Southern Marinas Expands to North Carolina

Southern Marinas has now dropped anchor in Beaufort with the purchase of the company’s first marina in North Carolina.

Southern Marinas Holdings, LLC, a partnership between a New York-based private investment firm and Southern Marinas, acquired The Boathouse at Front Street Village on August 1. In May of this year, Southern purchased two Florida marinas, Riverwatch Marina in Stuart and Bradenton Boat Club in Cortez. The company also owns Choto Marina in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Dale Hollow State Park Marina in Burkesville, Kentucky.

“Southern’s charter is to acquire best-in-class marinas in strategic areas throughout the country,” said Gary Rosmarin, principal and chief operations officer. “Our first acquisitions were in Florida, and we were looking to expand into the Carolinas. The acquisition of The Boathouse achieves both of those objectives.”

Bucky and Wendy Oliver began developing The Boathouse in 2008 with a 200-bay dry storage barn and a clubhouse that includes a catering and event facility, office space and a ship’s store. In 2018, the facility completed the second dry storage building to meet the growing demand for quality dry storage in the area. The marina now offers a total of 500 dry storage slips and can accommodate boats up to 43 feet, and also includes 36 wet slips for boats up to 100 feet.

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“The marina has a broad reach serving local customers as well as boaters that travel 2 to 3 hours from the greater Raleigh-Durham area and other parts of the state,” said Rick Thomas, vice president of operations. “We host transient customers in our wet slips, but our drystack customers are annual rentals.”

The Boathouse provides boaters an on-site service department, fuel dock, restrooms with shower facilities, Wi-Fi access and ample parking. “The Chandlery” is a fully-stocked ship’s store and considered the area’s best wine shop. The marina offers a complimentary “Tee Time Haul & Splash” allowing members to call ahead or use the Boatcloud app on their phones to schedule a launch time. Their boat will be fueled, provisioned and waiting for them in the water when they arrive.

The Olivers continue to own the nearby Beaufort Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, and the 34° North restaurant, which are added amenities for marina customers.

Rosmarin said Southern doesn’t have any plans at this time to make improvements to the property. “We are very fortunate that this marina is in pristine condition and the members’ boating experience is enhanced by access to a beautiful swimming pool located at the adjacent hotel and the 34o North restaurant serving some of the finest food in the area,” Thomas said.

The Boathouse is a certified North Carolina Clean Marina and strives to meet the state’s green marina standards. “At The Boathouse, there are several things we do on a continual basis to adhere to the standards of being clean and green,” Thomas said. Some of those procedures include ensuring that spillways are kept clean, fuel retaining areas are maintained, all chemicals are stored correctly and have double redundant storage so that if one fails the other will ensure that nothing dangerous leaks into the water. The fish-cleaning stations have strainers in the table to ensure that only water goes back into the ocean.

“Southern Marinas address critical environmental issues by ensuring employees and boaters alike are aware of the sensitivity of the marine environment,” Rosmarin said. “In doing so creating a culture for good habits for the handling of waste, disposal of hazardous materials, stormwater, etc. Our facility has a trained emergency response team ready to respond to any threats posed to the marine environment.”

Front Street Village

The marina is an integral part of Front Street Village, a residential, resort lifestyle community that includes single-family cottages and townhomes.

“We are fortunate to acquire such a wonderful asset in a great boating market,” said Andrew Gendron, principal and chief investment officer with Southern Marinas. “The Boathouse is the perfect addition to our growing portfolio of marinas that will extend our footprint into the North Carolina market.”

The marina amenities coupled with its location make Front Street Village a boater’s destination. The Boathouse is located minutes from the heart of downtown Beaufort, the fourth oldest city in North Carolina, and offers easy access to the Intercoastal Waterway, the area’s best beaches and the Atlantic Ocean.

“In addition to the hotel and restaurant, the city of Beaufort has excellent restaurants, kayak and paddleboard rentals, and locally owned shops with gifts and clothing,” said Thomas. “There are also excellent golf courses in the area and the Rachel Carson Reserve is right across from the marina. The reserve is comprised of several islands, salt marshes, wild horses and other wildlife.”