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Marina Business Plan [Sample Template]

Do you want to start a marina and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a detailed sample marina business plan template & FREE feasibility report.

When creating or putting together a detailed business plan for this business, there are many things to consider. This will include the total cost of building the facility, the capacity of the marina, any amenities you will be offering, and the business capital structure.

Note that the Business model of this business is not as easy as just storing boats or yachts. For example, some marinas in the united states also offer yacht sales and servicing, while some also offer other upend amenities like lodging and hotels.

But one unique thing about this business is that the model you choose will factor in your construction costs and form the basis in terms of the payroll staff requirements, maintenance, and guest services. You can altogether decide to offer luxury treatment and services or choose to just store and dock yachts with minimal requirements and costs.

A Sample Marina Business Plan Template

1. Industry Overview

Businesses in this industry majorly offer docking or storage facilities for pleasure boats. According to reports, demand in this industry is primarily driven by ownership rates for power boats and sailboats. The profitability and success of businesses in this industry depends on choosing a suitable location and good marketing strategies.

Bigger companies in this industry have the incentives to advertise and negotiate better prices with vendors, suppliers, builders, and all maintenance they require.

While smaller businesses can compete favourably by offering specific and customized services to a specific target market. Reports have it that the United States industry is highly fragmented as the top 50 businesses in the industry account for over 20% of industry revenue.

Worldwide spending on leisure boats, which in turn creates a demand for marinas, is expected to grow from about $8.5 billion in 2018 to $56.3 billion by 2026. Reports have it that the United States and Europe are the world two largest recreational boating regions, accounting for over 80% of the global market.

Additionally, the Middle East is classified as a massively growing market due to the major waterfront projects in the region. Statistically, the United States marina industry includes over 3,800 businesses with combine annual revenue of about $5 billion.

2. Executive Summary

The Michigan Marine market has fast outpaced the United States Marine industry growth rates consistently for the past three years. The rapid growth in the Michigan Marine industry has also increased the demand for storage facilities and other Support Services.

Watershed In. will be founded and promoted by Tony Crane, and will target the lucrative recreational boat storage and service market. Tony Crane has considerable experience in marina operation as well as in maintenance and boat storage.

The development of this marina in Traverse City, Michigan capitalizes on the natural beauty of the city’s coastline and provides visitors and residents with increased recreational, environmental and commercial opportunities has been a long held vision of the city.

Current data shows a strong demand for boating facilities linked to high levels of boat ownership within the region. Existing boat launching facilities are considered over utilized and present their own constraints in the city’s tourism industry.

Watershed inc. will provide sheltered anchorage and safe ocean access for recreational and commercial crafts and provide the opportunity for establishing marine based industries. Complementing this marina is a need for quality public spaces and facilities to enable the broader community and tourists to enjoy social and recreational experiences by the water.

At Watershed inc., we would differentiate our marina from the competition by incorporating service excellence into the fabric of our culture to consistently exceed existing industry standards for customer service. Our team at Watershed inc. would be hired for their superior technical experience, out of the box thinking, excellent work ethic and customer centric attitude.

Our management boasts of excellent experience in the industry and is intimately familiar with customers needs. We would also invest into IT systems to bring the best available predictive and voyage planning technologies to our customers.

We also plan to partner with established global players in the industry to extend our reach worldwide and also to benefit from being associated with a recognized global brand. Strategic partnerships would also provide us with the platform to provide niche services to customers at any location.

At Watershed inc., we have identified a lucrative market segment to target, in the most attractive Marine market in the world. We strongly believe that our exceptional capabilities will uniquely position Watershed inc. to be a successful, fast growing business.

3. Our Products and Services

At Watershed inc., we plan to offer our services to customers as a package under long term contracts and also on a per use basis.

It is expected that the revenue in the initial years would largely be from per-use services. As our business brand gains recognition, more long term contracts would be signed. We propose to develop a marina with minimum capacity of 50 boat pens including 20 pens within this funded stage.

