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Owning a Marina

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Old 08-15-2003, 05:06 PM
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MavFlyBy
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Default Owning a Marina

Hey everyone,

I'd like to own a marina, race boats, and build custom boats later in life. I'm going to college next year to major in Ocean Engineering. Anyone have any advice in order to reach my goal?

Thanks,
Lance
 
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Old 08-15-2003, 05:25 PM
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Yes, win the lottery and live it up. Just kidding. I cant give advise as far as the racing or boat building but I can comment some on the owning of a Marina. It is a great occupation. Best advice I can give is to put together a good business plan laying out what you want to do. The hardest part is getting all the information put together but after a while it just falls into place. I would recommend taking some business managment classes also. Good luck with the dream.
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Old 08-15-2003, 05:26 PM
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Start out with lots of $$$ first...
win the lottery, it's easier than making money in the boat biz.
 
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Old 08-15-2003, 05:33 PM
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I'll admit, as a start up its not the best money maker but can you really argue with a career where you deal with boats and water 24-7. Plus, the perks. Free dockage, storage, gas if you have it, tow vehicle, cleaning and storage. Additionally, I live at my families marina so I pay no bills, care of the business. I am also able to write off any boat trips as business related to include the Miami boatshow last February. I payed up front but will get the money back come tax time.
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:41 PM
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Be a lawyer and just sue everyone beter yet be a politician and just lie to everyone.
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Old 08-15-2003, 09:05 PM
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Lance, check your PM, not from my personal experience, but from asking around.
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Old 08-15-2003, 11:02 PM
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I'm in research mode myself. Though I have never run a marina, I feel I have two strong assets that should help me if I ever jump in.

1) I worked for a machine shop for many years where the owner treated all of his employees like family. What he got from me was loyalty, an honest days work, and respect. What I got from him was an appreciation of all the little things you can do to make your employees like you and their jobs.

2) I recieved I degree in Finance. This gave me a good understanding of accounting and the time value of money.

What I feel I'm missing:
Tons of "extra" cash
Experience actually working at a marina

Hope this helps you. I know there are a few marina owners on the board. I hope they chime in to help.
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Old 08-16-2003, 07:48 AM
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The biggest barrier, at least in my area is the cost of water front property needed to establish a marina, even a small one. The cost is pretty much beyond most of our means. So, you must first have tons of cash to get started or have a corporation behind you to support the funding necessary for such a costly venture.

Good luck!!!
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Old 08-16-2003, 10:36 AM
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The boat biz is driven by the economy, it is the first thing people quit buying in a recession and the last thing they buy when the economy picks up.
There have been a few times when I was really worried about just making enough just to pay bills.
There is lots of competetion on the biz, sometimes too much.
Sometimes, it's not how good you are, it's how cheap you can do it and still stay running.
I've lost many deals that had no profit to someone, that seems to me, is losing money on the same deal
I don't think you become a millioniare selling and building boats, you have to start out with the $$ first.
Many times my customers end up being my competetion.

If you really like pleasure boating and racing do it as a hobby... If you make it your business, sure it will be fun, but after a while it will feel more like work.
I remember years ago breaking dates, sometimes with a hot babe, to even now missing out on time with my family and kids, just to make sure a customer's boat gets done. I've missed out on holidays, just to go rescue a customer, who ran the snot out of his boat an blew a motor. Sometimes, I worked for hours/ days straight with no sleep to get a raceboat done in time. Just recently, hauled a boat straight thru a 26 hour drive with no sleep to New York, just to make sure he got his new boat by the weekend.
There were many times, I had to ask myself, if this was worth the money. I could write a book about how many times I killed myself, and then the guy didn't want to pay or whined about how much it costs.
I get in a brand spankin' new Cigarette, and I don't think about how much fun it is to run it... I worry if my customer is going to like it? Is the engine running right? Are there any problems with the interior? DON'T SCRATCH IT !! Are the props the right size? Does the boat handle correctly? blah blah blah...
How many boat biz guys that really know their stuff, that started from nothing, actually OWN a boat?
I work on so many boats... on my day off (when/if I get one) I don't get near a boat.
Sometimes, my buddies ask me to go boating with them, and I know I'll just end up working on their boat.
All in all I still love it...
 
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Old 08-16-2003, 09:08 PM
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Hey,

Thanks everyone for your responses. My plan before I actually run a marina is to build up a few other businesses before hand. Then sell those and start the marina. That away I've got the cash to begin it, plus maybe get some outside funding. I may partner with someone or a few people on the marina instead of taking it all on my shoulders. If I do decide to just have marine and racing as my hobby, then I'd still like to work on people's boats in my off time. I'm not sure though, I have a fair amount of time to decide. I know that I want to get my education and run a few other businesses, then start up a marina. In the mean time I want to learn as much as I can about boating and I'd like to race jet skis but we'll see. My girlfriend is in strong support and her family has done nothing but marine work. They are actually all from the Bahamas. They were big in the Keys until they moved up into northern Florida. Again, thanks everyone for responding, it helped out a lot.

Lance
 
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