Have you ever visited a destination and after a couple of days you just don’t want to leave? Where the service is second to none and the people operating the marina love what they do. We had such an experience when we visited Genoa Bay Marina, British Columbia the first time in the summer of 2009 and returned to this tranquil and colorful marina many times since.
Genoa Bay is a quaint little settlement with a marina nestled in a picturesque bay at the south end of Sansum Narrows, on the northern shore of Cowichan Bay. It was named by Giovanni Baptiste Ordano in 1858 because it reminded him of his home in Italy.
Despite the odds, the Kiedaisch siblings have established Genoa Bay into a must-stop for Northwest boaters.
Genoa Bay Marina
Two Brothers and A Marina
On the first day brothers Will and Ben Kiedaisch assumed ownership of Genoa Bay Marina, they inherited outstanding bills. The bank was threatening foreclosure on the property, and the electricity was about to be turned off. When they took over, the brothers didn’t know port from starboard and didn’t even own a boat. They had to learn how to run a marina from the ground up.
Brothers Will and Ben Kiedaisch hard at work.
A Career Change
The Kiedaisch boys are California transplants. In 1971, when they were kids, the family moved from California to Nanaimo, B.C., which led to the Kiedaischs owning the marina for more than 20 years; their father and his school buddy owned it jointly. After their father died, the brothers had a couple of options: let the property foreclose or operate the weathered marina. Will is older, with an education in sales and marketing, Ben is trained in the culinary arts. At the time, despite working in their respective fields, they opted for career and lifestyle changes.
Ben lends a helping hand to a boater.
When their first visitor asked how much they charged, the brothers asked them what they paid where they stayed the previous night. From those humble beginnings, the brothers earned a reputation for making visitors feel at home. And, they do make you feel welcome and part of the family. Their humor and good nature are reflected in the character of the marina itself, and the personal service is second to none, and you can tell the employees operating the marina love what they do.
3,000 boats visit Genoa Bay Marina yearly.
Genoa Bay Marina
Genoa Bay Marina is charming and postcard picturesque. A colorful and eclectic mix of vessels, boathouses and unpretentious floating homes fill the western portion of the marina. Flowers abound in dockside containers, while the emerald green bay is surrounded by steep forested hillsides.
For visiting boaters, there is 1,200-feet of guest dock available.
Services for Boaters
Berth assignments are available by hailing the marina on VHF channel 66A. Reservations are recommended during the cruising season. The 1,200-feet of transient moorage floats are wide and stable offering water, and 30 and 50-amp power. The water is supplied from a local community well and somewhat limited. On the guest moorage floats, boats up to 80-feet can be accommodated.
Relax or Explore
There’s plenty to enjoy once you’re settled. Watch eagles soar overhead. Listen to the breeze stir in the treetops while otters, seals, and cormorants provide endless entertainment. For a minimal fee, you can access email via the marinas Wi-Fi network. Take a taxi for a round of golf or a shopping excursion to nearby Cowichan Bay or Duncan, drop by the tasting rooms of the area’s many vineyards or just put your feet up and do nothing at all.
The marina store at the head of the guest docks carries a mix of grocery items, snacks, nautical books, magazines, marine supplies, souvenirs, coffee, ice, and a full line of Genoa Bay shirts, jackets, and hats.The breakfast cabana, is open in July and August, Thursday through Monday, and located on the dock adjacent to the store. It’s a real gathering place for the morning crowd. The covered party dock accommodates visiting yacht clubs rendezvous potlucks and impromptu dock parties. Upland facilities include an excellent restaurant, clean and spacious showers and restrooms, coin-operated laundry and a small picnic area.
Genoa Bay Cafe
For us, a visit would not be complete without a meal, or two, at the Genoa Bay Café. The café is perched on the water’s edge overlooking the marina and offers five-star quality cuisine in a casual atmosphere. The combination of the view, smell, and taste provide diners with sensory overload.