Galley Guys at Krates Marina

Andy Adams

This spring one of the largest privately owned marinas in the entire country changed ownership and with that change came a change in direction, taking a 550 slip working marina that dates back to the depression, and converting it into a lifestyle marina.

Benn Spiegel recruited veteran marina managers, Michelle and Rob Walters to take the old working marina over and transform it into what Benn calls a lifestyle marina with resort quality amenities, green space for everyone to enjoy, landscaped grounds and more.

The Galley Guys took a particular interest in the newly revitalized Krates Marina so we contacted the new managers and offered to put on a Galley Guys dinner on Benn Spiegel's boat. The Galley Guys are nothing if not forward! The idea was to have a friendly group get together to talk about boating in general, new trends in the industry and Krates in particular.

With the recently completed extension of Highway 404 that extends north of Toronto, the Krates Marina facility in Keswick, Ontario is a mere 45 minutes north of Highway 401. Of course, more and more business and residential development is locating in places like Markham, Vaughn, Richmond Hill and Aurora, so the Krates facility is even more conveniently located to those places.

Galley Guy John Armstrong, who once lived in India, wanted to put together one of his favorite meals; Tandoori Chicken with Samosas, Raita (which is grated English cucumber with yoghurt, cilantro and some other secret ingredients) and Naan bread to accompany the meal. Fellow Galley Guys Greg Nicoll and Andy Adams choose the wines - as usual!

Over a relaxed dinner by the lake, we learned about the many changes that have taken place at Krates this past spring and summer.

 

 

Andy – Krates is a great location. Do most of your customers use the marina as their summer home?

Michelle – Absolutely. This is their summer home.

Rob – Just recently, we had a first time boater from Woodbridge come to Krates. Most of the boaters only need to drive about 40 minutes to get here. It’s a 550 slip marina and people come Friday and stay to Sunday. It’s their home away from home. We have two heated pools, badminton, horseshoes…

Andy – Do most boaters here also have a “little boat”?

Galley Guys - Rob & Michelle Rob – Sure. We have slips down to 20 footers, then people have tenders on their swim platforms, or tied in their slips behind the bigger boats. They can go out, go fishing…

Andy – It’s a great lifestyle to be out in the clean water and fresh air.

John – Does Krates attract a lot of transient boaters from other areas?

Rob – Like last weekend, we had boaters here from Starport Landing…a 40 footer. They use the fuel dock…the pumpout. We don’t specifically have transient slips but we can generally accommodate guests. Boaters want to get together. The best publicity is word of mouth. When they have a good time, they spread the word. And we have good high speed Wi-Fi!

John – Transient boaters may also come for the service.  That can be a profit centre for the marina, especially off-season work.

Rob – Absolutely!

Benn – We committed to our staff that we are running a year-round facility. That’s unusual because in many places, the technicians get laid off in the winter. We are committed to keeping them on. We are converting Krates from a working marina to a lifestyle marina. Rob’s doing a great job but it takes time. A lifestyle marina is where there is green space for things like swimming pools, party areas for birthdays, BBQs and so on. A working marina has a bunch of boats on land surrounded by boats in the water and that takes up the green space.

Greg – Isn’t it true that the services in Keswick are an attraction?

Benn – That’s a huge advantage over competitors in more remote marinas where you have to load up on food and things. We are close to a Wal-Mart and other stores. It’s convenient.

Rob – Krates is one of the largest businesses in Georgina. Our skilled technicians are local and we employ local students through the summer. Tourism is a big business here. 

The dinner conversation and the beautiful evening weather continued as we discussed more of the future plans for Krates Marina but this lovely and very convenient location is more attractive than ever to boaters, both experienced and new.

The Galley Guys wish the team at Krates every success in the coming seasons!

 

Photo Captions

Photo 1 - Good food and good friends! From the left, Greg Nicoll, John Armstrong, Michelle and Rob Walters, Benn Spiegel and Andy Adams.

Photo 2 - Michelle and Rob Walters, marina managers.

