According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10 years ago there were roughly 8,200 U.S. marinas; by 2002, there were 12,000 marinas, boatyards, yacht clubs, “dockominiums’, etc., including The Reserve Harbor Yacht Club (RHYC) in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, where significant facility upgrades were just announced, according to pitchline.com’s November 2 posting.
Situated on the portion of the Intercoastal Waterway known as the Waccamaw River, the RHYC is 20 miles north of Georgetown (SC), and boasts a full-service marina, open to both members and the public. Thanks to its recent upgrades, the marina now offers more than 200 slips in its 31,350 square-foot enclosed, dry storage facility, in addition to 50 wet slips (ranging from 25-75 feet), with access to power and water, gas and diesel, and a ship’s store. Just last month, 2 new pontoon boats (which can be rented for full or half-day excursions) were added to RHYC’s offering as well.
Full-service marinas, like the one at the RHYC, are highly profitable; in 2001, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated marina revenues at $3.26 billion.
Marina product sales are derived from a myriad of sources: slip and building fees, fuel (diesel, gasoline, propane and alcohol); engine oil, marine and grocery goods, electronics, custom-built equipment, and boats. Services offered at most full-service marinas include boat washing/cleaning; wood, fiberglass, rigging, engine, and propeller painting, maintenance/repair; haul outs; and diving (to repair a propeller, scrape barnacles off the boat’s hull, etc.). The demanding cruising community tends to “seek out” these full-service marinas that offer a plethora of amenities which can include everything from safe tie-ups, to dock hand and concierge service, to water, electricity, television and Wi-Fi, and especially free “pump outs” (sewage pumping.)
Approximately 70% of all marinas (including RHYC’s) are privately-owned, profit-making businesses that sell services (like the ones listed above) to the public, while the other 30% percent are municipal, state, and federal government marinas (which means they are available to the public at no or minimal cost.)
The RHYC is owned and operated by Morningstar Properties, LLC, a privately-held, vertically-integrated full-service establishment that acquires, develops, operates and redevelops self storage and marina properties throughout the US. Having begun their Marin Division in 2004, Morningstar now owns 10 marinas along the mid-Atlantic/Southeastern coast.