Two Florida Marinas Switch to Dockwa

When Bristol Harbor and Emerald Harbor began using Dockwa, they discovered how much more utility the platform offers, compared to their previous software.

Bristol Harbor and Emerald Harbor in Panama City, Florida, are sister marinas both using Dockwa for dockage reservations and marina management such as contracts and invoicing.


Emerald Harbor (​​formerly Watson Bayou Marina) is newly renovated and came on the Dockwa network first, with Bristol following soon after. One marina-management employee is in Tennessee, another is in Colorado, and both marinas are in Florida, allowing remote management through Dockwa digital tools.

Emerald Harbor uses Dockwa for slip reservations at the self-service marina


“We knew at the get-go that we would probably bring both marinas on Dockwa, just because the software we had before we started with Dockwa was not as user-friendly. A lot of the features on Dockwa make my job easier,” said Lisa Miller, who helps to manage the day-to-day operation of the marinas. “I’m in there [the Dockwa portal] every day, almost all day long—checking people in, checking people out, doing reservations.”


The previous marina software system was not as efficient as Dockwa, she shared. Before Dockwa Lisa had to key in all boater information. “But Dockwa uploaded all of that, which saved days of work,” she said.

Dockwa boater-information upload screen

Lisa doesn’t work in the back office of either marina—she works from home in Tennessee. The management of both marinas is done remotely, through the Dockwa platform. 

Lisa said both marinas are self-service, with no fuel or restaurant or ship’s store. But the most important advantage of having Dockwa is the ease of use for boaters, she said. 

“I can’t say enough about how much easier (Dockwa has) made my job, being remote. Years ago, you never would have thought you could do accounting from home. And it’s good for boaters because we don’t have to do stuff over the phone. It makes it easier for all of us. The app on the phone is great because, even at night, if I'm not at my desk working and a request comes in, I can jump on there and look at it. Or if we're out on our boat, I’m able to answer questions or text or message somebody back—(Dockwa) just makes it easier for all of us.” 

She also appreciates the chat function with Dockwa boaters, so she can get back to them in real-time when they have questions. “And they can go in (to Dockwa) to fill out all of their information and I’m not chasing somebody down for a credit card or a past-due bill.”


Dockwa message and chat function


Previously, Lisa had been using QuickBooks for manual financial management. “With Dockwa, I don’t have to do that. Dockwa makes it easier to remotely handle stuff. It’s easier for me.”


Bristol has 49 slips and Emeralds has about 60, with T-docks reserved for the handful of transient boaters who visit, often those following the Grand Loop or “Loopers.” Lisa said that Emeralds has potential space to add about 60 more slips, if they chose to.


Emerald Harbor

A five-star review at is representative of how boaters feel about Emerald Harbor: “I loved my brief three month stay at Emerald Harbor. Great staff and lovely marina. Highly recommend it to others.” Another boater concurred in a review: “This place is absolutely awesome. We’ll be staying again soon!”

Lisa summed up: “Our experience with Dockwa has been very good and the (software) transition process was also very good.”


A boater approaches Bristol Harbor

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