Marinas and Boatyards

Marinas and boatyards offer the vital services, ranging from repairs to slips and seasonal storage, that boaters require. Because they're in regular contact with boat owners, these businesses can take the pulse of the recreational boating industry every day. Developments such as new facilities and new services at these sites help to drive the industry forward.

The Loggerhead marina in St. Petersburg, Fla., is among the 11 Suntex acquired.

Huge deal redraws marina landscape

The business of boating is in a good place in 2017. For evidence, look no further than the deal that Suntex Marina Investors LLC and Seven Kings Holdings Inc. announced in April.

Built to weather a storm

In 2005, the eye of Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, devastating towns such as Bay St. Louis, where the waterfront and downtown suffered heavy damage.

Marinas being rebuilt are incorporating bigger and wider slips to accommodate the trend toward larger boats. Marina operators making those types of changes say they’re simply adapting to the current trends in boating.

From marina to ‘activity center’

In the not-so-distant past, a marina typically consisted of some docks and pilings, maybe a fuel dock, perhaps a ship’s store or some bait and tackle, and not a lot else. That was when the facilities were so full they often had wait lists. It was also before the real estate bust of 2008, after…more

Marina Jack in Sarasota, Fla., was chosen National Marina of the Year for 2015 in the large marina category.

Marina Jack just keeps on growing

Marina Jack in Sarasota, Fla., is putting the finishing touches on a new branch of its business — a full-service boatyard for vessels as large as 65 feet that includes a 70-ton Travelift, dry-stack storage for 50 boats, a fuel dock, ship’s store, upgraded docks and power, and a team of seven technicians.

Having fun — and telling a ‘story’

Children built tiny props under the supervision of propeller shop employees and tested them on radio-controlled boats in drag races. Families sat down together to build Lego ships at a Fort Lauderdale booth manned by staff from a maritime training school.

MY WORK, MY LIFE: After buying a Nordic Tug, he became a dealer

I grew up in the Philadelphia area from the 1950s to 1965, and we vacationed in Avalon, N.J., for two weeks every summer. I loved the beach, but I really loved renting a small wooden boat with a small outboard to go fishing and exploring with my dad and cousin.

Fisher’s Marina on Ohio’s Buckeye Lake has grown steadily throughout its 103 years.

Family-owned for a century

How’s this for longevity: a marina established in 1912 that is still going strong — even growing —103 years later. And run by the great-grandson and great-great-grandson of the founder.

Hurricane Ike in 2008 left a pile of heavily damaged fiberglass boats at Pleasure Island Marina in Port Arthur, Texas.

The dead-boat disposal crunch

When Texan Pat Zagar moved his boat salvage business three years ago, he had to find a way to dispose of the 200 hulls stored on his property. “I’m in the boat recycling business, and I could not find a place that would take the fiberglass,” says Zagar, 57, of Houston, who dismantles boats for…more

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