Boating season can feel perilously short on Long Island if you're limited to weekend outings - it almost feels like, if you get stuck in the summer beach traffic for too long, you just might miss it entirely.

No matter how much you love your boat, it can be hard to justify the considerable expense and hassle involved in owning, storing, docking and maintaining it - unless you're able to maximize your time on the water.

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Whether you prefer to paddle lazily through a secluded creek on the North Fork, sail Long Island Sound or go fishing on the Great South Bay, there's just no comparing being able to walk out your back door with a cup of hot coffee in hand and being out on the open water before it gets cold. Here are five homes on the market that make the boating lifestyle possible.


Mecox Bay

Asking price: $4,999,999

Annual taxes: $12,609

Time on the market: It's been listed at this price with Barbara Feldman and Paul Brennan of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Bridgehampton (631-329-6722) since April.

All about the water: Drink in views of the water from Mecox Bay to the Atlantic as you stroll down your private 140-foot walkway and dock. Then climb aboard your new 26-foot Boston Whaler - the powerboat comes with the house. The walkway and dock are made of pressure-treated wood with stainless-steel fasteners. The dock extends 40 feet into Hayground Creek, and includes built-in storage benches.

Other features: The 2.5-acre property in the Southampton school district has ample space to add a pool on the water side and room to expand the 2,500-square-foot house "up to 10,000 feet," Feldman says. The home, a three-bedroom traditional with 2½ bathrooms, has two fireplaces, a library and a gourmet kitchen. The master suite and great room open onto a full-length deck overlooking the gardens and the water.


Corey Creek

Asking price: $695,000

Annual taxes: $6,650

Time on the market: This 2002 home in the Southold school district has been listed with Marie and Lee Beninati of Beninati Associates (631-765-5333) since April 2009. It was previously listed for $789,000 and $745,000.

All about the water: This new 58-foot bulkhead on Corey Creek can accommodate up to a 20-foot craft. From there, the boat ride is about five minutes to Peconic Bay, Marie Beninati says. "Fishing in the bay and clamming in the creek is great," she says. The .5-acre lot is in a tranquil spot, she adds. "This entire area is a hidden, pristine part of the North Fork."

Other features: The two-story home has four bedrooms and 2½ bathrooms. There's a new kitchen with cherry cabinets and granite countertops. The wood-burning fireplace has a new mantel. "It's got new cedar siding and a new roof. It has a beautiful porch," Beninati says.


Pattersquash Creek

Asking price: $299,000

Annual taxes: $10,078

Time on the market: It's been listed with Anna Marie Fiore of Mill River Realty Inc. in East Moriches (631-874-9146) since March.

All about the water: You can dock several small boats or one larger one along this 80-foot bulkhead on Pattersquash Creek, the agent says. "It's Navy bulkheading. It's one of the best, and it's straight, not curved," Fiore says. "You can fish right from the dock," which has water and electricity, she says, noting that the creek is 4 feet deep at the dock, and gets as deep as 12 feet. "It's 10 to 15 minutes to Moriches Inlet by boat," she says.

Other features: The 1960 Colonial is on a 115-by-80-foot lot in the William Floyd school district. There are four bedrooms and two bathrooms, including a master suite with a sunroom and Jacuzzi. "It's very private, and the suite overlooks the water," Fiore says. The 2,016-square-foot house has central air-conditioning and skylights. There's also a basement - a rarity in waterfront homes, Fiore says.


Canal to Baldwin Bay

Asking price: $449,000

Annual taxes: $15,550

Time on the market: This 1966 split in the Freeport school district has been listed since February with Moira Connolly of Coldwell Banker Residential (516-809-1000). It was previously listed for $490,000.

All about the water: A floating dock comes with this four-bedroom split-level house on a canal to Baldwin Bay. The 60-foot bulkhead is made of Marine-grade, pressure-treated lumber, Connolly says. The 60-by-100-foot property includes a two-level deck and has in-ground sprinklers.

Other features: The home has custom tile inlay in the foyer, a vaulted ceiling in the living room, a bay window and skylights. The kitchen has stainless- steel appliances and granite countertops. There's a den with a brick fireplace, glass sliders and ceramic tile floors. The master suite has a private deck.


Roslyn Harbor

Asking price: $2,595,000

Annual taxes: $24,702

Time on the market: This home in the North Shore school district has been listed since May 2009 with Adele Kuczmarski of Coldwell Banker Residential in Manhasset (516-570-1505).

All about the water: The one-acre property features a 100-foot wooden dock on Roslyn Harbor and 150 feet of beach frontage. The dock was built 45 years ago; it has a dockside boathouse.

Other features: There's some colorful history behind this 1860 Colonial: It belonged to the family of philanthropist Ellen E. Ward, in whose memory the historic Roslyn clock tower was built, Kuczmarski says. And these days, it's owned by folk artist Thomas Langan and his wife, Penelope. Langan's work is displayed at the Museum of American Folk Art in Manhattan and in the private collections of John Cleese and Penny Marshall. The property has appeared in film and on TV, including scenes from Glenn Close's cable show "Damages" and the 1999 movie "Double Platinum" with Diana Ross and Brandy. The property includes an 1,800-square-foot, two-story artist's studio with heat, air-conditioning and plumbing, and a post-and-beam barn. The three-bedroom home has two bathrooms.

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