Boat lift marinas are a rapidly growing trend

Boat Lift Marinas

Mar 27, 2023

The concept of a boat lift marina, pile-mounted lifts that are installed in place of traditional in-water slips, is reshaping how boat owners and marina operators think about vessel storage. Golden Manufacturing looks at this rapidly growing trend and offers insights into the future of marinas.

The many benefits of storing vessels out of water have long been known. But they’ve been limited to owners with small trailerable watercraft, those who own waterfront property or people who don’t mind the wait times and limited hours of drystack storage. With a boat lift marina, owners have easy 24/7 access to their boats in a safe, controlled environment. Plus, their vessel is cleaner, faster and more fuel efficient than those stored in the water.

Business Research Insights estimates that the global boat lift market will reach USD 192.2M by 2028 with an annual compound growth rate of 3.5% during the forecast period. Combined with 2020’s 13-year high in new boat sales, marina owners are at a unique convergence of trends that could result in significant business growth if strategic expansion is initiated.

From a marina’s perspective, fewer employees are needed in comparison to a drystacking operation. Rental rates typically skew higher than either in- or out-of-water storage. Combined with a high demand for this premium offering, boat lift marinas tend to be highly profitable with an above-average customer retention rate. Some businesses that have adopted this model have realized a return on their investment in as soon as 18 to 24 months.

Golden Boat Lifts are manufactured in the USA with only fully-welded 6061 marine-grade aluminum and stainless steel. Built to ISO 9001:2015 standards and CE-approved, they have capacities up to 240,000 lbs. The structures are built to withstand heavy use and wind-borne loading pressures brought on by storm conditions. But unlike boats stored in the water, they don’t have to contend with wave and storm surge buffeting and resultant damage, nor the potential for sinking due to power loss and heavy rain.

“Whether it’s part of a limited makeover or a complete renovation, we’re seeing a significant uptick in inquiries related to boat lift marinas,” said Bill Golden, president and CEO. “As the trend continues into the future, large marina groups and small business owners will increasingly capitalize on the concept’s success. It’s truly a win-win scenario.”


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