In this undated photo, a dog walks off the end of a ramp onto a float at Buck's Harbor Marina in Brooksville. Credit: Courtesy of Jackson Wright

The owner of a Brooksville marina who has fought for years with the town over his use of moorings in Buck’s Harbor has closed the business and put it on the market for more than $1.8 million.

Signs that were fastened to cords blocking off the marina’s access road and an adjacent dirt parking lot on Route 176 said Tuesday that the marina is closed for the 2023 season and warns against trespassing.

The property is listed for sale by Christie’s International Real Estate for $1,825,000 and consists of two parcels connected by an access road off Route 176. That road is shared with two other abutting property owners. The parcel directly on the water is one tenth of an acre and includes a wharf with two buildings on it and a floating dock system. The parcel directly on Route 176 is a fifth of an acre and is used for parking. Together, the two parcels have an assessed value of $261,500, according to the town’s property tax records.

The owner of the marina, Jonathan Buck, has been feuding with the town since the summer of 2020. In August of that year, a tropical storm passed through the area, causing a yacht tied up to one of the marina’s 35 moorings to drag that mooring a short distance and hit another boat, marina officials said.

A sign hangs from a cord that blocks access to Buck’s Harbor Marina in Brooksville, Maine on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. besides being closed, the marina is also for sale but a lawsuit filed by the owner against the town still is pending in court. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

The yacht was tied up without the marina’s approval and the damage was minor, according to the marina, but the town said the collision was the marina’s fault. In August 2020, the town sent a notice to the marina that said because the yacht was too large for the mooring and dragged it, the marina was in violation of the town’s harbor ordinance.

That fall, Buck signed a written agreement with the town on how to resolve the dispute, but the town later said Buck violated that agreement. In January 2022, Buck filed a lawsuit against the town, claiming he was being unfairly targeted.

Buck said Tuesday that he and his family decided to close the marina because the town’s actions and demands have undermined the business.

“Their attempts are essentially to devalue the marina and put us out of business,” Buck said. “I will not subject my family to any more of this unconstitutional harassment.”

Buck’s lawsuit is still pending in the state’s business and consumer court, said Mark Shaughnessy, chair of the town’s harbor committee. He said Buck also filed a separate tort claim against the town last summer, in which he is seeking monetary damages against the town. That too has not been resolved.

“It’s a shame,” Shaughnessy said of the closure of the marina. “It’s difficult for people who use the harbor and for cruising sailors. It’s a wonderful asset for the harbor.”

On a recorded message that greets callers to the marina phone line, a person said that the closure of the marina is “out of our hands” and apologizes for not being open.

The marina’s website said that, when it was open, the site offered diesel and ethanol-free gasoline to boaters, laundry services, fresh water and showers, garbage disposal and wifi. It also had a ship’s store that sold souvenirs and boating supplies, among other things. 

“Buck’s Harbor Marina has been a family operation revered for providing a variety of marine services, including food, wine, fresh lobsters, showers and fuel, in addition to rental moorings and mainland access from its docks,” the listing on Christie’s International Real Estate says. “While primarily a seasonal operation, Buck’s Harbor Marina offers the best of a ‘Maine way of life’ providing both essential and nonessential services to the boating public.”

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....