Details for Oriental Free Dock - 1

Oriental Free Dock - 1

Display in The Interactive Cruising Guidebook
Average rating 4.2 stars from 44 reviews

Address Hodges Street, 300 block
Oriental, NC 28571


After hours contact

Facility type

Marina - NO
Club - NO
Fuel - NO
Repair - NO
Municipal - YES
Other - YES
Other info: Free dock. 48 hour maximum stay.


VHF channel


Email contact

Owner, manager



Payments acceptedCredit cards - NO
Checks - NO

Payment info


Payment discounts

Operation (seasonal or year-round)
Year round

Additional info:


Turn to starboard after R8, go inside the breakwater, past the marina and the OYC to port. Keep going in past the fishing boats, head for the wall and railing at the end of the cove. There is a coffee shop right across the street from the dock. Room for two boats. If the two boats are agreeable and the weather is fine, it's quite common for a third boat to tie up to the end of the dock, making it a bit more tricky for the other two boats to leave. Rafting is not allowed.





Tide & current additional info

Wind tide: low water with high/sustained winds from the south.


Approach: 8
Transient dockage: 5.5
Fuel dock: Unknown

Other depth info: It is reported November 2012 that the left side of the dock had about 5 1/2 feet and right side of dock is 6+ feet of water.

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

Additional info: There are now two free docks with the newer one just to the right of the Oriental Marina fuel dock. It is about 85 feet long and has room for at least 4 30-35 foot boats.

Size restrictionsLOA max: Unknown
Beam max: Unknown

Other info:


Transient: 4
Total: 4
Transient price: $0.00/ft (2014-09-08)

Other price info: 48 hour per month limit at the free dock. 3 boats if the ones on the sides are short, one short boat can be added at the end if winds are very low. Docking on the wall to south of the pier is not permitted as it would block Oriental Marina slips. Docking is permitted on the wall to the north side of the pier.


Transient: Unknown
Total: Unknown
Transient price: Unknown

Other price info:

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

Additional info: The town of Oriental has a current ordinance that does not allow the use of generators at their town docks. There are fines for generator use.

Pricing info:

Cable TV (and pricing)


Phone hookup (and pricing)

Water (and pricing)


Dinghy access

Yes - Along the wall to the west of the dock.

Liveaboard info

Yes - 48 hour per month limit.


Fuel brand:

Gas priceUnknown

Other price info:

Diesel priceUnknown

Other price info:


Yes - Propane refills available at Village Hardware. They charge by the bottle size not amount filled and they do not have a meter and their scale is broken so you may be overcharged for a standard fill.

Pets welcomeYes

Other pet info: Please clean up after pets.

Disability access

Launch service

Pump out

Yes - Self serve pump out.


Yes - At the Provision Company right up the street.


Yes - Several cans at the dock walkway. Plus a recycling bin.


No - Motel has them for a price





Yes - About a mile away is Piggly Wiggly.

April 2017 - Piggly Wiggly now offer van pick up and drop off at any dock. They ask you spend $60 minimum. They sell wine and beer.

Free loaner bike with trailer at the Provision Company up the street.

Town and Country Great Value Supermarket
Broad Street Ext. Hwy 55E
Oriental, NC
Well stocked supermarket with reasonable prices. Wine available, including box wine.

Oriental's Farmers' Market happens every Saturday on Hodges Street between South Water Street and the Oriental harbor. You can generally check the town dock website ( on Friday to see what will be on sale.


Yes - Nice marine store just north of the docks, 1 block. Real hardware is on Broad Street, 1 mile. Marine Consignment of Oriental is an excellent stop less than a mile a way, and will even pick you up or deliver, 252-249-3222. West Marine is a bike ride away


Yes - Several

Village Food Emporium
702 Broad Street
Oriental NC 2857
Tue-Sun 7 am to 3 pm
Closed Mondays
Breakfast, lunch, and specialty take out.


Yes - Several

Hotels or motels

Yes - In area.

Repair capabilities

Yes - Hodges Street Sails
603 Hodges Street
Oriental, NC 28571

Sail repair loft operated by the two owners. Courteous and experienced. Attention to detail. They are walking distance from any where in Oriental.

Haul out capabilities


Storage facilities

Fishing supplies

Yes - Inland Waterway Provision Company, 305 Hodges St.

Chartering capabilities

Internet access

Yes - WiFi available.

The Bean, a local coffee shop, is across the street. Open 7-7. It has free WiFi.

Boat ramp availability


Yes - Bicycles at Inland Waterway Provision Company, 305 Hodges St.

