A Back Cove 34 gets hauled for a bottom job
A Back Cove 34 gets hauled for a bottom job and motor service on its 300-horsepower Yamahas.

Cay Marine Sebastian’s owner keen on building relationships

Stephen Petersen believes establishing relationships with customers and the community are essential in running a successful business and that’s exactly what he’s doing as owner and operator of Cay Marine Sebastian.

Stephen Petersen, wife Bradley and son Huck
Stephen Petersen, wife Bradley and son
Huck enjoy everything water as much as
their clients at Cay Marine Sebastian.

Petersen and his wife, Bradley, purchased Sebastian River Marina & Boatyard in December of 2021 after the owner decided to retire.

The 3.86-acre full-service marina is conveniently located at 8525 North U.S. Highway 1, between Sebastian and Micco. For boaters, it’s at Marker 55 on the Indian River — just 3 miles from the Sebastian Inlet with direct deepwater access to the Intracoastal Waterway and great fishing.

“I grew up in a marina family,’’ said Petersen, who commutes from his Tequesta home four to five times a week. “My parents ran marinas, restaurants my whole life in the Bahamas, where I’m from, and so when we moved to the states four years ago, we were looking to replicate something that I grew up in — a family-style owner who’s very involved with the tenants and in building a very well-rounded relationship versus just a corporate relationship.”

“We just want you as a repetitive customer, so we’re going to do the most and best for you,’’ Petersen, 39, stressed. “What can we do to make your experience better with us? We want you to go back and tell your friends how great the place is.’’

He has made several enhancements to the marina in the past 14 months. Getting buy-in to his vision from the staff of the previous owner, including office manager Diana Squires and Steve Mooney in the boatyard, has been beneficial to Petersen in upgrading Cay Marine Sebastian.

For example, four additional boatlifts were installed; new machines were brought in for haul-outs; new finger piers were installed with more to come; restrooms were redone; new landscaping; and complimentary ice from a new machine. The second-floor office was also redone with comfortable couches for clients to relax in a lounge atmosphere.

As for future enhancements, “If everything goes smoothly, we’ll have clubhouse with some form of store in there where our guests or even outsiders can come in and grab water, beer, wine, dock lines, fishing equipment; things like that,’’ Petersen said.

Aside from physical upgrades, he’s also worked hard in developing a network of mechanics from the area to help clients with timely repairs in the boatyard.

The marina has 120 total slips — 60 in-water and 60 for dry storage. Most of the boats in the in-water slips are between 35 and 40 feet.

The installation of four additional boatlifts has been embraced by boaters, increasing the current number to six and a total of 20 in the near future.

“I had all these slips rented before we even had them finished,’’ Petersen said. “They were knocking my door down to see when they could get on it.

“It’s kind of the way of the future in the world of boating, as most of these guys want to have access to the boat all the time, but they don’t want it in the water and so they’re renting them for $1,250 a month and we have a waiting list for the lifts.’’

With that said, this recent Google review is a good measuring stick on what’s taking place at Cay Marine Sebastian under the Petersens’ ownership:

“Great atmosphere, very clean restroom accommodations, and most of all, great staff. Did an amazing job keeping our boat safe during Hurricane Ian. Would highly recommend.’’

If you would like more information, visit thecaymarine.com or contact office manager Diana Squires at 772.664.3029 or info@thecaymarine.com.

See the original article in print publication

The Cay Sebastian logo


8525 North U.S. Highway 1
Sebastian, FL 32976

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon.-Sunday
Position: N 27° 52.420’ / W 080° 29.790’;
Indian River Lagoon-ICW MM 934.0 Day Marker 55

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