Marinalife Provides Software Tools and Resources for Boaters and Marinas
Baltimore, Md. (Jan. 25, 2023) – Marinalife, Inc. ("Marinalife"), a Baltimore-based technology company delivering solutions to allow boaters and marinas to easily connect and transact, announced today that it has secured additional investment through a Series A round to execute on its vision to be the most innovative provider of marina technology solutions. The funding round is led by Claritas Capital, with participation from the Propel Baltimore Fund, Abell Foundation, TEDCO, and the University System of Maryland Momentum Fund (MMF).
"We are excited to be onboard with an incredible group of investors who are enthusiastic about the same goal,” said Jen Leroux, CEO of Marinalife. “Marinalife strives to grow the technology side of the marine industry, giving marinas and boaters the capability to do what they love with ease. Together, we look forward to scaling Marinalife and enhancing boaters and marinas' life on the water.”
Claritas Capital, a Nashville-based private equity firm is leading the investment in Marinalife.
"We are excited to support CEO Jen Leroux and the exceptional Marinalife team in their effort to become the leading tech-enabled platform for marina owners and boaters around the world," said Theresa Sexton, Partner at Claritas Capital.
The boating industry contributes over $2 billion annually to the state economy in Maryland, making it a national leader in boating and water sports. Marinalife’s software as a service (SaaS) platform connects boaters and marinas and offers marina operators tools such as dock space booking and reservation management. The funding round will allow the team to scale operations in Maryland and expand its offerings to the boating community.
"Marinalife is an exciting investment opportunity for MMF and the Maryland venture ecosystem. The team has built a very effective solution to solve a persistent problem for both boaters and marinas,” said Mike Ravenscroft, Managing Director of MMF. “We hope companies like Marinalife will encourage Maryland-based entrepreneurs to leverage the region’s economic strengths and grow their businesses within the state.”
Snag-A-Slip, a Marinalife company, was founded in 2015 by Dan Cowens, a 1995 undergraduate alumnus of Salisbury University and an alumnus from the University of Maryland, College Park Robert H. Smith School of Business. As a lifelong boater, Cowens undertook revolutionizing the marina industry as part of his capstone project in the Smith School’s executive MBA program and subsequently acquired Marinalife in 2018.
“Maryland has been and continues to be the perfect home for a company like Marinalife,” said founder Dan Cowens. “Maryland has a deep boating history and we’re proud to be leading the nation in modernizing marina operations and improving the boating experience.”
CEO Jennifer Leroux joined the team out of a shared love of boating, as well as the founder’s vision of the business opportunity.
“Prior to Marinalife, the only technology solution for marinas was on-premise software that was prohibitively expensive for the average marina owner,” said Leroux. “This caused owners to resort to paper, spreadsheets, and whiteboards to manage their marinas and led to frustration for the boater. Through our core product offerings, Snag-A-Slip and Marinalife Manager, we provide the tools and resources to allow the boating community to easily connect and transact while providing an unparalleled customer experience with a core value of delighting the customer every day.”
“Marinalife is vertically integrating the marina industry with modern software technology that streamlines the boating experience for boaters and marinas. The Propel Baltimore Fund is thrilled to partner with Marinalife to build an industry leading technology company in Baltimore,” said Christopher College, the Managing Partner of the Propel Baltimore Fund.
For more information on Marinalife or to join their community of boating enthusiasts, please visit marinalife.com.
Founded by lifelong boaters, Marinalife delivers tools and resources to allow the boating community to fully embrace life on the water. Marinalife joined with Snag-A-Slip in 2017 and together, we create tech-enabled solutions, allowing boaters and marinas to easily connect and transact. Headquartered in Baltimore, MD, our crew is passionate about two things: boating and delivering exceptional service to our customers.
About the University System of Maryland Momentum Fund
The Maryland Momentum Fund is an initiative of the University System of Maryland (USM) to provide late seed investment funding for promising technology ventures that come out of any of the 12 constituent USM institutions, its research parks, and its students, faculty, or graduates. With a $16M commitment from the USM, the Fund co-invests alongside venture capitalists, foundations, and angel investors.
The Maryland Momentum Fund was established by the USM Board of Regents to support promising commercial opportunities arising from advances in research and intellectual property at USM campuses. The Fund is designed to create returns and support USM’s most innovative ideas as they enter the marketplace. Learn more about the Fund and view the portfolio companies at https://momentum.usmd.edu/.