Other services

Village Health and Fitness
1006 Broad Street
Oriental, NC 28571
Full health spa with showers, steam shower, and heated indoor pool. Day membership is available for $10 per day or 10 visits for $85. Just before the supermarket.


Reviews for Oriental Free Dock - 1
Best way to visit Oriental June 9 2017, 2017-06-30
Captain: , New Bern, NC. (903)

A good stop just off the ICW going north or south. NORMAL depths 5 to 6ft more or less at the dock. Wind drection and strength will make a difference. We stopped to have our Radar and Chart plotter checked by Seacoast Marine Electronics,Inc. They were able to come to the free dock and do a repair, great service.

I've Always Wanted To Stay At the Free Dock, 2017-03-27
Captain: , Curtis Bay, MD (70)

We came in early in the day -- about 1:30 -- and both sides of the town dock were full. We were very disappointed, but then noted an additional dock next to the big red shrimp boat that had a "Free for 48 Hours" sign. As we pulled in, all the diners and beer drinkers on the patio of the Toucan Grille were watching -- thank goodness it was a very smooth docking! There's a little public bathroom near the dock and it's a very short walk to the Bean, and a shorter walk to the Toucan Grille. (Their snapper daily special was superb!) We met some very nice people and were able to tell our daughter to check us out on the Oriental Harbor Webcam.

Location Location Location, 2017-01-22
Captain: , Grays Creek NC (121)

Have always wanted to stay at the free dock. We finally had our chance. Stayed here Jan 12-13 2017. There was another sailboat on the right side of the dock as we were coming in. We approached the left side and my first mate threw a line to a woman from the other boat who had stepped out to help us. As I eased the boat up to the dock, I could not get close enough. Realized we had ran aground just a foot or so short of the dock. Plowed in as close as we could and tied off for the night as night time was approaching. The woman told us they draw 5 feet. The next morning after the other sailboat left, we moved to the other side of the dock and found the water to be about a foot and a half deeper.
The Bean coffee shop is directly across the street with various coffes and hand dipped icecream. Great place to charge up computers, cell phones, etc. The Provision Company, which I highly recommend is about 100 yards away, and there is a Farmers Market in the parking lot every Saturday.
Wish we could stay longer, and will definately be back.

sv Sheila B
32' Catalina
4.5' draft

Favorite ICW port., 2016-11-30
Captain: , South Bristol, Maine (190)

Stayed hear in 2015 and again in Nov of 2016. Despite losing one local business to flooding, the town is alive with boat-interested people. Quite a character to the town and friendly, inquisitive people.

The 48-hour dock is a great institution and the locals seem happy to meet the many, MANY cruisers who stop here.

If I ever head down here again, I'd definitely make a stop. The local marine consignment shop is great too, and the corner store is happy to lend bikes to transients for the afternoon.

Oriental Great Town for Cruisers, 2016-11-12
Captain: , Bear, DE (560)

Oriental is one of the most cruiser friendly towns on the East Coast. It ranks right with Elizabeth City for convenience and friendly people.

We have been here 3 times and each time we have had offers of rides from numerous people for re-provisioning. We were able to get a spot on the free dock by arriving early in the afternoon. Our draft is 5.5 foot and we were barely floating at the dock but we were afloat. There is little to no tide except wind driven or influenced by rain filling the creek which empties into the dock area.

Wifi was good. Would rate 5 star except it is a long way to the restrooms and there are no showers. Piggly Wiggly is about a mile walk. Great hardware store with propane nearby. Oriental is a destination stop for us on our way up and down the ICW.

Free Pump Out. Can't use generator, 2016-09-29
Captain: , Confetti, Kadey Krogen (1619)

The docks are really nice and there is a free pump out on one dock. Only disappointment is you cannot use your generator on the docks. So we were able to get a pump out, but stayed at the Oriental Marina as it was 90+ out and way humid. It would be nice if the town would consider allowing generators to be used from June - August. There was one cat on one dock - the others were empty. Just too hot!

Nice little stop, 2016-05-21
Captain: , kansas city (40)

I enjoyed my stay here. Cool little town, free dock, good place to eat right by the dock and free pump out

Needed A Veternarian, 2015-10-13
Captain: , Patrick AFB Florida (1254)

Our cat, Ernie, had a bad cut that needed suturing (and cleaning). Pulled into the free dock across from The Bean and called the clinic of Sherri Hicks DVM. She saw Ernie right away - easy two block walk from the dock. Three hours later, Ernie was back with a shaved butt, stitches, an Elizabethan collar, pain meds and antibiotics. Great, friendly staff and extremely helpful in seeing Ernie right away.

