Wharf Marina eyes expansion

Marie Havenga • Mar 3, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Wharf Marina officials are eyeing an expansion that would almost double the Grand Haven facility’s in-out service and winter storage capacity.

The project, which is in the engineering phase, still needs the blessings of the city.

The marina’s general manager, Phil Ringelberg, said he hopes to add 50,000 square feet of storage space. The operation currently has 55,000 square feet of storage building space.

“We want to put up some more storage buildings,” he said. “I would love to see a building go up in August so it would be ready by October.”

Ringelberg said Grand Haven is such a desirable location that it makes the marina a popular place for boaters.

“We're blessed with the luxury of everyone wanting to be downtown in the middle of the action,” he said. “Every day, we tell people that we don't have room for them. Of course, they don't like it, and we don't like it.”

Wharf Marina, 501 N. Third St., has been in business for more than a half-century. It doesn't have slips; only in-out service, fuel and service. The adjacent 151 slips are under the control of the Grand Haven Yacht Club and owned by individuals.

The Wharf currently has about 200 in-out customers. Ringelberg said an expansion could boost that number to about 375.

There are a lot of benefits to such a service, versus keeping a boat in the water, according to Ringelberg.

“Your boat's not sitting in the water getting all cruddy — your boat stays clean and dry,” he explained. “We actually wash them off when we pull them out of the water.”

Spiders are problem occupants when a boat is slipped, but they are almost non-existent with in-out service, according to Ringelberg.

The marina’s expansion plans also call for moving its offices closer to the in-out dock.

“We'll be able to see people when they come in,” Ringelberg said. “We'll be able to react quicker.”

The Wharf employs 10 during the summer and three during the winter months, according to Ringelberg.

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