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Buying a Marina

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The Simply Marinas team is uniquely qualified to assist you with valuation, due diligence and financing across all marina and marina resorts asset types.

Excerpts from a Marina Dock Age Magazine Article contributed by Michelle Ash, Founder of Simply Marinas.

The Marina Buyer’s Acquisition Checklist

Work with your financial advisor to establish price range

Fine-tune your criteria so we match you with the right marina asset

Get a preliminary pre-approval letter from your lender

Work with your Simply Marinas advisor for a preliminary marina valuation

Choose an attorney familiar with marina assets

Ensure a thorough marina due diligence assessment:


Assess the physical condition of the asset


Examine the Infrastructure and equipment


Learn about the current staffing capabilities


Study the marina financials, trend, and market position


Look at the future upside and ability to add value


Request/conduct environmental reports, where needed


Work with your attorney to review survey, lien, and title search


Work with our team to advise you on the deal structure


Ensure transition support, if needed

The value of a marina is generally measured by the income approach using the capitalization rate (cap rate). We currently see marinas trading in the 7% – 12% cap rate range. Other factors that can affect the marina value include potential upside, condition of improvements, type of income sources, existence of in-place staff, financing terms, as well as the location and whether the marina is owned as a leasehold or in fee-simple.

Certain marina attributes enhance a buyer’s investment in any market. These include its location, the condition of the facility, its amenities, and the extent to which buyers are basing their purchases almost solely on cash flow and current income. If the marina or boatyard has some potential upside, giving marina ownership the ability to add value, this is a definite plus. If the marina is well maintained with professional management, needs no significant maintenance and repair and shows a positive cash flow, then it’s in good shape to buy, especially if it has attractive amenities. It should be noted that certain buyers are willing to buy sites, which are currently not cash flowing or need an overhaul of their amenities, but only if they have a clear upside and a discounted purchase.

A critical factor is availability of debt, if the acquisition is not going to be a cash purchase. Work with your banker and financial advisor to determine the investment amount you can dedicate to the marina purchase. Contact a few lenders who offer different programs to get prequalified and understand their requirements and timeline.

Contact us for a complimentary strategic consultation and preliminary valuation.