Associated infrastructure with the marina includes a 2 lane boat ramp, breakwaters, revetments, separate channel (marked and dredged as required), refuelling jetty (excluding a service jetty) and tank farm. Our proposal also includes a number of land-based components:

  • Vehicle and trailer parking to accommodate a 2 lane boat ramp including boat and fish cleaning facilities
  • Serviced site for marine associated uses (i.e. boat repair and service)
  • Serviced caravan park site (internal servicing, roads and improvements to be provided by others)
  • A public square incorporating up to 3 serviced retail / commercial sites and the existing yacht club

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision at Watershed inc. is to be a globally respected provider of recreational boats storage and service facility, commanding the largest market share in Michigan.
  • At Watershed inc., our mission is to deliver storage and service excellence to recreational boat owners, at any location across the world.

Our Business Structure

Mr Tony Crane will work as the CEO of the marina for the first three years for a minimal salary of $32,000 in exchange for his energy and expertise. Our board of directors that comprises of marina and business experts will be compensated for their services by a return of profits on their investment.

Two storage and maintenance staff will work the storage and docks for the first year compensated solely by commissions earned on a 5% pay scale. Additionally, three mechanics, specializing in sailboats and yachts, will be paid $4,800 monthly.

The mechanics’ salaries will steadily increase every year by 5% to reflect the increased human capital acquired by the mechanics’ maintenance experience with our vehicles and our photovoltaic cells. The maintenance and secretarial staff will take care of administrative matters and facility decorum. Below are the professionals we plan to employ at Watershed Inc.

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Marina Storage Manager
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Boat Mechanics
  • Information technologist
  • Accountants/Cashiers
  • Maintenance and Secretarial staffs
  • Cleaners

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer

  • Enhance company’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counselling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • Tasked with fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Tasked with providing direction for the business
  • Establishes, communicates, and implements the marina’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall marina’s strategy.
  • Charged with signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the marina

Admin and HR Manager

  • Tasked with overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the marina
  • Tasked with maintaining office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Makes sure operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out induction for new team members
  • Tasked with training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Tasked with arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversee the smooth running of the daily office cum business activitie

Marina Storage Manager

  • Tasked with managing the daily activities in the marina
  • Ensures that proper records of boats are kept.
  • Ensures that the marina facility is in tip top shape and boats are properly arranged and easy to locate
  • Interfaces with third – party suppliers (vendors)
  • Controls distribution and supply chain inventory
  • Supervise the workforce in the marina

Marina Marketing Manager

  • Takes care of external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the marinas’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Models demographic information and analyse the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts
  • Tasked with supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents the company in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for the company


  • Find out mechanical problems, often by using computerized diagnostic equipment
  • Test parts and systems to ensure that they are working properly
  • Repair or replace worn parts
  • Disassemble and reassemble parts
  • Use testing equipment to ensure that repairs and maintenance are effective
  • Explain to client the boat problems and the repairs done
  • Adhere to checklists to ensure that all critical parts are examined
  • Do basic care and maintenance

Information Technologist

  • Manages the marina website
  • Handles ecommerce aspect of the business
  • Tasked with installing and maintenance of computer software and hardware for the marina
  • Manages logistics and supply chain software, Web servers, e-commerce software and POS (point of sale) systems
  • Manages the marina’s CCTVS
  • Handles any other technological and IT related duties


  • Tasked with preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the marina
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Tasked with financial forecasting and risks analysis
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
  • Tasked with developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Tasked with administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the marina
  • Serves as internal auditor for the marina

Maintenance and secretarial staffs

  • Makes sure that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In centre, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with customers on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the human resources and admin manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the marinas’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to customers when they make enquiries
  • Provides information about warranties, manufacturing specifications, care and maintenance of merchandise and delivery options


  • Tasked with cleaning and washing all the boats in the marina
  • Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Cleans both the interior and exterior of the marina
  • Handles any other duty as assigned by the marina manager

6. SWOT Analysis

At Watershed inc. we understand that our SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning tool that analyzes the internal and external environment factors that influences our success. We understand that our SWOT Analysis helps match our resources and capabilities to the competitive environment in which we operate and is instrumental in strategy formulation and selection.

Although watershed inc. certainly has several advantages in our business model currently, we are also pragmatic enough to acknowledge our weaknesses and threats that the ever changing business environment is likely to expose us to.

  • Strengths

Our management team at Watershed inc. boasts of a very good understanding of the Michigan marina market. Mr Tony Crane has hands on experience in setting up similar operations. We believe that through his extensive stay in the industry, he has strong relationships within the customer base targeted by watershed Inc.

We have also established our credibility and ethicality with the regulatory authorities and have obtained certification necessary to set up our marina.

