Maciel Marine, a full-service Vineyard Haven marina that has operated in Lagoon Pond for more than 65 years, is under new ownership.
Owners Robert and Barbara Maciel sold the boatyard and the business to George J. Rogers and Sheryl L. Roth Rogers, who are the owners of Edgartown Marine. The deal was closed Wednesday evening.
The Rogers have changed the name to Martha’s Vineyard Marina. They told the Gazette that they want to continue the tradition of Maciel Marine while focusing on customer service and accessibility.
“As with Edgartown Marine it’s a landmark organization [that’s] been around for many years,” Mr. Rogers said. “We will continue to carry on the tradition.”
Beyond seasonal visitors, “we want to serve the year-rounders, the fishermen,” he said.
The boatyard has a long history dating back to when boatbuilder Erford W. Burt opened Burt’s Boatyard at that location just after World War II. As a child Mr. Maciel spent summers helping Mr. Burt. He purchased the property from the Burt family in 1985.
Mr. Maciel told the Gazette Thursday that after a heart attack during Hurricane Bob in 1991, he was no longer able to work at the boatyard. In 1998, Mr. Maciel leased the business to his son Steven Maciel and Geoff Banfield.
However, with the boatyard leased, he said, his connection to the business changed. “It bothered me to the point that if I can’t go down there, it’s time to sell it,” Mr. Maciel said. “That’s what it came down to.”
Mr. Rogers said Thursday that he and his wife were initially hesitant about buying another business. The couple purchased Edgartown Marine in June 2011. “The initial reaction was we have plenty enough here, we don’t need another business,” Mr. Rogers said.
But he said they soon realized Maciel Marine was a slightly different business model that would offer a wider range of services to customers. “We are always looking for the opportunity to improve the quality of service for customers,” he said.
Mr. Rogers said they are not disclosing the sale price.
Martha’s Vineyard Marina will continue to offer indoor and outdoor storage, including boat racks, dock slips, mechanics and support personnel. There is also a store on the property.
“It gives us a better presence, being in Vineyard Haven and Edgartown,” Mr. Rogers said. “We have a lot of customers in the upper Island that are difficult to get to.”
After a celebratory dinner at Atria Wednesday night, the Rogers met with Maciel Marine employees Thursday morning to talk about their vision for the company. Mr. Rogers said the meeting was extremely positive.
There are currently four employees at Maciel Marine, and Mr. Rogers said he is also looking to fill a few positions.
The Rogers said that for now not much will change except the name. In a letter to customers, Mr. and Mrs. Maciel said they expect the impact to be “seamless with winter approaching and there being plenty of time to transition before spring.”
Mr. Rogers said they would take the first few months to get to know the business and the employees better before making any changes. For now, woodworking at the boatyard will continue, though he said that might change if it interferes with other activities. Some of the buildings and equipment will be updated. Edgartown Marine and Martha’s Vineyard Marina will be two completely separate businesses, Mrs. Roth Rogers said. Her husband said that down the road, however, there might be some interaction between the two businesses, especially during the busy summer months.
Mr. Rogers has a background in finance, and Mrs. Roth Rogers worked in marketing.
“We’re taking the good things we’ve learned at each business and applying it at the other,” Mrs. Roth Rogers said.
The couple also has a personal connection to Vineyard Haven, which is where Mr. Rogers was born and raised. After living off-Island for many years, they returned to the Island a few years ago and settled in Vineyard Haven.
“Vineyard Haven means a lot more to me than you can imagine,” Mr. Rogers said. “Vineyard Haven has a special place in our hearts. It’s extremely important to us to be able to acquire a landmark organization like this. It’s just remarkable and we’re thrilled to death to have this.”
Mr. Maciel said he’s been assured a spot on the porch at the boatyard. “It’s going to be run well and we’re going to be able to go down there,” he said, adding that the Rogers have assured him they want him to be part of the boatyard. “That’s kind of what pushed me into it.”
“He’s part of the history,” Mr. Rogers said. “He’s part of the feel of the marina and he certainly deserves that position. It’s the least we can do to give him confidence the boatyard is in good hands . . . he should enjoy that view, that position.”