(July 4, 2014) An Ocean City institution just got a makeover, converting 21st Street’s Bahia Marina from a small-scale fishing headquarters to a full-service marina.
It’s the first time the 1974 tackle shop has seen major renovations since the 80s, said owner Shawn Harman, who runs the marina and adjoining Fish Tales restaurant.
“Between the marina and the restaurant we try to have the total family package,” he said. “I call it ‘convenience on the water.’”
That package includes everything from grab-and-go sandwiches, drinks and frozen custard to gear such as rods and reels, bait, knives and crabbing kits. Because the marina opens at 6 a.m., visitors can grab coffee and a donut to go before heading out for a day on the water.
Guests can use Bahia’s boat ramp for a fee or book a boat at the marina, from the 75-foot “Judith M” for deep sea fishing to party cruises and kayak rentals.
The marina also hosts several big-name tournaments each year, including the Mako Mania Shark Tournament, Capt. Steve Harman’s Poor Girl’s Open, Flounder Pounder and Rocktoberfest.
The marina predates Harman and was originally a small business known as Schafer’s Marina. His father, Bill Harman, discovered the land with a developer from Alexandria, Va. and “saw the potential,” Harman said.
After razing the original marina, Bahia was born. The Harmans grew the original fleet of six boats to 35 wooden vessels, offering up to 70 half-day rentals from the bayside dock.
“There were times we’d have people lined up,” Harman said.
Now, the marina boasts 16 new pontoon boats with four-stroke, eco-friendly engines.
In fact, the whole business is a Certified Maryland Clean Marina, meaning it meets voluntary pollutions prevention standards established by the Maryland Clean Marina Committee and the Department of Natural Resources — “everything from fueling to stormwater management,” Harman said.
Some of those green practices include oil recycling, using a marine sewage pump-out station, water conservation, a fish cleaning area where waste is bagged for proper disposal, and an in-ground sand and gravel filtration system to clean boat washing and storm water.
Harman took over the family business in 1995, just over a decade after Fish Tales joined Bahia.
He’s still working today to provide the ultimate experience to Ocean City boaters.
“You can come in and have coffee and donuts before you go out on the boat. Or, you go out fishing with your dad and have an ice cream,” Harman said. “I’m just trying to provide a full-service alternative.”
Bahia Marina is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, April through October.
Visit the marina at 2107 Herring Way or check it out online for boat rental prices, charters and more information at www.bahiamarina.com or www.facebook.com/bahiamarinaoceancity.
Call 410-289-7438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.