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Old 05-27-2021, 07:48 PM   #61
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It's easy to see why they wouldn't want old decaying boats in their slips, but I'm sure it's negotiable. Your condo or gated community may not want cars over 20 yrs old, but what if you have a restored classic Vette from the 60's worth $250K, would that not be welcome vs. the 15 yr old Dodge van that barely runs?
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Old 05-27-2021, 08:02 PM   #62
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It's easy to see why they wouldn't want old decaying boats in their slips, but I'm sure it's negotiable. Your condo or gated community may not want cars over 20 yrs old, but what if you have a restored classic Vette from the 60's worth $250K, would that not be welcome vs. the 15 yr old Dodge van that barely runs?
I repeat. They have no rule on age.

I made the call the one accusing them of having such a rule apparently would not. Then he says "That may be why" which I guess he's talking about not having insurance although can't be sure. Can be sure they allow older boats with insurance. I hear a rumor and either want it confirmed or refuted. This one was refuted.
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Old 05-27-2021, 10:42 PM   #63
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As a hardware store owner, I disagree with the true independents being gone. You have over 15,000 independent hardware stores who are members of groups like Ace, True Value, and Do It Best. These are not franchises. They share some branding but that has allowed them to compete and to remain because they share buying power. There are still incredible small town, local hardware stores. You do not get the same feel in every store of either of the three brands even though many of the same products, but only so many brands of chain saw or paint. The few non branded independents are also largely buying through buying groups now as well. Let's not overlook Tractor Supply, Northern Tools or Harbor Freight either.

Here is where marinas differ. There aren't as many as there are hardware stores. Also, you're not seeing buying groups or anything like that but you're seeing ownership. It's more like Sears years ago and Walmart more recently eliminating a lot of small businesses that can't compete. I do believe you'll see large groups like Safe Harbor continue. This is somewhat like what happened decades ago to the independent gas station. Now, some of the independent marinas can survive as owner operated businesses. The problem is when they're ready to sell. There was a lousy market for marinas and still is if you're looking to sell to other individuals. Just not many looking to buy and no one looking to finance a purchase. So one by one they'll sell to large marina groups.

The fact is that selling small businesses is extremely difficult. We've bought many that the owner simply wanted to retire and couldn't find a buyer until us. Marina owners face that. Their kids often don't want to work 16 hour days seven days a week during season. The marina paid for college for the two kids and now one is a lawyer and one a teacher and one still lives in the area and one far away.

Groups like Safe Harbor are the best and worst that can happen. The small independent operator number will go down. However, quality marinas will be salvaged. That does mean ultimately higher rates though.
Understood.

It does seem, however that “safe harbor” refers more to the investors’ money than to the destination.
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Old 05-27-2021, 10:58 PM   #64
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Understood.

It does seem, however that “safe harbor” refers more to the investors’ money than to the destination.
Well, the investor is now Sun Communities.
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:35 AM   #65
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Thanks. I don't have any questions. I was responding to another person's inquiry. I was only stating what I was told by the local marina's managing representative. That is the only fact I was commenting on. Have a good day.
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:50 AM   #66
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"No shirts, no shoes, no boats over 20 years old."

"This is my house. If you wish to stay here, you must follow my rules."

If you dont like my rules, you have 2 options.
1. find some other place to dock
2. buy the marina and then you can set the rules.
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:49 AM   #67
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You have a keen grasp on the obvious.
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:02 AM   #68
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You have a keen grasp on the obvious.
Yup, but sometime we over look the obvious and easiest solution.

I guess one could become an investor. That may influence their decision..... but then, as Groucho Marx said, "I don't want to be a member of any club that would have me for a member."

I am not agreeing with their policy/rule of Safe Harbor but, it's not our property.
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:49 AM   #69
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Yup, but sometime we over look the obvious and easiest solution.

I guess one could become an investor. That may influence their decision..... but then, as Groucho Marx said, "I don't want to be a member of any club that would have me for a member."

I am not agreeing with their policy/rule of Safe Harbor but, it's not our property.
But once again, Safe Harbor has no such policy.
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:55 PM   #70
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We have our boat at a Safe Harbor's marina here in San Diego. We looked at every marina and bang for the buck they were the best. Not cheap, but not expensive, just a good value all around. I don't hold much value in being a "member", that seems to be more marketing than anything. The reciprocal agreement would be nice, but they have a thin presence on the West Coast so probably not valuable. They just remodeled the restrooms and they look very high-end. Docks are well maintained and people there are very happy with the management. The general manager, a woman named Debbie is a firecracker and is on top of the place like no other marina. What is not to like about this arrangement?
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Old 08-02-2023, 04:39 PM   #71
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Large corporations are responsible first to their investors, stock holders, executives and board members, tenants exist to support these entities who add no value to the facilities and, from my experience with corporate takeovers of marinas, are clueless as to the special needs of the boating community or the attention to the detail of maintenance and care of marina facilities. I would be skeptical of any 'Safe Harbor' property without carefully vetting the management of the facility and their ability to respond to situations without climbing a corporate Purchase Order Request for Service and repair ladder. In our previous marina it took 5 weeks to get 2 fluorescent tubes replaced in the restrooms. After the request was sent in and the various 'suits' looked it over for approval and the electrician was contracted to come out I estimated that it cost close to $1000 to replace two $2 tubes that any of us could have done in our home for $4 and a few minutes of our time. The kicker was that the Harbormaster had spares in his office but the corp required 'procedure' Bigger is not always better.
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Old 08-02-2023, 04:58 PM   #72
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I would be skeptical of any 'Safe Harbor' property without carefully vetting the management of the facility...
To be fair, for the most part, Safe Harbors seems to run the marinas they take over pretty well, for their target customer base. They go upscale. There will be nice facilities, maybe a pool, spa, that kind of thing. They're not DIY yards. They're after a wealthier clientele.

