Hiring Marina Staff

Marinas are an incredibly unique and challenging workplace. Often comprised of smaller highly skilled teams, their success largely depends on their employees. As such, hiring for marinas also presents its own set of challenges. Candidates are highly skilled, and for most positions an in depth understanding of marine systems is required. Above all, and in all positions, hires should be self-motivated, able to adapt to quickly changing environments, and willing to adopt an “all hands on deck” attitude. In this flash course you’ll find a collection of sample job descriptions, compensation and benefits data, marina management companies and more.

Sample Job Descriptions

Every marina is unique but it helps to have a starting place when planning or promoting a new job. Below you'll find a collection of sample job descriptions for common marina and boat yard roles. Are we missing one? Reach out to us and we'll keep the collection growing.

Marina General Manager

The General Manager is responsible for leading the day-to-day operations and ongoing growth and development of the property while keeping the guest at the forefront of every decision.

General Manager Responsibilities

  • Lead organization to scale, financial performance, and operational excellence
  • Define organizational needs, outlining and standardizing processes, and building teams.
  • Lead the development and implementation of day-to-day structures, policies, and processes to ensure a seamless Guest and Team experience.
  • Lead the development and implementation of rate and fulfillment strategies to support revenue optimization, asset utilization, and achieve financial goals through regular analysis of market demands and trends.
  • Lead the development, implementation, and management of the operational budget for achieving the established financial and guest satisfaction performance goals.
  • Provide immediate oversight to all financial aspects of the operation for achieving the overall goal of providing experiences profitably; additionally, ensuring accuracy and consistency within the systems, reporting, and tracking processes between the operations and the accounting team.

General Manager Qualifications

  • Senior level experience leading hospitality-oriented where capital allocation and operational excellence are required (hotels, self-storage, cruise lines, marinas).
  • Experience building teams. 
  • Comfortable in startup environment. 

Marina Facilities Director Job Description

The Facilities Team is responsible for creating a safe and pleasurable guest experience through maintaining the highest-quality facilities.

Facilities Director Responsibilities:

  • Ensure integrity of all facilities and standardization of systems, risk management, and security.
  • Implement general, preventative, and reactive maintenance programs. 
  • Spearhead short and long-term capital improvements at each location; assist with deferred maintenance assessment of acquisition targets.
  • Lead the day-to-day execution of all scheduled facility inspections, inventories, and routine maintenance and repairs on all infrastructure and systems as defined by the GM, PM, and RM programs. 
  • Assists with the execution of the seasonal shut down and re-opening of our properties. This may require participation prior to the opening date and beyond the closing date.
  • Assists with the execution of the emergency / disaster plan for all aspects of the operation.
  • Ensures the proactive preparedness and enforcement of safety policies in adherence to all state and federal guidelines.
  • Provides regular reporting for upper management and ownership with effective and timely communications of activity, planning, and success metrics.

Facilities Director Qualifications

  • Marine-based engineering, construction, and development background with leadership experience
  • Professional project management experience
  • Understanding and ability to perform professional level electrical, sewage, plumbing, and fuel systems maintenance

Dock Team Lead / Dockmaster 

The dockmaster is responsible for the day to day operation of the marinas, docks, and dock staff, while ensuring a pleasant and safe experience for customers. 

Dock Team Lead Responsibilities

  • Maintain safety standards on docks at all times, working closely with the Marina Facilities Director. 
  • Provide customer service with exemplary communication skills through email, phone, and VHF radio. 
  • Assist with and lead implementation of seasonal hiring and training programs for Dockhands.
  • Ensure that staffing is appropriate at all times, and that Dockhands are completing responsibilities in a safe and timely manner.
  • Provide regular and actionable reporting for management to review.
  • Assists with the execution of the emergency / disaster plan for all aspects of the operation.

Dock Team Lead Qualifications

  • Experience in operating and moving various sizes of boats
  • USCG Captains license preferred but not required.
  • Ability to maintain a cooperative, team attitude in working with Dock Staff and scheduling shifts. 
  • Ability to insure compliance with all Marina and fuel dock rules and regulations, and working knowledge of all regulations. 
  • Previous customer service experience with similar caliber clientele.
  • Ability to swim.

Dock Staff / Dockhands

The Dock staff are generally the first point of contact with the customer and are responsible for operating the fuel dock, running the pump out facilities, and catching and securing lines for incoming boats. 

