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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
HomeBusiness & Community“We’ve Come a Long Way.“

“We’ve Come a Long Way.“

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Hernando Beach Marina meets growing recreational boating demand with its newly completed $2 million expansion.

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The boating industry is experiencing record highs across the nation as recreational boating and fishing are the largest contributors to the $689 billion outdoor recreation economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

“Following record sales in 2020, recreational boating remained the leading outdoor recreation sector in the U.S. in 2021 with new powerboat sales exceeding 300,000 units for only the second time in 15 years,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) president. NMMA expects 2022 to surpass 2021 by as much as 3 percent. In 2020, Florida led the nation with $4.3 billion in sales of new powerboats, engines, trailers, and accessories.

To meet the continuing growth of Hernando County and the increase in boating demand, the Hernando Beach Marina, situated on Shoal Line Boulevard has just completed its more than $2 million high and dry boat storage expansion, including additional parking for boaters and Hernando Beach Tropical Grille restaurant guests.

“Just like everyone else, we have seen a huge influx of recreational boaters,” said General Manager Bill Jay, who oversaw the expansion and has been with the marina for over 6 years.

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“Adding more parking and storage facilities for boats up to 43ft are just two components of the recent expansion,” said Jay. “Providing a continuous and safe service is also paramount to the marina and we are now utilizing two marina forklifts and are getting a third to ensure customers’ boats can get in and out of the water efficiently.”

In addition to the construction of a totally new boat motel, all existing storage motels have also been upgraded and equipped with high-velocity fire sprinkler suppression systems to keep boats safe. Stringent building specifications included heavily secured structural concrete/steel footers that can withstand Category 5 storms. Racks were also restructured to improve safety and to accommodate boats that require specific storage needs such as pontoons and Tritons.

Jay said the construction process had run smoothly and the marina had received quite a bit of support for the project from the local community.

In celebration of the completion of the expansion, the marina will be holding a customer appreciation day on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, to thank their customers and the community for their patronage and patience. There will be refreshments and music.

“This is an opportunity for us to show off our new boat barn and for our customers to meet with staff,” said Jay.
Also included in the mix of upgrading the marina, the ships store has been expanded and restocked to provide all of the daily necessities — like oil, fishing gear, lures, tackle, and frozen bait — to make your boating needs fun and enjoyable. The marina also sells and rents out pontoon boats. For those inexperienced boaters, the marina can also recommend offshore captains here in Hernando County.

Hernando Beach Marina prides itself on its service department and is well stocked for both boat care and parts. Service is available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and staffed with highly qualified and certified technicians.

“Our technicians are required to attend classes every year to update the many changes in servicing marine equipment and motors,” said Jay. “All our service mechanics are certified in Suzuki and Mercury, also Yamaha and most OMC motors.”

All boaters look forward to the end of winter and taking their boat back out on the water again. Make sure to book your regular service appointment before the end of this year so you and your boat will be ready to have a safe and fun boating experience for spring and summer.

Propeller services, fiberglass repairs, canvas work, boat washing, and boat detailing are also available. Hernando Beach Marina is an authorized dealer of Mercury and Suzuki outboard motors.

In Hernando County, there were 11,271 boating vessels registered in 2021, 10,683 in 2020, and 10,496 in 2019. Hernando Beach Marina is fully prepared to meet the needs of the growing boater population.

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Hernando Beach Tropical Grille
Join Chef Mark Peloquin at the Hernando Beach Tropical Grille tiki bar for food and beverages. Located at the rear of Hernando Beach Marina, enjoy some of the New England seafood entrees, burgers, or soups.
Open Sunday – Thursday 11:30 AM – 7 PM,
Live Music on Friday & Saturday 11:30 AM – 8 PM

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
HERNANDO BEACH MARINA
CARDBOARD BOAT RACE 2023

This highly popular event was sorely missed in 2022 because of Covid but is now scheduled for Spring 2023.
Keep checking
www.hernandobeachmarinas.com for the date.
The event will feature entertainment, food, and merchandise vendors. There will be raffles and a Silent Auction.
Categories are Youth Class, High School, and Open. Awards will be presented for Best looking, Most Unique, Fastest time, Demolition Derby, and Titanic Award for the most dramatic sinking.
Stay tuned for updates or call Bill at 352.596.2952 for more information.

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