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Front row boats take their slips early at Point South Marina at Bay Point

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 4:25 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Last month, NewsChannel 7 got a sneak peek of the new Point South Marinas at Bay Point and Port St. Joe. Marinas. Officials have been getting both ready to officially open this summer.

Bright and early Wednesday morning, a select few Bay Point tenants got to steer in and take their slips early.

Captain Joe Williford has been waiting three years for this moment, as he heard the marina radio him in.

“Channel is clear, slip is clear, you’re clear to approach. Welcome home, captain,” Justin Bannerman, the General Manager for the Point South Marina at Bay Point, said.

“Roger. I’m glad to be back. Standing by,” Williford replied.

Williford is back for good at the newly rebuilt marina in Panama City Beach.

“We were here for 20 years before. We’ve been gone. Had to go to Destin for a while because there was no place to dock here, so we had to come back,” Williford said. “And now we’re back here at home again. It’s good to be here.”

The marina was stripped down by Hurricane Michael back in 2018.

“It wasn’t enough just to repair anything. The bulkheads were destroyed so we had to start from scratch,” David Demarest, the Director of Public Relations for St. Joe Hospitality, said.

The St. Joe Company took on the challenge of building it back and better than before. The new marina has 127 wet slips for boats up to 125 feet long.

“Much wider bays. Boats are much bigger these days and tough to fit into a marina that was built 30 to 40 years ago,” Bannerman said. “Have dredged to make it accommodating for deeper draft vessels as well.”

A group of front row tenants got to dock up a week early and see it for themselves.

“We’re glad to be back in bay point. It’s been a long time,” Williford said. “Long time for them to get built back and for them to get operation again but we’re glad to be back home.”

Officials said they’re hoping to bring everyone else back home on June 1st. But, there could be delays depending on weather and construction.

If you’re looking to reserve a spot, you can visit https://pointsouthmarina.com/

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