As Dan High strolls through the campus of the Rose Marco River Marina, he thinks back on how far the facilities have come in the last three to five years. High as the General Manager for the island’s only direct access marina, reflecting on the work that has been accomplished and the additional work to that lays ahead.
Hurricane Irma is still fresh in the minds of High and many of his employees. “We were confident the plans for the new state of the art boat barn would survive, but there was always that daunting thought in the backs of our mind. I still have a vivid picture in my mind as we recall securing these huge doors which would keep out the winds we knew would be coming and smiling broadly after the storm had moved north of the island,” High explained.
That was two years and four months ago and High is philosophical as he speaks to the necessary repairs and renovations that were made after the storm. “The new building didn’t sustain any major damage, however, other aspects of our facilities did require a great deal of work in the weeks, months and years after the storm,” commented High.
One of the projects they have been contemplating and finally brought to reality was the installation of twelve boat lifts in an area which they had discussed installing floating docks. “After reviewing the benefits of the lifts versus the floating docks we came to a business decision to install the lifts based upon our customer needs. In a saltwater environment, our customers would prefer to have their boats out of the water versus sitting in the water. This also gives them access to those boats on a 24/7 basis,” said High. He then proudly pointed to six of the 20,000lbs capacity lifts in addition to another six 40,000lbs capacity lifts. “We only have two available,” High said with a huge grin.
Another area that High is proud of is in the re-engineering of the cement runway which extends from the boat barn to the water’s edge. This was made necessary due to the heavier boats they are now storing and the size of the fork-lifts necessary to move those boats around the yard in addition to the large travel lift required to move boats from the water to this new area. That area encompasses approximately 8500 square ft. of new 5000psi concrete, poured to a depth of 14 inches with rebar reinforcement.
They have also installed a new stormwater system utilizing a StormTech Subsurface Management Chamber System which holds the “first flush” of any rainfall. It is this “first flush” of any rain event that finds most of the debris and oils which are diverted into a specially designed chamber system and then into a drain field for further percolation prior to being released.
Another area where the marina is using technology to help with the environment lies in their specially designed power washing station which treats and “recycles” the water utilized to clean boats. A special pad was designed, and trenches pitched to collect any of the solid debris and then move the liquid through a multi-staged closed-loop system to provide reclaimed water for continued use for cleaning boats. Heavy solids can then be collected and disposed of properly.
About a year ago, one of the fueling docks had suffered major damage and those facilities were recently replaced with a 95-foot-long floating dock which will facilitate the refueling of larger boats without having to wind their way into the boat basin, which fuels some of the smaller boats and their large rental fleet. Pump out facilities will also be available at that new docking area.
The marina is also looking at building a new restroom/shower facility for those boaters who are in-transit and make Marco Island a stop in their trips either northbound or on a southerly trip into the Keys or beyond. It will sit where the old offices did prior to moving into the new boat-barn building which also housed bathrooms and shower facilities that were outdated.
During the last two years they have also replaced the older gasoline and diesel fuel tanks near the shrimp shack. High also reported that boat sales have far exceeded their expectations and the remodeled ships store is also doing quite well, as well as boat rentals.
For more information about the marina, you may visit their website at www.rosemarina.com or stop by and visit them at 951 Bald Eagle Drive.