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Old 02-16-2016, 05:51 PM   #1
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Question Bed and Breakfast Marina

Who would be interested in staying at a marina/dockage with a bed and breakfast type stay? You can stay on your boat as usual or stay in one of the rooms of the on-site historic home built in 1850. Breakfast and dinner is cooked by the owners if you choose that option or you can just pay for dockage and use the courtesy car or bicycle to get around town. Showers and a lounge area also available in the home with nearby fuel docks, haul out yard, and local inshore charter fishing. Within walking distance of two Seafood markets where you can buy shrimp and fish right off the boats (there are no foul smells as no rotting fish is left at the markets). 15-20 minutes from beaches and outlet centers for shopping. Located about 2 miles off the ICW on the eastern side of Mobile Bay so you're right back on track when you leave and still moored in a protected cove. Short term dockage and long term anchorage available.

Would anyone be interested in something like this?

This is just in the idea stages and we are looking for feedback from cruisers.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:58 PM   #2
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Sounds like a nice mix of options. I love B&B's when traveling. We'll be starting our Loop trip later this year. Where are you located?
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:04 PM   #3
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If things go through, it will be on the eastern of Mobile Bay, off of the ICW
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:08 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Sounds quite interesting. It's nice to be pampered. How much (length) of dockage and how deep are the approaches and dock areas?
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:13 PM   #5
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That is an interesting idea.


When we go to B&Bs, part of what is interesting is the charm of the place. If the breakfast and/or dinner is in a nice place with a nice dining room, then staying on our boat at a slip and having breakfast and/or dinner at your dinning room would be very nice.


It can't just be a place somewhere a few miles off the ICW. B&Bs are usually in interesting places: historical, nice shopping boutiques, near a beach, etc. for it to really have appeal. Otherwise, why go.


Good luck with your business concept. With the right situation, I think it could be successful.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:17 PM   #6
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Thank! Right now we have an idea of 12 slips at 20' wide (six on each side of a T dock) with about 100' of face dock at the end. All deep water channels and approaches as the basin. 10' min. at the docks.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:22 PM   #7
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It's definitely in an interesting place (in my biased opinion of course!), lots of history, several other historic homes, and a museum. 15-20 minutes away from the beaches by car, we would be looking at water shuttles to Fort Morgan if that was something folks would be interested in.

You definitely make a good point though, all of the local attractions would be listed in our advertisement.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:44 PM   #8
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Sounds just like what we're looking for. Let the Forum know when it's open. You should advertise with the Great Loop org since the loopers will be going right through Mobile.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:52 PM   #9
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I'll sure do it, if we can get this to happen then there will be no shortage of advertisement! It will definitely be done right.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:41 PM   #10
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Great idea. My wife and I have dreamed about something very similar especially as we get closer to retirement. I'm a current food service professional. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:18 PM   #11
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Why rent a room when your boat has sleeping accommodations? Many marinas have fuel, electricity and showers available as well as restaurants nearby.
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:43 PM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. mp. As I said in post #4. "It's nice to be pampered". After a long day of looping, what better way to relax than having someone cook you dinner, turn down your bed and have breakfast waiting in the morning? Has all the romance gone out of your marriage already?
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:46 PM   #13
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The rooms are an added option for a different type of experience. Yes there are many marinas just like the next marina down the way but we are looking to offer something different than the typical marina stay. You can choose to just pay for dockage as you would any other Marina, pay for dockage and breakfast/dinner at the house depending on your length of stay, or you can pay for the full bed and breakfast stay (which would be comparable to any other B&b pricing with your dockage included). It may not be something appealing to the one nighters but someone who has time to stay a couple nights and is looking to visit the area and such.
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Old 02-16-2016, 09:11 PM   #14
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Simplify

Ok, here's what it is. Instead of a hotel beside or connected to the marina, it's a bed and breakfast. It's also a bed and breakfast that makes meals and other facilities available to the marina guests, just like many resort hotels beside marinas do.

