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Job Description of a Dockmaster

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A dockmaster or dock operations manager may have a variety of responsibilities depending on the size of the marina. This position is generally second in command, reporting to the marina manager or owner. Larger marinas that have more than one dock with many boat slips may have more than one dockmaster or assistant dockmasters.

Role of a Marina Dockmaster

A dockmaster or dock operations manager oversees the management of berthing, mooring, storage and servicing of boats within the marina. The dockmaster is the first line of customer service for incoming boats. The person holding this position must have exceptional customer-service skills.

Levels of Dockmasters

Depending on the size of the marina, there may be several dockmasters. A large marina operation with one or two docks may have a senior dockmaster and two or three assistants. In this case, the senior dockmaster is the marina manager and reports directly to the marina owners. The assistants hold the title of junior dockmaster or docking crew, depending on their experience. For multiple dock marinas, two or three people may hold the title of dockmaster. In this case, each master would have control of her own dock and report directly to the marina manager.

Many Duties

The dockmaster is responsible for the daily operations of the marina docks. He must ensure that all docks are well-maintained and safe. He supervises the renting of boat slips and ensures that boaters observe all marine rules and regulations. The dockmaster may also supervise the dry-docking of boats for winter storage. A senior dockmaster also provides training and supervision of junior dock crew and marina maintenance staff.


A dockmaster should have general seamanship knowledge that includes boating right-of-way rules, basic navigation and inshore and offshore mooring techniques. This person must also have a solid understanding of marina operations. She could hold a degree in marine management or certifications, such as the Certified Marine Manager (CMM) or a Marina Operations Certificate.


A dockmaster's salary varies by the size of the marina as well as the part of the country. According to the jobs website Indeed, a dockmaster in Knoxville, Tennessee, earned $35,000 as of June 2014. In Redondo Beach, California, the salary is $39,000; in Washington, DC, $44,000; in Greenwich, Connecticut, the average is $49,000.


Kimberley Riccio has been writing professionally since 1978. She writes travel articles for various e-magazines and other online publications. Riccio holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from Wilmington University, culinary certification from Le Cordon Blu and a Master of Science in cultural sociology from the Defense Graduate Institute.

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