Details for Darien Docks

Darien Docks

Display in The Interactive Cruising Guidebook
Average rating 4.3 stars from 25 reviews

Address Broad Street
Darien, GA 31305


After hours contact

David Butler, Dockmaster 223-8855

Facility type

Marina - YES
Club - NO
Fuel - NO
Repair - NO
Municipal - YES
Other - NO

VHF channel

None monitored.


Email contact

Owner, manager



David Butler

Payments acceptedCredit cards - NO
Checks - YES

Payment info

No credit cards.

Payment discounts


Operation (seasonal or year-round)
Year round

Additional info:


Located 9 statute miles up the Darien River. Docks are on the starboard side just before the bridge and a secondary dock just past the bridge.

Most chart books cut the sides off NOAA charts to save space, deleting the Darien River. However, electronic charts cover this river accurately and there are markers the entire length.

The Darien River has fast tidal current flow, flows upstream during flood and downstream on ebb. Sometimes greater than 3 knots at the docks. A passage up the river on a flood tide will greatly reduce the time to cruise from the ICW to Darien. Arriving near slack tide will make docking easier. Current is benign an hour either side of slack.

Note as of 2/15/13 R26 between ICW and Darien has been replaced by a lighted floated marker (by CG.) Also, R12 seems to be too close to the marsh but is not. It is close to the marsh on purpose. This info from Capt. Phillip Kempton to David Butler, Darien Dockmaster.





Tide & current additional info

Lots of debris in river.


Approach: 20
Transient dockage: 15
Fuel dock: Unknown

Other depth info:

Dock typesWood - NO
Concrete - YES
Floating - YES
Fixed - NO
T/Alongside - YES
Other - NO

Additional info:

Size restrictionsLOA max: 100
Beam max: 25

Other info: There are multiple sets of docks including 270 feet of dockage east of the fixed bridge and 117 feet west of the bridge. The west dock has a wine cruise boat permanently moored at the dock reducing the available space to about 85 feet.


Transient: Unknown
Total: Unknown
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info: There are no transient dockage fees for 48 hours. Docks are close to food, shops. Email for information. For stays longer than 48 hours (non-emergency) there is a charge to stay at the docks.


Transient: Unknown
Total: Unknown
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info: None

AC power30 amp - YES
50 amp - NO
100 amp - NO

Additional info: The east docks have three power pedistals with two 30 amp plugs. The eastern most pedistal has both plugs used by a long-term boat on the inside of the face dock - reducing the power options to two plugs mid dock and two at the west end. The western dock (on the other side of the bridge) has no electricity.

Pricing info: Included in dockage.

Cable TV (and pricing)


Phone hookup (and pricing)


Water (and pricing)


Dinghy access


Liveaboard info


Fuel brand:

Gas priceUnknown

Other price info:

Diesel priceUnknown

Other price info:


Pets welcomeYes

Other pet info:

Disability access

Yes - There is a ramp to dock level. Concrete dock is wide and stable.

Launch service


Pump out



Yes - Nearby at the convenience store.


Yes - Onsite






Yes - Not on site but one is less than a mile away.


Yes - There are basic supplies at the convenience store. Piggly Wiggly grocery store is less than a mile away.


Yes - First Georgia Hardware, located on the waterfront near the docks, has an outstanding supply of stainless fastners and a variety of supplies only found at old fashioned hardware stores. It also has a marine supply section and a seafood section, often with fresh shrimp right off the local shrimp boats.


Yes - 4 to 5 nearby.


Yes - Two nearby.

Hotels or motels

Repair capabilities

Yes - Experienced diesel and gas mechanics available on call.

Haul out capabilities


Storage facilities

Fishing supplies

Chartering capabilities

Internet access

Yes - Strong Verizon signal. No WIFI signal on the docks.

Boat ramp availability

No - There is a boat ramp just west of the Hwy 17 bridge, next to Skippers and the west dock.


Other services

Wine store and salon & spa. A post office and library are less than a mile away. Gift and art shop plus book store next to the wine store.


Fort King George, a recreated Oglethorpe British fort and museum, is located on the marsh front less than a mile from the docks.

Reviews for Darien Docks
912-223-8855 No Longer Valid, 2016-07-06
Captain: , St. Augustine, Florida (198)

David Butler is no longer the volunteer dockmaster or he has a new phone number.

