Boat owner frustrated by storage facility transitioning from rental spaces to owned spaces

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — Sloop Point Boat Storage in Hampstead has previously allowed boat owners to rent their 224 dry stack spaces, but now they have decided to sell the spaces, and a boat owner is frustrated by the process.

Robert Burke says he has kept his boat in a dry stack at Sloop Point for the last two years, paying $6,000 per year to rent the space. He says he loves it there, but now the owners of the facility have made the decision to no longer rent the spaces, but to sell them.

“You’re given a choice, on Monday, to either decide to spend $100,000 or not come September 1, and if not, you have to vacate and where are you going to go to?” Burke said. “Everything is full and we have a 30-foot boat, which makes it difficult to find a spot. No place on the entire ICW has a spot for me.”

Burke says renters were notified on Monday that they could pay $1,000 within two weeks to secure a spot before the company starts marketing outside the existing customer base. He says he was given an estimate that they would cost around $75,000 to $100,000 and they would have to commit in September.

“I think they should have said, ‘hey we’ll give you until January 1 to decide, but coming right in the middle of September to make that decision leaves a bad, salty taste in everybody’s mouth,” Burke said.

Concerned about ambiguity, Burke says it’s difficult to make a decision like that without knowing a sure price of the space and possible HOA fees. With storage limited, he says he knows several people have decided to sell their boats because they are not ready to make that kind of investment so they’re left with nowhere to store their boats.

Of course, Burke says he would prefer to continue renting but understands why the owners have decided to sell the spaces. He wishes renters were given more notice to find a new place to store their boats or consider the significant investment.

Additionally, he says he would like to see more public ramps installed throughout the area to make the waters more accessible for everyone.

The Sloop Point Ownership Group shared a statement that reads,

“Due to the limited availability of boat storage in our area, many of our tenants have asked about an opportunity to own the space in order to secure long term storage for their boat. We have had an overwhelming response from our current tenants as well as the marketplace regarding our transition at Sloop Point from rental spaces to owned spaces. We are giving the current lessees the first opportunity to purchase a space and are allowing them an opportunity to reserve their spot before we begin marketing this to the general public. The reservation is non-binding and will allow interested buyers an opportunity to purchase once all of the details such as exact pricing and fees are determined.”

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