Long Lake Marina expands into Bridgton

THE CREW FROM Long Lake Marina poses aboard “the fun boat.” Long Lake Marina recently acquired property in Bridgton with ample boat storage space, a maintenance shop plus a show room. Last fall, when the marina’s Naples-based boat storage facility reached its capacity, owner Jim Davenport knew it was time to expand the business again.   (De Busk Photo)

THE CREW FROM Long Lake Marina poses aboard “the fun boat.” Long Lake Marina recently acquired property in Bridgton with ample boat storage space, a maintenance shop plus a show room. Last fall, when the marina’s Naples-based boat storage facility reached its capacity, owner Jim Davenport knew it was time to expand the business again. (De Busk Photo)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Jim Davenport is ready to make some waves about Long Lake Marina’s recent expansion.

The Naples-based marina, that has been on Long Lake since the 1950s, can offer its boating customers yet another location.

Davenport is excited to let the word out: Long Lake Marina purchased the property formerly known as New England Boat and Recreation.

“The Bridgton facility is open for business, and ready to take people in for storage and maintenance,” he said.

“We have one of most experienced staffs for technical services,” Davenport said of his crew.

The new boat storage facility has several buildings on five acres in Bridgton, and it’s conveniently located right off Route 302.

The main indoor storage unit, which includes a showroom, is 70x120 feet. Another newly-constructed storage facility is 80x150 feet. The structures also provide space for marine vessel maintenance.

“The rest of the property is open, and we will be utilizing it for shrinkwrap and boat storage,” he said.

There was a definite need for more space, especially this fall when the 500-boat facility behind the Post Office in Naples reached capacity, and the staff found themselves turning away customers for lack of space, according to Davenport. Plus, the Naples boat storage unit had been built only six years ago, in 2007.

Now, that could be an example of the problems that come with success.

“After last year’s storage was completed, we quickly realized the need to expand further,” he said.

“The realtor for New England Boat & Recreation came by the marina and said he had a facility for sale,” he said.

Perhaps, word gets around the lake quickly.

Davenport told the realtor he was interested. He was thrilled to find an “existing marina operation” on the market and, hopefully, forego purchasing property and building the structures from scratch. In fact, New England Boat was a turnkey operation with a list of loyal customers.

On May 1, “an agreement was struck” between Davenport and the marina’s longtime owners, whom most people know as “Bob” and “Missy,” he said.

It wasn’t long until before Davenport placed a banner saying “Long Lake Marina” across the old business sign.

“We decided to retire the name as the old owners, Robert and Melissa Finocchiaro, had elected to retire” from the boating business.

After the growth spurt that Long Lake Marina has experienced since developing its boating facility in the Town of Naples, Davenport is thankful for the extra space in Bridgton.

“We anticipate taking in an additional 200 boats” at the new location, he said.

“We certainly have enough area to take everyone in,” he said.

He said that the majority of his customers take their boats out of the water for the season before or during Labor Day weekend in early September.

“With boating, it’s a family-oriented sport. The kids usually have a lot going on with activities once school starts,” he said.

Around Labor Day weekend, his crew is busy getting people’s boats into storage.

“As soon as the kids return to school, we see the boats make their way back,” he said.

Storing boats “definitely peaks on Columbus Day weekend. That is when we see the last of the push. It begins on Labor Day. It peaks out on Columbus Day,” he said. By the end of the month, the small remainder of the area’s boaters will get their boats into storage, Davenport said.

But, that doesn’t mean that work is over for the 25 employees at the marina.

“In the wintertime, we refer to Internet sales and technical service work,” he said.

“The shop is open year-round to keep up with the spring demand,” he said.

 

 

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