Town of Bristol Marina and Maritime Center Uses Dockwa to Enhance the Boater Experience

The marina’s 9th annual Seafoord Festival on August 13 also featured Rhode Island seafood, music, and community waterfront fun.

Gregg Marsili, harbormaster of the Town of Bristol Marina and Maritime Center in Bristol, Rhode Island, joined the marina’s team in the mid-2000s after serving for more than 20 years in the U. S. Coast Guard, bringing a dedication to boating enjoyment and maritime safety.


He was an early adopter of Dockwa marina-management tools, starting with the platform previously called Dockwa Delight for booking dockage reservations. The platform is now known as Dockwa Book, which the Town of Bristol marina uses to manage transient reservations for its 35 slips and 17 moorings.


The Bristol Maritime Center has 180-plus residential dock spaces, some of which are used by commercial fishermen and other working boats.


About the renovations, Gregg said: “We put in 22 additional slips for boats 30 and 40 feet. On the outside (of those slips) we can handle vessels up to 200 feet. We have 500 feet of outside concrete floating continuator with a concrete pier that takes all the energy out of the waves.” Meaning, the marina is now more sheltered from weather vagaries.


The marina also added fuel services and is about a month away from finalizing the work, which totaled about $6.5 million at the municipal marina.


Their use of Dockwa has helped improve the experience for their boaters. “We're really satisfied with Dockwa because, beforehand for reservations, we were taking them by phone. Dockwa has helped us become more efficient and customer friendly. Dockwa’s been really good for us,” Gregg said. “We had 130 feet of pier, and you couldn't manage it when you weren’t at the office and (the assignments) were on the great big whiteboard. Now with Dockwa, it’s easy to manage. You assign the spot and everybody sees it at the office right away. It’s in real time. Before, I would take a reservation over the phone during the week or weekend and then I'd have to remember to get back to the office and record it. This definitely improves our ability to accept a lot more boaters. We get a lot of last-minute requests and can point people in a direction by saying, ‘Go to the website. Hit reserve.’ Happy client.”

When we spoke, Gregg was on the road starting vacation, taking a break from the Dockwa app on his phone, so the marina’s office managers Jennifer and Melissa were handling reservations for the week and the coming weekend in August.


At press time, Gregg and the Bristol marina staff were gearing up for the Bristol Harbor Festival on Saturday August 13 in Rockwell Park on Thames Street in Bristol.


The event began with the Blessing of the Fleet by local clergy, followed by the “Stuffie Competition” in which pre-registered clam experts faced off to create the best stuffed quahog, as judged by a panel of politicians, fishermen, and community folk.


The event featured local seafood, a littleneck-clam boil, optional steak for dinner (for non-seafoodies), a raw bar, and music throughout the day.


Proceeds from the event will go to community youth programs.


“It’s a fun seven, eight hours in the park right on the waterfront. We bill it as supporting our local fishermen and showing what they do. It's just a big community event,” said Gregg. Click here for more information about the festival.


To learn more about Dockwa, click here.

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