Marina Management Software 101: Benefits, Functions, & More

a guide to marina management software benefits functions and more

Looking out over pristine waters filled with beautiful boats never gets old, especially on a hot summer day. Marinas are a haven for boaters and those who seek the seas, providing a way to escape the demands of the city and enjoy the breeze and views on the water.



But there are a lot of moving parts that apply when it comes to managing a marina effectively. Just like other accommodation businesses, marinas need to be able to manage the comings and goings of each vessel on the premises, take care of reservations, handle activity bookings, send messages to guests (confirmation emails, check-in details, etc.), handle commission management from Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), and much more. Guests also often store their vessels at the marina, meaning that a comprehensive financial management system is needed to handle recurring payments, maintenance fees, and more.

But in addition to these tasks, there are also important safety considerations to handle, including equipment sizing for guests, incident management, and checklists to keep your staff accountable and ensure that each vessel available to rent is ready to accept guests. 

To ensure that all these different moving parts fit together seamlessly to keep the business humming along, marina management software is an essential tool in your business’s tech stack. This software includes a wide range of features housed in a centralized system. This makes it easier to keep track of everything you need to, while at the same time simplifying certain aspects of your marina management through automation.

In this article, we dive into the world of marina management software, answering questions like what it is, the benefits of using the software for your business, and the main functions of marina management software that set it apart from standard accommodation management software options.

Why Use Marina Management Software

Manual management can quickly become overwhelming when it comes to keeping all the different aspects of your marina business organized. Endless paperwork, files, and scattered documentation on different computer systems compound the problem of complex management rather than simplifying it. But when information regarding your marina’s finances and operations is accessible and centralized, operations become more straightforward and efficient, and productivity naturally increases as a result. 

In addition, modern marina management software eliminates the need for managing your solution on-premises with local installation on computers and the cost of continued software maintenance. Cloud-based solutions are standard, with SaaS (software as a service) vendors providing virtual marina management software that can be accessed and managed from anywhere, provided the user has an internet connection.

With remote access as an option, marina owners and staff are free to complete essential tasks while staying connected: if an ad-hoc request comes in, they can respond to it on their smartphone or laptop, and tasks can be easily switched around and reprioritized as necessary. 

The table below outlines additional reasons why investment in a marina management software solution is necessary:

Reasons to Invest in Marina Management SoftwareAdditional Insight
Low initial investment and hardware costsCloud-based software eliminates the costs associated with hardware infrastructure, including servers and networking equipment, that would typically be required to run an on-premises solution.
No maintenance and upgrade costsThe software provider (such as Newbook) is responsible for the maintenance of the system, which includes bug fixes and software updates. In addition, most providers add additional features as technology improves and user demands change.
Scalability Cloud-based marina management software enables near-infinite scalability since most providers rely on the data centers provided by large companies like Amazon Web Services, Google, or Microsoft (Newbook uses Amazon Web Services). This also allows higher user loads at one time without disruptions in software performance.
Remote accessibilityBecause modern marina management software solutions are often web-based, which means they are accessible from web browsers, remote access is possible.
Real-time updates and data synchronizationIt’s important that the latest information is always accessible, and that’s where marina management software like Newbook shines. When listing with OTAs and using dynamic pricing, updated pricing will update automatically on every channel. In addition, seamless data synchronization can be realized through integrations, ensuring that data remains consistent through all software in your business’s tech stack. 
Workflow process automationAutomation is an extremely important feature of marina management software, as it adds efficiency and accuracy to your workflows. Through automation, tasks can be scheduled, for instance when a customer makes a booking, invoices can be generated and sent to customers according to a set schedule, and much more. 
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Benefits of a Marina Management System

centralized operations

Marina management systems are a large contributing factor to the transformation of how these businesses operate on a daily basis. Through streamlined operations and increased efficiency, the importance of marina management systems can’t be understated, especially as marina owners are faced with modern challenges like inflation that work to shrink their budgets, forcing them to find ways to do more with less, much like other accommodation businesses.

These are the ways that marina management software empowers boat yards and marinas:

1. Centralized Operations

Keeping information centralized and accessible to those who need it is key to efficient operations. Marina management software like Newbook enables all the software in your tech stack to connect together, giving you the ability to manage everything from one location. For example, when daily routine checks on vessels docked at the marina are completed, the information regarding who conducted the checks and when is recorded and stored in the marina management system, allowing you to view history and ensure checks were done, as well as hold staff accountable if things were missed. 

In addition, with Newbook, incoming bookings go to a centralized location thanks to a built-in reservation system, ensuring that no matter where guests book, whether it be directly or through an OTA, the booking information goes to one place for easy viewing. 

2. Improves the Productivity of Your Team

Through the use of automation facilitated by the marina management solution, as well as streamlined task and team management tools, the productivity of your team will increase. Automations take over tedious and repetitive administrative tasks and help with more efficient task scheduling. 