Neat Little Town, 2016-04-27
Captain: , Solomons, MD (882)

Darien is a neat little town. The fort is worth the mile and a half it takes to get there. The docks themselves are ... free ... what else can I say. In April 2016, however, only one of the electric pedestals was working. Also, be aware that there are some nails sticking out on the dock that can and will gouge your gel coat if given half a chance!

Good Stop Off ICW, 2016-04-06
Captain: , Fort Monroe, VA (722)

Stayed here night of 4-5-16. The town has floating docks before and after bridge. We stayed on docks before the bridge with 30A power and fresh water at each end of floating dock. Docks are well lit at night. The face docks are free for the first 48 hours. If possible plan your arrival as close to slack water as you can due to the current that flows past the dock. As of this date the town does not have a Dock Master. I called 912-437-6659 and got the County Business Development Office. The person was helpful but only interested if we were staying for more than two nights. Easy walk into town. B&J's Steak and Seafood about a 1/2 mile walk up Route 17. Shrimp meal was great and very plentiful. Skippers is a short walk upstream of the dock. A wine store and 'Turnip Greens' ( a store focused on Georgia food products) was across the street after you come up the steps from the marina.

Great Small Town with Free Dock, 2016-01-20
Captain: , Newport RI (430)

The floating docks are easy access and well worth the 7 miles off the ICW. There is a strong current from the river. Free 30 amp power and water. David, the dock master is very friendly and helpful. Since we called ahead, he met us at the dock and gave a "visitors center" narrative of the town. We walked to Bi-Lo, got in a nice run down to the fort and had a super local breakfast at B and J Seafood.

Great Free Dock with 30A power & water small town friendly place, 2015-11-18
Captain: , Chicago, Racine, Fish Creek,Wi (1900)

Nice floating docks in nice park setting. We were greeted upon our arrival by David who is a wonderful interesting person. We went to the hardware store a block away. We ate at Que Pasa for dinner and went to Blondie's cafe for breakfast coffee and bagels. Skipper's is also close for nice view dinner or lunch. Walked to Fort King George 1.3 miles away to visit fort. It is very well done and interesting. Lots of current but arrived at slack and left near slack. Docks are parallel to current so not a big issue for docking on outside for 48 hours. Obstruction in channel marked by Float. No restrooms on site or would be a 5 rate plus. Call in your intentions to make sure dock is available.

Strong Current, 2015-08-13
Captain: , Smarr,Ga (72)

Large tides with strong currents. A wonderful town, good food. Dock master, David Butler is great. Free dockage. No Bathrooms.

love the FREE dock, 2015-05-15
Captain: , Phoenix, AZ (960)

We arrived at high tide, good thing. Follow the markers coming up the river very close. There is an area of skinny water between R12-R14. The dock is located downtown. There is room for 3+ boats. The spot closest to the bridge can be bumpy, because of turbulent from river coming between bridge pilings. Beware of floats in front of dock in the middle of the channel, they may become submerged at high tide. Eat at Skippers, very good.

Worth Every Mile Off the ICW, 2015-05-08
Captain: , Vero Beach, FL (842)

The Darien River is well marked, especially in the few spots where we saw much less water than charted. The 7 mile winding run is all salt marsh. Darien itself is quiet, friendly and offers dining, hardware store, convenience store in a handsome old downtown. A Bi-Lo supermarket is 1.2 miles from the dock, out on Rt 17. We were able to get there safely on our folding bikes with pavement almost all the way, by including roadside business parking lots.
The Fort King George State Historic site is about one mile down a residential street, and looked well done to us; lots of carefully reproduced period buildings, displays. Admission $7.50 adults.
We stayed two nights on the east docks. Another cruiser was the only other boat we saw using the free 30 amp electric.
We'd certainly reccommend Blondie's Cafe, two blocks away.

Great stop., 2015-04-02
Captain: , Atlanta (770)

Stayed here night of 4-1-15. Floating docks, limited power (we had single 30 amp, but free so no big deal). FREE dock, so we made a point of doing business in the town. Pretty town to walk around - beautiful old houses and churches. Had a good talk with David Butler - a great ambassador for the city.

Hardware, restaurants, limited provisions (quicky mart), wine shop/bar, fresh seafood from shrimp boat docks available in easy walking distance. Very nice, friendly town.

