I have been racking my brain to try and figure out how to help our local marina’s stay healthy during this ship wreck. This is the their peak time, and Marina’s are not huge profit centers. So there isn’t a lot of financial cushion there. Especially the smaller ones. Most of the smaller Marinas are family owned and passion owned.
And we can imagine that over the next couple weeks, all recreational boating will be stopped. Many states are doing it already. Is it about old wood boats rumbling around? I doubt it. We are so under the radar of social gathering. And I know we see the world of boating though our little filter. But boating is huge, and with a great economy and low fuel prices was due for a whopper year. So guess what? Marina’s and boat retailers stocked up.. Bigtime. We just had a new Boston Whaler store open up near us here. OUCH.
So, here is the question of the day. How can we help our small family owned marinas? The ones that provide fuel and smiles. The ones that come drag us home, keep us fed, keep us serviced and ready, that store our boats over the winter. And get them ready for the summer. Yes, I know some marinas don’t want old wood boats. But many do, and share our passion.
To get the ball rolling I made a list of 10 ideas. Some are maybe not all that great. And am looking for your ideas. And a mind shift on your part. THINK OF THEM through how they may be seeing the world.
- Pay it forward. Go to the Marina and just hand them the usual amount of money you spend during the year.
- If you are a supplier of these Marinas, as it parts, repairs etc. Offer them a huge discount on repairs. You get to work, they get to get stuff done and you will have a loyal customer for life. YOU ARE IN THIS TOGETHER.
- If you work for a Marina, talk to your boss, offer to furlo yourself. If it’s a family operation, trust me.. TRUST ME, as a business owner they are doing everything they can to support you, make life easier on them, show you care. Offer to stay and help for a reduced pay. Think like an owner, not an worker.
- TIP! last night we got a $15 Pizza and tipped $20. Yup. Sales are down. TIPS are deeply appreciated. And are on the top money. As in no labor or cost of goods. And cash tips.. Well..
- If possible get all the crap done on your boat you keep putting off. If the Marina had to close. There are employees out of work. See if you can hire one of the people to work on your boat at your house? CASH.
- Buy the parts from them direct, pay retail you cheap ass, and do the work yourself. What the hell else are ya gonna be doing. But buy the materials from them. They have it. Think restaurants. They get supplies, like toilet paper and paper towels from suppliers. If you buy from them and work around the grocery stores? Think out of the box here. Parts mark up is a money maker for your marina.
- If you know the family, call them and ask how you can help them. They may need something you had no idea they needed.
- To you, boating is a free time thing, a way to relax and play. TO them it’s a livelihood, a job, and work. You are their paycheck. Just a reminder
- Start a fund raising effort around the lake, river to help support them. They wont do it. But you can.
- The Wood Boat community is a special community. We care on a deep level for the art of boating. Helping your local marina, even if they have pushed you out for pontoon boats, may help balance the universe.
Thats all I have, I wish I had a Silver Bullet or Silver Pill to make this not ..well..like this. But it is, and I just keep thinking, WE ARE LITERALLY IN THE SAME BOAT TOGETHER. If we all row in the same direction, we will get out of it. So grab an oar, and start paddling. NO, not that way, this way. UGH!