Jim Hogan opened a boat hire business in Inverness in 1969 and worked to turn the historic Caledonian Canal into a major focus of Scotland’s hospitality industry. He had a dream of increasing the accessibility of the area’s waterways, combining the attraction of Loch Ness with cruising one of the world’s most famous canal systems.
Now operated by second and third generation family, Caley Marina has developed beyond facilitating boating holidays, and continues to grow every year, giving customers friendly advice and supporting all aspects of boat and equipment care and repair. Caley Marina is a large multi-sector business with an expert, approachable and dedicated workforce.
Innovation and future planning has always been a driving force, and we work with our supply partners to test new technology that delivers lower environmental impact.
Caley Marina was born in 1969. It was started by ex-WW2 fighter pilot, Jim Dodds, who saw an opportunity for Scotland’s hospitality and tourism industries to benefit from the proximity of the Caledonian Canal with Loch Ness. The company’s first trading name was Loch Ness Marine. In 1980, Jim Hogan – who operated a rapidly expanding boat hire business called Caley Cruisers, also based on the canal in Inverness - bought the business and renamed it Caley Marina.
Since then, the business has been driven by expansion and innovation. It was the first company in the UK to import and distribute polyethylene boats with the Norwegian brand Pioner, and we now have a well-developed network of dealers selling across the UK.
The marina side of the business expanded rapidly, with new quays and a fully serviced pontoon berth for every vessel. In 1993, we built a temperature-controlled workshop offering a full joinery workshop, overhead cranes, a machine shop and welding capability for stainless steel, aluminium and mild steel.
Jim Hogan retired in 2000, although he maintained an active interest for several years afterwards, while son Jamie took over the business.
In 2007 Caley Marina formed a joint venture with Inverness Harbour Trust to design and build a brand-new marina at Inverness Harbour, which won the 2018 award for Best Small Marina in Britain.