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Nestled in the heart of the Nautical Mile, a one-mile long community of fun shops and businesses, is Miller Marina (24770 E. Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores). A family owned marina since 1934 making it the first boat and storage facility in the area. Still in the family it is now run by Chip Miller, his mom and his sister .
With 360 wells, inside and outside storage, repairs and sales, Miller Marina is a true one-stop shop for all things boating. In our series of original articles on and supporting the Southeast Michigan boating community, the Captain sat down with Chip Miller on a beautiful April spring day.
“The marina started with my Grandfather in 1934, it’s in my blood. My father passed away when I was 8 and I have been working here since,” said Chip “It’s been a great place.”
We asked Chip about the current state of the marine business now and over the last couple of years as we come out of the recession “Gov. Snyder really helped out the marinas. When it was at its worst and the water levels were really low the MBIA(The Michigan Boating Industries Association) and Governor Synder got a couple of bills passed. They allowed us to dredge and get the permits in weeks instead of the normal year-long process. They also secured some low interest loans to help pay for everything.”
“Young people need to buy boats. That is the key to keeping things going out on the water. The boating community seems to be getting older. The greatest thing about boating is boating is the great equalizer! Young and old from a 13’ rowboat next to a 55’ Sea Ray sedan doesn’t matter. The beer is just as cold on each! It’s awesome to see such a variety of people just standing in the water, drinking beer and talking. Does not happen like that anywhere else.”
“It is really starting to pick back up. We have all of our wells rented but 8 and those should be snapped up once the weather breaks.”
It was strange to walk around in between all the marinas at the end of April and see just a few boats in the water but over the next 3 weeks just about all of them will be in their summer homes and this place will be booming.
An avid race guy, Chip has raced motorcycles to powerboats or “anything with a motor”. To promote safe driving, Miller Marina hosts a Tres Martin Performance every year for high performance boats in the area. “Safety is key to everything,” says Chip “from driving 200mph on the water to drinking at Jobbie Nooner. Be safe and responsible and always have a sober driver.”
On Jobbie Nooner and boat parties on the lake “There’s nothing wrong with big boat parties and adults being adults, just do it safely! If the crew gets drunk no problem. If the captain gets drunk than you need to drop anchor and stay the night. Just be responsible!”
In addition to running a successful marina, Chip also runs and maintains the Lake Saint Clair Powerboat club on Facebook. Dedicated to powerboats and events on Lake St Clair.
“More lake events and hotels. There should be something going every weekend” said Chip. “One of the big issues we have is there is no hotels on the lakefront. Here you have this beautiful lake and nowhere to stay. If you had hotels rooms on the lake the local economy would so much better off.”
The Jobbie Crew is dedicated to the boating industry in and around Southeastern Michigan and glad to support local businesses like Miller Marina. Stop in and see what Miller Marina can do for you!
Some facts about Miller Marine:
Sales: Great Lakes Yacht Sales with Mike and Dave Giles offer a wide range of quality new and pre-owned pleasure boats, ranging from 10 to 100 feet.
Gas Dock: Full service BP gas dock with beer/wine, fishing tackle, pump out, snacks and sandwiches and of course ethanol free gas and diesel.
Service: Miller Marina is partnered with Nautical Mile Marine Services to provide outstanding service for all your boating needs. (586) 775-6622
Wells: 360 total from 18’ to 55’ water and electric with WIFI available.
Miller Marina – www.millermarina.com
Lake Saint Clair Powerboat Club – https://www.facebook.com/lscpowerboatclub?fref=ts
Tres Martin Performance Boat School – http://www.performanceboatschool.com/
Michigan Boating Industries Association – http://www.mbia.org/
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