Bay Harbor Makes Top Ten
- story and photographs by Ellis Anderson
Marinas.com, the world’s “Number One Marina Website,” recognized the Bay St. Louis Harbor as one of its Top Ten All-Around Marina winners in its annual Boater’s Choice Awards.
Since the contest was open to marinas worldwide, the Bay shares the honor with international destinations like Key West and Algarve, Portugal.
The Bay St. Louis harbor opened last summer and with only 15 months of operations has blasted slip rental projections “out of the water,” says Harbor Master Chuck Fortin.
The award is a huge statement,” says Fortin. “Especially considering that we’ve had only 15 months of operation. We’re obviously doing the right thing here.”
“We have an outstanding staff,” says Seal. “Chuck’s doing a tremendous job. He brings decades of experience to the table and we’re very fortunate to have him.”
Seal says he was very excited to hear about the award and sees it as proof that word about the facility has spread.
“It’s great positive recognition for the city overall too,” says Seal. “This means that we’ve been recognized as a premier location.”
The harbor is doing other things right as well. It’s the Mississippi coast’s first and only Clean and Resilient Marina as well. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s Clean and Resilient program has stringent guidelines to promote and expand “resilient and environmentally responsible operations and best management practices at marinas.”
Of course, being adjacent to one of the coolest small towns in America helps. Restaurants, shopping, and art galleries make up part of the Bay’s scenic historic district. Fortin says that the harbor’s unique location ratchets interest higher as the word in the boating community spreads.
“We’re fielding more inquiries about slip leasing and have experienced a big uptick in transient dockage over last year. October is generally a slower month on the coast, but we’re going into it with more slips leased that we’ve ever had.”
Fortin points to the 35 transient slips that have been reserved for Cruisin’ the Coast in the second week of October.
“For larger boats, we’re already at capacity, but we still have a few slips available in the under-35-foot range.”
The Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor offers 163 slips, 12 of which are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible. Amenities include electrical and water service connections, full service restrooms and showers, fuel dock with diesel and non-ethanol gasoline, sewer pump out stations, 24-hour security and a 155-by-60-foot events deck. It can also accommodate vessels upwards of 100 feet for long term or transient dockage. The Jimmy Rutherford Fishing Pier serves as the northern boundary of the harbor basin. The pier length is approximately 1,100 linear feet which includes four covered platforms and a 30-by-50-foot fishing platform (with a 10-by-20-foot covered portion).
For more information about the Bay St. Louis harbor, call 228-467-4226.
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