Marina Spotlights

Fort George Island Marina - Jacksonville, FL

Florida
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October 2021
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By
Alexa
Zizzi

WHERE THE WINDING BANKS of the St. Johns River meet the Atlantic Ocean, you find one of Florida's best hidden coastal gems -- Fort George Island Marina.

Easily accessible from the Intracoastal Waterway, the island is nestled in acres of lush state park greenery and preserves. The marina is near some of north Florida's most notable historic landmarks such as the upscale Ribault Club and Kingsley Plantation, the state's oldest surviving plantation built in the late 1700s. The island is just a short distance from popular destinations such as Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach and downtown Jacksonville.

fort george island marina - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Oasis Marinas

The deepwater marina offers 120 dry racks accommodating vessels 15 to 39 feet and 14 in-water slips for boats up to 50 feet. The lounge is equipped with shower facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi, ships store and laundry. Relax at the picnic area and gazebo that overlook a stunning view of the river. A fuel station is available on site, as well as haul and launch services.

By the end of the year, the facilities will have major upgrades such as a new pump-out system, renovated forklift, outdoor service racks and new high-quality shore power pedestals. Beer and wine are also soon-to-be available at the ships store.

For a local bite, feast on delicious seafood, burgers or Florida gator tail at Sandollar Restaurant less than a mile away. Enjoy crawfish, seared ahi tuna steak and brick oven pizzas from Palms Fish Camp Restaurant just a few miles down the river. About a half-mile from the marina, you can hop on a ferry to spend the day lounging at the Mayport and Jacksonville beaches.

fort george island marina - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Oasis Marinas

The area is a true slow-paced sanctuary for hikers and bikers who love to explore historic trails. Visit one of the many natural wonders surrounding the marina such as Fort George Island Cultural State Park, Huguenot Memorial Park, Big and Little Talbot Island State Parks, and the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.

For arts, entertainment and nightlife, downtown Jacksonville is less than 30 minutes away. Popular attractions include the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and the MOSH (Museum of Science & History).

We are one of the first marinas when entering or exiting the St. Johns River from the Atlantic and also the closest fuel pumps, says General Manager Peter Curcio. The marina is currently undergoing a complete makeover with new ownership, and I suspect it will become one of the top marinas in the area by the end of 2021.

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Tom Ryan, Marina Director

TOM RYAN
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What in your life prepared you for a job in the marina industry?

After working in the boating industry for 20+ years and staying in several marinas while owning and working on vessels, I feel like I can anticipate the needs of boat owners and I am well-equipped to accommodate them.

 

Tell us about your experience captaining the Roseway for the World Ocean School.

My experience was life changing. Being in charge of an historic schooner vessel like Roseway taught me patience. Making a positive daily impact on the kids at World Ocean School was some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever been a part of in my life. 

Where do you like to send people for an authentic dining experience when they arrive at your marina for the first time? 

I like to send people to the Lobster Pot. It’s a Provincetown institution that’s been in operation since 1943. From its iconic neon sign to the lobster rolls — it can’t be beat!

Where is your favorite place to relax on your day off?

I would definitely say Long Point Beach is a favorite. The shuttle from MacMillan Pier drops you right in the sand. You plop your chair down and relax while watching boats exit and enter the harbor.

 

Name your top three favorite boating songs on your playlist.

“Chan Chan” by Buena Vista Social Club, because it’s just a relaxing song and it reminds me of my early days in Key West. “Second Hand News by Fleetwood Mac — this song, to me, screams summer! But if you’re out boating here in Ptown, you can’t go wrong with “Old Cape Cod by Patti Page.

If you could walk in anyone’s shoes for a day, who would it be? 

Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer of the early 1900s. Having the courage and resolve to lead his team from certain death to safety was a remarkable and inspiring story. 

 

What is your favorite part of the day at the marina?

“The Golden Hour” – when all our guests are situated and relaxing means we’ve done our job!

 

What is the one thing that everyone should do or see in Provincetown?

