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
Boatyards
  • 13 February 2019
  • By Ethan

RCR brings in new 34 O

RCR operates primarily in Youngstown, Buffalo and elsewhere on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie but often comes to this side of the border to represent its boat and brokerage lines.

Power
  • 24 January 2019
  • By Ethan

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46

The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta...

Destinations

  • Prev
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...

Thornbury on Georgian BayJennifer Harker

To borrow a line from Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different”.

Normally, our boating adventures are spent weaving our way amongst the picturesque backdrop of the 30,000 Islands of eastern Georgian Bay aboard our Sea Ray Sundancer 268. This time we’ve traded power for sail as friends welcome us aboard their 38-foot Irwin for the Canada Day long weekend.

We’ve set our sights on a decidedly different destination for this journey, charting a course for Thornbury. This small town, located in the southern reaches of Nottawasaga Bay, is an oft-overlooked area of Georgian Bay - but it shouldn’t be. Although we’ve explored this shoreline on countless road trips, this will be our first visit from the waterside.

Read more about the Thornbury on Georgian Bay...

 

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta imagined it and how Cruisers Yachts has executed it. The idea is that you just come on board, unlock the glass doors, fire it up, cast off, and enjoy - alone, with a spouse, or with a huge group.

Since the first Cantius model was introduced, Cruisers Yachts has continued to refine the concept for ever-greater convenience, more clever and innovative features, and also greater performance.

Read more about the Cantius 46...

 

 

 

 

Sun Odyssey 410By, Zuzana Prochazka

The revolution continues – with a twist

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp will make you say, “Wait, what?”

 Last year, Jeanneau turned the sailboat deck layout on its ear with the introduction of their Sun Odyssey 490 and 440, and the concept of the ‘walk-around deck’.

Read More about the Odyssey 410...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Electrical ground is a term used to describe the reference point in an electrical circuit from ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...

Ask AndrewAndrew McDonald

Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods needed to make connections between components and wiring.

When planning out electrical work, one of the more common questions that I address is on the set-up, installation and sizing of breakers and fuses.

Fuses and breakers are collectively called ‘overcurrent protection’ – and these come in many different shapes, styles and sizes. Their purpose is the same: to prevent a situation where a larger than intended electrical current is running through the circuit, which puts the circuit at risk of overheating, fire and damage to equipment. 

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...
Making it’s global debut at the Toronto International Boat Show the new Mercury 5hp Propane ...
Most of us have heard of fuel additives, whether it be for gasoline or diesel. But which one to ...
While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be ...
Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, ...
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...