My first visit to Pelican Pier Marina was unplanned.
About a year and a half ago my wife and I were out on the gulf in an old Hurricane deck boat that we purchased a week or so earlier. As we were cruising along the coastline, an alarm started sounding at the helm and the boat went into "limp mode" (can't accelerate above idle speed). I assumed that it was telling me that I was low on oil for the two-stroke engine, but when I checked the oil reservoir, it was full. So, we limped our way in from the gulf and stopped at the first marina that we passed, Pelican Pier.
As we pulled up to their gas dock, the attendant (who I later learned is the owner, Chris) heard the alarm and said it sounded like I was low on oil. I told him him I checked the reservoir and it was full. He asked me if I had checked the primary reservoir under the engine cover. I guess my blank stare answered his question, because he next lifted off the cover, showed me the empty primary reservoir, showed me how to fill it and suggested I have a mechanic look at the pump. I was able to go the rest of the way home without incident and called a mechanic who confirmed that the pump was bad.
I believe that good customer service should be rewarded, so from that point forward, I made a point of doing business with Pelican Pier... it's where I go for fuel and bait.
A couple of weeks ago, I stopped there for fuel after a morning at Keewayden Island. After fueling up, I tried to start the boat, but the battery was too weak to crank the engine (Another lesson learned - I'll be putting a 2nd battery in my boat before sitting on a beach for hours with the radio playing again). Once again, Chris came to my rescue by bringing out a battery charger and extension cord.
I've returned twice since then. Once for refueling (gas for the boat, beer for me and a friend), and once for a couple of beers. What a great little spot for a drink. Next time I have a chance, I'll get there for one of the burgers that other reviewers have been raving about.
BTW, my last visit was by car. I don't think any other reviewers have mentioned it, but this place is accessible by land. Park in the main lot at Pier 81 (on Bald Eagle drive), then walk up to the gate and use the intercom system to contact the marina and get buzzed in. From there, you walk maybe a block along the waterfront to get to the marina.
However you get there, give this place a try. Great location, quaint, atmosphere and super friendly people!
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