This artistic town is known for its nightlife, so catching one of the many shows that are offered here is a must-see! Also, if you miss them on your way in, WHALES! The best way to see them is by jumping on one of the whale watch boats that head out daily to the feeding grounds on Stellwagen Marine Sanctuary.

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MORNINGSTAR MARINAS AT LITTLE CREEK, VA, a great cruising destination, has reached a new level of excellence with major renovations that every boater along the Atlantic Seaboard will want to stop by and see.

Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek

After acquiring the marina, Morningstar received permits to not only replace all the wet slips with new Bellingham docks but also adjusted the configuration to better suit coastal boaters. The upgrades included widening the slips, installing full-length fingers, and achieving 100% clear main walks using tri-frames for dock box placement and cantilevered mid-basin power pedestal bump outs. When you consider they also replaced the fuel and electrical systems, Morningstar Marinas Little Creek will become a premiere marina on the East Coast.Morningstar will exceed all boaters' expectations by offering 350 dry storage spaces in its fully enclosed building, 180 wet slips ranging from 25' to 75' and 400' of side tie. Amenities include a bath house, laundry room, and showers. Other upgrades include a new Toyota forklift, Wi-Fi, pump out, and new fueling stations with ValvTect gasoline and diesel.

As a backdrop to all these improvements, the location is a dream for recreational boaters and anglers. "Being nestled in the back of Little Creek gives boaters a protected basin from weather, but they're only minutes to the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, James River and the entrance to the ICW," says Michael Quinn, General Manager.

Stony's Dockside Waterfront Bar & Grill allows our boaters to enjoy a wonderful meal within minutes of stepping off their vessel. Within walking distance are COVA Brewing Company, Longboards East Beach, and other local favorites. The warm waters at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay create a fishing paradise for anglers, and miles of easily accessible beaches entice visitors to dive in for a swim or just soak up the sun.

Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek

"The proximity to Norfolk and Virginia Beach's restaurants, shops and entertainment gives marina guests the conveniences of a big city backed up to an abundance of open water," notes Quinn. Regardless of whether you plan to stay annually or for a couple nights, a visit to Morningstar Marinas, next to Norfolk International Airport in the up-and-coming East Ocean View Section of Norfolk, presents endless opportunities and your gateway to all the Chesapeake Bay has to offer.

Make sure you schedule your trip around one of the many festivals in the area including Harborfest, Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival, and Neptune Festival. If you plan a spring visit, don't miss the Patriotic Festival Norfolk for family friendly activities, concerts with national performing artists, and celebrations for all branches of the U.S. armed forces.

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MILES OF LUSH FOLIAGE, hiking trails and stunning Cape Cod views make up the tranquil scene at Kingman Yacht Center.

Kingman Yacht Center - spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Kingman Yacht Center

This New England gem is an historic property and community along the northeast corner of Buzzards Bay. The spacious, full-service marina boasts 235 slips in renovated floating docks, as well as 130 moorings. That's room for 365 boats one for every day of the year!With easy access through the seven-mile canal, this destination is ideal for boaters looking for a calm, rural escape. Established in 1932, the site was originally a boat-building center for the U.S. Army, Navy and aircraft rescue boats during military conflicts such as the Korean War.The Kingman family ran this location until they sold it to current owner Scott Zeien in 2000. It became a recreational marina in the ‘50s. I grew up sailing here, and it really hasn't changed much in terms of the personality and the harbor, says Zeien. Our premier boatyard is a community of boaters enjoying one of the most beautiful natural harbors in New England.This retreat is centrally focused around two brands that make KYC: Kingman Yacht Center and Kingman Yacht Club, a thriving marina, service and sales facility, as well as social club where transients and members can enjoy exclusive benefits. Poised on a hilltop overlooking the marina, Red Brook Harbor Club townhomes span a luxury community alongside aquaculture farming and a water treatment plant that filters pollution out of local waterways.

Kingman Yacht Center - spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Kingman Yacht Center

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