Marina likes and dislikes

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Capt Brad

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2006
Reaction score
Florida Keys
Hello everyone,

I have been a member for a while and have enjoyed all the topics and project pics very much. Sorry for the non-Parker topic, but I am about to take over as general manager at a marina in Florida and was looking for some help. I would like any comments about your current marina or storage facility. The subject can be anything from billing to parking problems and please include anything you like about your marina that you think is unique to them or just nice to have availible. Thanks.

P.S. Congrats Dale the site is doing great.
The marina I'm is is very clean and there showers are cleaner than my house which I like. Parking can be rough though. The marina is well maintained.
I'm on a mooring, so my comment is directed towards marina's that have transient slips/dockage for visiting boats. I wish they would have 2 or more price tiers per foot, those that need no services (electricity or water), and then those that need either or both.

Makes it too steep to pull up when they want to charge me for services I won't/don't use ... but thats my only gripe.

Good luck with your new venture Capt Brad and keep it fun!
Here is a big one for me.. COMMUNICATION!

The marina I was at last year was severely damaged by some flood rains we had early this spring, right at the official start of the season. Weeks and weeks went by before we heard anything from the marina management in terms of exactly what the situation was, how extensive the damage was, what their plans were, etc. Getting anyone to answer the phone was near impossible. Even then, plans changed and no updated information was provided.. basically everyone was left to guess when or if they were going to be able to get back in their slips - if they were going to get refunds, etc.

Even throughout the season last year, there was no communication with the customer - I didn't even know there were bathrooms installed until I read it somewhere on the Internet. If there were any plans for improvements, customer events, etc.. I didn't know about them.

At the old marina, you paid your bill and that was the last you heard anything from the management - the people that worked their were miserable to deal with and acted like they were doing you a favor.

I had the opportunity to switch to a new marina that is more $$, but when I heard they were sending out daily emails apprising their customers of the damage / repairs this spring, I was sold. They have continued to send out an email or two a week informing the customers of changes, improvements, new amenities, social events, etc..

As boaters we spend a lot of $$$ on our hobby, and in a lot of places, we have a very short boating season. The better you can communicate with your customers, the more they will feel part of the marina community and that you are their to help them.

-- Tom
My marina is inexpensive, relatively. However the slips are real tight. Each slip on my aisle is made for 20 foot boats, and yet every boat is 24 feet and higher. Docking in between two large boats with pulpits, in a stiff breeze is no fun. But this may be something you inherit, and can't do anything about.
I have kept my boat at two different marinas, one high quality and cost, the other much more modest in amenities and cost.

The reason I have liked both is not just that both are clean, slips are well built, and the locations convenient; the best quality of both is the way they treat people. Employees at both marinas have been friendly and attentive. When I had problems with my boat, employees at both marinas have helped me at no cost for advice or help with small stuff (although they both charge premium rates for work beyond the small stuff). They all have acted like they care that I enjoy my boat.

Since these have been my only experiences with marinas, I just assumed that this is how members of the boaing community are. I assume that, because you asked this question, that you want the same kind of marina. Here is to your success! (I just took a sip of wine).
Thanks guys I appreciate the help, please keep them coming. When I get the job we'll have at the rendevous at " my place."
I can give you some things to guard against. I'm on a slip in a setup that's about 4 yrs old and nothing but water and electric available.

Agree about communication. Lost power this winter from weather and got power Memorial Day Weekend. Had times where water pump breaker was shut off inside the office with nobody around overnight so no water 'til owner showed.

Common to let people tie up too long at main dock to fingers, stopping people from moorings to get to dock to load and unload.

Watch out for wiseguys that shut off someone else's shorepower circuit breaker.

Had several instances of poorly tied up boats damage the slips in in windstorms.

Too many junk boats show up as transients leaking fluids in the water, and not policing them.

The one thing that gets people fried and owner can do it, is rent out slip when you are gone. Makes it difficult if someone returns early.

There's more. Good starting list.


my case is somewhat unique, but is instructive i believe.....i have kept
both of my boat for 34 yrs at the same marina, although i visit many,
many others......i am an unambivalent fan of the HI-DRI or "rack" for
mat to storage.......first, there is the cant be stolen and
if you choose an upper story, it cant even be boarded or touched without
the marina forklift........there is the additional security of water levels,
ie hurricane isabel in the chesapeake had 8` over high tide levels thru
the bay area.........moorings pulled out, slips crumbled (guess what
happened to the CONTENTS of the crumbled slips ?!), and fixed pole
pulled out cleats and/or sank boats......simply put, the water is not
the ideal place for boat storage, i submit, in any season of the year....

second, there is money/maintenence.....the dry storage does not re
quire bottom painting, never has blistering, never sinks at its slip (read
boat/us recent book on actual claims by bob adriance!), and never
bashes other boats, other objects, or the bottom.......

third, there is convenience......the boat is always ready to go, but you
have 110, water, parts and services, and 24/7 access, ie come at night
and sleep aboard and be ready to go at dawn.......for wash down or
fixing things or just polishing, it is easier on the rack than on the water...

the advantage to a marina OWNER is you can put more boats in less
space.........the "density" is high(er), and requires much less water front
property...........inside a barn is the ultimate in protection yearround, but
outside is fine too........since you get paid yearly per boat, as well as
make money off gas, accessories, and repairs, THE MORE BOATS YOU
HOUSE, THE MORE PROFIT YOU MAKE.......lately, "expansion" means
a multiyear tussle with the e.p.a., the corps, the state, and god-knows-
else.......adding another rack on shore or another barn isnt a big deal....

at my marina, they take full advantage of the forklifts, such that boats
can be brought into the shop for work yearround vs. work outside......
the forklifts are truly amazing machines, and handle 30+ feet boats
with ease........if you need to work on the i/o, then can lift it up so you
can work at eye-level vs UNDER the boat.......they can put it in on your
phone call and tie it up at a floating dock for very early or very late
departures........i have 24/7 access to my boat, in-water or on-rack,
my choice......

thus, my suggestion to you is to jump into the forklift/hi-dri business....
acres of boats in the water full time just doesnt make sense to me from
either the marina owner`s or the boat owner`s interests.......dan