Details for Mariner's Wharf (bulkhead)

Mariner's Wharf (bulkhead)

Display in The Interactive Cruising Guidebook
Average rating 3.8 stars from 25 reviews

Address 200 W. Water St.
Elizabeth City, NC 27907

Phone252-335-5330 (Elizabeth City Visitors Center)

After hours contact

Facility type

Marina - YES
Club - NO
Fuel - NO
Repair - NO
Municipal - NO
Other - YES
Other info: Mariners Wharf - Free dock (bulkhead).


Not to be confused with Elizabeth City Free Bulkhead.

VHF channel

Web site

Email contact

Owner, manager



Payments acceptedCredit cards - NO
Checks - NO

Payment info

Free town dock

Payment discounts

Operation (seasonal or year-round)

Additional info:






Tide & current additional info

Tide is typically wind-driven here.


Approach: Unknown
Transient dockage: 12
Fuel dock: Unknown

Other depth info:

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

Additional info: This is the bulkhead at Mariners Wharf - not to be confused with the Mariners Wharf free slips.

Size restrictionsLOA max: Unknown
Beam max: Unknown

Other info: Bulkhead is about 90 feet long but has only 2 cleats. Note that it can be a substantial step up if your freeboard and/or tide is low.


Transient: 1
Total: Unknown
Transient price: $0.00/ft (0000-00-00)

Other price info: Free town bulkhead for one maybe two boats. Bulkhead has 2 cleats which may limit space for second boat. Do not tie to the hand rail.


Transient: Unknown
Total: Unknown
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info:

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

Additional info:

Pricing info:

Cable TV (and pricing)


Phone hookup (and pricing)

Water (and pricing)

No - There is not water at the bulkhead, but it can be hauled from a spigot under a service panel by the water fountain in the middle of the Mariner's Wharf area.

Dinghy access

Liveaboard info



Fuel brand:

Gas priceUnknown

Other price info:

Diesel priceUnknown

Other price info:


Pets welcomeYes

Other pet info: Pets are welcome in the park adjacent to the bulkhead. Bags are supplied for cleanup.

Disability access

Launch service

Pump out



Yes - A CVS store has 10 lb bags for $2 about 1/4 mile down the street next to the museum.


Yes - There are large wastebaskets adjacent to the slips.


Yes - There are separate men's and women's restrooms, one large shower room with a commode and sink, as well as a second shower room that is accessible for people with disabilities. The restrooms are free and open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm daily. There is a $5 cash fee to use the showers, payable at either the Elizabeth City Area Convention and Visitors Bureau office or the Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. office. Both offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday.




Yes - The laundry is located about 3-4 blocks inland on Ehrenhaus Street. On the righthand side. It is reported to be an okay place but it is recommended not to go there at night.


Yes - Transportation can be arranged to local grocery. Bakery in town.


Yes - Ace Hardware, check at the vistors center for directions.


Yes - Deli, fresh seafood, southern-style comfort food all within walking distance.

Sidney's Cafe & Biostro is at 507 E Main St., is 3 blocks inland from Water St on the left hand side. Reported to have good food and be reasonably priced.


Yes - Thumpers, Groupers, Logan Raye's, and Coasters.

Hotels or motels

Yes - Elizabeth City Bed and Breakfast and the Cullpepper Inn.

Repair capabilities


Haul out capabilities


Storage facilities


Fishing supplies

Yes - At Pelican Marina.

Chartering capabilities

Internet access

Yes - There is free harbor WiFi and excellent cell service.

Boat ramp availability

Yes - Located nearby at the Elizabeth City Free Dock (Bulkhead).


Other services


Reviews for Mariner's Wharf (bulkhead)
Petals have fallen from the Rose , 2017-04-23
Captain: , Annapolis (170)

We had some time to kill and had read so much about Elizabeth City we thought we would spend a few days there exploring. What a disappointment. We arrived Saturday afternoon and it was a ghost town. There may have been a restaurant open but we didn't find it. The museum is closed Sunday and Monday. I can only hope when the Dismal Swamp re-opens people will return. For now, don't bother.

No Privacy, 2016-07-22
Captain: , Austin, TX (52)

Elizabeth City is very generous to make this bulkhead wall available for cruizers to tie up to for 48 hrs. This is adjacent to a lovely little park. Cruizers should realize that this is an unimproved retaining wall that some cleats have been attached to. That was OK, what drove us away was unwanted attention from the homeless and others in the park. It was hard to relax with all the attention. We ended up leaving before nightfall and moving to the other side of the bridge as we planned to go north in the morning.

