More waterfront services and amenities are on the way to becoming a reality in Havre de Grace.
Both Havre de Grace Marina and Log Pond Marina changed hands recently, according to Lachelle Scarlato, who bought the businesses with her husband Chris.
For the past 42 years, the two marinas had been owned by Arvid and Donna Scherpf, said Scarlato, who told Patch the properties had been for sale for years.
A mutual friend introduced the Scarlatos and the Scherpfs thinking it might be a business match, and the rest is history.
"We're boaters, we love the water, we love Havre de Grace and we love people," Lachelle Scarlato said. "It was a good fit."
Chris Scarlato grew up in Havre de Grace. He owns a commercial industrial company in Baltimore, which he is in the process of selling. She is a licensed Realtor who had lived in Canvasback Cove when she met her husband. Both were members of the marina before purchasing it and are avid boaters.
With the sale complete as of November, the Scarlatos renamed the newly merged operation "The Marinas at Havre de Grace Marine Center."
Cranes and other machinery buzz about as the waterfront properties get some upgrades. The Scarlatos inherited two staff members and have hired five other employees so that by the time the warmer season rolls around, the Havre de Grace Marine Center will be up and running, with even more services.
Dredging was one of the first orders of business.
"We're going to take it back to a good deep depth," Lachelle Scarlato said, over the hum of construction equipment near the water. Like most waterfront properties in Havre de Grace, she said, silt from the Conowingo Dam had accumulated, making boating difficult.
Once the water is dredged, they will replace the docks.
In addition, the couple wanted to diversify the business.
"First and foremost, we're a marina," she said, but the Havre de Grace Marine Center will have some other offerings and upgrades, from handicap accessible boat ramps to extended-stay lodging.
On Water Street, the Havre de Grace Marina will provide these services:
- Sailmaking and sail repairs on-site, through the acquisition of Starboard Canvas
- Storage and rentals for kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards
- A retail shop with boating accessories
- Massage therapy
- Floating dock slips and moorings for boats and jet skis
- New and pre-owned boats for sale
- Overnight lodging on a 55-foot classic Chris Craft Yacht with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and full living accommodations
On Girard Street, the following will be available at Log Pond:
- Waterfront extended-stay lodging (coming in May)
- Docks for larger boats
- Transient boat dockage for large vessels
The addition of transient slips at Log Pond is a big plus for Havre de Grace, according to the voice of the city's business community.
Currently, "there is limited access by boat, and [there are] very few transient slips within walking distance to Main Street," Cathy Vincenti, director of the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce, said.
“Providing more transient slips will be great for restaurants and retail," Vincenti continued. "Having downtown Havre de Grace more accessible from the water is a real win for the business community."
An event venue is also in the works, with windows offering panoramic views of the Susquehanna River for weddings, parties and other events, with an outdoor patio.
Lachelle Scarlato said that as of this week, a couple has already contacted her to book their wedding for the fall.
Both marinas expect to be operating at close to full capacity by this summer, Scarlato said.
A grand opening is scheduled for May 3 to 5.
Surrounded by a boatyard of vessels and staff on Water Street, Lachelle Scarlato said she felt this part of town could use a boost: "I think great things are to come."
Visit www.HdGMarineCenter.com for more information.