Before Fort Lauderdale became known as the “Yachting Capital of the World”, it earned a reputation as one of America’s top sport fishing hotspots, thanks to its proximity to the Gulf Stream and its year-round boating climate. As avid anglers from across the country and around the world flocked to town in the ’50s and ’60s, demand grew for “party” charter fishing boats that offered affordable rates for a day of fishing offshore. Today, however, the existence of this fishing fleet headquartered along the IntraCoastal Waterway in the heart of Fort Lauderdale’s tourism district is threatened by ongoing real estate development. That’s why Fred Barboni, CEO and broker, Coastal Realty Advisors, LLC, was happy for the chance to put together a deal that would preserve the legacy of these day charter boats and the public access to the water they provide.
A boating industry veteran with years of marina management and real estate experience under his belt, Fred was asked to handle the sale of Crazy Gregg’s Marina, a historic boat basin at the corner of Las Olas Blvd and Seabreeze Blvd (southbound A1A). Founded by legendary Fort Lauderdale entrepreneur “Crazy” Gregg Newell, who ran speedboat thrill rides from its docks, the marina had been a homeport for vessels offering boating and fishing adventures to the public for decades. When the current owners of Crazy Gregg’s Marina decided to entertain offers for its sale, chances were good that the purchaser would throw the charter boats out and rent its slips to private yachts instead.
A local business that depended on Crazy Gregg’s Marina for its livelihood was a family outfit called Fishing Headquarters, which ran public and private deep sea fishing charters out of the marina. One of the few remaining local companies to offer affordable drift fishing trips starting at just $40 per person, Fishing Headquarters had rented slips at Crazy Gregg’s since 1994, when Capt. Paul Roydhouse founded the business with a 45’ Ray Davis sportfisher named the Lila. Bitten by the boating bug at an early age (which he lied about in order to get his first job as a deckhand), Capt. Paul also met his wife at Crazy Gregg’s Marina, where she worked as a boat washer. Today, joined by sons Andy and Rod (both captains), he operates a fleet of charter fishing vessels ranging up to the 85-foot Catch My Drift, and offers bareboat charters as well.
Losing its dock space at Crazy Gregg’s Marina would have been a major blow to Fishing Headquarters and its clients. “There’s not much commercial dockage in Fort Lauderdale,” said Capt. Paul.
“This is the best spot in the eastern United States for what we do.”
Recognizing the legacy Fishing Headquarters represents, along with the valuable (and fun) services it provides, Fred Barboni drew on his background as former COO of International Marinas, LLC; Founder of Global Marina Management, and Co-founder of Boatsetter.com, along with his considerable waterfront residential and marina realty experience from Key West to the Florida Panhandle, to help the Roydhouse family acquire Crazy Gregg’s Marina. The sale was concluded on June 29, 2017, ensuring Fishing Headquarters will have a homeport for the foreseeable future.
“Fred was very helpful. He seemed to know quite a bit about this type of property [and] the history of the area,” said Capt. Paul. “I’m really amazed we were able to purchase the marina.”
“I have other qualified clients shopping for smaller marinas who were ready to pursue this acquisition even before we began to market it,” Fred said. “Although I wish all of them could have secured it, I’m glad I was able to facilitate a win-win for both the marina’s Sellers and the Roydhouse family. I am also delighted I could help preserve the public access to fishing and boating that Fishing Headquarters provides. My philosophy is simple: Do the right thing; communicate often, and make good things happen. This was truly one of those good things.”
By Louisa Beckett, Turnkey Communications & PR, Inc.