Professional Development Programmes for Marina Managers

Changing Needs in Marina Management Skills

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Professional Development Programmes for Marina Managers- Changing Needs in Marina Management Skills Marina management in the 1990`s requires a different set of skills from those needed in the early years, thirty or more years ago, when recreational boating began expanding into a significant leisure activity in the developed world. In the early years managing a marina meant managing boats-the berthing, storage and repair of boats-and the boat, rather than the boat owner, was perceived to be the customer more often than not. In this setting, the skills needed beyond basic business sense were thought to be a love of the water, good boat handling ability, and a knowledge of boat hauling and repair techniques. There were few barriers to facility development in the early days. Wetlands and salt marshes were dug and shallow channels dredged deeper. Rubble mound breakwaters installed, and docks and moorings expanded with little interference from the government, and no hew and cry from environmentalists. Moneys were lent for marina projects through mortgages based on personal relationships with local bankers, and often based on refinancing the owner`s home loan in an era when waterfront homes appreciated rapidly. In the 1990`s marina management has developed into a profession, and professional skills are needed to keep up with the complex issues facing the manager of a capital intensive service business situated in an expensive, high visibility, environmentally sensitive, closely regulated location. A few of the current management issues are: Extensive regulation by federal, state and local governments. The constant threat (and reality) of litigation. The difficulty of hiring, affording and retaining skilled employees. Opposition from residential neighbors and environmental groups. Competition for waterfront space from residential and commercial developers. Rising costs of doing business, which exceed the rate of general inflation. Compliance with environmental regulations. Compliance with complex employment laws.

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