Florida marina fighting lawsuit to shut down

Author:
Publish date:
With a signature pink crossmember on its Travelift, Molly’s Marine is best known for bottom cleaning and painting services.

With a signature pink crossmember on its Travelift, Molly’s Marine is best known for bottom cleaning and painting services.

Molly’s Marine Service has been at the same location in Naples, Fla., for 22 years and is one of the only boating service providers in the area. The company provides haulouts, painting, bottom cleaning, rigging and other services.

Late last year, residents who live south of Molly’s tried to force Naples to shut down the business, saying the yard hurts the value of their condominiums. One of their primary complaints is the noise and mess caused by the pressure washers that Molly’s uses.

“The city has told me that I’m in no violation of any ordinance,” Molly Strassel, who owns Molly’s Marine Service, told Trade Only Today. “My hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. By the time my guys get here, they’re not power washing until 8:30 or 9 a.m.”

She said the plaintiffs in what became a civil suit after the city refused to issue a cease and desist order also complained about Molly’s sandblasting. Strassel estimated that the company sandblasts about 20 boats a year.

The yard was originally owned by the Turner family, who sublet it to marine businesses. In 1998, the family sold the property. Today, there are privately owned dry stacks and in-water slips, plus the condominiums (built in the early 2000s) and Molly’s. Strassel said the plaintiffs are among some of the earliest condo owners.

“One of the stipulations when Turner and the developers went to the city and got approval was that it remain a working boatyard,” Strassel said.

Locals to show their support for Molly’s Marine.

Locals to show their support for Molly’s Marine.

Molly’s Marine Service occupies about 2 acres and has a Travelift and haulout slip. The company has 15 employees, but its impact on the local economy is much larger. “I’ve got well over 100 subcontractors and vendors who come in here regularly,” Strassel said.

She believes the suit came about because condo owners saw newer units being built in the area, and they started complaining about noise, dirt and dust, saying that the service facility was hurting the value of their properties. “They feel their property would be more valuable if there wasn’t a boatyard here,” Strassel said.

The lawsuit was filed Nov. 11, and Strassel has collected more than 1,300 signatures in an online petition, as well as several hundred handwritten signatures in support of the yard. Strassel hosted an 8 a.m. photo and video shoot for supporters.

Strassel said that because the city has told the plaintiffs that the marina is in compliance, the suit has been reworded, calling Molly’s Marine Service a nuisance that is diminishing property values and keeping them from selling their condo units. Her attorney is in the process of responding again.

In addition to local backing, Strassel said she’s receiving support from the marine industry, including MarineMax and Galati Yacht Sales. “Nobody wants to see this go away,” she said.

Related

Tommy’s Slalom Shop Adds Dealer

Boulder Boats has locations in Nevada, Arizona and California.

Trade Only Today Returns Tuesday

The daily e-newsletter will not publish Monday, Jan. 18, in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

Mercury and Crownline Make Supply Pact

Under the agreement, Mercury will be the exclusive outboard and sterndrive supplier for the boatbuilder.

Sea Tow Makes Executive Appointment

Thomas Spina, who has more than 25 years of maritime experience in a variety of roles, was named vice president of franchise operations.

Quick Hits: January 15, 2021

IBEX seeks proposals for session topics; Sensible Yacht Cordage changes hands

Godfrey Marine to Host Virtual Showcase

The event is to take place Jan. 23 and will include Godfrey pontoons and Hurricane deckboats.

Boat Shows Throttling Up

2021 is bringing a new paradigm to the winter boat show season.

Correct Craft Plans Expansions

The moves will allow additional growth for Nautique, Supreme, Ingenity and Watershed Innovation.