Related Articles

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
The Oceanis Yacht 54, younger sister of the Oceanis 62, embodies the innovation that has always ...
Beneteau announces the launch of the latest addition to the Antares range! With a length overall of ...
New at the end of 2019, the 58 Salon Express design features large windows to flood the living ...
No wonder this is one of Regal’s best-selling boats; the Regal 33 Express offers amazing ...
The newest member of Beneteau’s Gran Turismo line is the GT 36 and this yacht brings the style and ...
With a philosophy of quality and 'doing things right Ranger Tugs launches the all new R-25 at the ...
The new Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 renews the spirit of the practical seaworthy cruiser. The ...
The Canadian Yachting test crew last week had the opportunity to run the Bavaria S36 HT at St ...

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

AXOPAR 37 XC

 

Axopar 37 XCWhole new ball game…

 

Set aside your assumptions and expectations for a few minutes while we try to describe the new Axopar 37 XC that made its American debut at the 2020 Miami International Boat Show. This boat represents a whole new ball game in terms of design, performance, seakeeping and functionality. In fact, I’d say it takes a ‘clean sheet of paper’ approach to boating – it’s that different.

Read More about the Axopar 37 XC..................

Destinations

  • Prev
History: right after gym and just before chemistry class. Fifty minutes of naming the prime ...
On May 19, the New York State Canal Corporation today announced an updated opening schedule for the ...
If you have four hours to enjoy a fine tour of one of Canada’s most interesting waterways (let’s ...
Boom & Batten Restaurant is suspended over the water adjacent to the Songhees Walkway and ...
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...

Exiting Hogs BackBy John Morris

History: right after gym and just before chemistry class. Fifty minutes of naming the prime ministers by date and looking out the window. Who knew it was actually interesting.

And in some ways it hardly matters because the Rideau Waterway is just so amazingly beautiful. Driving your boat through the locks is wonderful fun for kids of all ages (adult kids, too) and the scenery is sensational. The history is a huge bonus however, and worth understanding from both as a political lesson and from an engineering perspective.

Read more about The Rideau...........


DIY & How to

  • Prev
One of the Great Lakes’ best known tall ships, sail training vessel TS Playfair, will soon be ...
My Dad is not a mechanical guy. He is educated and well-read, and handy around the house – but not ...
I was cleaning up my workbench the other day. My eyes then scanned across my workbench and fell on ...
July and August  in Canada are the months of boating. People are on the water – exploring, ...
Boating together with the kids as a family can be a most enjoyable activity. Because people, ...
I get a lot of calls for electrical repairs. Not upgrades or installations – the requests are to ...
Many boats are now on the water after a COVID-imposed hiatus – and with a shortened ‘prep’ period, ...
Wooden boat production in the 1940’s and 50’s was epitomized by expert craftsmanship, beautifully ...
Wrapping your hull with marine vinyl wrap instead using traditional marine paint seems like a new ...
Boating safety is always—always—a critical consideration whenever you push off the dock, but with ...

The BucketI was cleaning up my workbench the other day. My eyes then scanned across my workbench and fell on ‘the bucket’. Everyone has a one. On a boat, it’s usually in a cockpit lazarette. It’s full of old paint cans and half-used tubes of caulking. There might be some white grease, painters tape or epoxy in there, too. I take my bucket everywhere and it’s full of all sorts of tubes of grease and sealants and adhesives.

I thought to myself that I should probably sort through the bucket and get rid of the stuff that isn’t useful. I quickly realized, though, that each of the items in my bucket (except that had gone bad) were useful, and each is used for a particular job.

Read more about The Bucket..........

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
ShockAlarm is a floating, continuously monitoring alarm that protects your family and friends from ...
The Airhead Thrust is an out-of-this-world thrill ride.  Get your wetsuite out and get ready ...
Airhead Recreational Kayak is perfect for cruising boaters at anchor.  Stow it, inflate and ...
To help keep those aboard safe, critical equipment such as the compass must hold up in the rough ...
The Boating HD Marine & Lakes app from Navionics is an excellent resource to help plan your ...
Dive tanks are notoriously difficult to stow on a boat and can be outright dangerous if left ...
Waterways around the world are increasingly becoming choked with plastic trash. To stem the ...
QuenchSea is an up and coming low-cost, portable, manually-powered device that instantly turns ...
The Big Orange Original Filter is connected to the vent line leaving your boats holding tank.  ...
The Cablemaster Model CM-7 is a solid when it comes to handling and storing bulky 50 amp power ...