Texas Sea Grant offers electronic guide to Texas marinas, services

May 28, 2008

By Dewayne Hollin

COLLEGE STATION — Boaters who want to know more about Texas’ inland and coastal marinas and the services they provide can download a copy of the Texas Sea Grant College Program’s 2008 “Texas Marina Facilities and Services Directory.”

The directory, which has been produced every year since 1986, is developed through an annual survey of all Texas marina operators and owners. It is available as a downloadable PDF file at http://texas-sea-grant.tamu.edu//pubs/boating.php.

Dewayne Hollin, Texas Sea Grant’s marine business management specialist, who compiles the directory, said it can be a useful tool for selecting a marina to berth a boat or for any boater looking for a boat ramp, fuel dock, bait shop or boat repair facility. 

“More than half of the marinas in Texas provide fuel and boat rental and charter services,” he said. 

The directory also lists contact information, including telephone numbers, and the number of slips and availability of other services, including haul-out facilities, retail sales of boats and motors, sewer pump-out services, grocery stores or snack bars, and onsite lodging or RV parks for each marina. 

Hollin noted that the 10-year trend of increases in dry boat storage has continued into 2008.

“More waterfront properties are being developed for residences, so more boaters are using dry storage, like dry stack facilities, to store their smaller boats.” 

Another major change in the Texas marina industry since the first survey has been a shift from coastal marinas to inland facilities. In 1986 there were 125 coastal marinas and 184 inland marinas; in 2008, the number of coastal marinas has dropped to 107, while the number of inland marinas has jumped to 264. 

Clear Lake/Galveston Bay continues to rank first in the state in boat capacity, with 8,177 wet boat slips and 2,126 dry boat storage slots to accommodate 10,303 boats total, almost twice that of the second area, Lake Travis. 

Other marinas in the top five are Lake Conroe, Lake Texoma and Lake Ray Hubbard. The only other coastal marina in the top 10 list is the sixth-ranked Corpus Christi/Port Aransas/Aransas Pass/Rockport area.

Most marinas in Texas are small businesses — more than 60 percent of them have fewer than 100 wet slips, and 45 percent have fewer than 50 slips. Only one marina in Texas, located on Clear Lake, has more than 1,000 wet slips. Statewide, there are more than 45,000 wet slips and more than 17,000 dry boat storage slots available.

The directory is sponsored by the Clean Texas Marina Program, Marina Association of Texas, Texas Sea Grant and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. For more information, contact Hollin at (979) 845-3857 or Dewayne Hollin.

-30-

Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.