Off the beaten magenta line, 2015-03-15
Captain: , Sunset Beach, NC (1122)

Yes it is several miles up the river, but the channel is marked and the river is deep (except for one place where I saw 10 feet about 2 hours from high tide). You can call the dockmaster (I think a volunteer) to catch your line (use the phone # AC has). Free for 48 hours, and Free electricity in the form of 30 amp circuits -- two each on pylons at either end of the face dock. First come, first served, but we got an entire pylon for ourselves (2x30 amp circuits) when we came. Needed the second circuit for our A/C since the bugs were horrible. Never seen no-seeums this big, although we had the same in Brunswick as well. Great fish camp within easy walking distance, nice grassy park for pets if you have them. I'd give it 5 stars if not for the trek up river off the ICW, but for free I'll go the extra hour.

Dock is fixed., 2014-07-25
Captain: , Jacksonville Fl (1459)

We pulled in this morning after talking to David Butler a couple days ago. The docks have been fixed and all in working order. Very easy approach as current runs parallel to the docks. FREE dockage,FREE elec, FREE water, what more could you want. Shopping, restuarants, gift shop, and FREE wine samples nearby.
Beautiful ride from the ICW and plenty of water. Just pay attention to the markers, even the ones that look out of place, they are not. We will return here again and again.

Darien Docks, 2014-06-06
Captain: , Wickford, RI (1637)

Darien is a restful, quaint, beautiful town. Nice waterfront and Ft King George is well worth the trip. The fort is about a level mile from the docks.
Now the (almost) bad news. A large vessel hit the outside of the Darien docks and loosened the piling system. The town needs to get a permit to repair the facility. They are currently estimating several months for the repair.
On the upriver side of the 31 ft bridge the town has about 70 ft of free dock with no electric or water.
David Parker asks that you call (912-223-8855 or 912-230-6648) before you make the trip from the AICW to make sure there is room for you. It probably is a good idea to call even after the docks are repaired.
Please post here as soon as the docks are repaired.

David Butler, 2014-05-09
Captain: , Boston, Ma (60)

Thanks to David Butler, our stay (2, 34' Catalinas) stayed FREE for 1 night in mid Dec 2013. David met us at the dock, explained the rules and local restaurant locations.
We added $$$ to the local economy because of David Butler

Darien Docks, 2014-03-29
Captain: , Bobcaygeon Ontario (10)

Great. Free dock with power and water. Watch the current . Limit of stay 2 nights but if weathered in you can stay. Not busy.

One of the high spots, 2013-11-27
Captain: , cushing, maine (482)

We decided to go up the 7 miles to Darien and are so glad that we did. The trip up is very pretty and twists endlessly through the savannah. Dolphin escort. Coming alongside dock can be difficult due to current. Bridge is right at north end of dock, which complicates things. As noted elsewhere, David the dockmaster is very helpful and friendly. Dock, water and electric all free for 48 hours, but I doubt that anyone would care if you stayed longer. Great little town and an interesting fort complex within walking distance. Fairly long walk to Bi Lo grocery, but you could probably talk someone into giving you a ride. Downtown shops are interesting and there isn a great wine shop. One of the best places we shave opped at.

Captain: , Vancouver, Canada (487)

David Butler is the Dock Master. You can e-mail David to ask about dock availability ahead of your visit. The docks are in excellent shape, 30A and water work fine. On your approach I'd recommend coming up Darien River after half tide and departing Darien just before HW. Darien is a friendly and safe city. We are really enjoying our stay. Bi-Lo have opened a new store (13 Nov) about 20 mins walk; Dollar General is 10 min walk; Beer is available within 100yds; Execllent wine shop 100yds; Hardware and Marine Supplies 100 yds. In a strecth of the ICW where there are few amenities DARIEN IS WELL WORTH THE VISIT. Make sure you take in Fort George established 1721 (closed Mondays) about a 20 walk from the docks. Don't miss this excellent freindly and safe and FREE stopover.

A great stop!, 2013-06-10
Captain: , Britt, Ontario (691)

Darien is worth traveling the distance from the ICW. A lovely , friendly town with a free dock to boot, power included. Be sure to stop at the hardware store and the wine store.

