Trendsetters: Marine Industries
Talking to Steeven Knight, you feel you walked into the middle of an argument over the merits of his brainchild, the Yacht Clubs of the Americas. He’s non-stop on everything about his business: The benefits of owning vs. renting dock space, of preserving access to the water through private ownership, etc.
Steeven Knight[Photo: Nick Adams]
Yacht Clubs of the Americas, CEO, Fort Myers
Lineage: One ancestor was the first lighthouse tender in Pompano Beach; his grandfather was born in the lighthouse. His father fished commercially at age 8 and grew up to be a yacht captain.
Knight, 50, says he’s responding to the loss of marina space to residential developers. “What we did is create a mechanism that preserves a marina,” he says.
To anyone who argues that he’s taking rental slips off the market, he answers that his owners can always rent their spaces out or sell them.
Buy and Hold
“My daddy once said the only problem with selling something is you don’t own it anymore.” So says , 40, co-owner with J.C. Solomon II, 55, of the Jupiter-based Loggerhead Club & Marina chain. He was explaining why they adopted the buy-and-hold model for their 10 marinas totaling 2,500 wet slips and dry racks. Loggerhead touts its yacht club benefits and reciprocal dockage with leases. Graziotto and Solomon have their sights set on building out in Florida and the Bahamas before moving to the Texas coast and lower Southeast coast.