First Fully Automated Smart Marina Opens In Florida

Read more on this property in Marina Dock Age’s November 2019 issue here

Gulf Star Marina, Southwest Florida’s first fully automated “smart marina,” is now open on Fort Myers Beach.

Developed by Carroll Properties, Gulf Star Marina is the first in the world to feature Austrian-based LTW’s stacker crane technology that delivers vessels from storage racks to the water within minutes. Boat owners can use an app to schedule their estimated arrival time, and a computer-operated system will safely transport boats from storage to the water using lifts and a rail system, similar to a high-tech vending machine. The automated storage and retrieval (ASAR) technology replaces forklifts traditionally used in dry dock storage marinas.

The 29,000-square-foot, multi-level marina is built inside a reinforced concrete structure offering superior protection from fire, wind, and rain. It replaced an aging steel facility built in the 1970s.

GCM Contracting Solutions of Fort Myers was the project’s general contractor. MHK Architecture & Planning of Naples provided design services.

In addition to secure dry storage, Gulf Star Marina’s concierge services include boat fueling and cleaning, as well as access to the Captain’s Club that features a lounge, big-screen TV, computer station and fully equipped locker room with showers. Through the Boat Cloud app, boat owners can pre-order food, snacks, drinks and ice, and Gulf Star Marina staff will have items ready to go upon owners’ arrival. Additionally, public access to the marina includes a fueling station and Ship Store.

Located at 708 Fisherman’s Wharf, adjacent to Doc Ford’s restaurant, Gulf Star Marina began accepting reservations while under construction and anticipates reaching capacity in the coming months.