Gotta give Five Stars, 2013-03-08
Captain: , North Myrtle Beach, SC (3210)

Anytime it is free and the town is welcoming you with open arms, what else can you rate it?! Electric included to boot. There are three 30 amp pedestals as reported at the east dock (before the bridge) and they are on different legs, so if you need 220 Volts, you got it. Tke the walking tour and at 5:00 go to the Visitor center which is right at the docks and take the $15 carriage ride. Neat old hardware store. Wine place at visitor center is a worthwhile stop. We got $60 bottle of wine for $38. Eat at Skippers, right there too. Sign in at top of stairs. Volunteer dockmaster most likely will pay you a visit to welcome you to town.

Vaughan Taylor, 2012-12-14
Captain: , Beaufort, NC (401)

Free docks are sturdy with good cleats, free water,and free electricity for two days. The current often necessitates help from someone ashore to secure a spring line, which the local fishing women are happy to do; just call out to them. Skippers Seafood Restaurant right under the bridge is fantastic in all respects: atmosphere, food, and service. This is a beautiful place with lots of historical sites and a beautiful riverfront park, which will be much appreciated by dogs and other crew alike! This NOT so out-of-the-way town is not to be missed! The citizens here are very friendly and will enchant you with the colourful history of this beautiful river town. A great restaurant for breakfast or lunch is the Purple Pickle, with a huge menu of gourmet food! Across the street is a fine wine and cheese shop,with meats and even frozen lobster tails from the Bahamas. Next door to that is a beautiful gift shop with a fine array of special things, including books and paintings. All of these places, including a hardware store, are within three blocks of the free docks. About four blocks inland there is the old jail, which has been transformed into a talented local artists gallery. About a mile down the river is a re-creation of an original British fort, with a movie about the area and a very fine museum that tells the story of this historic place. It is easy to see why the French, the Spanish, and the English all fought for this extraordinarily beautiful land, of mighty rivers and great trees. This is the very best side trip on the ICW.

A great side trip, 2012-10-25
Captain: , Norfolk, VA (671)

On October 25, 2012, we are currently docked at the free Darien docks. This a wonderful place, well worth the trip of about seven miles up the Darien River. We came here on 10/24 at dead low tide. We saw two places with some shallow depths, one at R10 with 5.5 feet and one at R12 with six feet. At both locations depth went back up to 12+ feet very quickly. At low tide, the shoals are very visible, and the channel markers, and chartplotter were accurate.

It took us about 1.25 hours to get here after leaving the ICW at R184. It was a pleasant run. We are a trawler, cruising with a sailboat.

The town is lovely, with a Piggly Wiggly about a mile from the docks, and a hardware store about two blocks. The Wine Bar, near the hardware store is beautiful.

This a wonderful side trip. Do not miss it. There are about 30 large shrimpboats docked just downstream of us. The only reason for four stars rather than five is the lack of restrooms, but it is free, including 30 amp power and water. What more can you ask for two nights free.

Dockage in a historic, friendly and scenic Georgia shrimping port., 2012-08-28
Captain: , Charleston SC (805)

Darien is the home port for one of the largest fleet of shrimp boats operating from Georgia. We have counted as many as 30 shrimp boats nestled alongside there docks indeed a sterling sight.
Darien has a long and varied history portrayed by comfortable homes basking under old oak trees festooned with moss. The town is quiet, but offers excellent seafood dinning at either B&Js or Skippers fish camp, both located within a short distance of the dock. Also within walking distance is a well stocked hardware store, a Dollar General and a couple of conveience stores.
The residents of Darien are most friendly, welcoming transient boats and crews. The dock is used extensively by people fishing and crabbing all of which blends into a pleasant small town atmosphere.
The town of Darien is situated up the Darien River some 7 miles off the watereway. Well worth a visit if time schedules permit.
The fast flowing Darien River is easier to navigate than the chart suggests but keen attention to the strategic markers and to the depth sounder is required.
The concrete dock with room for 3 to 4 boats in the 40 foot range is located on the south east side of Route 17 bridge, although durring our months stay we were the only transient boat at the dock. The dock sports water and 3 power pedestals each with 2 X30 amp outlets. Fortunately the dock runs in line with the flow of the river although requires a tight turn prior to the bridge to head back into the flood.
One problem we experienced were large tree roots, tree limbs and bulks of timber carried by the tide and lodging themselves between boat and dock and indeed under the boat which could create major problems if caught between props or rudders. With this in mind we employed the services of Mr Moore{912 437 4131} , an experienced local diver who on inspection removed a 8FT length of 4 X 4 from beneath LILY MARIA. Prudence and $$ well rewarded.
This is a public dock and should not be considered a marina as there is no dock master or shoreside facilities except for garbage receptacles. The dock is owned and operated by the McItosh Industrial Authority who offer 48 hours free dockage or upto 30 days @ $5 per foot plus $50 monthly for electricity. It is required that for an over night stay that you visit the office overlooking the dock and make your arrangements with Judy Draffin {912 437 6659
We rate the location, scenic beauty and the friendly people very highly but the limited dockside facilities we feel merit a 4 star rating. Importantly we met people ashore whose friendship we truely value.