Dock Staff Responsibilities

  • Act as the first interface with our boaters.
  • Ensure the docks, taxi boats and marina spaces are safe and clean.
  • Run pump out facilities and fuel docks as needed.
  • Responsibly collect payment and manage POS transactions.

Dock Staff Qualifications 

  • Great communication and customer service skills.
  • Self-starter and capable of working unsupervised. 
  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to swim.
  • Physical ability to lift / carry up to 30 lbs.
  • Boating experience is a plus but not required.

Marina Finance Director

The Marina Finance Director is responsible for managing all aspects of the Marina's long term growth and financial health. They oversee the financial operations of the company.

Finance Director Responsibilities

  • Lead implementation of accounting systems and practices across locations
  • Responsible for monthly reporting, dynamic forecasting ability, and annual budgeting. 
  • Model acquisition targets. 

Finance Director Qualifications

  • Transactional finance background. 
  • Has overseen successful implementation of accounting systems.

 Marina Human Resources Lead

The Marina Human Resources Lead is responsible for overseeing all responsibility of the HR department, including but not limited to enforcing company policies, interviewing applicants, and managing existing staff benefits and pay. 

Marina Human Resources Lead Responsibilities

  • Lead development of recruiting, interviewing, and hiring.
  • Lead onboarding, training, and quality control practices across organization.
  • Ensure Marina policies create an inclusive, safe and productive work environment.
  • Work with management to set competitive wage, benefit and incentive standards.

Marina Human Resources Lead Qualifications

  • Prior HR leadership experience within service industry.
  • Comfortable in start up environment. 

Customer Service Representative/ Service Advisor 

Customer Service Representatives utilize their knowledge of yacht systems to work with customers to schedule service and maintenance of their vessels. 

Customer Service Representative Responsibilities

  • Assume responsibility for all communications and documentation involving any service provided for customers, including obtaining signed estimates.
  • Maintain accurate and up to date customer files. 
  • Inspect boats for needed repairs, potential upgrades, and fitness for customer delivery.
  •  Responsible for timely distribution and follow up of customer billing, layup and commissioning forms, maintenance & repair reports, dockage and storage contracts, etc.

Customer Service Representative Qualifications

  • Extensive marina and boating knowledge. 
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience.
  • Highest attention to detail and excellent Customer Service and communication skills.

Download editable versions of all of these sample job descriptions here

Marina Job Boards & Staffing Services

We asked marina managers and owners for their recommendations for job boards. While word-of-mouth and tapping into your network is still the most popular method of finding talent, there are a number of job boards that came up as well:

  • LinkedIn: Strong for its comprehensiveness, LinkedIn profiles are near ubiquitous across industries.  Search for marina titles but also for hotel and resort staff. 
  • CareerBoat: Strong for how specific it is to the industry, you’re likely to find highly relevant recruits here for your open roles.
  • Marine Industry Career Network:  a collaborative effort among marine trade associations and industry stakeholders to connect employers with a qualified workforce.

Marina Staffing Services

There are a small handful of recruitment and staffing services out there that specialize in marinas, ship builders and shipyards.  

  • CTR Marine: a division of CTR Group, CTR Marine is one of the largest shipyard staffing services, it focuses on skilled shipyard trades like electricians, crane operators, and ship fitters.  
  • Brooks Marine Group Brooks Marine Group specializes in management recruiting for the recreational marine industry. In addition to management recruiting, BMG offers consultative services to include workforce development strategies, apprenticeships & internships, training & development, and succession planning.

Marina Management Companies

If you are operating more than 1-2 assets, or your operation is highly complex, you may want to consider hiring a management company. There are a handful of management companies widely used today.

F3 Marina Management Services

Managing over a dozen marinas across the United States, F3 Marina is a well-run management company with deep expertise in marketing and financial. Their services include all aspects of waterfront development and management, including; marinas and adjacent upland property, such as multi-family and retail. 

Oasis Management

Oasis services run the gamut but they specialize in design and build services, vendor management and inventory management.  They operate a wide collection of marinas across the continental United States.

US Marina Group

USMG has experience operating Caribbean and Latin America marinas, as well as all U.S. markets. They are versed in the unique set of requirements, laws, and regulations that each market brings and cover services from asset management to day-to-day operations, marketing and sales.

