Carl F. Wolf, CMM, CMI Marina & Boatyard Expert

Carl F. Wolf, Marina & Boatyard Expert

Carl is an expert in the operations and management of marinas, boatyards, and dry-stack boat storage facilities. Throughout his career, since 1976, Carl owned his own marina related businesses, operated waterfront facilities, and developed marina operations manuals. Carl operated boats and boatyard equipment, and served in the U.S. Coast Guard. Carl applies his expertise to a variety of injury and economic loss investigations involving incidents that occur in marinas, boatyards, waterfront facilities, and on boats.

For nearly thirty years, Carl served as Vice President and General Manager of a 683 slip marina and a 23-acre boatyard on Lake Erie. In these roles, he managed the day to day operations, planned and oversaw capital improvement projects, worked with insurance companies on risk management, and also collaborated with local and federal agencies for security and environmental protection initiatives. Carl personally trained and supervised staff, participated in designing and constructing marinas, and managed the maintenance activities. Carl was one of Ohio's first recipients of the Clean Marina Award.

Carl remains active in the industry as the owner of a marina operations consulting company in Delray Beach, Florida. Carl is the author of the Marina Policy Guidelines Manual, published by the University of Wisconsin's Department of Engineering Professional Development and the co-editor of the International Marina Institute's (IMI) 1st edition of the Marina Operations Manual, a standard in the marina industry. Carl is an instructor and speaker for IMI Marina Management certification classes, and the Association of Marina Industries Marina 101 and the Annual S.E. Florida Marina and Boatyard Study Tour. He is a Certified Marina Manager and a Certified Marine Investigator. Internationally, Carl has been a speaker in Great Britain, and worked with marinas in Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Cyprus and Panama.

Certified Marina Manager and Certified Marine Investigator with wide-ranging experience in marina, boatyard, dry stack boat storage and waterfront facilities operations and management. Author of the Marina Policy Guidelines manual, published by the Association of Marina Industries. Co-editor of the International Marina Institute's (IMI) 1st edition of the Marina Operations Manual, a standard in the marina industry. Instructor and speaker for IMI Marina Management certification classes.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.

Associate

2014 to present

Provide technical investigations, analysis, reports, and testimony toward the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving marina, boatyard, dry stack boat storage, and waterfront facilities operations and management.

Marina Operations, LLC, Delray Beach, FL

Managing Member - Marina and Boatyard Industry Consultant

2014 to present

Presenter and educator for the University of Wisconsin, the International Marina Institute, and the Association of Marina Industries. Provide site assessments, operational consulting assessments, market and economic feasibility studies.

Marina Management Services, Inc., Boca Raton, FL

Director of Business Services

2013 to 2017

Author of Marina Management Services, “Marina Policy Guidelines Manual”

  • Provides day-to-day interim on-site management as needed
  • Creation of company program, “Bank Asset Stabilization”
  • Conduct online and on-site research, provide analysis, recommendations and prepare reports on projects
  • Manage client relationships and communication
  • Participated in market and economic feasibility studies
  • Researched and implemented special projects including: “Facility Security Plan” and “Spill, Prevention, Control and Countermeasure” plans
  • Interactions with Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard on specific projects
  • Advisement and implementation of marina management and operations
  • Conducted site assessments including: existing operations; development potential; regional market conditions; staffing levels; specific areas of concern of the client
  • Performed operational assessments including: internal policies and procedures; customer service; current financial information; bookkeeping; and marketing

Battery Park Marina / Sandusky Bay Development Company, Sandusky, OH

Vice President and General Manager

1984 to 2013

683-slip marina with seasonal and transient slips; as well as 1700 square foot ship’s store, fuel pier, restrooms, laundry room, security, heated pool, tennis courts, and a 5-acre wooded park

  • Actively participated in designing, constructing and developing the full service marina
  • Established and maintained positive public relations and provided clients with highest quality personalized hospitality service
  • Managed overall daily aspects of marina, such as operations, facility project implementation, upgrades, utility plans, and maintenance
  • Planned and executed site-specific green policies on emergency-spill response, regulatory coordination, and grant applications
  • Maintained working relationship with Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, state and local governmental agencies regarding security, pollution control, safety and safe boating
  • Provided staff training
  • Coordinated operations management and office administration
  • Coordinated with the Owner and staff on implementation of budget to meet exceed financial benchmarks
  • Responsible for near and long term planning and facility development coordinated and implemented business plans and strategies with banking officials, attorneys, accountants, and insurance companies
  • Became one of Ohio’s first recipients of the Clean Marina Award for outstanding environmental best management practices
  • Operated the City of Sandusky’s boat launch ramp
  • Project manager, start-up manager and a member of the design team for “Dock of the Bay Marina,” 1988-1990

