dockmaster is also the owner of the marina. If the operation is small they may not have a separate dockmaster and the owner may take over all of these responsibilities to cut down on costs of having to hire someone else to take care of things for them. 

Bigger marinas that may have hundreds or even thousands of boats in them will pay more because the dockmaster has far more responsibilities. They may also have more than one dockmaster or different levels of seniority for their dockmasters to make sure they can handle so much work. All of this can influence just how much the dockmaster gets paid. 

How Do You Become a Dockmaster?

Many dockmasters start low on the totem pole, and in many locations, you have to be a certified marine manager. You will generally start as a dock boy, being an assistant to other dockmasters and learning the tricks to the trade.

Once you’ve learned all of the basics then you will have the chance to start working your way up. Just like in any job, the experience is a great teacher and people like to promote from within. After all, the longer you’ve been there the more you are going to know about the way the marina runs or the way that any marina runs. This makes you a better manager overall.

The dockmaster has likely been on the team or part of the marina for several years by the time they get to that position because it takes time for them to learn everything they need to know to be an efficient dockmaster. Once they have, however, they can be a great addition and can help the lower-level positions to get their jobs done as well.

What is a Dock Boy?

Dock boys do a lot of grunt work at the marinas. They work to keep boats fueled and cleaned. If the marina services fishing expeditions they will also be responsible for ensuring bait is available and may be temporarily hired to do the cleaning of the fish. 

A dock boy is going to be responsible for the general duties and will make sure that the dockmaster has everything that they need to be successful. Not only that but they will help out the boat owners as needed. They may be asked to go and fetch different items or to assist with some of the menial tasks involved in caring for a boat. 

This is generally the lowest job on the dock and therefore the place where a lot of people will start out when they’re looking to work in a marina. It’s generally an easy job (though physically exhausting) and doesn’t require much in the way of experience to start. 


The dockmaster is the person who is in charge of everything that’s happening on a marina and they are most definitely responsible for keeping the people who work there and the people who store their boats there happy. Without the dockmaster, there is no one to go to if there are problems or concerns and no one to take care of the general, daily operations of the marina. So, it’s important that they know what they’re doing and have the experience necessary to do it well. 

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