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(BALTIMORE, MD, November 4, 2022) Marinalife is pleased to announce the winners of its 13th Annual Best Marina Contest. Hundreds of boaters, marinas and members of the maritime industry in North America and the Caribbean cast their votes, and the results are as follows:
BEST LARGE MARINA
First Place: Brunswick Landing Marina – Brunswick, GA
Second Place: Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina – Hilton Head, SC
Third Place: Spring Point Marina – South Portland, ME
BEST SMALL MARINA
First Place: Chicks Marina – Kennebunkport, ME
Second Place: Champlin’s Marina & Resort – Block Island, RI
Third Place: Jekyll Harbor Marina – Jekyll Island, GA
Winning first place in the Large Marina Category, Brunswick Landing Marina boasts state-of-the-art facilities and a top-notch, friendly marina staff. Located in historic downtown Brunswick, the property is ideal for all seasons, as it’s constructed in former U.S. Navy Hurricane Hole and protected by land on three sides. The spacious marina boasts 445+ dry and wet slips and marine services by highly skilled technicians. The boatyard offers year-round service including repairs, detailing, bottom paint, custom woodworking and more. Over the years, the marina has evolved into a party hub for cruisers with daily social activities plus free wine and beer three-times-a week, as well as complimentary propane grills on every dock.
“We are ecstatic and very grateful that Brunswick Landing Marina was selected as Best Large Marina in the country. With so many great marinas being recognized, the award truly validates that our decisions and hard work are leading us in a positive direction,” said Vibert Burin, dock manager.
Marina Manager Michael Torres adds that the property is looking forward to future upgrades such as doubling the size of the dock office/ship store and adding 540’ of leasable dock space.
“We are working on a new project that will include a mooring ball field with an anticipated 30 moorings. Running parallel to those projects is a much larger endeavor that is going to reshape our entire business, which will be called Brunswick Landing. Brunswick Landing is proposed to be a 26-acre mixed-use, town center-style development that will include a hotel, condominiums, townhomes, restaurants and retail space,” said Torres.
Chicks Marina in Kennebunkport, ME, returns as the reigning first place champ in the 2022 Best Small Marina award. The 50-slip marina is tucked away in the idyllic southern coast of New England. Voted among the region’s cleanest marinas, the staff continuously upgrades facilities to ensure efficiency. The marina offers custom boat care services, 30/50/100 amp electrical, heated winter storage and 91 Octane gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
“We are thrilled to win Best Small Marina for the third year in a row. It is such an honor when customers recognize your hard work and love Chicks Marina as much as we do,” said Amy Gaynor, operations manager of Chicks Marina. “Chicks Marina is a very well-maintained marina. It is central to downtown, restaurants and the coastline. Our staff is top notch and goes above and beyond to make your stay enjoyable,” Gaynor added.
Marinalife recognizes second and third place winners in each category. Best Large Marina finalists are Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina in Hilton Head Island, SC, (second place) and Spring Point Marina in South Portland, ME, (third place). Champlin’s Marina & Resort in Block Island, RI, took second place in the Best Small Marina Category, and Jekyll Harbor Marina in Jekyll Island, GA, came in third.
As we celebrate more than 20 years of Marinalife, we send a special thanks to all the marinas and boaters nationwide for participating in this year’s contest. Keep an eye out for announcements starting in Summer 2023 for Marinalife’s 14th Annual Best Marina Contest.
Marinalife magazine, a quarterly travel and lifestyle publication, provides boaters with entertaining and useful articles about destinations, marinas, cruising stories, captain’s tips and more. For information, visit marinalife.com, call 410-752-0505 or email email@example.com
The relationship between mobile devices, apps, and web browsing is often misunderstood. That’s not surprising – it’s a fast-changing environment. In this article we will talk about the pros and cons of apps, and what they really are.
App is short for application. Back in the day, we would have called them programs – software that allows you to perform a specific task.
Most people think of apps as downloads for smartphones or tablets, but the description is also commonly used for desktop programs too, like Microsoft Word. In this article, we will focus on mobile apps.
Web apps are functional software programs that are accessed via a web browser – for example, using Microsoft 365 via Chrome. Marinalife Manager would be considered a web app.
Because you’re accessing a website, there’s no need to download anything from the app store. Plus, web apps don’t take up memory space on your device or put your data at risk.
The huge benefit of web apps is that they can be accessed on any device via any browser – there are no discrete versions for Apple or Android or even PC. This means that you don’t lose features or need to download new software if you change your iPad to a Samsung tablet.
A single solution means new features can be delivered quickly and small improvements rolled out seamlessly to all users. Because of this, web app users often get a better experience and the benefit of the latest version.
Data security is a big issue for everyone – we’ve all heard the stories of data leaks caused by a laptop left on a train. If data is held in an app downloaded onto a mobile or tablet, then the data is at risk if that device is lost or stolen.
