Dataw Island Marina Celebrates Opening of the Marina Kayak Launch

Marine Tech principals and their Dataw Staff joined representatives from the DIOA, the Marina Committee, and the Dataw Island Yacht Club yesterday in a symbolic ribbon cutting to officially open the Dataw Island Marina Kayak Launch – Dataw’s newest amenity.

Marine Tech principals and their Dataw Staff joined representatives from the DIOA, the Marina Committee, and the Dataw Island Yacht Club yesterday in a symbolic ribbon cutting to officially open the Dataw Island Marina Kayak Launch. DIOA Board President Bob Sadler welcomed and thanked the group, whose cooperative efforts help realize the addition of Dataw’s newest amenity.

Sadler said “Thank you all, sincerely. Your efforts have been a huge help and truly, the Marina wouldn’t be where it is today without the hard work and dedication of the many volunteers who have contributed.”

“I’m happy to say that we have the kayak launch installed now,” said Scott Johnson, Dataw Island Yacht Club Commodore. “One of the promises and commitments we made when buying the marina was that one of the build-out functions was to install a kayak launch. We are glad to have satisfied that. It brings the Marina one step closer to being fully restored and functional. It’s really good to see.”

Also in attendance were Bryan Tuttle and Jim Flanagan, representing the Marina Committee and the DIOA Board; John Torrens and Kristy Carr, Marine Tech owners; and Dataw Marina/Marine Tech Staff Chad Langford, Whitney Roper, and Darcy Burnett. 

The Dataw Island Marina Launch is available to members from dawn to dusk. Members are reminded that the current can be strong and are advised to exercise due diligence. A set of “best practices” to follow when kayaking from the Marina can be found below the photos.

Not sure what excursion or route to take? While you can watch the DatawNet to learn about upcoming group outings coordinated by the DIYC kayaking contingent, we have also shared some ideas they provided us for “self guided” trips from the Dataw Island Marina Launch. 

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Safety Tips:

Kayaking Safety

  • Wear life jacket and whistle,  per Coast Guard requirement
  • Hang cell phone in waterproof pouch around neck and phone 911 in emergency
  • Paddle with a buddy or give your paddle plan to one
  • Check tide and paddle with it when possible
  • Don’t kayak if risk of lightning or more than gentle breeze

Kayaking at the Marina

  • Notify Harbormaster if hauling kayak on pier used by boatlift
  • Don’t leave kayaks or gear blocking piers and dock
  • Don’t paddle into bullpen
  • Stay away from power and sailboats arriving or departing
  • Watch for powerboat traffic and cross wakes at right angle

Kayaking Excursions:

The kayak launch at the Dataw Island Marina opens up new opportunities for paddling around our beautiful island: 

  • Head “up” Morgan River an hour before high tide and explore the Sparrow Nest Marsh. It’s best to paddle through the narrow, winding paths on a rising tide, just in case you make a wrong turn or two. Come back with the tide on Morgan River.
  • Cross Morgan River an hour before high tide to explore the Coosaw Marsh. There, if you know the route and use your smartphone’s GPS map, you can explore the prehistoric Indian shell rings on the far shore.
  • Head “down” Morgan River an hour and a half before low tide to get out at the sandbar across from Morgan (aka “Monkey”) Island. Come back with the rising tide. This is a longer trip into more open water so best for stronger, more experienced kayakers. 


Morgan River can be more challenging than Jenkins Creek, the site of our first kayak launch, so checking the tide and wind is imperative. Wind and tide in opposite directions can create swells or even whitecaps that all but the most experienced kayakers will want to avoid. Yet on a calm day, Morgan River can be as smooth as a lake.

If you’d prefer to join a guided group trip, watch DatawNet for periodic kayaking meetups that will now depart from both of Dataw’s kayak launches.

For more information on kayaking around Dataw, please see the spring edition of Lasting Impressions. 

Kayaking Excursion Routes

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Download a PDF of this Map

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