Puget Sound’s most techno-savvy marina welcomes tenants to BI

The rebuilt Eagle Harbor Marina recently reopened after a top-to-bottom improvement project — and already nearly 80 percent of its more than 100 slips are full.

The newest and most technologically advanced marina on the Puget Sound, Eagle Harbor Marina now boasts, in addition to many security and technology improvements, larger slips. The facility has 110 slips offering moorage options to vessels of up to 150 feet in length, said general partner and facility manager Bob Wise.

“It’s a complete rebuild,” he said. “Everything out here has been replaced — every dock, every piling, every piece of utility.”

Wise and his wife were tenants under the previous owners and experienced firsthand conditions which he said marked the facility for a “long overdue” rebuild.

“This property had fallen into some significant disrepair,” Wise said. “If you’re not keeping up on the maintenance, it dramatically shortens the life span of the property.

“This was originally a condo-ized marina, so the individual slips were owned by owners,” he explained.

“My wife and I bought three of the slips here about 10 years ago and it had reached the point where it had fallen into such disrepair we were talking to the people who owned the majority of it, which was an investor-led group, and we just said, ‘You guys either need to step up and make the big capital investment and repair the entire property or you need to sell it.’”

They opted to sell, and they’d already found the right buyer. Eagle Harbor is the third marina Wise and his wife have purchased and he personally oversaw every aspect of the rebuilding process.

The marina now incorporates a state-of-the-art security system with keyed gate entry, high definition security cameras and fiber optic cable throughout to supply commercial quality WiFi. A weather station provides tenants with instant updates and a real-time ground fault monitoring system allows Wise to identify and fix sources of stray electrical current in the water, a perpetual issue at all marinas and one which can cause unduly quick corrosion of vessels.

Eagle Harbor is also, Wise said, the only marina on the Olympic Peninsula with large vessel capacity and 100 amp power service. It also provides each slip with in-slip waste pump-out capabilities.

John Hough, a project partner and fellow longtime slip owner, said the support of past and new tenants had been greatly encouraging.

“My expectation was that the boating community represented here was going to do everything it took to rebuild it and it was a little bit of a gamble, but not a big gamble, and it actually happened much faster than I think any of us anticipated,” he said.

“I think what we’ve done surprised a lot of people here,” Hough said.

The marina closed in May last year to begin rebuilding and reopened recently, less than a year later.

Nearly all of the previous tenants returned, Wise said, most of whom are local residents who visit the marina regularly.

There’s also a few liveaboards.

“About 10,” Wise said, actually reside on their boats often.

But what a place to stay.

“What we’ve built here is very unusual from both the capacity standpoint and also from the technology standpoint,” Wise said.

Hough agreed. An island resident since 1977, Hough said reliable and safe marinas are scarcer than one might think.

“What appealed to my wife and I to become a part of what happened here was to try to rebuild what we felt was an important recreational boating asset for the island,” he said. “There’s just a minimal amount of water access when you look at the opportunities and you compare it to the growing population on the island, and so we were concerned if this wasn’t rebuilt that it would most likely go away.”

Eagle Harbor Marina is located at 5834 Ward Ave. NE. Visit www.eagle harbormarina.com or call 206-842-4003 for information about rates and moorage availability and applications.