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Aug. 6, 2020
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Martin Docks opens second location

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
These days, docks aren’t what they used to be. Just ask Glenn Martin, third-generation owner of Lake Lanier’s oldest dock company – Martin Docks.
 
“My grandfather built the first dock on Lake Lanier in 1956 for JD Jewell, and it’s still in use today,” said Martin. “It’s been modified several times, adding slips, taking away slips and adding walkways all around and now back to a single slip with decking and platforms.” 
 
He also knows how docks have changed from those early days. “Especially in the past decade or two, docks have gone from just a place to tie up your boat to an extension of your home and entertainment space,” he said. “In fact, sometimes people’s docks are better decorated than their homes on the lake, because that’s where they spend most of their time.” 
 
From adding covered upper decks and boat lifts to expanding walkways and using high-end materials, today’s docks see use almost year-round. 
 
“Roof height is the most noticeable change – at least another 4 to 6 feet – because of all the wake and surf boats, plus people want their cruisers and pontoons under cover,” he said. “By the time you add a lift and cover the boat, it’s just got to be higher. And we’ve been replacing a lot of older docks because of this in the past decade or so.”
 
Martin’s grandfather G.H. Martin started building docks in the mid-1950s. By 1963, he moved the business to its current location on Ga. 53/Dawsonville Highway across from Gainesville Marina.  Today, that building on 3.5 acres is the company’s production facility where all new docks are built.
 
Martin Docks recently acquired a new showroom just down the road on another 3.5-acre tract of land. The 7,000-square-foot building is easy to spot; there’s a full-sized model of the latest design in docks just outside the front door. “We moved all our sales operations to the new building to free up room in the production facility,” Martin said. “We needed every bit of space over there because business continues to grow.” 
 
Martin Docks currently has more than 45 employees. Martin said he anticipates growing the business even more and he’s looking for another four to five qualified employees.
 
The company also builds shoreline steps, repairs and remodels existing docks, installs rip rap and has a dock-watch program to monitor lake levels and move docks accordingly. They also service Allatoona, Hartwell, Blue Ridge, Chatuge, Nottely and many other lakes. 
 
“We’ve been blessed all these years to have a good, solid business,” he said. “Even though Lanier has reached its maximum number of dock permits, we are still busy with replacing docks, doing repairs and taking care of customers.” 
 
Martin Dock’s new showroom is located at 1740 Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville. For info call 770 536-0189 or visit www.martindocksinc.com.

Posted online 7.30.20
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