  • Weaknesses

Agreeably, we acknowledge at Watershed inc. that we have to face and overcome the challenge all new companies face. We also currently do not have an existing track record of past performance and a customer base. We are also not yet a well known brand in the Marine industry.

At watershed inc., we plan to overcome this weakness by partnering with established international players. Our own operations would primarily be available in Traverse City and all over Michigan.  For services outside of this region, Watershed inc. would rely heavily on other companies providing similar services.

Some of these companies could choose to enter the Michigan market directly and become competitors and leverage the contacts built with customers by providing services through Watershed Inc. We are also yet to identify our senior management team. While individuals with the right experience to build a strong team have been identified, discussions are still in progress to officially include them in the management team.

  • Opportunities

Our choice of location has limited number of local marinas that offer boat storage and we have access to therefore a largely untapped market that we plan to tap through a fuller range, broader reach and superior quality services. Howbeit, using the personal network of contacts that the Board of Directors and Senior Management team will bring, we will have exclusive access to several Michigan customers.

Being a local company gives Watershed inc. an advantage over larger global players. We are also currently the only company certified to set up a marina in the Grand Traverse Bay area. This provides us with a distinct advantage in a very important part of Michigan.

  • Threats

Over the years, Michigan generally has attracted a lot of interest from several multinational companies in the Marine industry. We acknowledge that Watershed inc. faces the threat of larger global players in the marina industry too entering Traverse City with customized services and pricing.


  • Market Trend

Watershed inc., a business just like any other, is bound to be affected by forces and trends in the market. Needless to say, technology has affected every aspect of life and business in this century. The factors and trends that might affect our business include:

  • Digital Handling

According to our research, the days of manual dials all over the boat control system is far behind us. Everything has gone digital. Digital dashboards coupled with digital touch screen display connect to all system in the boat – engine, GPS program, stereo etc. – so anyone can control them with just a touch.

  • Mobile Adaptations

The addiction to mobile now is massive that people wake up and the first thing they greet is their mobile devices. Online shopping and booking in turn has also gone mobile. Clients now prefer to stay home or in their offices and purchase boats or book storage spaces.

Therefore mobile adaptations for boat selling and storage booking websites will be the moving trend in the industry. Also the online review of products and services can be done most conveniently on mobile devices.

  • Social Media will improve boating experience

Indeed, social media is making everything and everyone popular. Some people’s interests in a particular product or service are sparked by what they see or hear on social media. It could be a post on LinkedIn or a picture on Instagram, or even a live video on Facebook, or even a banner on Pinterest. Social media affects everything, with the world of boat storage and maintenance not in any way an exception.

  • Customer issues

We also know that as long as there is competition in the marketplace, a need will remain for service professionals. Although pricing may no longer be a point of negotiation, clients are still more likely to follow someone they like and trust than from someone who rubs them the wrong way.

The more reason we will carefully train our staff to align them with the company’s visions and missions. Also to ensure that they can give our customers unique services and attitudes that will warm their hearts.

8. Our Target Market

Our ideal clients at Watershed Inc. will be an upper middle class to upper class man or woman living or visiting Traverse City and every other Michigan waterfronts. Common traits among these clients will include an annual income exceeding $200,000 and are willing to spend about $400 to $2000 on slip rentals and boat maintenance fees.

Additionally, Traverse City’s economy is heavily based on tourism. The National Cherry Festival, usually in the first week of July, tends to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists and locals to the area, as does the Traverse City Film Festival at the end of July. Lake Michigan also offers a suitable location for sailing, fishing, and kayaking.

Our competitive advantage

At Watershed Inc, we see ourselves different from our competitors for the wide range of services we provide and for the strength of our presence in the Michigan region. The larger global players have a wider range of services, but have a weak local presence, largely providing services through sub contract firms. Firms that are highly localized always have a very limited range of services.

At Watershed Inc, we plan to grow from four board directors plus a small group of two storage and maintenance personnel, one IT personnel, an accountant and one mechanic, to a diverse workforce that all bring their professional expertise and contacts to provide a solid foundation of connections for future marketing ventures.

Also our media strategy will focus on direct marketing to local groups and clubs, as well as advertising in magazines. All contracts will be finalized in person, through mail-order, over the phone, and via the Internet. We also believe that as the visibility of our services increases, proceedings will increase by 60% each month thereafter.


