In the world of boating, news of a new marina travels through the boating community with the speed of a shooting star and when that new marina is the closest one to what’s known as the yachtsman’s paradise, Exuma, its nearly instant success comes as little surprise.
But, says the man heading that new marina at Palm Cay that provides a handy stopover or service point for locals and island-hoppers alike, location isn’t all. Getting it right is just as critical.
“Getting a marina and its facilities right from consistent, sufficient power to dockside service is not easy, but it’s essential. Get it wrong and word will spread like wildfire– over VHF radio, social media, a network that seems to travel among boaters as if they were all connected by an invisible but invincible thread,” says Brooks Russell, harbourmaster.
Russell should know. He’s been in the marina industry for more than 15 years. Last year, he signed on with Palm Cay while construction of the marina was still underway.
Today, he says, the marina at Palm Cay is doing what it needs to well – and doing fine because of it.
“Traffic and business is picking up every week,” he said. With 194 slips, and full service facilities, the marina is attracting buyers to a marina lifestyle in the fully-funded, nearly 70-acre secure waterfront community on New Providence’s southeastern shore. More than 30 property owners are already berthing everything from personal watercraft to 110-foot yachts at the marina that opened in late October while construction of the harbourmaster’s office and other facilities was ongoing.
But Palm Cay is also attracting Exuma-bound transient boaters.
“We are the closest marina in New Providence to Exuma so for those who want to go over the yellow banks in good light, it makes a lot of sense to berth at Palm Cay overnight and get a good start by light of day,” says Russell. “It cuts six or seven miles off the trip, making it more attractive especially for sailboats. And while they are here, they can take advantage of the beach club and pools. Pretty soon, they’ll have the Billfish Grill restaurant so it’s like being on vacation on the way to vacation.”
In October, Palm Cay was named the southeastern outpost of the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA). The marina monitors calls and is capable of launching a rescue vessel with volunteers in case of an emergency.
“We are extremely pleased with the positive response to the marina,” said Palm Cay Sales & Marketing Director Zack Bonczek. “Business has exceeded expectation at this point and we believe it will pick up even more with the opening of the restaurant.”
With more than 70% of the single family lots sold, the community of single family homes, condos and townhomes was named Developer of the Year 2013 by the Bahamas Contractors Association, the first time the award was ever presented to a development.
Diane Phillips and Associates
Caption: The 194-slip Palm Cay Marina opened less than three months ago and is exceeding projected growth. In October, it was named the southeastern outpost for BASRA, the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association.