By Joe Healy, joseph.healy@dockwa.com

Strong’s Water Club in Mattituck, New York, Uses Dockwa to Connect with Boaters

Strong’s Water Club on Long Island, New York, emphasizes “super service” for their customers—which they achieve for reservations and contracts by using the convenience of Dockwa’s digital platform.

The Strong family, owners of multiple marinas on Long Island, New York, have a business ethic and belief in what they call “super service” for their customers.

 

Strong’s serves the New York Atlantic coastal region with marinas in Mattituck, Southampton, East Hampton, Port Washington, Freeport, Fire Island, and a waterfront restaurant in Mattituck, N.Y., called Windamere (seen below).

 

 

From the family’s beginnings in 1945 operating a marina in Lindenhurst, New York, to the current business locations across Long Island, the mission of the fourth-generation family operation has never wavered—to fulfill dreams by creating life-enhancing experiences on the water.

 

In 2013, the company acquired the historic Matt-A-Mar marina in Mattituck, New York, renaming the nine-acre property at the base of Mattituck Inlet Strong’s Water Club & Marina, and now offering deep-water dockage and seasonal and transient slip reservations made through Dockwa. This season, using Dockwa, Strong’s Water Club is on track to surpass the revenue they achieved in 2021.

 

Making Customer Contact Social, Not Transactional

 

“Our hope with Dockwa was that it would take the transaction out of the way and allow us more time to converse and help people out, and talk about new things that are going on at our marina or to help boaters tailor a trip if they wanted to experience events or to go somewhere. And I believe using Dockwa has done a good job of that,” said Tim Norton, general manager at Strong’s Water Club. Not only is the Dockwa digital reservation system efficient and saves time for the marina’s back-office employees, “It’s allowed us more time with the customers,” Tim said.

 

Terry Gorga, office manager, agrees. “Dockwa has made my life easier; it is nice to have everything taken care of as far as money goes, because when the customers check in, we don't have to ask, ‘Can I have your credit card?’ We can just say, ‘Hey, this is what's going on in the area.’ And just sort of expand on their vacation so they can really enjoy themselves. It's easier for the boaters, too, just to go on their phone and click and—boom—they have a reservation. Having the (Dockwa) app is great for them,” Terry said.

 

The marina has a mix of seasonal boaters and transients. Strong’s also backfills seasonal boater slips when the boater leaves the marina for a period of time, this year giving fuel credit to the seasonal boater for the use of the slip.

 

Typically on weekends, the Water Club has a reservation wait list for slips. “We use that on Dockwa as well, which is awesome,” Terry says. “It keeps things more organized.”

 

Boaters stay at Strong’s and explore the nearby Long Island North Fork wineries, farmstands, and attractions; the marina’s concierge team can assist with recommendations and transportation options. Of particular note this season, said Tim Norton, is the renovated bathroom and shower facility at the club (below).

 

 

Improved Boater Communication with Dockwa

 

Tim Norton also pointed out that the Dockwa platform used by the marina—previously called Dockwa Pro and now offered as Dockwa Optimize—allows the marina to communicate directly with Dockwa users to let them know about special events and happenings at the Water Club and restaurant.  

 

 

 

This summer, Strong’s launched Back to the Bays Day, free events featuring a range of family entertainment. For the second year, they are offering two Mini Marine Science Camps for kids, in conjunction with Cornell University Cooperative Extension Marine Program.

 

Live music, presented on the lawn four nights a week beginning Memorial Day weekend, was shared with boaters through the Dockwa network, as are the happenings at the company’s waterfront restaurant, Windamere. The company also introduced Wednesdays at Windamere BBQs from 5 to 9 p.m.

 

“I actually put something on Dockwa saying if boaters make a reservation and if they put a note into their reservation, we'll take 20 percent off their dockage for a Wednesday night barbecue,” Terry said.

“Working with Terry and Tim at Strong’s Water Club has been a great experience,” said Dan Sules, Dockwa marina success manager. “They’ve truly embraced the fact that we’re not just here to sell software but this is a partnership. They’ve been open-minded when it comes to the inclusion of software into their daily marina operation. They’ve also given direct feedback on the Dockwa system and how we can help them better serve their customers.”

 

Dockwa is Helping Put Strong’s on the Map

This is the second year that Strong’s Water Club is employing Dockwa for reservations and contracts. (Strong’s also uses Dockwa at Atlantique by Strong’s & Grover’s Marina, the facility the company manages for the Town of Islip, New York, on the popular Long Island destination, Fire Island.) A big advantage of Dockwa, according to both Tim and Terry at Strong’s, is the exposure they get through the Dockwa boater network.

“This year, we’re learning so much more about Dockwa. I definitely see a lot of people ducking in here for a day and then moving on to Block Island and then they turn around. After Block Island, they come back, stop here, and go back to their home port. I think Dockwa has really helped put us on the map,” Terry said.

 

“We have continued to invest and elevate the Water Club to provide a non-pretentious resort experience and Dockwa’s platform has helped us reach boaters that are looking for this exact vibe,” Tim Norton summed up.

 

For more information on Strong’s Water Club, click here.

 

 

Strong’s sells boats from Cobalt, Pursuit, Regal, Grady-White, Cruisers Yachts, Fairline, and pre-owned vessels. (Strong’s offers Grady-White in Nassau County and the five boroughs of NYC.) The company also has a boat club and rentals, and storage for boats and yachts to 95 feet.

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