This is the first time in numerous visits that we were able to get on the free dock - it's usually full - check the web cam online to get an idea of whether there may be space available when you arrive. Newer docks are closed for construction with no time for completion indicated, although a sailboat spent the night on those docks last night and wasn't asked to leave.

Did learn that the nice, friendly grocery store about a mile away has closed, probably due to a Walmart Express which just came to town and has very little to offer in terms of groceries or anything else!

Got a bad taste, 2015-09-21
Captain: , Baltimore (80)

Pulled in hoping to use one of the free docks. What we found is a 19 -21 foot boat parked half way up a 40 -45 foot dock. When I asked about moving him up I got a very snarky responce from the sail boat on the other side of the dock., who by the way hailed from Oriental. After a second pass to see if we could get in anywhere we decided to take our money elsewhere.

Very Friendly Little Town, 2015-04-30
Captain: , The Villages, FL (368)

Friendly town.

The Inland Waterway Provision Company (305 Hodges St.) even has three bicycles you can check out (free!) to tour the town. The store is also very well stocked with a variety of marine items.

Small but outstanding for a town dock, 2015-03-28
Captain: , Southport, NC (916)

Right in the middle of everything, about 6 ft depth. Tight turnaround with the adjacent shrimp boats.

Don't Miss Oriental, 2015-01-23
Captain: , Port Lavaca, TX (120)

Oriental is a great town with exceptional people. In 48h we were offered meals, jobs, advice, slips, and just about everything else you could think of. Trash and recycling at the dock. Wifi at the Bean. Loaner bikes at the provision co. down the street. The marina between this free dock and free dock number 2 also let us fill our water jugs. Might be a bad stop if you're antisocial, but otherwise, it's a great place.

Oriental is a Gem on the ICW, 2014-12-07
Captain: , Onancock, VA (172)

It's impossible to describe the experiece of Oriental so read the previous reviews to get the flavor. I was fogged in for a second day which gave me some chance to explore on a loaner bicycle from the Provision Company - a story in itself. Supermarkets, gift shops, a marine consignment store, hardware, restaurants, just a few things the town offers.

Don't be suprised if folks are on the dock to catch your lines or if there's a constant stream of visitors stopping in to say hello and offering help such as, "I'll be back with a car in a while if there's anything heavy you need from a store." Don't miss Oriental.

Great Town dock and wonderful town, 2014-11-20
Captain: , Chapin, South Carolina (410)

There are now two free docks. You can stay 48 hrs. No water or electric but a wonderful dock, good depths and great town. The Bean coffee shop is delicious and the corner provision store has free loaner bikes with baskets for cruisers coming in to town. Great hardware store and grocery within walking distance. And a West Marine Express. They traded out our Johnsonmade Fender that had a leak with a brand new one! A few restaurant choices too. Don't miss having a meal at M&M. Great food, nice staff and within two blocks of town dock.

Tie up on wall, 2014-10-19
Captain: , Wilmington DE (133)

In addition to the two free docks described by previous reviewers, one can also tie up on the wall to the west of Free Dock #1 on Hodges Street. Might look a little tight, but we got our 38' catamaran in there without a problem.

A good dock, but no generators allowed, 2014-10-19
Captain: , Newcastle upon Tyne (533)

A very nice stop, right on the street across the road from The Bean coffee and ice cream shop. Free wifi from them and adjacent marina. But you can't run your generator here - there are fines if you do, so be prepared. No faciliities, but right in town. Groceries less than a mile.

Free Dock in the Heart of Town, 2014-09-17
Captain: , Block Island, RI (984)

Pulled in to town in late August. The dock was filled, so we dropped the hook on the outside of the little harbor. About a minute later, we see one of the boats leaving the dock. We got the anchor up quickly and made our way over to the dock. There is no current and little wind in there, so maneuvering is simple.

Oriental is an incredibly friendly boating town, and the dock is right in the heart of it. Head over to the tiki bar to chat with sailors, armchair and otherwise; the bartender there also kindly let us use her car so we could provision (make sure you tip her!). In the morning, hit up the Bean. There is a good marine store less than a block away and everything else you could need for your boat somewhere in the town.

The only negative thing, and it is really more of a virtue, is it is hard to just hang out on your boat as people come up and ask questions or comment on various things.

Free is almost always 5 stars, 2014-09-08
Captain: , North Myrtle Beach, SC (3210)

Easy in and out, nice sturdy docks, clean, safe, greaet town, friendly people. What else can one say?

Free Dock but no Electric, 2014-08-20
Captain: , Lizella GA (1826)

Get there early if you want to get on the dock. Many locals use it also for docking while eating out. It has no water or electric but is free. Great food places and an interesting little town.