Marinalife Manager is designed so that marina and boater data is ring-fenced, and only delivered ‘as required’ from the Cloud to the device. Once the user has stopped viewing or editing the data, it is removed. Plus, sliding session expiration (effectively timeout) means that any device left lying around with the app open will require authorized login after a period.
For example, if a dockmaster at Marina A uses his tablet to add a note to John Doe’s account, that information is only available while John Doe’s account is open. When the dockmaster completes the task, the app removes anything about John Doe from the tablet without affecting the data stored on the cloud.
The same is true for boaters accessing the customer Portal on their phone – their outstanding invoices or payment history is only delivered from the Cloud to the phone when the boater clicks 'the button. Nothing is stored on the phone.
Connectivity issues are sometimes raised against web apps, but the reality is that these happen so fast (50-200 milliseconds) that the possibility of a connection being interrupted mid-action is minuscule.
Marinalife Manager was designed for low bandwidth environments, which means it’ll still work smoothly even if you’re on a 2G mobile connection rather than superfast WiFi.
Native apps are written for a specific operating system, like Android or iOS. You can’t just publish a native app, it must be approved and sold through the operating system store, like Google Play or Apple App Store.
Writing separate code is expensive and time-consuming, which is why some apps are only available on one operating system or may be less functional than their desktop versions. Every time the creator wants to make a change, it must be approved by the app store, and then the update must be activated by the user. Availability and functionality may also be limited by the users’ device – if you’ve got an old phone running an old version of iOS or Android, you may not be able to access app updates or even run some apps.
We’ve all bought a phone with loads of data, then found it running slowly or unable to download a new app without deleting something else. That’s because apps are stored locally on your phone – you download the software when you purchase an app.
Having the app running on your phone was an advantage a few years back because it meant the software wasn’t reliant on a connection to the internet. But this is much less of an issue with the huge investment in 4G and 5G technology, the expansion of the cellular network, and the availability of public or low-cost WiFi.
When you download a native app from the app store, it automatically drops an icon onto your device. This makes it easy to access the service or software
1. Go to your web browser and navigate to the site or page, such as your Marinalife Manager database or your Customer Portal
2. Click ‘share’ on the browser menu and select ‘add to home screen’. If you’re using an Apple device, you’ll need to do this from Safari, and use Chrome for Android devices.
3. Now you simply tap the icon to access the software, just as you would for any other app.
This works for your customers too. Show them how to add the customer Portal link to their phone and they’ll be able to pay bills and make booking reservations at the time that suits them.
When thinking about Marinalife Manager and taking a look at other systems on the market, we found that people like maps, and they like to see boats on the maps. However, they also wanted to know more about the boat – like how long they are staying, if there is any money owed, or even if they’d been checked-in without an accompanying order.
Operators told us that they wanted to know more about their sites and equipment and see these displayed on the map – boats, berths, mooring buoys, cranes, dry storage, washrooms, and more.
We decided to overturn the convention that maps had to show representations of boats and instead provide the kind of detailed information to make the map a central element in marina operations. With Marinalife Manager we switched the focus of the map from boats to assets.
With focusing the map on assets means that information about maintenance inspections and fault reports is visible alongside occupancy and boat information.
Marina staff know their stuff. They know an 11m boat is longer than a 9m boat, so once they have that information, why clutter the map with generic boat shapes? Marinalife Manager uses the familiar Google Maps-style pin markers overlaid with easy-to-read icons and a color code system to illustrate occupancy, licensing, inspections, and faults in switchable screen views.
Swapping to pins makes the map easier to view and enables enriched layers of information without cluttering the display. Extra details like boat names and berth numbers can be shown or hidden in one click. Drill down to view just electricity pedestals or berth availability during a date range, or search asset name, customer, or boat.
Using the same map, you can toggle between views to highlight information of value to different team members:
1. Occupancy view
In busy visitor/transient marinas, it’s vital to quickly identify who is due to depart, overstayers and available berths. Any user with a tablet can depart a boat, add nights to the invoice, allocate berths and more right from the map.
A simple search ensures allocation of the right berth – searching by length, draft, beam and mooring space type.
2. Licensing view
Suppose your marina offers annual or monthly licenses/contracts. In that case, it’s handy to see which berths remain unlicensed as you approach the renewal date – what is available to sell and who needs a reminder to sign.
3. Inspection view
Move your maintenance to Marinalife Manager, and you can identify overdue and upcoming inspections on the map.
Equip your maintenance team with a tablet, and they can check and complete tasks right from the map view.