Battery Park Marine Services / Sandusky Bay Development Co., Sandusky, OH

Vice President and Interim Service Manager

1996 to 2013

Vice President and Interim Service Manager 2012-2013
Vice President 1996-2012

23-acre boatyard storing approximately 500 boats in heated inside and outside storage; dry stack boat storage, boat brokerage, supervising all mechanical, fiberglass, and other services required by customers

  • Supervised Battery Park Marine Service’s boat brokerage operation, more than 140,000-sq.ft. of inside heated storage, 2 hoists, 28,000-pound forklift, commercial boat handling trailers, boatyard equipment and a boat ramp, and have operated most marina equipment in the past
  • Directed administration staff, technicians, equipment operators, and yard crew to develop and improve performance optimization
  • Provided exceptional marketing strategies to enhance customer service, and perform budgeting, bookkeeping, and financial planning to improve business profit and development
  • Assumed responsibility in purchasing equipment as well as developing and maintaining facility equipment
  • Developed new profit centers, i.e.: “heated inside storage” and the “brokerage department”
  • Start up and Regional Manager for “Cedar Point Yacht Services,” 2001-2009

Skyline View Trailer Park and Marina, Catawba Island, OH

On-site Resident Manager

1982 to 1984

 

Wolf Marine, Catawba Island

Owner, Mechanic, Marina Consultant

1982 to 1984

 

Anchors Away Marina, Marblehead, OH

Mechanic and Boat Equipment Operator

1980 to 1982

 

U.S. Coast Guard

Boatswain Mate 2nd Class/E-5

1976 to 1980

New Orleans, LA
Detroit, MI
Marblehead, OH

Primary duties included: Boat Coxswain; law enforcement; search and rescue operations and equipment operator

Professional Credentials

  • Certified Marine Investigator, International Association of Marine Investigators, Russellville, MO
  • Charter Certified Marina Manager, International Marina Institute, Briston, RI
  • 15 ton license for “Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels” on the Great Lakes, 1981-1986
  • Certified XL Tribometrist, Excel Tribometers, LLC, Houston, TX

Education

Associate in Science, Business Administration, Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 2018

Training

  • “Marine Insurance 101 Webinar,” American Boat and Yacht Council, May 2020
  • “AC Dock Pedestal Testing,” American Boat and Yacht Council, May 2020
  • “National Boating Accident Investigation and Analysis Course - Level I,” National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, September 2018
  • Association of Marina Industries “Outside Contractors, Sub-contractors and Crews” webinar, May 2018
  • Association of Marina Industries “Forklifts, Travelifts, Scissor Lifts, & Cranes Webinar”,
  • March 2018
  • American Boat Builders & Repair Association Annual Conference, January 2018
  • International Marina and Boatyard Conference, Association of Marina Industries, 2008-2020
  • Florida Boating Safety Education Course, 2017
  • OSHA 10-hour General Industry Outreach Training, March 2017
  • International Association of Marine Investigators Annual Training, 2016, 2018
  • Marine Equipment Operator Training and Certification, Forklift & Straddlelift Safety, ABBRA (American Boat Builders & Repairers Association), September 2014
  • ABYC (American Boat & Yacht Council) Standards Updates, September 2014
  • Engaging New or Underserved Audiences in Recreational Boating & Fishing, RBFF (Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation), September 2014
  • Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations Class “A” Operator Training, Antea Group/API Storage Tank Operator Training Program, April 2012
  • Profitable Marinas & Boatyard Management, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
  • Ohio Boating Safety Education Course, 2009

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

  • Former President and Member, Association of Marina Industries, 1986-present
  • Faculty, Association of Marina Industries, 2015-present
  • Contributing Writer, Marina Dock Age Magazine, 2015 – present
  • Member, International Association of Marine Investigators, Inc., 2015 – present
  • Teaching Faculty for the International Marina Institute’s “Marina Management” course, 2015 – present
  • Member, American Boat Builders & Repairers Association, 2017 – present
  • Member, Boat Owners Association of the United States, 2017 - present

