Local Marinas provide essential services for boaters everywhere. The coastlines of North America are home to thousands of local marinas. The Great Lakes region has a large number of them, as do many smaller lakes. Even many rivers have local marinas. Local Marinas offer a variety of services to boaters. Some may only provide a dock or slip in which to secure a boat. Smaller ones may actually function as cooperatives, in which the boat owners in an area join together to have a place for their boats if they do not live on the water. This makes the marina affordable, and saves the boat owner from having to tow the boat to the water each time. Larger local marinas function as full-service marinas. They can usually handle most boats, even large yachts, but cater to boat owners with and size boats. Typically, one will pay a price based on the size of the slip required for the boat. Local marinas will almost always have gas pumps where the boat owner can purchase gasoline. This is a convenience which saves a great deal of hassle, hauling gasoline to the marina. These local marinas also often have a service area. They may have trained and certified mechanics employed to work on all makes and models of boat engines and motors. The training and certification is very much like that which automobile mechanics are given. Before having one of these mechanics work on a boat motor, it is always good to check their credentials and to ask for several references. Follow up by calling the references. Having a boat motor maintained or repaired at local marinas can be expensive. It will prove even more costly if the job is done poorly.