4. Faults view
Like the inspection's view, faults are easily identified and resolved right from the map. Colour coded for high, medium and low severity, and the maintenance team can prioritize as they walk the facility.
You decide how your map or marina plan looks – it can be the same full-color plan you use on your website or brochure or a line drawing; you’re in control. We can even use Google Maps on large sites like harbors or rivers, with the bonus of toggling between map and satellite views.
If berth numbers and asset names are in a map overlay, the user can switch them on and off, providing a clearer or more detailed view as required.
We don’t charge extra for uploading a new map. So if you alter the layout of your pontoons, move a line of mooring buoys or install a new launch ramp, it isn’t going to cost you.
Because Marinalife Manager is a modern platform, the maps aren’t hardcoded – adaptability is built-in. We want our users to make the most of the system, not be constrained by budgets.
Known as the “No-Yelling School of Fishing,” the Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! nonprofit organization is dedicated to attracting women and families to non-intimidating fishing while encouraging conservation and responsible angling. The all-girls group conducts weekend, immersion-based educational programs throughout Florida with hands-on learning, classroom presentations and a networking community.
Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! University will kick off 2023 with events for women and families to learn the ropes and enjoy educational and fun activities. Mark your calendars for the following:
Hop aboard the Reward with Captain Wayne Conn out of Miami Beach Marina. Participants will learn fishing skills on the boat and target sailfish, tuna and bottom fish for an afternoon half-day trip. Registration is $30 and charter fishing is $85.
*Class is limited to 25 and deadline to register is Sunday, January 15.
Located at Bass Pro Shops in Dania Beach, FL, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
This event offers classroom instruction, conservation, hands-on fishing activities and a guided fishing experience for bass and other species. Featured speaker Capt. Brian Leibowitz will cover rod and reel basics, lure usage, casting techniques, fish retrieval, fish release, strategy and conservation, followed by hands-on fishing skill practice for rod rigging, spin casting, releasing, fish fighting techniques and more. After lunch will be an all-release fishing experience from the shore of a private lake known for its elusive peacock bass. Rods, reels, bait and fishing tackle will be supplied.
*Registration is limited to 25. Bass Pro Shops is located at 200 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, FL 33004.
Participants must register in advance for all events online.
Stay tuned for more events coming up this spring! For more information, call 954-475-9068 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
An abandoned vessel in the Baltimore harbor recently drifted into Harbor East Marina, wreaking havoc among the slips. The general manager didn’t know what to do about this, so he called the Coast Guard. They couldn’t help and provided resources to contact, but removing the boat was not an easy task. After a lengthy process and wild goose chase, he finally tracked down the original owner to properly dispose of the vessel. Despite the eventual success, imagine the environmental damage and safety threats this caused in the meantime.
Scientists have long researched aquatic damage from ships that are not properly discarded. Many have discovered manufacturing tools that go into engineering such as fiberglass technology and other materials, greatly contribute to the problem. This includes plastics, glass and other pollutants.
Environmental organizations are increasingly spreading awareness about abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) that threaten the health of aquatic ecosystems and wildlife habitats, as well as risk overall boating safety. When a vessel is discarded and left out in the water to sink, it doesn’t quite fade away into a proper burial. Boat material debris and microplastics break off over time and get tangled in motors, cause structural damage and pose threats to navigation and watersport safety. Not to mention the toxicity created throughout our marine wildlife environments.
“Ranging from small dinghies to large fishing vessels with steel hulls, ADVs are a common problem throughout the country and around the world,” reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration.
This negligence not only affects our environment, but it also adds to unnecessary and inefficient use of resources when calls come into the Coast Guard, National Resources Police, divers and local authorities who are assumed to help — but often can not.
A news report from WPLG Local 10 in Miami-Dade County, FL, addressed the region’s current ADV crisis, which only appears to be getting worse. The area’s environmental resource management team reports that 51 derelict vessels were recently removed from Biscayne Bay, which is only a third of what is still lingering in the waterways.
> Always reduce, reuse, recycle! Proper disposal of metals, plastics and other hazardous boat materials are crucial to a clean environment.
> Properly discard the vessels at a local landfill or salvage shop, or research voluntary vessel disposal programs.
> Check out educational resources such as the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) webinar series, Salvaging Solutions to Abandoned and Derelict Vessels.
> The MDP also provides a Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide that assists states with storm preparation to prevent and respond to ADVs.
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Have you ever planned a boat trip? If so, you know how difficult it is to find and compare marinas. Even more difficult is booking a slip once you find a marina you like.
We hear your frustration. That’s why we developed Snag-A-Slip — the fastest and easiest way to explore marinas and book slips from your desktop or mobile device.