With Newbook, for example, increased productivity can be realized without you having to lift a finger. Let’s say a customer books a charter. Whether they booked directly or through an OTA, the booking gets sent to your centralized reservation system. From there, an up-to-date (this means that even if the customer makes a last-minute change to their reservation, the latest details are always reflected) daily summary of check-ins is provided to your staff so they can execute the tasks they need to complete before the customer’s arrival without needing to be told. 

3. Helps Ensure Safety

One of the most important parts of managing a marina is having rock-solid safety measures in place. Having these measures in place is one thing, but executing them consistently and effectively is another. Marina management software can hold staff accountable through checklists and tracking so that staff can go through each safety measure as needed and check off each completed item. The software records dates and times so that any discrepancies or accountability issues can be easily addressed.

Plus, e-signature functionality makes it easy for guests to sign safety documentation to ensure that they comply with marine safety rules and regulations and allows you to keep digital records of these documents so that they can be referred to as needed. 

4. Reduces Administrative Workload

A marina management software solution is an effective tool for reducing administrative workload for yourself and your team. By taking over background processes that would otherwise have to be done manually, you free up yourself and your team to focus on more high-value tasks. 

There are several ways that Newbook can assist with lessening your administrative burden:

  • E-signature functionality means you can swap out physical signatures for digital ones, allowing guests, vendors, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders to sign needed documents quickly and easily to keep workflows moving. 
  • Meter readings provide instant remote information on utility consumption so that nobody has to manually check each vessel and record their usage.
  • Automated communications keep guests in the loop with check-in confirmations, quotes and availability information, surveys, and two-way SMS.
  • Guest self-service technology gives guests better control over their experience, allowing them to self-manage different processes like check-in and check-out, make changes to their reservations, request additional services, and more, all without having to engage with a staff member. 

5. Helps Boost Revenue

There are a variety of revenue management tools available with marina management software that can be used to your advantage to boost your business’s revenue:

  • Reporting and analytics give you the valuable insights you need to make effective business decisions that are based on real data rather than gut feelings.
  • Upsell tools built into the booking process give guests the ability to enhance their experience without feeling like they are pressured into purchasing extra services. 
  • Dynamic pricing gives you the ability to set a maximum and minimum price for different services and accommodations while the system uses internal data and market intelligence to set the best prices for you, all without you having to lift a finger.

What Are the Main Functions of Marina Management Systems

Marina management software has a variety of functions that make it an essential solution for marinas of all sizes. These functions include:

1. General Marina Management

First and foremost, a marina management system allows you to effectively keep track of ships in your fleet. This includes specific information on a ship or boat’s availability, status, and condition. This allows you to have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on with each vessel at all times, making it easier to take action when needed to ensure that your vessels are well-maintained and ready for customers. 

2. Monitor and Schedule Maintenance Tasks

monitor and schedule maintenance tasks

Maintenance for marinas has a lot of moving parts, and often requires a ton of paperwork to manage effectively. But with marina management software, you can not only eliminate this paperwork, but you can automate maintenance schedules so that staff are always aware of what needs to be done and can easily execute tasks without direct supervision. 

3. Berth Selection

An important feature of marina management software is the ability for guests to choose a boat docking location that suits their vessel. This is important to ensure that they book a space that is actually able to accommodate their vessel’s dimensions properly. 

With Newbook, the guest can choose an appropriate berth from an interactive map. They can hover over the map to see additional information about each berth, aiding them in making a selection. They can even filter by different options, including vessel size and any other options you wish to include, so they can see all the information they need before finalizing their selection. 

4. Meter Readings

Determining utility usage is a standout feature of a marine management system, allowing you to charge guests appropriately. But having to visit each berth—especially for larger marinas that have potentially hundreds of spots—is a significant time sink. Not to mention keeping track of recorded usage information for each individual vessel. With built-in meter readings, this task can be done automatically, feeding the latest information to you without anyone having to physically visit each site.

When a berth is booked and the vessel is docked there, meter readings can be started with the click of a button. Anytime the readings need to be stopped, the button can be clicked again, making usage management easy and straightforward. 

5. Invoicing and Billing

Being able to streamline your billing process and deliver invoices to customers efficiently is essential for any marina. A marina management system can effectively automate billing processes, for example for long-term berths, eliminating the need to remember when each customer needs to pay their fees. Plus, invoices can be automatically generated according to the specific terms recorded for each customer, ensuring that customers get their bills on time and with the correct information every time. This can increase the timeliness of payment collections as well, especially when combined with an online payment solution. 

6. Reporting and Analytics

The reporting and analytics functionality included in marine management software like Newbook is essential for providing valuable insights and business performance information that can be used to assist in making important business decisions. This information comes from different aspects of regular operations, such as occupancy rates, revenue trends, and customer preferences. Robust reporting and analytics are essential for data-driven decision-making and strategic business planning. 