Trident Marine Management

Working with marinas of all sizes and types from condo-owned properties to commercial marinas, Trident has ​​expertise in accounting and reporting, human resources, environmental concerns, risk management, workplace safety, marketing, advertising, and customer service support. 

Dockwa  

Not ready for a full management company but want to supplement your team with specific services like website development, marketing, social media, pricing strategies, staffing, or positioning for a sale? Dockwa, a marina management software platform, offers a la cart services as part of its enterprise software tier. Disclaimer: this website, Marinas.com and Dockwa are both owned and run by The Wanderlust Group.


Marina Staff Salary Ranges

Marinas.com and the Association of Marine Industries (AMI) recently ran a compensation survey across 400 marinas in North America and Canada.  You can download the complete survey findings to get the full benchmarks on wage compensation. Here are some highlights.

General Managers:  The average annual wage for a marina general manager was $85,895 in the survey responses. General Managers who had gone through a certification program had a higher wage by about $5000 a year. 

Marina Manager: The average annual wage for a marina manager is $69,894 in the survey responses

Dockmaster: The average annual wage for a dockmaster was $45,806 in the survey responses. 

Dockhand: The average wage for a dockhand was $14.36/hr in the survey responses.

Each of these average wages varied greatly by region. See the full report for regional breakdowns to make sure you’re comparing against similar marinas. You’ll also find salary data for forklift operators and yard managers in the report.

Download the full compensation report.


Benefits

In a 2020 survey of 372 marinas, the following are the most common benefits offered by marinas to their full time employees. 

Benefits Offered by Marinas in Marinas.com / AMI Survey 2020


Our survey participants also mentioned various other benefits; these include the list below. The majority of businesses participating in this survey did not say the below benefits. Still, they may provide you with “outside the box” thinking on supporting your employees.

  • Group bonus
  • Seasonal/Full-time housing
  • Seasonal boat storage rental
  • 401K match
  • Phone or vehicle reimbursement
  • Vision insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Meals

Download the full compensation report


Dock Staff Incentive Models

Structuring Your Dock Team

How you structure your dock team will depend on the size of your guest base and diversity of your offerings, but for larger operations, we recommend organizing your dock team into sections called “zones”. Similar to servers in large restaurant, each zone has a different Dock Team Member assigned to it every day of the week. This ensures that you’ve got coverage for the full marina - not just the most appealing portions to dockstaff - and also enables you to circulate staff for more well-rounded training and development.

Incentivizing your dock team

In 2020, Stock Island Marina developed a tip share model to incentivize their dock team.  They noticed that their Dock Team was gravitating towards the more lucrative zones like the fuel dock and transient docks while neglecting the zones with our long-term guest base and infrastructure that required less tip yielding services and more warmth, enforcement, upkeep, and maintenance.  It didn’t take long to recognize that they needed to tweak this service model and add an incentive that would promote teamwork and ensure that every type of guest and every inch of the property was receiving the attention needed.  They decided to create a tip-sharing program.

How it works:

The Dock Team tips are pooled daily, matched by the organization at 25%, and split according to the number of hours worked in a given shift.

For example:

  • Pooled tips between all Dock Team Members = $100
  • Tips matched by Organization at 25% = $25
  • Total amount of tips pooled = $125
  • Dock Team Member A works 8 hours
  • Dock Team Member B works 6 hours
  • Dock Team Member C works 4 hours
  • Total Hours of all team members = 18
  • Tip Share = (Total Tips Pooled / Total Hours of All Team Members) x Total Hours of Shift

The tip sharing program had a number of benefits.  It ensured the integrity of the zone structure and motivated the team to address each guest as the most important guest no matter the location or what the need may be. Because of the matching program, it also had the added effect of promoting organizational loyalty in an industry that constantly fights dock staff churn.  


In Summary: Recruiting and Hiring Marina Staff

How you staff your marina is the single most impactful choice you can make in your guest experience. Too often it gets rushed amid the understandably busy day-to-day of running an operation. Investing in this process, bringing on the right people and incentivizing them properly can save you time down the line in turn-over and also act as a magnet for other talent down the line. There's a lot that goes into running a marina, but if you read the comment cards and Marinas.com reviews, you'll quickly notice how much of it hinges on the interactions guests have with your team. Good luck and happy hiring.