  • Sources of income 

10. Sales Forecast

We believe that one of the most positive aspects of operating a marina is that the clientele tend to be wealthy people that will be able to afford the services and rental fees associated with the Marina.

  • Seasonal Slip Rental Fees

In alignment with market area rental rates, we have projected a rate of $51.00 Per linear foot in 2023 for 9 metre slips with no services; $56.00 per linear foot with 30 amp power and Water available to each 9 and 11 metre slip; $61.00 per linear foot with 50 amp power and water available To each 14 metre slip.

However, as an inducement to encourage the Traverse City Yacht Club members to use the marina, we have reduced the opening year rates for the un-serviced 9 metre slips by 20 Percent, and have assumed this reduction will be reduced by 2 percent each year between 2022 and2031 (i.e. $40.80 per linear foot vs. $51.00 in 2023, $51.40 vs. $57.15 in 2026, and $64.65 vs. $64.65 by 2031).

  • Transient Slip Rental Fees

Also, we have projected transient slip rental rates in keeping with the other marinas in the market area in the opening year of: $1.70/ft for less than one day (i.e. 12 Hours or less), $1.95/ft For stays of one day (i.e. more than 12 and a maximum of 24 hours), and $5.75/ft. for stays of up to 7 days in 2023. Rates increase by inflation in Year 2 and one percent above inflation each Year thereafter.

  • Winter Storage

Due to market area rates we have projected $18.00/ft for boats 11 metres or less and $23.00/ft. For boats more than 11 metres in 2023, increasing by inflation in Years 2 and 3 and by one Percent above inflation each year thereafter.

This rate includes the following services; gas stabilizer, Bottom power wash, battery charge, removal of engine drain plugs, removal of hull plugs, non-toxic antifreeze solution in engine, fogging of outboard motor, and lower unit oil change.

Storage also includes Shrink-wrap or tapped covering depending on boater’s preference and summarization of the boat the Following spring. It does not include use of a crane, travel-lift, and hydraulic packer or haul out/launch fees.

  • Dry land Summer Storage

Owing to experience of other marinas in the market area we have projected a rate of $117.75 for cradle storage, and $144.75 for trailer storage for the period from May 15thUntil October 1st. We expect that 50 percent of all seasonal boats 9 metres or less will store their Trailers on site and 20 percent of the remaining seasonal boats will store their cradles on site. As per

We have projected that 2 percent of the seasonal boats in any season will be stored onshore due to non-water use required mechanical repairs or hull work not completed. The rate for Temporary storage is set at $29.30/ft. in 2023, all rates increase by inflation each year beyond 2022.

  • Maintenance & Repairs

This fee is set at $113 per slip in 2023 (Year 2) as per industry average and increasing at 8 percent per annum each year thereafter. A provision of $56 per slip has been made in 2023 to cover any unforeseen start-up systems failures, a similar provision of $70 per slips has been made for the 22 slips added in that year.

  • Parking/Boat Launch Revenue

Here, we have projected that an average of 25 boats per day will use the Launch ramp at the existing marina. As some marinas in the market area charge for parking as opposed to a launch fee, we have projected revenue based on either $6.75 per launch or $1.35 per hour to park for a maximum of 5 hours. Rates increase by inflation each year beyond 2022.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

We at Watershed Inc. have done considerable market research to compare our own service offerings list and prices with our competitors in the same market and in other geographic regions. We have also obtained quotes directly from other companies in the same market segment.

In addition publicly available sources of information like corporate websites, industry association sources and websites etc. have been used to come up with comparisons of service offerings and prices. Our marketing strategy will focus on establishing and growing long term relationships with customers.

In the initial years, we will have to depend upon the network of contacts of our founders and senior management to grow our business. As our brand gets established and recognized by our customers, we would benefit from our investment in advertising and public relations.

We also plan to use a relationship approach as the mainstay of our sales and marketing strategy. Our management team’s network of contacts and references will be leveraged to provide Watershed Inc with business leads. Additionally, Press Releases, Advertisements in relevant magazines and newspapers will reach out to the wider customer base.

Interested customers will be provided with brochures with detailed description of Watershed Inc services and the benefits customers would get from using the our services.  We at Watershed Inc also plan to maintain a very visible presence at variety of Sea Shows conducted by various Marine associations.