Past Affiliations:

  • Past President, Finance Committee and Trustee, Erie County Visitors and Convention Bureau, 1987-August 2013
  • Committee Member, City of Sandusky Bayfront Corridor Committee, 2006-August 2013
  • Board Member, Treasurer, Humane Society of Erie County, March 2011-March 2013
  • Member, Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, 1986-March 2013
  • Scout Leader and Cubmaster, St. Mary’s Troop 7 and Pack 7, 2001-2012
  • Volunteer Firefighter, Catawba Island Volunteer Fire Department, Port Clinton, OH, 1982-1984

Publications

  • Wolf, Carl F., “Record Water Levels Impact Marinas on the Great Lakes,” Marina Dock Age, August 2019
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Ladder Safety Considerations for Customers and Employees,” Marina Dock Age, December 2018
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Loaning Equipment or Tools to Boaters Is a Liability and Taking Your Revenues,” Marina Dock Age, November 2018
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Marina Policy Guidelines Manual,” Version 1.1, Association of Marina Industries, August 2018
  • Wolf, Carl F., “What Contributed to the Success of Five Southeast Florida Marinas During Hurricane Irma, “ Marina Dock Age, December 2017
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Boaters Want Increased Security Measures but Not Intrusive Policies or Structures,” Marina Dock Age, September/October 2017
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Considerations for Your Hurricane Plan,” Marina Dock Age, May/June 2017
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Seen but Unseen Marina Safety Issues,” Marina Dock Age, March 2017
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Marina Policy Guidelines Manual,” Version 1.0, University of Wisconsin, December 2016
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Defining and Redefining the Company’s Business Plan is Management’s Role,” Marina Dock Age, December 2016
  • Wolf, Carl F., “‘No Swimming’ is a Nonnegotiable Rule,” Marina Dock Age, September/October 2016
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Making a Lasting First Impression,” Marina Dock Age, May/June 2016
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Preparing for Every Marina Emergency,” Marina Dock Age, March 2016
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Discounts and Deals: Hurting the True Value of Your Marina,” Marina Dock Age, November 2015
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Marina Safety Equipment and Policies,” Marina Dock Age, July/August 2015
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Turning Over Marine Store Inventory,” Marina Dock Age, April 2015
  • Wolf, Carl F., “Drones in your Marina? You Decide!,” Marina Dock Age, February 2015
  • Wolf, Carl F., Co-Author, “Marina Operations Manual,” First Edition, International Marina Institute, 1991

