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2014 Best Profit Idea Award

This year’s International Marina and Boatyard Conference in Fort Lauderdale encouraged participants to compete in the events all-new Best Profit Idea competition where the audience conducted a live vote to choose their favorite profit-building idea.

The final tally was overwhelming, with 52 choosing Rockvam Boat Yards’ online reservation system. Second place went to Saybrook Marina, while 19 chose Inlet Harbor’s vertical dry lifts. Rockvam received an iPad, a free yearlong AMI membership and free entry to next year’s IMBC event.

Rockvam developed an online reservation system that enabled customers to make last-minute pontoon boat reservations on Sundays. Customers previously could only make reservations and sign rental contracts remotely by fax, but because most people don’t have fax machines at home they risked being unable to rent a boat if they came to the marina on Sundays without a reservation.



Rockvam created three levels of pontoons in its fleet — regular, special and deluxe. Pricing differs depending on if it’s a weekday, weekend or holiday. By going online, customers can check the availability of each boat type, allowing them to upgrade their boat or pick another day to accommodate their personal schedule. Smaller upgrades, like a captain’s hat or coolers filled with soda are also available.The online system also prompts them to check 13 individual contract items to save staff time and eliminate the phenomenon of customers saying, “nobody told me” about key policy items. “Our sales went up 28 percent” after adopting the online reservation system, Rockvam said.

Next year convention will be held in Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Florida. Way to go Rockvam!

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