Tag Archives: boating

Port will discuss sale of Bremerton waterfront property Tuesday

Parkignlot_7988144_ver1.0_640_480Port of Bremerton commissioners will discuss the terms of an agreement Tuesday to sell a premier waterfront development property above Bremerton Marina.

According to port CEO Jim Rothlin, the commission is weighing a $4.5 million offer from development firm Sound West Group to purchase the Washington Avenue property. By law, the port can’t sell the land for less than fair market value.

Sound West partner Mike Brown told me the firm is interested in creating a mixed-use development on the 2-acre site.

The port bought the land from Kitsap Consolidated Housing Authority in 2009 for $3.5 million to provide parking for the marina. The district put the property on the market last year with an asking price of $5 million. bremerton-property

Port CEO Jim Rothlin said the goal of the sale would be to pay off the debt from the purchase while still maintaining parking for boaters.

“At the time of the purchase the port’s intent was always to see development occur there at some point that would help increase growth and economic development for the community,” Rothlin said prior to a Nov. 8 public hearing on the potential sale.

“But the priority was really to make sure we secured parking for the marina and were able to pay off debt on that property as well.”

South Kitsap resident Roger Gay was the only member of the public to offer comment. He urged commissioners to be upfront with the public about the process and the potential impact development of the property might have on the marina.

“You need to have those answers no ahead of time as much as possible,” Gay said.

Port commissioners vowed to only agree to a sale if parking for the marina was preserved.

The commission will review a purchase and sale agreement for the property at its regular meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bremerton National Airport. Approval of the port’s 2017 budget also is on the agenda.

Bremerton Marina now 85 percent full

harbor3_18647849_ver1.0_640_480Bremerton Marina crept closer to full occupancy this summer.

Boats filled 187 of 221 permanent moorage slips in the downtown marina in July, up from 164 in July of 2015, and 88 back in 2012. July and August are peak months for the facility.

Marina marketing consultant Bob Wise told Port of Bremerton commissioners Tuesday that the port’s “two-for-one” moorage discount continues to reel in boaters.

The deal allows tenants to pay moorage every other month, if they agree to a two-year contract.

The port rolled out the discount in 2013, and offered it again at the Seattle Boat Show in January. That resulted in 31 new leases, Wise said.

Most tenants are sticking around to sign full-rate contracts after their two-year discounts expire. The retainment rate for boaters attracted by the two-for-one deal is about 70 percent, Wise said.

The discount “gives us an opportunity to showcase what we have to offer,” he said.

More downtown activity is also helping draw attention to the marina. A revamped Rock the Dock concert series drew large crowds this summer (the last concert of the season is Saturday). Brewfest and the Harbor Festival are popular with boaters.

The port continues to aggressively plug the marina on social media, in magazine ads, and at boat shows. Revenue has increased as slips filled up, but the facility is still far from breaking even.

Boat sales are back in a big way

20080627-173841-pic-90777257_5695367_ver1.0_640_480It’s hard to beat boat sales as an indicator of luxury spending.

Boats are typically expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, and expensive to use. In short, owning a boat is a great way to dispose of disposable income.

With the exception of live-aboards, maritime professionals and remote island dwellers, very few boat owners can claim to really need their boats.

Like sales of many other luxury goods, boat sales took a dive during the recession. Droves of underwater boat owners literally walked away from their vessels.

20070619-190929-pic-800119525_5727290_ver1.0_640_480Now the boating industry is rising from the depths. Boat sales seemed to turn a corner in 2013, as I noted  in a story a couple of springs ago.

Sales continued to grow during the past two years, likely buoyed by the improving economy, falling gas prices and long, hot summers.

Puget Sound Business Journal reported this week that more than a quarter of Washington households own a boat, and sales in the state jumped 24 percent in 2015.

harbor3_18647849_ver1.0_640_480We don’t have access to boat sales as a dollar amount here in Kitsap, but we do know how many vessels were sold to people who keep their boats in the county, thanks to data from Washington Sea Grant and the Northwest Marine Trade Association.

By their count, total boat sales for Kitsap increased 21 percent between 2010 (when activity bottomed out) and 2015. The rebound of new boats sales was more dramatic, jumping 102 percent over the same period.

New vessels accounted for 12 percent of Kitsap boat sales in 2015. The data include all power boats and sailboats with titles (so no kayaks or paddle boards).

Here’s a graphic showing boat sales for Kitsap since 2009:

New Eagle Harbor Marina owner plans overhaul

eagle.harborA new owner has acquired majority interest in Bainbridge Island’s Eagle Harbor Marina, and plans a major rebuild.

The new owner of the 105-slip marina is Eagle Harbor Partners, LLP, headed by islander Bob Wise. Wise said the popular facility was built in 1980 and needs some work.

“Our first effort will be to completely rebuild the facility,” Wise said in an announcement. “The current facilities are literally worn-out. When finished, the marina will offer industry leading amenities and environmental protections as part of Washington State’s Clean Marina Program.”

eagle.harbor.marinaThe overhaul will include new docks, pilings, electrical hardware, Wi-Fi and in-slip pump out, along with an upgraded security system. Wise said the work will be completed this winter.

Slips at the marina range from 30 feet to 90 feet. The onshore property includes bathrooms, showers, laundry storage and a 50-stall parking lot.

Separately, Wise owns the Home Port Marina in Brinnon, and Port Hadlock Marina. He’s the director of the Recreational Boaters Association of Washington and member of a number of other boating association. Wise also serves a marina marketing consultant for the Port of Bremerton.

Port launches free Wi-Fi at marinas

Boaters can now surf the web while snug in their slips at the Bremerton and Port Orchard public marinas.

The Port of Bremerton has launched a free Wi-Fi service at both Sinclair Inlet marinas, according to a Monday announcement.

“Studies have shown, and our customers have repeatedly told us that the number one utility they value bar none is connectivity,” port CEO Jim Rothlin said in the announcement. “It’s also the number one frustration they have with marinas as it can so often be weak, slow and unreliable.

The network provides a 125-megabyte-per-second access link shared by both facilities, which can be scaled up to 1 gigabyte-per-second as demand increases.

marina_23283854_ver1.0_640_480The system can accommodate up to 1,000 devices at a time. Service is provided by NW Commnet of Bremerton. 

In an email, Rothlin said the agency spent about $150,000 installing a fiber optic backbone and Wi-Fi system at both marinas.

Hardware chosen for the network had to be especially rugged to survive in the corrosive marine environment.

“I would say the biggest challenges were getting coverage through all parts each marina, dealing with getting coverage within covered moorage, and keeping the connection across the two marinas as the tide goes in and out,” Rothlin said. 

The full announcement, with more technical info, is posted below:  Continue reading

Port of Bremerton raises covered moorage rents, late fees

Rents are going up for covered moorage tenants at the Port Orchard Marina.

Port of Bremerton commissioners approved a 5 percent rate hike for covered slips at their Tuesday meeting. Rents for the coveted spaces were below the industry standard, according to port staff.

The adjustment will raise rent on a 36-foot slip from about $306 a month to about $321. Revenue from the 158 covered slips will increase by $12,325 a year. See the PDF below for a full breakdown. The increase takes effect June 1.

Commissioners also approved increases to late fees for tenants across all port facilities. Late payments were a growing nuisance, according to port staff, who are tired of spending time collecting money from the same tardy tenants each month.

Late fees will increase from 1.5 percent with a $20 minimum, to 1.5 percent with a $40 minimum. The increase also takes effect June 1. Continue reading