Palm Cay Marina, located on New Providence's southeastern coast, has sailed away with the coveted title of boaters' favourite marina in The Bahamas for the fifth consecutive year.
Demaro Demeritte, the marina dockmaster, revealed the latest win after learning that Palm Cay had again received top-ranked reviews on Garmin ActiveCaptain.com, the TripAdvisor-like site for the boating public.
"It's all about the little things," said Mr Demeritte, who heads a six-strong team. "We get thank you's' all the time from someone who had an unexpected problem in the middle of the night and we were there to help, or from someone because we ran out and bought a rum cake when we found out it was his birthday. It's the personal touches that make people feel welcome."
These personal touches are paying off in business volumes as well as awards. More than 60 percent of Palm Cay marina's transient traffic are repeat visitors; some returning on newer, larger boats or with friends on their vessel or, as often happens, with other boaters accompanying them.
The 194-slip marina is the closest New Providence marina, cutting up to an hour off the journey from Nassau to the northernmost cays in the Central Bahamas. Marina guests also have access to Palm Cay's beach bar, swimming pools, restaurant, coffee shop, tennis courts and other amenituies.
Mr Demeritte said Palm Cay's developers allowed him to build a business plan around boaters' needs instead of what he described as the usual format - build a plan and look for customers.
"That approach gave me the opportunity to take a chance with a section of the market that others shied away from - sailboats," he said. "That's been great." Demand for larger, multi-hulled vessels has forced the marina to expand the width of slips to accommodate the increasingly popular power catamarans suited for the shallow draft Bahamian waters.
Palm Cay focuses on vessels up to 65 feet in length. These are sportsfish and other recreational vessels, or liveaboards such as the sailboats, including those in a charter company that selected Palm Cay for its Nassau headquarters.
Palm Cay last November broke ground on its $100m One Marina residences overlooking the harbour. The first building is 100 percent sold, and sales have started on the second.