Southern Marinas Continues Expansion in FloridaPublished on May 26, 2020
Since the beginning of the year, North Palm Beach based Southern Marinas has acquired four Florida marinas, bringing its total number of Sunshine State marinas to six.
Southern Marinas closed on the purchase of Fish-Tale Marina on February 20. The facility, which has been in business since 1958, was owned for the last 35 years by Al and Kathy Durrett, who agreed to stay on through Florida’s peak season to assist with the transition. The Durretts also will continue to lease and operate the Fish-Tale Restaurant on site.
“Fish-Tale Marina is a premiere destination on Fort Myers Beach,” said Barry Miller, regional manager for Southern Marinas. “Al and Kathy are an integral part of the community and have built a very successful business that offers a multitude of amenities.”
The full-service marina includes 244 dry stack slips, 80 wet slips, a fuel dock, ship’s store, boat tours, charter operations, service center, and restaurant. Its location within Estero Bay aquatic preserve offers easy access to the Gulf of Mexico.
The marina attracts a mix of local, transient and long-term customers. “Fort Myers enjoys a healthy, vibrant high season from November to July with tourists flocking in from all over the globe,” said Miller. “The quieter summer allows the locals to have some fun in the sun without the crowds.” The marina features a large rental fleet and boat charters that allow vacationers and locals access to the water. Many “snowbirders” call the marina home during the winter.
Southern Marinas plans to upgrade some of the marina amenities to enhance the customer experience. “The boating industry is leaning towards larger center console boats, and we are currently evaluating how we can better cater to that market while still looking after the existing customer base,” Miller said.
The company will also continue the environmentally-safe practices that have earned Fish-Tale recognition as a Clean & Resilient Marina. “We ensure our employees are provided with training and have developed a response team to protect our customers and the environment around us,” said Miller. “These stringent procedures ensure the team are equipped to handle issues that can arise from fueling, handling waste water, storm water and how to response and prepare when threatened by emergencies like hurricanes.”
“We are very fortunate that the Durrett family selected Southern Marinas to continue their legacy at Fish-Tale Marina,” and Andrew Gendron, principal and chief investment officer with Southern Marinas.
Aqua Marine Properties
In mid-March, Southern Marinas purchased from Aqua Marine Partners the Hi-Lift Marina in Aventura, Hidden Harbour in Pompano Beach and Palm Harbor in Cape Haze.
“We are excited to add these premier marinas to our rapidly growing portfolio,” said Gendron. “Our overall goal is to continue to expand the Southern Marinas platform through the purchase of key locations. Our team is always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities like this one from Aqua Marine.”
The historic landmark Hi-Lift Marina is located just off the Intracoastal Waterway and offers full-service dry storage operations, a showroom of new boats, a boat club and yacht brokerage facilities.
Hidden Harbour is a full-service dry storage marina that can accommodate boats up to 43 feet and is capable of withstanding hurricane winds up to 140 miles per hour. The marina sits next to a new mixed-use community being developed by Aqua Marine Partners.
Palm Harbour is a boutique-resort style marina featuring dry stack storage for vessels up to 40 feet and wet slips accommodating boats up to 65 feet. The marina’s amenities include the popular Johnny Leverock’s Seafood Restaurant.
Southern Marinas Holdings, LLC, founded in 2018, is the owner and operator of 10 properties located in the southeastern United States. Their leadership team has more than 75 years of combined experience and specializes in marina acquisition and management.