Getting to the #8216;Point#8217;

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

FRANKLIN FURNACE — Phil Hand said when he and his wife, Barb, bought Holiday Point Marina it was the biggest gamble they ever took.

The lifelong boaters had been looking for a marina to buy for years.

Then, in 2001, the former Batavia residents found the one they wanted while browsing — of all places — the Internet. A year later, the Hands had pooled together nearly all of their financial resources, moved to Franklin Furnace and dove into the marina business headfirst.

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“I guess you could call this our floating savings account,” Barb Hand said with a laugh.

Phil Hand said getting into the business was like “tight-rope walking without a net.”

The Hands and one other employee now keep the business afloat. The marina offers a variety of activities and services for everyone, Barb Hand said.

“Most of the people who come here are just your average people,” she said. “They are working all week and then like to come here on the weekends and let it all hang out. And believe me, some really do let it all hang out.”

The boats range from low cost to about $250,000, which is probably the most expensive ever docked there, Hand said.

The names vary just about as much as the values of the boats. There is a local judge’s boat called “The Eye Witness III,” a pharmaceutical salesman who calls his “Just What the Doctor Ordered,” and “Liquid Plumber,” a boat owned, of course, by a former plumber.

Hand said it’s hard for her to pick out which moniker is her favorite, but “Barge Bait,” would rank high on her list.

The marina has about 170 boats currently docked there and has room for about 30 more. Jet skis are also boarded there. Summer storage and indoor winter storage are both available.

There are 18 campsites also at the marina site that include city water, sewer and electric hookups. Most of those are filled with those who live there year-round.

A yacht club is also there, but Hand said it is not one that is stuffy or discriminating. It is open to boaters, campers and boating enthusiasts of all kinds, she said. There is usually something going on every weekend sponsored by the club.

The marina also features the Holiday Point Caf/, a restaurant that sits on the river and offers an up-close look at the boats traveling through the area. Phil Hand said the caf/ has a renowned hamburger served along the Ohio River. The restaurant is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

A service center is also available on site.

For more information about Holiday Point call (740) 354-9779 or log on to its Web site at