Free, but deserted, 2016-04-26
Captain: , Iuka, MS (1130)

Mid-April and we were the only ones there upon arrival. Later two more boats came in. Didn't see anyone from the town. Bathrooms were still locked in the morning when it was time to cast off for the EC bridge opening to get up the Pasquotank.

Captain: , East Falmouth, MA (1643)

Where else can you get a free dock and have help tying up by the former mayor? The hospitality is GREAT! This is our fourth time here but the first time they held a wine and cheese party with roses for the ladies. Its always good for a 2 day stay to recuperate. Shopping is about a mile, but restaurants are very close. The only precaution I suggest is tying up to the bulkhead in a strong south wind. You will be pinned to the dock. There is another bulkhead about 100 yards further south, it is more protected, but more difficult ti get off the boat as you have to tie up to pilings and jump ashore.

captain: Frank Vanzon,Subtle Waves, 2015-10-14
Captain: , Lakeshore yacht club toronto (10)

We were so impressed by the hospitality , for helping us dock to free stay and free showers.
Gus Etheridge is a volunteer who
Is going out of his way to make you are comfortable . Way to go Gus I will never forget you.

What a find, 2015-10-10
Captain: , Hull, MA (20)

Free dockage, free wine and cheese, free museum. Great!

Great place to tie up for the night - free, 2015-09-27
Captain: , Fort Pierce City Marina, FL (460)

In the middle of a blustery nor'easter, their wall was plenty secure for our 54' Offshore. Be sure you have lots of fenders if you use the wall. There are lots of finger piers for smaller boats. You should be OK if you back in. Everyone in town is quite boater friendly. They love having visitors!

Wonderful!, 2015-07-19
Captain: , Lakeland (997)

We tied our 42' catamaran to this bulkhead for two nights in the beginning of July. Elizabeth city is so cruiser friendly! Gus was wonderful! We watched a free old movie in the park right off our boat on a Tuesday night. Excellent restaurants nearby!

A great free dock, 2015-06-20
Captain: , Ft. Collins, CO (331)

We stayed here one night on the wall near main street. Had to bumper well but had no problem with wakes or currents. Went into town to Sidney's cafe and bistro and had a wonderful dinner and then breakfast the next morning. 3 blocks further up main street is the Muddy Waters Coffee shop which had delightful pastries and my favorite latte. There were nice bathrooms and showers very close. A five dollar charge to get the code to the showers. I did not use the 10 foot finger piers since we would have had to be much younger to get off and on the boat. Town was very friendly and I will stop here again someday.

Charlotte Retired April 2015, 2015-05-04
Captain: , Annapolis (131)

Hello, Gus! We arrived in EC and, sure enough, Gus was here on the bulkhd to catch our lines and welcome us to town. Our 41' cat plus another 40'er fit on the bulkhd. Susan was ready with brochures at the Info Ctr as Charlotte retired last week. Of note: the museum is closed Mondays.

Good Spot for 2 Cats, 2014-12-09
Captain: , Pungoteague, VA (227)

I don't understand the concern over the dearth of cleats on this bulkhead. The 100-ft. guardrail is fabricated from 2-1/2-inch pipe and solidly welded, complete with gusset plates, to the same steel deck to which the cleats are welded. I wouldn't tie to the upper parts of the railing, but I wouldn't hesitate to use the bases of the vertical posts as bollards.

Free & along a park, 2014-10-29
Captain: , Dover, DE (101)

We stopped here after doing the Dismal Swamp for the day. Can't beat the price. As a Cat with 22' beam we could not find room at the City Dock but were able to tie onto the fencing on the wall just fine for the night. Our stay was short so did not get into the local community, but the park was pleasent and the stay quiet.

Great stop for the price, 2014-07-13
Captain: , Chattanooga, TN (370)

We stayed here on 6-30-14 and really enjoyed it. Easy bicycling distance to stores, restaurants, bakery. Gus the town greeter is very helpful in getting you tied up and directed to anything you need. Very open to wind and waves, however.

a welcome stop after 3-4 feet seas in Ablemar, 2014-04-19
Captain: , Bayou Bonfouca, LA- Great Loop Cruiser (708)

This was a welcome stop for us after a long 3 hour tour across the wind blown Ablemar Sound.
We visited the welcome center and went to Spud's family style restaurant. Great food, reasonable prices.
Stopped by Groupers for a Margaritta, Lauren did a good job. Didn't eat there though.

Good in a north wind, 2013-09-30
Captain: , Poughkeepsie, NY (6077)

Do not use in an east or south wind, very rough due to waves pushing you against the bulkhead. Otherwise, a good tie up and close to downtown.