Free Dock 1 & 2, 2014-08-20
Captain: , Oriental, NC (30)

Both docks are great, but I've watched as boaters abuse the 48 hour stay. You can ask the dockmaster at Tucans who's been there over their time. If you ask them to leave, and they refuse. Then call the local police to have them removed.

The "New" Free Dock, 2014-06-04
Captain: , Westport CT (261)

Yes, there is a new free dock located to the right of the Oriental Inn and Marina fuel dock. There is no signage but the timbers and decking are easily recognizable as new. The dock is essentially two long slips, where boats can dock one behind the other.

There is one significant problem, although there is room for about 4 boats (depending on size) it appears that the first 2 boats to arrive park thenselves at the end of the finger thereby blocking any other boats from moving in.

Capt. Howard

Two docks now, Hooray!, 2014-06-03
Captain: , Wilmington, NC (432)

Great town - The Jewel of the Neuse!

Great place to tie up and walk into town, because you are already in town. The Bean has pretty good coffee and M&Ms is a treat whether you want a meal or douse your troubles with good beer. There is no more laid back and convenient spot than here. Only thing is it's so popular.

New Free Dock, 2014-05-17
Captain: , Englewood, FL (905)

If I could add a new icon, I would. the new dock is to starboard as you come to the end of the channel. there's no sign on it, but it's obviously made with new materials. It's just before the dock labeled Fuel Dock. It's a beautiful new 60 ft fixed dock that can be used on both sides.
On land ther are picnic tables in the shade & trash receptacles.
A beautiful, inviting place. the town is fun to walk & has a marine store, a consignment marine store & restaurants.

Lucked Out and got the dock, 2014-04-27
Captain: , Little River, SC (476)

Super nice free dock. Check out to see if it's available. Pick taken every ten minutes during daylight hours. Don't miss the Toucan Grill next door at the Oriental Marina.

Nice spot if you can get it, 2013-11-22
Captain: , Ottawa (1173)

Seems like this dock is usually full. We ended up sneaking onto the wall west of the dock. The winds were from a favourable direction and we had 4' of water.

Once here you're right in town with lots of shops and sight seeing at your fingertips.

Additional dockage, 2013-11-08
Captain: , Brooklin, Maine (316)

The concrete bulkhead on the NW side of the free dock is also available for free 48 hrs. of dockage for shoal draft vessels. Depth alongside is 4-5 feet.

Nice free dock, 2013-03-23
Captain: , Palm Coast, Florida (785)

We enjoyed our 48 hour stay In late September. The marina next door has showers available for $5. Nice restaurants nearby. Safe and secure spot.

Save your money, 2013-01-20
Captain: , Annapolis, MD (435)

If you don't need services, this is the place. 5.5 feet on south side of dock. Trash and recylcing at the end of the very short dock. Plenty of room for my 48 footer. Check out the Village Food Emporium for great healthy food. Or as one of the locals called it 'hippie food'. Long live the hippies!

Fantastic hospitality w/free dock, 2013-01-03
Captain: , Brooklin, ME (1081)

We landed here on Xmas eve and before we could even finish adjusting our dock lines we had been invited to a party. We spent the next several days in Oriental making friends and being hosted by cruisers who had settled here after extensive cruising. We could hardly step outside the boat without being offered a shower, dinner, a ride, etc. I can't even enumerate all the hospitality we received. We'll definitely be back.

Oriental Town Dock, 2012-11-15
Captain: , Southport, ME, USA (1178)

Good dock, if it's open. You can spend 2 night N/C. We draw 6' and had just enough water to stay here.

Very Nice Stop!, 2012-11-14
Captain: , Wiscasset ME (1435)

We are on a 42 foot sailboat with 5 1/2 foot draft. We were going to pass this up and glad we did not. This is a nice little town and they have fuel and groceries, which is generally what we are looking for on our way south. After passing red 8 and the breakwater, turn to starboard, go past the marina and the OYC to port, go past the fishing boats, you will see a wall and railing in front of you, the dock is right there. There is room for two boats. Other reviews say you can put three boats in here, maybe power boats but not deep draft vessels. There is 5 1/2 feet of water on the left of the dock and 6 feet on the right, we used a lead line to measure it. We draw 5 1/2 and were on the left side of the dock but never felt the bottom so I suspect there is a little "keel channel" there. There is a coffee and ice cream shop directly across the street. You can get fuel at the marina right next door. Groceries are about a mile away, but not a bad walk at all. Between the dock and grocery store is a couple of marine stores (one is consignment), post office, convenience store, greeting card store, restaurant and hardware store. If you need propane I would not get a refill at the Village Hardware Store. Their propane prices are high and they charge by the bottle size not the amount filled and they have no way to determine if they filled your bottle. We were greeted by Larry the town commissioner upon arrival. Very nice town. Glad we came here and we will be making this a regular stop. If the dock is full we will anchor by the bridge, plenty of room.
Check out harbor cam

