Do Marinas Make Money?

That is the attitude one must have if they are going to operate a marina. or you can just love the boats that dot the sea when they are not in a harbor. No matter what, if you want to make money owning a marina, you got to love what is involved.

In general, marinas make money. Profitable marinas are rarely built anew, but pre-existing ones are common. Marinas make money by charging boat owners to store their boats on either an hourly or daily basis. MArinas which cater to wealthy clientele and yacht owners are most profitable.

It is possible for marinas to make money. These operations are like other businesses, you have to know what you are doing and pick the right strategies in order to be a success. Then like the real estate world, it is all about location.

To find the answer to this question, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about.

Is a marina a good investment?

If you are not thinking of building a new marina, then yes, owning one of these businesses is a good investment. One reason it is not good to build one from scratch is that it is very difficult to get the shore-lined land you need. property is expensive and not always for sale.

Then the possibility of making money is very real. Some 400 slip marinas can generate up to and go beyond $5 million in gross revenues. The potential to make good money is there.

Besides the number of boat slips you can have, you also have the ability to add different business options that provide more side revenue. For example, you can have a good restaurant that can generate lots of money. Both from boat owners and their guests but from regular city dwellers who want a nice place to spend an evening.

If you manage all the expenses right, then pick the right business strategies to promote your marina then chances are you will have a very profitable venture. years down the road, you can always sell off at a profit if the market is just right.

How much does a marina make?

It is only possible to give you rough estimates as each marina’s revenue depends on many factors. For example, one in the Caribbean charges $1.05 per foot of boat docked in one of their slips. This charge is by the day.

So a 20-foot boat would bring n $21 each day it is moored. Times that by even 100 and you have a possible $2100 day in income–just for moorage. Then if you are selling boating accessories, equipment, fishing licenses, or have a restaurant or charter, your revenues go up.

Large marinas can pull in a lot more money and as reported earlier, some make more than $5 million per year but that is gross, not net. You still have to pay mortgages,  taxes, insurance, wages, and other fees.

Those fees range as well depending on the city your marina is located in. Some locations are more expensive than others. if you are really serious about owning one of these businesses then click here and explore the occupancy calculator to see what your potential earnings can be.

Just play with the numbers to see what is in store when you operate this type of business. Just remember to keep your figures realistic.

Is buying a boat slip a good investment?

They can be but like any business investment, things can be cyclical and you have to make sure you can cover those down periods. Right now, the trend is going upwards as there are more people buying different sizes of boats. They need a place to store their craft when it is not in use.

There are two kinds of boat slips you can invest in or buy. One is where the boats are dry-docked and stored in buildings or on large secure lots. This allows the owner to keep his boat safe without parking it in his driveway.

Then there is the wet dock option. This is where the owner of the boat keeps his craft in the water but moored to one of your slips. This option cannot house as many boats as the previous option.

What is going to hurt you financially will be the lease or mortgage payments you have to make to own or use the land your boat slip is on. You would have to negotiate a nice price at reasonable payments in order to ensure you have a chance at making a profit.

Then to boost your annual revenue, you can always offer different perks your renters want to see and use. There is a lot of potential in investing in or owning a boat slip. But you have to have more than just a few.

How can I make my marina profitable?

The first step is to make sure you buy in the right location. Boaters are going to go to those marinas that are in areas that are convenient for them and offer them some beautiful scenery to look at. Plus, they want a safe harbor because they do not want their expensive boats ruined by a storm.

Next, you have to make sure your expenses are reasonable and not going to crush you the moment the boating trend takes a downturn. being able to survive the hard times is essential to making a profit. Keeping your expenses low is one way to do that.

Once you have those two issues solved, you need to charge a fair but competitive boat slip fee. This can be charged by the day, week, month, or year or a combination of those options. It is totally up to you and how your clients want to pay.

There is a growing lack of boat slips for larger boats so you may want to focus on attracting those boat owners. Larger boats bring in more fees but you have to see how the market is going in order to design your business strategies.

One sure-fire way to draw boaters and increase revenues is to target families. have kids’ specials, birthday parties, and so on is one way to attract good boat owners who will spend money.

Then you can offer different services, for example, lease space to a charter service or lease restaurant space to a local restaurant owner who wants to expand their business. There are a million ideas you can think of and implement.

The key is to make sure it fits the location your marina is located in.

The keys to owning a marina

A marina is a business and you have to treat it like one. If you don’t your expenses may get out of control and your profit margin drops. Before you know it, you are out of business.

So you have to watch each aspect of the business carefully in order to turn a nice profit and have a popular marina everyone wants to come to. Here are some keys to focus on to make sure you are headed in the right direction:

#1. Decide if you want to build your own or buy an existing marina

This is a key decision as the costs of building your own are quite high and you need to go through several steps just to gain approval to build. Then there are inspections and other costs that may be higher than you budgeted.

Buying an existing marina spares you those expenses as well as start-up costs.

#2. Figure out your expenses before you buy or build

Every business must know what it is going to cost them before they open up. They have to make sure they have enough in reserve to cover those expenses when things get slow. If the expenses are too high, don’t buy or build. Find another location.

#3. Decide on your target Market

Who do you want to attract is one of the keys to having a successful and profitable marina. This ideal market can be power oat owners, yacht owners or sailboat owners, then families, power couples, and so on.

You get to decide who you want to rent your slips and frequent your other establishments.

#4. Look for expansion ideas

Successful and profitable marina owners do not do everything all at once. They plan on where they should expand and wait for the right time to make that expansion. Your target market will influence your expansion and help determine what perks and other revenue-making enterprises you should open up.

#5. Be competitive, not greedy

Create fair fees so that people will like your marina and not feel like you have your hand in their pocket

Some final words

If you love what you are doing it will show. That attitude will help you be more of a success and make sure your marina makes money. Except love is not always a good businessman.

Make sure you have good business skills as well so you can protect your revenue while providing a great place for boaters to come to and use your slips, etc. Marinas can make money if you are a good owner.

Nicholas Finn

I've been the captain of a fishing boat for over 20 years, and I created Pirateering to share my knowledge of and interest in seafaring.

Recent Posts