There are some bed and breakfasts scattered around with marinas much as your concept.

Here are the pitfalls to watch out for. The B&B and the Marina must each be profitable and self sustaining on their own. It can't be one making up for the other. They're two separate businesses with some crossover and sharing.

I don't know the size of the slips other than width. However, the owners of 50' boats or so are highly unlikely to be willing to pay for an upscale bed and breakfast. Resort hotels by marinas get their guests from those without boats and those with very large boats. The bed and breakfast must draw people from land to fill their rooms.

I think the concept has potential but the marina can't be dependent on the B&B and the B&B can't be dependent on the marina. Other than meals there won't be a lot of crossover.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:28 AM   #15
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We did something like this on Useppa Island in S. Fl. We had chartered a boat and cruised up the west coats, wife, son and 1 daughter in a 36 GB. After 4-5 days and a rolling ride in the Gulf, I thought the bride would like a night in a "real" bed (I usually sleep best on a boat but it's not always all about me...). So While the kids (about 13 and 18) stayed on the boat, we checked into a very nice, small facility on Useppa. Can't remember the name or if it was hotel or B&B, but it was more house like.Wife woke refreshed, and might have stayed except it was an island with no way off except the boat. Haven't been to Mobile Bay but would stay at the place described. There are several similar facilities around the Chesapeake and we plan to give some of them a try.
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:44 AM   #16
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At the anchorage in Block Island on weekends a boat wanders about delivering news papers , fresh bread and other fat pills.

Makes for a nice lazy AM, tho not as good as a real B&B.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:19 AM   #17
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I think some folks would take advantage of the rooms and meals and it might be a good place for cruisers to meet up with family and friends, but a lot of cruisers take pride in how cheap they are so that bunch wouldn't stay.


I doubt we would do the B&B part even if we were in the area. The marina part would depend on the amenities, what's nearby and the rates.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:46 AM   #18
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When small boat cruising, having a bed and breakfast marina or a motel marina with a discount does make it nice to bring along another couple that can get off the boat every few days.

Not sure if there is enough demand for this, or enough facilities to encourage smaller cruisers to think like this.....maybe with more...the philosophy will gain traction.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:03 AM   #19
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As a cruiser, paying for two spaces (room and slip) seems inefficient and expensive. Wife likes ashore but hates packing and unpacking. And we travel with our Samoyed so pet friendliness critical.

OTOH my wife hugely prefers to eat out. We are not in your part of the world but if we were would be tempted by restaurant, pet friendliness, groceries & shopping, spa, and wi-fi- probably in that order. Very happy to pay for services, but moving from boat to room and paying a lot more wouldn't happen. For us.


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Old 02-17-2016, 10:52 AM   #20
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Some nearby places offer a combination of marina and lodging. Lodging at one is in a several all 18th-19th century houses that have been restored. Another is a very good Inn/Restaurant at a marina site. The others are more like hotels with attached marinas.


"Hotel" clientele often seems to be mostly smaller boats that don't offer accommodation spaces for the number of crew aboard, or visitors who might be meeting the boat. We've used that latter feature ourselves, since that means we don't have to put up with visitors cluttering up our boat.





Anyway, they all seem to be successful, and I'm guessing in each, the hotel side and the marina side are operated as separate profit centers.


FWIW, I usually avoid B&Bs here in the US at all costs.... mostly 'cause "all costs" tends to mean you get a fru-fru breakfast of some sort, unavoidable conversation with the landlord/landlady, and you stay in a musty room with old furniture... at about double or triple the costs of the same accomodations in a decent (non-resort) hotel.


I'm afraid I'm influenced by a few years living in England, where a B&B up in London (for example) wasn't a destination attraction, it was just a place to sleep with a (usually) great cooked breakfast... for cheap.


That doesn't mean I think it's a bad idea; just that we're not part of the market for a fru-fru version ourselves... even if we did park visitors there sometime.


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