There are cleats for tie up but their location only allows for one boat even though the bulkhead could accommodate two 40 ft'ers. On and off is much easier than the bow in docks although you do have to duck under the guard rails.

Caution with east wind., 2013-06-08
Captain: , Ft Myers (91)

The long bay resulted in chop and the one boat tied up there was moving violently.

Excellent place to stay, 2013-05-01
Captain: , Stony Point, NY (852)

We were in early, so we were lucky to get the facing wall. The sad part is there are only 2 cleats, so we had to center ourselves on the wall (40' trawler). Otherwise there would be room for 2 boats. There was some wind from the SE so we rocked a bit. It calmed down for the evening and we slept well.

Great greeting from the local community. Nice to walk aroud downtown. Need a car for groceries, but plenty of restaurants. Museum across the street is interesting.

Great spot for overnite!, 2013-04-03
Captain: , Bohemia River, Md (184)

We arrived on Easter Sunday and tied up on the bulkhead. No other boats were here, but the Easter Bunny was there to greet us! The people are very friendly here, and there are great restaurants with in walking distance.

Great dock & hospitality, 2012-12-16
Captain: , Brooklin, ME (1081)

We loved our stay here, even though it was sometimes a climb to get from our deck to the bulkhead and back. Great hospitality and access to a charming town. Lots of nice folks greating us and offering us the use of their car, etc. If you want to return some hospitality by dining in their downtown, I highly recommend the local sushi place, Toyama. Good even by city standards.

Downtown and No Wakes, 2012-04-20
Captain: , Full Time Cruisers (2244)

What a great location, downtown, no wakes and it's free. They do request that you limit your stay to 48 hours so that others may have a chance to use the free bulkhead. Bulkhead is big enough for 2 boats but the bulkhead has only 2 cleats about 40 feet apart from each other, centerred on the wall. Our boat, 42 feet, was centered on the bulkhead to utilize the 2 cleats and not leaving any rrom for another boat. With 2 spring lines, a bow and stern line the cleats would not handle any more lines. Do not tie to the handrail. If the bulkhead is not available try the Elizabeth City Free Dock jusrt to the south past the Mariner's Wharf Free Slips.

Excellent free docks, 2011-12-30
Captain: , San Francisco CA (1301)

Spent a couple of nights here waiting out weather and enjoying the sites of Elizabeth City. Easy walk to everything in town. Local folks are extremely welcoming of transients.

Enjoyed the stay, 2011-05-25
Captain: , Cleveland (2083)

Elizabeth City itself is an old town with lots of history - and an almost empty downtown although there are a few stores remaining. The main area (about 1 mile from the docks) has many fast food restaurants, 2 auto parts stores, an ace hardware and a small strip mall. The people here were very friendly and the waterfront park was nice. Water is available - the harbormaster (volunteer) has 100 feet of hose as the water supply is centered in the docking area.

We were here with a fairly strong SW wind and bounced quite a bit. Solid docks though - with the very short finger piers it was somewhat difficult to get off of the point (with bow in). Overall, we enjoyed our stay. There is a free face dock just west of the bridge that would be been out of the wind so it may be a better choice if the wind is coming from the sw.

Great Stop, 2010-11-07
Captain: , Cape Coral, FL (495)

Upon arival we were greated by The Rose Buddies and invited to a wine and cheese party next to the Visitors Center. Susan runs the visitors center and is very accomodating. There were about 30 of us at the party along with the former Mayor. He is also a cruiser and preparing to head south. We learned the History of Elizabeth City and how it relates to the Dismal Swamp route.

Hospitality Plus, 2009-09-08
Captain: , Chattanooga (327)

We pulled in and were met by fellow cruisers and the Rose Buddies who helped us dock aand gave us all the info we needed to stay for three days. Helped with getting a new domestic water pump, got a lift to check out a questionable battery, greeted by the mayor, good bakery and restaurants within walking distance.

Very boater friendly and welcoming, don't skip it.

Elizabeth City Town Docks, 2007-01-20
Captain: , Clearwater, FL (551)

Mariners Wharf gets two stars for the docks and facilities but five stars for hospitality and friendliness. It is a free town dock and home to the famous "Rose Buddies". If there are five or more boats present at 5PM they have a wine and cheese party to welcome guests to their town. There are less than 20 slips but they will allow overflow or large boats to tie alongside the bulkhead at the City Park. 'Liz City is a delightful town and well worth taking a stroll around. There are several resturants, from small deli's to southern-style comfort food available. Transportation can be arranged to and from the grocery store for provisions. It is a "must stop" on our way north or south.

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