Navigating the Summer Surge: How Dockwa's Transient Module Streamlines Marina Reservations During Peak Season

Prepare for a smoother summer season with Dockwa's Transient tools. Streamline operations, save time, and take control of your marina bookings to ensure a hassle-free experience for both you and your boaters.

It’s officially May, and summer is just around the corner – especially for marinas in seasonal climates where the busiest time of the year is gearing up. With warmer days on the horizon, marinas can expect a flood of phone calls from eager boaters searching for that perfect dock, mooring, or slip to anchor their weekend getaway or summer vacation.

If you're in the thick of it as a dockmaster, marina manager, or dockhand, your day during peak season probably looks a little like this:

You roll into the marina office bright and early, ready to tackle the day ahead. But before you can even settle in, there's a slew of voicemails and emails from boaters – some wanting to tweak their reservation dates, others canceling altogether, and then there are those special requests (we all know the ones – the boaters who insist on a port-side tie and never leave home without their furry first mate).

But here's the kicker: determining slip availability is like solving a puzzle without all the pieces. With no software, it's all about squinting at that old whiteboard, trying to decipher the markings that dictate who goes where. Spoiler alert: things have likely changed overnight thanks to cancellations, weather shifts, or guests changing their float plans at the last minute. 

Then comes the real fun – spending an average of 15 minutes per phone call manually jotting down reservation details from guests. Arrival and departure dates, boater contact and vessel info, any special requests, and, of course, taking credit card info over the phone. Rinse and repeat.

Next up? Time to hit the waitlist and start making calls to see who you can squeeze in. Fingers crossed a boater answers or gets back to you promptly.

And that's just the morning shift. Once the boaters start rolling in, that's when the real hustle kicks in. You're likely doing a bit of everything:

Juggling phone calls and VHF hails from arriving boaters, all eager for approach instructions and desperate to know where their slip or mooring assignment is – often showing up before their designated check-in time. Armed with a handheld radio, the office manager broadcasts dock assignments to the sea of boaters, hoping to avoid any collisions in the crowded waters.

Your dock staff paces the docks, noting down electric meter readings and keeping tabs on who's physically in the marina at any given moment.

Back at the office, it's a mad dash to settle invoices and take payments from a line of people all at once. Cash, checks, credit cards – you name it, you're handling it.

And let's not forget the constant stream of questions from arriving guests – WiFi passwords, gate and bathroom codes, marina rules, restaurant hours, and every other amenity detail under the sun. 

As the day wears on, the challenges keep coming. Keeping track of reservations is like herding cats, with the constant threat of errors and double bookings lurking around every corner.

But there’s a simpler way to streamline your operations this summer, saving you time and hassle. Dockwa’s comprehensive suite of transient tools is designed to alleviate the everyday pains of running a marina. Here’s how:

Do More in Less Time

Marina staff spend an average of 15 minutes per phone call taking reservation details. Let's be conservative and say you get 20 phone calls a day – that's five hours a day on the phone, time that could be better spent tending to guests. By digitizing your reservation process through Dockwa, customers can easily request and pay for transient dockage online or via the app 24/7. Automatically capture payment, vessel, and customer details, seamlessly storing them in your Dockwa portal.

"Dockwa makes payment processing and having multiple people respond to reservation inquiries a breeze. I cannot say enough good things about this platform." - Tricia Walsh, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Stonington Yacht Club - Stonington, CT

You’re in Control of How Customers Book with You

Take charge of reservation acceptance and payment with our auto-confirm tool, reducing phone call volume during peak times. Utilize our waitlist and black-out date features to manage demand efficiently.

See how Old Dominion Boat Club saved 10+ hours a week when switching to Dockwa

Optimize Transient Billing with Custom Schedules and Rates

Customize deposits, billing schedules, and effortlessly add fuel or service charges. Offer boaters the option to pay with their bank account (ACH) for added convenience.

Manage Demand

Choose to manually assign boats to slips or moorings, or let our smart assignments tool recommend placement for you. With a clear view of inventory, you’ll uncover more opportunities to boost occupancy and grow your business.

"Our dockage revenue has almost tripled in the two years we have used Dockwa." - Terri Tauro, Department Administrator, Marblehead Harbormaster - Marblehead, MA

See how MacDougall's Cape Cod Marine Service Increased Transient Dockage 105%, Revenue 525%

Communicate Effectively

Utilize real-time boater chat and personalized confirmation, pre-arrival, in-port, and departure emails to relay essential details like slip assignments, Wi-Fi codes, and bathroom access without resorting to voicemails.

"This seamless [Dockwa] app captures all the boaters' information and payment for my staff without spending time on the phone. I can review, communicate and confirm with my mobile device which has been a valuable asset. The boater can send messages through Dockwa for any special requests when making a reservation. Our marina has had an increase in transient occupancy all due to Dockwa's 24/7 online reservation capabilities. If you're not signed up with Dockwa you're missing the boat." - Denis Frain, Director of Marina Operations, Gulfport Marina - Gulfport, FL

As you gear up for the bustling summer season ahead, don't let the chaos of marina management overwhelm you. With Dockwa's suite of Transient tools at your disposal, you can streamline operations, save time, and ensure smooth sailing for both you and your guests. So, embrace the simplicity, seize control of your bookings, and get ready to enjoy a summer season like never before.

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