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Woods Surfside Marina where the motto is ‘Enter as strangers, Leave as friends’

By J.R. Tidwell

Woods Surfside Marina, found on Lake Logan Martin, has been at the same location since 1968 (37 Marina Drive Cropwell, Ala.)


Photo provided by Woods Surfside Marina.

According to the company’s website, Woods Surfside Marina “is Logan Martin’s marine leader, and the largest boat dealer on the lake. Jerry and Diana Woods, along with their daughter and son in law, Mark and Eva Hildebrant have operated the marina since 2006. There is a great full time staff that has been on-board since Jerry and Diana took ownership.

“At Woods Surfside Marina, we want to welcome you and your family to enjoy a relaxing and worry free boating experience. The marina sits on 14 acres with over 300 dry storage stalls, and three piers of wet slips. We offer full service gas on the water, with no ethanol, and have a valet boat launch service to make your trip to the lake easier. Shop at our store for a large selection of water toys and refreshments.

“We carry the full line of Bennington Pontoons, the number one brand pontoon in America, and have a large selection of pre-owned boats onsite as well. Our commitment to our customers has earned us many awards. We are the No. 1 Bennington dealer in the state of Alabama, and eighth nationally.”

“Customer Service is what Jerry's corporate career was founded on, and the same goes for the marina. The slogan above our door is ‘Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends’ and we truly mean it. Whether you are buying your first boat, upgrading, or just need a place to store and enjoy your boat, we want to make your experience enjoyable and relaxing.

“Our mechanics are certified in Mercury, Mercruiser, and Yamaha motors. We have a 3 bay service department with a fully stocked parts department. We can handle all your service needs, from a 20 hour service to a full rebuild of your motor.”

Mark Hildebrant came to work full-time at the marina six years ago. He echoed that family and customer service are what sets Woods Surfside Marina apart.

“The family went into the business taking care of people,” he said. “There is a sign over door as you walk
in that says ‘Enter as strangers, leave as friends.’

“Customer service is how my father-in- law became successful, Customers are the reason we have jobs, so we do everything we can to take care of them. We really cater to our customers, and we have great employees. Most employees start at 16 and stay through college. We try to be a fun place for people to come and enjoy their boats.”

Lake Logan Martin has a lot to offer for anyone looking to enjoy some time out on the water.

“It’s a big recreation lake,” Hildebrant said. “It’s part of the Coosa River, and it’s a big pontoon lake. We are seeing more and more weekenders from Birmingham, Trussville and parts of Georgia. It’s a beautiful lake. It has good fishing; the high school bass national championship was there last year.”

“In May (18-19) we have an on-the- water boat show called Lake Fest. All the money goes back to the community. It’s a humongous two-day event. Five or six marinas will have boats there. There will also be vendors, live music. It’s a big event for us.”

“We do some different things in summer, like shoot off fireworks for the Fourth of July at the marina. Once we get into the end of summer we get into winterization mode. We get boats ready for storage, do upkeep and maintenance.”

If you have any questions about the services Woods Surfside Marina offers, give them a call at 205-525- 5533 or check-out their website at

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