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Due to the importance of word-of-mouth/referrals in the boating storage industry, we have put together plans to create awareness, stimulate trial, and build referrals. A cost effective campaign, focused on direct marketing, publicity, Internet web page, and advertising is being proposed. Our publicity and advertising strategy was effectively and carefully designed to communicate our brand. Below is how we plan to promote Watershed Inc.

  • Put adverts on community based newspapers, radio and TV stations
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from our loyal customers
  • Make use of the internet and social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snap chat, Google+ and other platforms to promote our business.
  • Make sure we position our banners and billboards in strategic positions all around Traverse City
  • Share our fliers and handbills in target areas in and around Traverse City
  • Advertise our used boats dealership business in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site
  • Brand all our official boats and trucks and ensure that all our staff members and management staff wear our branded shirt or cap at regular intervals

12. Our Pricing Strategy

We at Watershed Inc have done a detailed analysis of the pricing offered by our competition. Based on this analysis, we have arrived at a pricing that is competitive but also supports profitable growth for the marina. We hope to benefit from our low overheads and the advantage of being based within the region to offer lower prices as compared to the global players.

A fuller range, wider reach and superior quality of our services, in addition to our competitive pricing, would position us as providing better value to our customers as compared to our local competitors. We would be able to offer our customers credit terms which are not normally available to such customers.

We also offer Customized Care Services completely free of charge, as an added value to our pricing model. However, our customers who enter into long term contracts with us would be charged a flat fee based pricing, with no hassles of detailed billing and reconciliation.

  • Payment Options

We have partnered and registered with the necessary financial institutions in the country and we hope to make use of that relationship. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials so that it will be easier for clients to make payments when necessary.

  • Payment by via bank transfer
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment through point of service machines
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via bank draft
  • Payment via mobile money
  • Payment with cash

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

We went through a great deal of hurdles to estimate our startup costs and overheads for the next three years. It is believed that all new entrants in the industry operate with negative profits through the first two years. At Watershed Inc., we plan to avoid that kind of operating loss by understanding our markets, our competitors, industry direction, and the services we offer. Outlined below are the ways we plan spending our start-up cost;

  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in Michigan: $900.
  • The budget for insurance, permits and license: $150,000
  • The Amount needed to construct our Facility in Traverse City (building, site work, and security fences): $1,050,000.
  • The Cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (fridges, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al): $200,000.
  • The Cost for Equipment: $115,000
  • The Cost of Launching a Website: $700
  • Our marketing and publicity budget – $150,000
  • The cost for our opening party: $6,000
  • Additional Expenditure (Business boards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al): $7,000

From our detailed analysis above, we will need approximately $2,000,000 to start Watershed Inc. We have also put plans in place to be able to raise the funds and capital.

Generating Funding/Startup for Watershed Inc.

Watershed In. will be founded and promoted by Tony Crane. We expect that the entire capital cost required to construct the marina and its land based amenities will be financed through angel investors and government debentures.

In order to reduce the capital cost, we have approached the State and City government regarding the possibility of obtaining infrastructural grants. Since the major facilities in our marina have an expected life that exceeds 25 years, we have assumed it will be possible to obtain government debentures with either 20 or 25 year amortization period to cover the projected total capital cost of constructing the marina.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Through our core strength and expertise in the boat storage and maintenance business, Watershed Inc would provide our customers with access to the best available tools to make their boats safe and ready anytime they need them. In addition, our industry expertise would help customers identify operational efficiencies.

Our major value proposition would be the superior quality of services we would offer by investing on recruiting and training the most technically qualified staff. Watershed Inc always aims for Excellence in Customer Services, with the utmost attention to detail. We also understand that the smallest details go a long way in differentiating just a good enough service from a truly superlative experience.

At Watershed inc., we also have the tools, processes and expertise to identify cost savings that can be made even while improving efficiency and quality of services. We would bring international standards in Marine to our customers, while accommodating their specific requirements.

Our services will typically be offered at seaports to make these conveniently available to customers. While back office operations can be located at lower cost locations, the bulk of the company’s operations will focus around seaports and their vicinity. We hope to have a soft launch in third quarter of 2022 and will be fully operational by Quarter 1 of 2022.


  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Conducting feasibility studies: Completed
  • Leasing, renovating and equipping our facility: Completed
  • Generating part of the startup capital from the founder: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of software applications, furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with banks, financial lending institutions, vendors and key players in the industry: In Progress