Tuesday, July 25, 2017  

Garrett's Marina
Then & Now

Garrett's Marina is a one-stop shop for many boaters. You can purchase and finance your boat through them, have it serviced and fueled, and in the off season have it stored at Harborside Storage in a state of the art dry docking facility, which is onsite to Garrett's Marina. This hasn't always been in the case. In fact, it all started as a way for Fred Garrett, Sr. to store his oyster deadrises out of the harshness of the river.

In 1946, Fred Garrett, Sr., an oysterman, was looking for a safe place to moor his oyster deadrises. It occurred to him that dredging the creek that now houses Garrett's Marina would be the perfect solution. Once he dredged the creek he found that several other waterfront residents were facing the same problem when they asked him if they could leave their boats in the creek as well. That is how it all began; a common problem with a logical solution.

As time went on, Mr. Garrett's children became involved with the marina. After college Fred, Jr. began working at the marina, as did his brother Wit. While they were working at the marina they continued their work as farmers and oystermen.

In 1962, Fred, III, commonly know around here as Skipper, took over the marina. During this time the marina flourished as a dealer for Boston Whalers, Glastrons, and Formula Thunderbirds. It was also during this time (1968) that Skipper took a trip down the intercoastal waterway and noticed that in Florida boats were being stacked high and dry when not in use. When Skipper got back, he decided that a Boatel, high and dry storage for boats, was just what Garrett's Marina needed. It is likely that this was the first Boatel in all of Virginia.

During the 1970s, Skipper took on a partner, Gordon Birkett. Together Skipper and Gordon purchased Garrett's Marina from Skipper's father, Fred, Jr. In this purchase they acquired solely the entity of Garrett's Marina. This would allow them control over the marina, but the land on which the marina sat still belonged to the Garrett family. In the early 1980s Garrett's Marina, the business entity, was sold entirely to Gordon. Skipper decided to work for the family's oyster business.

In 1999, Garrett's Marina changed hands once more, this time to one of their faithful employees, Louis Muse. Louis began working at Garrett's Marina in 1985, during the summers part-time while he was still in college. Once Louis finished college he decided that he would like to stay in the marine industry and continued his work at Garrett's Marina. He worked his way up in the service center of the marina until he became service manager in 1993. Louis stayed in this position until he purchased the marina.

Under Louis's ownership Garrett's Marina has continued as a full-service marina, serving the Northern Neck and Central Virginia. They operate a launching ramp, fuel sales, a marine shop, and full service center. Garrett's Marina is a one-stop shop for all boats 35 feet and under. They are a boat dealer for Key West, Hydro-Sport, and Crest Pontoons. They also are boat engine dealers for Yamaha, Bombarbier, and Suzuki outboards.

Garrett's Marina's service begins with selling boats, engines, and electronic installations, and continues on to meet all of the needs of their customers. Their focus is on taking care of their customers and that is evident by walking in to their marine store which carries everything from life jackets to boat cleaning supplies. The boat service center is full of factory trained technicians to diagnose and service any problems that may arise when boating. At the marina they like to say that they are big enough to meet all of their customers needs, yet small enough to really get to know each of their customers.

Garrett's Marina works very closely with Harborside Storage to meet the needs of their customers in the off season and between trips out on the river. As mentioned earlier the Garrett family brought to Virginia a way to store boats in boatels, high and dry. In 1997, the Garrett family began renovations to enhance upon these storage systems. In 1998, Harborside Storage was born; which is owned and operated by the Garrett family.

Harborside Storage now has four state-of-the-art, enclosed Boatels. The Garrett family spent from 1997 to 2005 constructing these boat storage facilities and now have the capacity to house approximately 300 boats indoors, away from the weather. These structures are different from the ones built in 1968 in that they are enclosed as the others were open to the elements.

Together Garrett's Marina and Harborside Storage are providing their customers top of the line service in both the areas of service and storage. To get more information on Garrett's Marina you can find them on the web at www.garrettsmarina.com, or call them at 804-443-2573. Harborside Storage is also on the web at www.harborsidestorage.com, and can be reached by phone at 804-443-0190.

Are you ready for boating season?