Boatlife at The DC Wharf, an Introduction
The DC Wharf is home to two marinas, Gangplank and Capital Yacht Club. If you have been to the Wharf, you have certainly seen the floating eye candy and you might have even wondered about the DC boating scene. Here’s the info.
The SW waterfront has a storied boating history. People began living on boats in SW over a hundred years ago. During the Civil War, President Lincoln would greet wounded troops as they arrived by hospital boats from the battlefields.
Many of us at Wharf Life DC live on boats at Gangplank Marina, which is located at the far west end of the Wharf, near what is currently the phase 2 construction site. Gangplank is one of the largest liveaboard communities in the country with 94 slips that serve as home to over a hundred Washingtonians. It was established in 1977 and managed by the District of Columbia until the property was sold to PN Hoffman to develop the Wharf.
Like people who live on land, we are DC residents who vote, pay taxes and take an active part in our community. Gangplank is located in DC’s 6th Ward and we are represented by city council member, Charles Allen, and our ANC representative Andy Listky. Both Allen and Litsky are engaged in our community and are always there for us.
Gangplank is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and tightest knit communities in the city. While, access to the water is relatively new to the city, Gangplank has been here for almost 50 years enjoying the Washington Channel, Anacostia, and Potomac rivers as a neighborhood working and playing together.
The community is made up of a mix of DC residents from various professions that include government, law, service industry, contractors, and entrepreneurs. Several residents have lived at Gangplank for more than ten years and one has been living on his boat for 30 years.
Many have even raised their families at the marina. We currently have a mix of kids that range from toddlers to teenagers. Pets are also in residence here, some boat owners have dogs, some have cats and many have both.
Living on boats is definitely a different lifestyle. It requires agility, patience, and a positive outlook. Among the mix of vessels are large trawlers, traditional houseboats, sailboats and even spacious floating homes called barges. Our day-to-day lives are the same as people living on the “hard.” We eat, sleep, and clean on our boats. We celebrate together – often. Not only do we have regular social gatherings, we celebrate weddings, birthdays, retirements, and achievements. We have even had a wedding ceremony for a canine couple.
Living on the water makes everything a little different. We will provide more insight about our community in future posts, but for example, we are outside more and we socialize with our neighbors more than most who live on land. Our life in the marina means we get DC’s best sunrises and sunsets, and we spend an inordinate amount of time photographing and enjoying them. Inviting a neighbor aboard to view the sunset is the beginning of many an impromptu party in Gangplank. We are always reminded of the beauty of the natural world.
You can live here too. As in it’s past, Gangplank is one of the few affordable places for living in DC. There are a few boats for sale at Gangplank. For more information about boats for sale at Gangplank check out the Marketplace section of our website.