free dinner docking, 2012-07-02
Captain: , DARIEN, GA (33)

easy docking on a rapid river tide

Great place to stop and experience a small, historical Georgia town, 2012-06-17
Captain: , Cleveland (2062)

It is a long ride to Darien (about 7 miles off the ICW) but we believe worth the trip. The river is well charted and depths we saw were accurate on the charts. There is a very nice u-shaped floating dock that can accommodate 10 or so boats. The outside finger pier has electricity and water. There are three power terminals with two 30 amp outlets each and water. If the outside dock is full there is room for 4-8 boats on the inside, but no power or water. All docking is free, including water and electric. There is a 48 hour maximum free stay - just check in at the buiding at the top of the stairs by the docks. The town is friendly, quite old and interesting. While quite unpretentious, we enjoyed riding our bikes around the town and reading the many plaques relating the history of the place. We ate at B & Js Steak and Seafood Restaurant and had a great fish sandwich for lunch. Unfortunately we were in on Tuesday and missed the $16.95 steak and shrimp dinner special on Wednesdays and Thursdays which we heard was very good. We bought some local caught jumbo shrimp across from the marina office for $7 per pound.

There is a Dollar General about 8 blocks.

Be aware of the current in the river. It can run between 1 and 2 kts!

Well worth the diversion from the ICW, 2012-05-26
Captain: , Darien Ga (125)

We stopped in here on the way up the coast and had to wait out Tropical storm Beryl. The Darien river is well marked and followed both my Garmin and Raymarine chart plotters exactly. I never saw less than 9ft and for the most part had 15-20 showing on the depth finder. We went in halfway thru a falling tide. (Tidal range shows 4-5ft) It is only 4 miles as the crow flies but 7 miles meandering thru the scenic marsh off the ICW. The current was at full ebb and we had about 2kts running against us.

Docking was easy as the docks are inline with the current, although it is close to the bridge so on a flood tide you would need to turn around first and it may take a little finesse but there is plenty of room and deep water to do so. There is room for about 10 boats here in the 40-50ft range.

The people here are about as friendly as anywhere we have been. The dockmaster told us that althought we had 48 hours free dockage, we could stay as long as needed to wait out the weather. There is a convience store right next to the docks with all the usual stuff. Right across the main street is a bunch of shops including "Waterfront Wine & Gormet" which had an extensive wine selection, cheeses, steaks & filets from Buckhead Beef, micro brewed & imported Beers, as well as a selection of fresh frozen seafood including lobster tails. The bar section of the shop has live entertainment and a colorful array of friendly locals. Across the street is a place called "Olive Affair" with fresh baked breads, gourmet sauces, cheeses and soups that are excellent. The shrimping fleet is docked nearby where you can purchase fresh jumbo shrimp for $7/lb.

All this is surrounded by ancient Tabby ruins from 1815 and an old fort built in 1736 and covered with live oaks providing shade.

Easy pet walking at the waterfront park and the old historic Darien Jail and a Piggly Wiggly are about a mile down the street. One of the bartenders in the wine bar said he would loan out his jeep to anyone who needed a way to get to the store but we did not take him up on that.

With free dockage and water and all the great sights and friendly people here it is a must see stop just off the ICW

Darien/MacIntosh Co. Docks, 2010-01-01
Captain: , Avalon, NJ (208)

While a good 7 miles up the Darien River, This makes an interesting stop in an old Southern town with a lot of history and charm. The river is deep and well-marked and the docks are parallel to the current albeit close to the Rte. 17 bridge. There are no dockhands present, but there is 30amp electric and water. Rate is $.75/foot per night, payable at the office up on the street. There is a hardware store, a convenience store, gourmet and wine shop, and several resturants within walking distance, as well as a number of specialty shops. Nice town to walk around.

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