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Why You Need a Harbor Host
By Julie Shea
Posted on 2/12/2018 12:55 PM

It’s a common misconception that if you contact a Harbor Host, you are bothering them. That couldn’t be further from the truth! AGLCA members sign up to be Harbor Hosts because they want you to reach out to them! They want to help you with whatever will make your visit in their home port more enjoyable.

Think about it ~ if they didn’t want to help, they wouldn’t have signed up! For the Gold Loopers among them, they enjoy being able to give back to those of you cruising the Loop after them. For those who haven’t started yet, it’s a great way to meet other Loopers and learn more about this adventure they are about to undertake. It’s not just you getting something out of contacting a Harbor Host!

As we have seen with this year’s 2017 Harbor Host of the Year Finalists, some Harbor Hosts will follow the Meets app and the member forum so they know who will be coming through their turf so they can reach out with a welcome email or text message. But don’t feel that you can’t initiate contact with them or any of our other Harbor Hosts, anywhere around the Loop.

What Harbor Hosts Do

Cruising 6,000 miles around the eastern part of the United States, you’re eventually going to leave the lakes and rivers of your backyard behind and end up in waters you aren’t familiar with. The most basic assistance Harbor Hosts provide is recommendations and local knowledge of their home port. Where can you find a great Italian restaurant? Can I walk to the post office from the marina? I chipped a tooth and need a good dentist. Do you know where I can get my prop fixed at a reasonable price? What should we be sure to do while we are in town? Harbor Hosts know all the inside details about their town and they can get you places that tourists will never find. Or if the tourist activities are great, they will tell you that too! We all have don’t miss places in our hometowns ~ information we love to share with out of town guests. Sometimes Harbor Hosts will hustle you into their car and take you right to where ever you wish to go!

If you want to know what to expect on the waterway, Harbor Hosts know their local waters well and can advise you on how the weather will impact the bay or give you a heads up about a bridge clearance or change in the opening schedule. Many Harbor Hosts can also give you advice about other waterways you will be cruising through in other parts of the loop.

Our Harbor Hosts are one of the finest examples of that famous Looper Camaraderie we talk so much about. They are quick to share a meal and/or a docktail and spend the evening swapping stories as if you are already old friends. Some will jump right in and help you make boat repairs, invite you to events at their local yacht club, and insist you share holidays with them and their families.

If you haven’t already read through the 2017 Harbor Host of the Year Finalists, you can do that here. And check out all the nominees in the February newsletter.

How do I find a Harbor Host?

It’s easy! Log in to your account on our website ~ only members have access to the Harbor Host database.

Once you have logged in, there are two ways to find them.

  1. Select the Member Resources Tab and then scroll down to Harbor Hosts. From here, you can search for Harbor Hosts by name (if you are looking for someone in particular) or by geographical area. Searching by name will bring up an alphabetical list of all the current Harbor Hosts and their contact information. You can also search for someone by clicking the little magnifying glass. Searching geographically will bring you to the AGLCA Interactive Map. Type the location you are looking for in the search box, and it will zoom the map in to that particular area. For example, if you type in Charleston, SC, the map will zoom in to the Charleston area and you will see 4 ring buoys for the Harbor Hosts in this area. Click on the buoy to get the Harbor Host’s contact information.
  2. Save a step by selecting the Great Loop Map directly from the Member Resources Tab. Search for a location as described in option 1 above.

Find them on your mobile device too! Click the icon that looks like the earth, select Member Resources and you will find both of the above menus.

Become a Harbor Host

If you want to become a Harbor Host yourself, login to your account on our website and go to your Member Profile. Under the Website heading, click Get Involved. Check the box for Harbor Host and scroll down to save. It’s that easy!

The next time you are in port, look up the local Harbor Host and say Hi. Please don’t feel you are inconveniencing them ~ they truly love to hear from other Loopers. In the very least, you might find yourself having the best steak of your life. Or you just might find yourself having made a new friend!


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