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How to Choose the Right Marina Management Solution

Choosing the ideal marina management software involves considering several key factors to align with your business’s specific needs and goals. These factors are outlined in the table below:

Factor in Choosing the Right Marina Management SolutionKey Points
Features matchBuild a list of features that you can’t live without, such as robust automations, a customizable booking engine, and maintenance tracking, then use a website like Software Advice or G2 to narrow down your options and compare prices.
ScalabilityConsider how well the marina management solution will be able to grow with your business before you make a final selection. It should be able to accommodate an increase in OTA listings, guest information, and more with ease. 
User-friendly interfaceA system that’s intuitive and easy to navigate will increase buy-in from your employees as they get used to the new software. Easy-to-use software also reduces training and onboarding time. 
Integration capabilitiesThe marina management software should be able to seamlessly integrate with other software in your tech stack, either through direct integrations or via a REST API. This facilitates seamless data flow and increases the efficiency of your operations. 
Data securityRobust data security using industry-standard security protocols such as TLS and SSL is essential for any online software. With Newbook, all data is stored on US soil using Amazon Web Services.
Cost and ROIEvaluate the cost of implementation, including any setup fees and ongoing subscription charges. Balance this against the benefits and efficiency gains the software promises to ensure a favorable return on investment.
Online accessibility Consider a solution that’s web-based, allowing staff and yourself to manage operations remotely via any device with a web browser and internet connection. 
User reviews and recommendationsRead reviews and seek recommendations from other marina owners or industry experts when you’re choosing marina management software. Insights from those who have previously used a piece of software can provide valuable perspectives.

Why Newbook Is the Best Marina Management Software Solution

marina management software solution newbook

Effective marina management demands specialized features that cater to the uniqueness of marine businesses. Newbook provides a holistic and centralized approach to marine management that brings together the different aspects of your operations together into one system, including bookings, revenue management, channel management, task management and scheduling, and more. The software’s wide range of features provides everything you need to streamline operations, improve productivity, enhance the experience of your customers, and increase revenue for your marina. Plus, the software is effective and easy to use, so onboarding and training time, while necessary, won’t hamper your operations. 

So what else sets Newbook apart from other solutions?

  • Collaborative approach: Newbook values its customers as partners in a collaborative journey, offering robust support from the initial setup and extending beyond. The primary focus remains on delivering maximum value and support to its users.
  • Exceptional uptime: Unlike many software providers that offer a 99% uptime guarantee, Newbook goes further with a 99.99% uptime commitment. This minute difference translates into a significantly reduced potential downtime—from days to just minutes. This emphasis on reliability underscores Newbook’s commitment to providing a stable platform for its users.
  • Uninterrupted support: Newbook’s commitment doesn’t stop at the point of sale. Customers benefit from continuous support, guidance for enhancements, and swift responses to queries. This ongoing assistance ensures a seamless and satisfactory experience throughout the user journey.
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Final Thoughts on Marina Management Software

The world of marinas is a blend of breathtaking views and complex management tasks, where the gentle waves meet the intricacies of reservations, guest communications, and vessel maintenance. To navigate this sea of responsibilities seamlessly, marina management software emerges as a vital tool.

Managing a marina manually is akin to sailing through paperwork storms and scattered documentation. However, the centralized nature of marina management software offers clarity, streamlining operations and enhancing productivity. The move from traditional on-premises solutions to cloud-based systems like Newbook has brought remote accessibility to the forefront, empowering marina owners and staff to operate efficiently from anywhere.

Investing in marina management software presents a host of advantages for owners, including: 

  1. It minimizes initial hardware costs
  2. Eliminates maintenance expenses
  3. Allows for seamless scalability

Real-time updates and workflow automation add efficiency to operations, paving the way for smoother interactions between staff and guests.

Furthermore, these systems are pivotal in transforming marina operations, offering centralized control, enhancing team productivity, fortifying safety measures, and reducing administrative burdens. Their role in revenue management through analytics, dynamic pricing, and streamlined billing processes cannot be overlooked.

Marina management software is a multifaceted solution that encompasses various functions crucial to marina operations. It simplifies tasks related to vessel management, maintenance scheduling, berth selection, meter readings, invoicing, and insightful reporting, providing a comprehensive toolset for effective management.
To discover more about Newbook and how it can help you manage your marina, reach out to us today.

Your all-in-one, online marina management software

Newbook is your all in one online marina management software. Talk to us today to learn how you can improve operations and increase bookings for your business.

Request a Demonstration

Request a Demonstration

Subject to Newbook’s Privacy Policy, you agree to allow Newbook to contact you via the contact details provided for scheduling and marketing purposes.
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