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Old 11-20-2016, 05:03 PM   #1
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Safe Harbor Marinas LLC

Does anyone have any experience with Safe Harbor Marinas LLC. They buy and/or manage marinas around the country. They are based out of Texas. I think they may be buying my marina, hopefully for the better.
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:29 PM   #2
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Does anyone have any experience with Safe Harbor Marinas LLC. They buy and/or manage marinas around the country. They are based out of Texas. I think they may be buying my marina, hopefully for the better.
Yes, their was a predecessor company that managed some of those marinas (Marinas International which declared bankruptcy in 2013) and then they became Safe Harbor. They have a lot of inland marinas they manage. The one thing I like about them is that they are owners and managers. Previously many of these marinas were under separate owners and managers. I have docked at three of their marinas and all were quite decent, but they were before the acquisition as well. Much like IGY on megayacht marinas, they on a smaller marina basis are attempting to promote their member privileges to encourage you to use more of their marinas when cruising.

I'm only mildly concerned that in some areas they've grown faster than they can keep up. Looking at some of their marina web sites you'll see a prime example and I got no response from an email to one of their marinas as no one was apparently receiving the emails. They have not systems and computer wise done those things that they could really take advantage of at their size, just as a booking system and a management system.

I think the concept is good. There are typically a lot of marinas for sale and an opportunity for a company with decent financial backing to make significant improvements and update facilities that need to be.

As the largest owner and operator, which is what they claim, it's still minuscule when compared to the entire marina market. By comparison, Westrec manages a lot of marinas owned by others, such as all the city of Chicago marinas. Westrec has been at it at large scale for a longer time and is more sophisticated today.

I see a lot of potential for Safe Harbor. I think a lot of marinas can benefit from being acquired. I don't know what their future holds. I do have an annual slip at one but have only had it for a month or so, so too soon to judge further. If your marina currently has some problems or issues, I'd look at it as a positive step.

I do have some concern since this same management group took Marinas International to Bankruptcy.
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:47 PM   #3
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As I understand it, the bankruptcy was largely caused by eviction procedures at 11 marinas they were managing but did not own.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:39 AM   #4
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I have seen a few results of the Brewers 'concentration' of marinas and now the Safe Harbor additional buy up of competitors.
The marinas will be more standardized in the way they operate, they will play up the value of the multiple locations you can visit as a 'comp' or discount within their group. Additionally the prices will go up, the choices of what you can do on your own boat will go down, and the available number of slips outside the influence of the group will be severely limited.
That was the general trend during the Brewers build up in Long Island sound up to the NE.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:57 AM   #5
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They operate a couple of the most rundown marinas in the Bay Area.
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:07 PM   #6
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They operate a couple of the most rundown marinas in the Bay Area.
Emeryville and Ballena Isle? I think Ballena is a fairly recent purchase but Emeryville has long been theirs or the predecessor company's so wouldn't be a good sign if it's poorly operated. They tend, in most areas, not to have the top marina.
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:09 PM   #7
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I have seen a few results of the Brewers 'concentration' of marinas and now the Safe Harbor additional buy up of competitors.
The marinas will be more standardized in the way they operate, they will play up the value of the multiple locations you can visit as a 'comp' or discount within their group. Additionally the prices will go up, the choices of what you can do on your own boat will go down, and the available number of slips outside the influence of the group will be severely limited.
That was the general trend during the Brewers build up in Long Island sound up to the NE.
I wouldn't put them at the same level as Brewer. They typically don't have the boatyard capabilities Brewer has. I would also say they are not organized or operated as well either.
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:18 PM   #8
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We are at a Brewers yard in southern Ct and were "acquired" by Safe Harbors a few months ago. No negative changes yet and a lot of improvements / investments going on.
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:35 PM   #9
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We are at a Brewers yard in southern Ct and were "acquired" by Safe Harbors a few months ago. No negative changes yet and a lot of improvements / investments going on.
Hope that continues to be the case. They seemed to be running nice marinas before the earlier financial trouble and bankruptcy. Hopefully the reincarnation can sustain it. We've had a boat at a Safe Harbor Marina since October. This is a marina that they owned before, but still some changes were made. Overall, I'd give it a B-. Now it's offseason so mostly dead. I've been told by some there that the main complaints are against their summer dock help. We've not had them do anything for us but have sent someone monthly to check on things. No issues.

If they are adequately financed and also have a profitable business plan, I think they could be a good company. Only time will tell. Marinas must be prepared to handle down turns or bad seasons. Storms, low water, high water and debris, bridges or locks out of service, economy, regulatory changes are all threats.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:24 PM   #10
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They operate a couple of the most rundown marinas in the Bay Area.
I haven't taken delivery of my Nordic 26 yet, but we looked at many marinas here in San Diego bay and have decided to apply for a slip in the Safe Harbor marina called the Cabrillo Isle. It had the best maintained docks and facilities out of the ones we checked out.
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Old 04-30-2017, 05:30 PM   #11
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We are at a Brewers yard in southern Ct and were "acquired" by Safe Harbors a few months ago. No negative changes yet and a lot of improvements / investments going on.
I am at Brewer Cowesett. I haven't noticed any changes yet, good or bad.
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