Presentations and Speaking Engagements

  • “Marina 101,” International Marina and Boatyard Conference, January 2020
  • “Tampa Area Marina and Boatyard Study Tour,” International Marina Institute, Tampa, FL, September 2019
  • “Marina Drownings, Life Rings and Safety Ladders” webinar, Association of Marina Industries, September 2019
  • “Marina Drownings, Life Rings, Safety Ladders,” CLE Certification presentation, Treasure Coast Justice Association, April 2019
  • “Marina Policies and Operations Manuals: Critical Guidelines for Best Practices”, 2019 International Marina and Boatyard Conference, January 2019
  • “Marina Drownings, Life Rings and Safety Ladders: Statistics, Standards, and Recommendations.” Presentation registered with AIA Continuing Education System as 1 Learning Unit (LU) on Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) topic. Docks Expo, Nashville, December 2018
  • “Weathering the Storm, Hurricane Preparedness and Recovery,” Introduction and Moderator, Miami, FL, October 2018
  • “Marina and Boatyard Study Tour,” International Marina Institute, Tampa, FL, October 2018
  • “Marina 101: Walk the Docks – First Impressions Course,” International Marina Institute, October 2016; September 2017; October 2017; September 2018; January 2019; September 2019
  • “What Contributed to the Success of Southeast Florida Marinas During Hurricane Irma” Part 2 of 3 Part Webinar Series, International Marina Institute, September 2018
  • “Bracing for the After-Storm” presentation, Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee, June 2018
  • “Hurricane Planning and Recovery Forum,” 2018 International Marina and Boatyard Conference, February 2018
  • “Marina Drownings: Do Rescue Ladders and Life Rings Really Help?” 2018 International Marina and Boatyard Conference, February 2018
  • “Fort Myers Marina and Boatyard Study Tour,” International Marina Institute, October 2017
  • “Talk to Industry Professionals about Hurricane Recovery,” The International Boatbuilders Exhibition & Conference (IBEX), September 2017
  • “Marina and Boatyard Study Tour,” International Marina Institute, September 2017
  • “2017 IMBC Fort Lauderdale Marina and Boatyard Tour by Boat,” Association of Marina Industries, January 2017
  • “Marina Policy Guidelines Manual,” Series of 7 Webinars for the University of Wisconsin, December 2016
  • “Marina Policy Manual,” Docks and Marinas Course, University of Wisconsin, December 2016
  • “Customer First Impressions and the Effect on Your Bottom Line,” The Docks Expo, Marina Dock Age, November 2016
  • “10th Annual Southeast Florida Marina and Boatyard Tour,” Association of Marina Industries, November 2016
  • “Capturing a Changing Market,” Docks and Marinas Course, University of Wisconsin, December 2015
  • “Emergency Management,” Intermediate Marina Management Course, International Marina Institute, Tampa, FL , December 2015; Fort Lauderdale, FL ,November 2016; North Seattle, WA, February 2017; Fort Lauderdale, FL, November 2017; Austin, TX , February 2018; Fort Lauderdale, FL , November 2018; Nanaimo, B.C., December 2018; Charleston, S.C., February 2019; Barrie, Ontario, December 2019; Seattle, WA , February 2020
  • “Marina Industry at 60,000 Feet,” Intermediate Marina Management Course, International Marina Institute, Tampa, FL , December 2015; Fort Lauderdale, FL ,November 2016; North Seattle, WA, February 2017; Fort Lauderdale, FL, November 2017; Austin, TX , February 2018; Fort Lauderdale, FL , November 2018; Nanaimo, B.C., December 2018; Charleston, S.C., February 2019; Barrie, Ontario, December 2019; Seattle, WA , February 2020
  • “9th Annual Southeast Florida Marina and Boatyard Tour,” Association of Marina Industries, November 2015
  • “Marina Policies,” International Marina and Boatyard Conference, Association of Marina Industries, January 2015
  • “Preventative Maintenance for Marinas”, “Why and How You Should Use a Marina Operations Manual” and “CMMs’ Panel on Employee Training”, Advanced Marina Management, International Marina Institute, Louisville, KY, March 1994
  • “Marina Operations Manual” and “Marina Employee Training”, Advanced Marina Management, International Marina Institute, Fort Lauderdale, FL, May 1991

Media

Regarding Storm Investigations

  • Interview, Soundings Trade Only, “CSI: Marina,” August 2019

Regarding Hurricane Florence

  • Interview, Soundings Trade Only, “A New Breed of Danger,” November 2018

Regarding Marina Drownings

  • Interview and Research, Marina Dock Age, “Research on Marina Drownings Reveals Need for Industry Standards on Ladders and Life Rings,” April 2018

Regarding Marina Drownings

  • Interview, Marina Dock Age, “Research on Marina Drownings Reveals Need for Industry Standards on Ladders and Life Rings,” February 2018

Regarding Hurricane Irma

  • Interview, Soundings Trade Only, “Hurricane Irma: Tough Lessons Learned,” November 2017

v. 08/28/20

Related Resources

See All of Carl's Published Content

High Water Levels Affect Marina Safety

By Carl F. Wolf
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In this article, originally published by Marina Dock Age, Marina & Boatyard Expert, Carl Wolf discusses marina safety concerns associated with high water. The experts at Robson Forensic have…

Marina Hurricane Plans - Expert Featured in Article by Soundings Trade Only Today

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Expert Article

Marina Operations Expert, Carl Wolf, CMM CMI was prominently featured in an article in Soundings Trade Only Today to discuss hurricane plans and best practices in marina operations. Hurricane Irma:…

Marina Hurricane Plans Published in Marina Dock Age

By Carl F. Wolf
Expert Article

In this article, Marina & Boatyard Expert, Carl Wolf describes important topics of consideration for waterfront facilities approaching hurricane season. This article was originally published in the…

Marina Safety Investigations

Thursday, September 10, 2020
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Featuring Carl F. Wolf
Video Webinar

Marinas and boatyards can be dangerous places; they combine the traditional hazards associated with a commercial premises and warehouse facility, but with the introduction of a dynamic waterfront…