The boats were tied up in a series of covered slips along a stretch of water known as the Snodgrass Slough.
Some of the burned boats were over 60 feet long, according to resident Dennis Fay.
Fay and his wife were asleep on their boat when they heard the sounds of explosions.
"It didn't take long because of all the fuel in the boats, fiberglass, propane just started going one after the other and as soon as it did, it just blew up. There was propane tanks blowing up, fuel tanks were on fire," said Fay.
Fay took his boat out onto the river to escape the flames and snapped photos of the devastation.
"It was like a forest fire," Fay said. "You looked at it and it was just solid flames, just huge and it was hot. I was out 100 feet from shore and you could feel the heat."
While there are a number of residents that live on their boats full-time, it is believed all of the burned boats were not occupied at the time.
There are no reports of injuries.
No sooner had fire crews stopped the spread of the flames when a burning boat broke loose from its slip and started floating down the river.
Firefighters were able to push it away from the marina before it slammed into a dock near an 88-foot yacht.
The boat just missed Roy Graham's house.
"I thought it was here. I thought it was my boat. That fire was blowing pretty high," said Graham.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
County and state environmental and hazmat crews have been alerted to the oil spill and debris left floating in the water.