Apparently, that's where the market is going.
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Old 08-03-2023, 08:38 AM   #73
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To be fair, for the most part, Safe Harbors seems to run the marinas they take over pretty well, for their target customer base. They go upscale. There will be nice facilities, maybe a pool, spa, that kind of thing. They're not DIY yards. They're after a wealthier clientele.

Apparently, that's where the market is going.

I am a member at a private club with a facility next door which has been sold to SH. They have spent a ton of money upgrading what was already a decent place. The local staff has been friendly (they got rid of one manager that had been kind of a PIA in the past) and amenable to cooperation between their facility and ours, within the confines of corporate allowances.
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Old 08-03-2023, 08:43 AM   #74
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To be fair, for the most part, Safe Harbors seems to run the marinas they take over pretty well, for their target customer base. They go upscale. There will be nice facilities, maybe a pool, spa, that kind of thing. They're not DIY yards. They're after a wealthier clientele.

Apparently, that's where the market is going.

Some of that comes from the involvement of Jack Brewer I think. He already ran a pretty big group of marinas (Brewer Yacht Yards) that was considered to be mostly well run. And he's a boater. So as much as they're big and corporate, SH isn't clueless about boating like some companies may be.
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Old 08-03-2023, 09:43 AM   #75
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Cat in post #74 pegged it. Have used SH and Brewers over the years. Was dissatisfied with every Brewers after SH took it over. Anything corporate is. PIA and more expensive, more cumbersome and less flexible. Want only to be in service yards with a travel lift. Unfortunately they’re getting harder to find. Want to be in a mom and pop where they know and care about me and my boat. They have some interest in my being there year after year. Like Honey Bear SH just don’t care. Selling lifestyle which I don’t use but pay for and mostly interested in maximizing billing opportunities. You have no security staff won’t change week to week.

If you can support local businesses . Use locally owned owned small service yards rather than any corporate chain whenever possible.
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Old 08-03-2023, 05:47 PM   #76
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Some of that comes from the involvement of Jack Brewer I think...
I didn't realize he was still involved. Brewer marinas used to be pretty good, if near the top of the price scale. It does seem like SH is following that path.

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...Use locally owned owned small service yards rather than any corporate chain whenever possible.
It's often not possible.

My home marina is a member-owned club. I think this is the only viable alternative left to the big corporate marinas. The few remaining Mom-and-Pop operations will be bought up by condo developers or corporate marinas. It's inevitable. The only other option would be for the customers at a given marina to band together, buy the place and run it as a club or dockominium. That's the only way their interests are going to be put ahead of shareholders.

I'd like to see this become more common. I don't know how to make it happen though.
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Old 08-03-2023, 06:11 PM   #77
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I didn't realize he was still involved. Brewer marinas used to be pretty good, if near the top of the price scale. It does seem like SH is following that path.
He was one of the founders of Safe Harbor and last I knew, he's still on the board.
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Old 09-05-2023, 02:28 PM   #78
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Im a safe harbor member and have been for some time. My boat is 54 years old but that is not an issue with them.

I just got home from a one month cruise of New England where I stayed at LOTS of other Safe Harbor marinas for free. These included:
Capri, Port Washington NY
Branford CT (ex Brewers)
Wickford RI
Warwick RI
Newport Shipyard RI
Greenport NY


Not only could I be a short term guest for free, now I get my fuel at their cost which is a major saving.

Each Marina is different and some have more helpful staff than others but I'm happy with the service on the whole.

I did stay at a Marina in Provincetown for two nights that was not Safe Harbor. $400 a night, and no better than SH.
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Old 09-05-2023, 02:38 PM   #79
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I just got home from a one month cruise of New England where I stayed at LOTS of other Safe Harbor marinas for free.

Next time try the SH in Montauk - had a great time there too and it was gorgeous in terms of beauty...


Once in 2022 I tweaked a prop in Islamorada and had to stay 6 nights - all free nights but I had to pay for the travel lift (SH did not own the lift) to get my boat out and prop off my shaft...


I have nothing but good things to say about Safe Harbor.
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Old 02-11-2024, 05:23 PM   #80
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I'm not a Safe Harbor member, but I am a Looper. I was recently at Aqua Yacht Harbor, Iuka, Mississippi (it is where Tennessee River joins Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway) for haul out and bottom job (along with a few small maintenance items). At the time I arrived there was a glut of southbound Loopers arriving, so Aqua had a back log of service and haul out requests. I had to wait about 8 weeks for haul out. The work took 3 weeks (delayed in part by sub zero weather). I was not charged a penny for slip since their procedure is to not charge for those boats waiting for haul out. All I paid was electric. The yard bill was less than I anticipated. The service department was attentive, although a little hard to get in touch with over Christmas Holidays. The dock I was on was in good shape (mostly). Would I go back for service, yes. Rumor has it that Aqua has one of the lowest long-term docking rates of all the Safe Harbor locations. My boating buddy decided to over-winter there, and will keep the slip as he travels the Loop so as to get the Safe Harbor transient deal and fuel-at-cost.

As I head out on The Loop I will reconsider getting a membership for the benefits is provides as I move along the route.
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