Boat care is a year-round undertaking at Avalon Marine

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Paul Hoffman, right, manager of Avalon Marine Center, has been around boats all his life, and his son Aaron, left, is starting to follow in his footsteps.  Paul Hoffman, right, manager of Avalon Marine Center, has been around boats all his life, and his son Aaron, left, is starting to follow in his footsteps.

Avalon Marine Center in Avalon offers boat maintenance year-round in preparation for smooth sailing in the summer.

The marina opened in May after Phil Risko purchased Avalon Pointe Marina at the end of Old Avalon Boulevard, which had been a full-service marina since the mid-1960s. He hired Paul Hoffman to be his general manager.

“I’ve been around boats all my life,” Hoffman said. “I had my first boat when I was 6.” The boat, he said, was a small rowboat, and it piqued his interest in working with boats.

“I chose this profession early,” he said.

Hoffman, who lives in Dennis Township and grew up in Cape May Court House, said he has more than 30 years of experience in marina management.

“Now my son is following in my footsteps,” he said.

His 22-year-old son, Aaron Hoffman, is also on the staff at Avalon Marine.

The full-service marina offers storage in boat racks or on land, repairs by certified mechanics, a ship store and a parts department, and it has just added boat sales to its repertoire.

United Yacht Sales is the marina’s in-house brokerage firm, and Hoffman said the center will serve as the southern New Jersey dealer for Pursuit brand boats. Pontoon boats, which Hoffman said are popular in the back bay area, will also be sold on premises.

Now and through most of the fall, the marina’s main business will come from winterizing boats, he said.

“It looks like we’ll have a busy winter,” Hoffman surmised.

There marina has 106 boat slips, which he said will store about 300 boats this winter.

The winterization process involves hauling and blocking, which is when a boat is removed from its slip and placed on a stand or in a cradle to drain. Then the boat’s system and engine are winterized, and the boat is shrink-wrapped to protect it from the elements.

From midwinter until early spring, the marina will prepare boats for boat shows. Come spring, workers will paint bottoms, remove barnacles and provide necessary services to get boats ready to go back into the water come summer. During the summer, the staff works on boat repairs and managing the fuel dock.

“The nature of the beast is that this business used to be from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and now, it’s basically year-round,” Hoffman said.

Avalon Marine Center is at 705 Old Avalon Blvd. in Avalon. For information see www.avalonmarinecenter.com or call (609) 967-4100.

 

 


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