An Olympia landmark for over nine decades, the Boston Harbor Marina has become a gathering place for nautical adventures in the summertime and cozy gatherings in the off season. Family-owned and operated, the Boston Harbor Marina hosts more than boat moorage. Whether taking a tour of the Puget Sound in a kayak, lounging on the marina beach or enjoying an ice cream cone while spotting the visiting Purple Martin flocks overhead, the Boston Harbor Marina offers waterfront charm to the community year-round.
Originally constructed in the 1920s, Kate Gervais and her parents took over ownership of the marina in 2014. Gervais’ parents are longtime residents of the Boston Harbor neighborhood and took a chance purchasing the property when the previous owners put it up for sale.
“It was one of those things where it needed a lot of love for it to continue to keep going in terms of infrastructure and things we’re still working on right now,” says Kate Gervais, co-owner of the Boston Harbor Marina. “And so, my parents thought that would be a good idea.”
In the past few years, Gervais and her parents have updated numerous parts of the marina, including replacing fuel dispensers and removing creosote pilings and replacing them with steel pilings. The marina has also seen upgrades to the main dock, replacing segments that were damaged from a 2017 storm. A commercial kitchen was also added so the marina could offer extended menu options, with breakfast on the weekends and lunch and dinner on the weekdays.
The Loft at the marina is a vacation rental overlooking the Puget Sound. The studio apartment space features two queen beds, a sitting space, a full kitchen and a balcony.
Boston Harbor is a full-service marina, complete with a fuel dock as well as permanent and guest moorage. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are also available for rent at the marina. Unique to the marina is their event space and taproom, the 700 Dock. Dubbed as a community room by Gervais, the 700 Dock features wood paneling, a fireplace and beer on tap.
“It’s really busy in the off season, because it has a little fireplace,” says Gervais. “We do trivia nights and wine tastings in the off season.”
Also, a place for education, the marina is often visited by students of The Evergreen State College and South Puget Sound Community College as experiments are conducted off the marina docks. Between studying marine life and water quality, students regularly check in on their findings.
Because of the marina’s amenities and gathering space, several events take place there throughout the year, both hosted by the marina and by outside community organizations. Outside organizations, like local parent teacher associations and the Boston Harbor Association hold their regular meetings at the marina.
Hosted by the marina itself, Friday Night at the Harbor is a weekly event held from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The event features a local band and brewery, so that guests can enjoy live music on the marina’s deck. In the off season, Boston Harbor Marina hosts regular events in the 700 Dock like game nights and wine tastings.
Also hosted at the marina are Marine Creature Mondays. Organized by the Stream Team, guests are invited to explore the Puget Sound’s marine life with the help of divers and biologists. A nighttime adventure, Pier Peer at Boston Harbor, organized by the Puget Sound Estuarium, has biologists providing multi-colored underwater lights. Guests can then discover and handle a wealth of local marine creatures.
When asked her favorite part of marina life, Gervais says that the community feel is what makes the experience, with generations of families visiting the marina to carry on the tradition.
“It’s one of the reasons we bought the place and wanted to continue to invest in it,” says Gervais. “It’s been around 90 years and it’s a really unique place in this community. People bring their kids to play on the beach and they tell stories of them as kids playing on the beach and getting ice cream cones and so that kind of continuity is pretty special. It’s really fun to become a part of that.”
To learn more about the marina and both their summer and off-season events, visit the Boston Harbor Marina website.