Free is good, 2012-10-04
Captain: , Jacksonville Fl (1550)

Good free dock but no facilities. Motel and restraurant have slips if dock is full, they also sell fuel. You can see if it's full at

Oriental Town Dock, 2012-05-02
Captain: , Oriental, NC (130)

If you've never been to ONC, you have to make a stop if in the area. There is a neat dock that you can use for up to 48 hours if you like. You'll find the town very friendly and fun. If you want to stay longer, there is an anchorage nearby. There is talk of expanding the dock to accomodate more boats. That will certainly be nice. Only two or three boats can fit on the dock at one time.

Oriental Free dock, 2012-04-18
Captain: , Lewisporte, Nl. (619)

Nice town! The Inland Waterway Provision Company is a marine store next door to the docks. You will find everything you need and more. They lend bicycles to get provisions or any running around town you need. Very nice folks.
Lots of water at the dock 5-6 feet with no tides other than wind tides. No laundry or liquor store in town but nice folks offered to take us there.

The price is right., 2011-11-20
Captain: , Apponaug R.I. (908)

A nice fixed dock with room for 3 boats. 2 boats on a wooden dock & 1 along a sea wall. The sea wall has only 3' of water. Inland waterway provisioning is about 300' away & can't do enough for you.

It's hard to beat free...., 2011-08-17
Captain: , St. Somewhere (530)

Managed to get a spot on the dock, even arriving late in the evening on a Friday. It pays to at least go and take a look. Great coffee accross the street at the Bean. Free WiFi from the Bean reaches all the way to the dock. If you walk to Broad St. then turn right, go about 4 blocks, there is a Marine Consignment store, that has...about anything you could want and can usually strike a good bargain. It's charted on this map. If you don't get the dock, the anchorage is nice too, short ride to dinghy dock.

Popular stop-over, 2011-04-24
Captain: , Stratford, CT (658)

Great place to stay IF you can get onto the dock due to availability., Only two sides of dock available that is perpendicular to the bulkhead at the head of the harbor. We had to slide in behind a 20'er at the end of the dock. You can check out availability by going to and clicking Harbor Cam. You can see if anyone is tied there but the earlier your arrival, the better you chances are of finding it free.. You can always anchor our in the harbor. Good rstaurant next door at the marina and tiki bar.

Great Pool on a hot day!, 2010-06-21
Captain: , Red Wing, MN (384)

Stopped here on 6-20 for an overnight stop. Hot! perfect pool for use by marina guests, even supply towels. Tiki opens at 4 pm, fun! Small intimate feel.

Oriental Free Dock, 2010-05-29
Captain: , Wickford, RI (1637)

Great place to stay IF you can get onto the dock due to availability., Only two sides of dock available that is perpendicular to the bulkhead at the head of the harbor. Hard to see availability due to looking at end of dock from out in the harbor.
Each side about 50 feet long, no services, no rafting, fixed dock. Sailboat beside us drew 7 feet, so depths are OK for most.

Tight but nice, 2009-09-08
Captain: , Chattanooga (327)

We were hit with a wind shift when we passed the proxessing plants on the west shore and had an interesting docking, but the water was deep and forgiving.

Good area to walk and a great ships store within a block. Can't beat the price and the location.

almost perfect, 2009-04-21
Captain: , Key Largo (5457)

If it only had electric,, two free docks. with trash, no water. Close to lots of touirst areas, also a nice marine store. Not close to groceries, however. needed to take a cab

Wonderful, 2009-04-05
Captain: , Absarokee Mt (1228)

Great town dock, we moored our 48 and we were a bit big with some overhang. Very protected, at least 5.5 deep and very friendly. Limit of 48 hours, great coffee shop right across from the dock. No rafting allowed, I would say the max capicity is three boats. Veiw their webcam site to see if anyone is there.

Friendly and calm, 2008-11-15
Captain: , Belhaven, NC (363)

Regardless of the conditions out on the Neuse River, the first contact by radio or cell with Oriental Marina is always friendly and calm. Coming down the fairway beside the huge shrimp boats and the warehouses adds to the authenticity. Very careful assistance with docking, and no wind, current or chop make everyone look like a pro. Great little town. Try the enchilatas at M&M.

24 hour limit?, 2008-10-08
Captain: , fairland (2653)

I'm pretty sure the boats there have placed a mailbox out front...

Ads by Google