Marina drops prices to attract more boaters

By Helen Murphy    
May 16 2018

GUYSBOROUGH – If you’ve been thinking about buying a boat or wondering where to tie up your vessel this year, the Guysborough Marina has a deal for you.

With occupancy at the marina declining in recent years, the Guysborough Waterfront Development Society is slashing seasonal prices in half 2018. Last year a boat under 20ft found a home at the marina for $14 a foot; this year it’s seven dollars. The over 20ft size is going down from $16 to eight dollars a foot for the season.

Waterfront Development Society volunteer Carmel Avery-MacDonald told The Journal prices have always been competitive with other marinas, but were reduced a few years ago to bring in more business — and are now being cut again. While transient boater traffic is up in recent years, the seasonal boater numbers are down. Last year the seasonal berths operated at about 60 per cent of capacity.

The new approach appears to be working. Two new boaters have signed on since the discount was announced on social media earlier this week.

Avery-MacDonald said the advantages of the Guysborough Marina include easy access to Chedabucto Bay and beyond, as well as the more sheltered Guysborough Harbour and Milford Haven River if it's too windy or cold in the bay.

“We have some boaters from Pictou and Antigonish areas for this reason,” she said. “They get more use out of their boats.”

When the society formed and opened the marina in 1999, it operated at full capacity and consideration was given to expanding.

And as the marina approaches its 20th anniversary, maintenance and repairs have become a costly reality. Insurance alone is $8,000 a year. Funds from seasonal berth rentals are a major source of income for the volunteer society looking after it.

The society has 10-12 active members, with other volunteers assisting with tasks such as putting the docks in each spring.

The group undertakes a number of fundraisers each year to help with costs, including a pub night this coming Saturday at the Jost Building, featuring Jason Wright and Greg Favaro. They hope to host more pub nights over the summer.


EDITOR'S NOTE (clarification): The discount described in this article applies to new members only.