There are 66 permitted marinas on Lake Travis, with a total of 5,000 boat slips. Most of these are concentrated near the southeastern end of the lake (near Austin) where the water is wider and deeper; although there are several up to the northwest near Marble Falls.
West Beach Marina is arguably the best marina on Lake Travis. Located at the northern end of Hudson Bend, it has modern boat docks, a wide gently-sloping (private) boat launch ramp, and unobstructed access to the main channel of the Colorado River. Other popular marinas include Briarcliff Marina, Commander’s Point, Emerald Point Marina, Hurst Harbor, Lakeway Marina, Paradise Cove, and Marshall Ford Marina.
Typical Lake Travis marina services include boat launching, washing and detailing, fiberglass repair, motor maintenance and repair, electrical work, canvas installation and repair, winterizing and spring outfitting. Some marinas also have a ship’s store where boating equipment, clothing and personal care products may be conveniently purchased. An important feature to consider is the depth of a marina’s boat ramp — very important when launching or hauling when the lake level is low.
A few of the marinas on Lake Travis have restaurants or bars on the premises (or adjacent). These can be convenient for a quick meal or drink after a day on the water; but the crowds and noise may deter some from taking advantage of these facilities. In contrast, there are many family-oriented marina choices that have less traffic and a quieter environment. There are a wide variety of marine settings and environments to choose from; it’s a good idea to visit several on a busy weekend to find one that best fits your situation and lifestyle.
Most of Lake Travis’ marinas are oriented toward powerboats. These may have an on-premises gas dock, engine shop, and even a rack-and-stack storage system. Whether you have a powerboat, sailboat, jet ski or pontoon boat, it’s best to use a boat lift (e.g., HydroHoist) to prevent scum from building up on the bottom. Lake Travis is generally very clean, but hulls can quickly accumulate an unsightly layer of marine growth that can create maintenance and fuel economy problems.
There are several marinas (in addition to the Austin Yacht Club) that cater primarily to sailboats. These include Commander’s Point on the Lake Travis main basin, Lakeway Marina and Sail & Ski on Hurst Creek. A sailboat marina generally has the water depth necessary for deep draft sailboats, although there can be some dock crowding and difficulty reaching the main channel when the water level is low. If you have a sailboat, you might want to check out a candidate marina when Lake Travis is below 640′ above MSL to see how much water and maneuvering room you’ll have.
Of all the marinas on Lake Travis, West Beach Marina seems to have the best combination of facilities, ease of use, and proximity to lake area attractions. They have well-maintained boat docks and slips, a private boat ramp, and easy access to deep water. West Beach isn’t right in the middle of the wild party scene, but it’s just a few minutes away from Devil’s Cove by boat — or Carlos ‘n Charlie’s by car.
Whatever your preferences, you can certainly find a Lake Travis marina to meet your needs. Although not as close as Lake Austin for those living downtown, the drive is well worth the effort. Lake Travis is more than 60 miles long and 4.5 miles across at it’s greatest width (main basin). It’s great for sailing, water skiing, fishing, jet skiing or just cruising around in your powerboat.