Seven Points Marina

Published online: Sep 06, 2013 Marina
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Seven Points Marina, located on Raystown Lake in central Pennsylvania was the recipient of Large Marina of the Year Award in 2010 and it still lives up to that title today. The marina was founded by Mr. James Filson, a native of Altoona, Pennsylvania who has been in the marine business for 65 years. The marina is a 941 slip facility, offers seasonal houseboat and pontoon rentals, a marina store and a restaurant. They are open from April to October every year. 

"My father and mother started in the marine industry in 1946 and we three children were expected to contribute to the success of the business while we were young. That blossomed into a passion for the industry as well for all the kids. My father and brother, BJ Filson, laid a solid foundation for the business and my sister, Pauline Filson Hetrick. We are now responsible for continuing with his vision.  That vision above all is a commitment to service, in a family friendly environment," said Jim's daughter, Pam Filson Prosser.

Seven Points Marina

Originally called Jim's Anchorage, the original marina was on the old Raystown Dam. Mr. Filson, a native of Altoona and a school teacher of history and science in Huntingdon, loved the water and spent his summers building the marina business. The first Jim's Anchorage consisted of one small wood building, fifteen by twenty feet, a steep dirt launch ramp and six docks, all reached by a dusty red shale road. Mr. Filson opened for business with an initial investment of $500 for the purchase of land and four used rowboats. That was in 1946.  By 1952 he was operating a snack bar and a small store for the sale and servicing of boating equipment.

The Filson Marina gradually developed into a popular boating, water skiing and fishing center, offering a wide range of activities.  The original marina featured ski shows, boat tours, jeep tours and dances during the summer. By 1960 Jim's Anchorage had expanded to include a boat and motor dealership, three different areas for campers and trailers, three additional boat docking areas, a 140 slip marina, rental cottages and 350 acres of land.  During this time Jim's wife Margaret, his son and two daughters worked alongside him. The original marina was located about three miles north of the current marina and the old lake was only about 8 miles long with 30 miles of shoreline.

In 1970, the United States Corps of Engineers purchased the original marina as they decided to build a larger reservoir called Raystown Lake.  This lake is the largest inland lake in Pennsylvania with 118 miles of shoreline, a 34 miles long pool and 27 miles in the recreational pool. Today, the old marina is 100 feet under the water. Although Jim and his family were discouraged to lose the original business built from scratch and subject to eminent domain, Mr. Filson was fortunate to be the winning bidder for a concession on this new lake called the Seven Points Marina.

In like fashion, Jim started from scratch again and built the marina up. Seven Points Marina has 661 docks that are rented seasonally, 20 transient docks and 265 rack or dry storage docks. In addition, there are 19 houseboats, 9 pontoons and six utility boats that are for rent daily. A restaurant and a store are also on the property as well as the largest breakwater on the lake. This 500 foot breakwater is home to many private houseboats and helps protect the rest of the marina from rough water.

The current marina results from years of upgrades and additions, and Seven Points Marina has had a waiting list since its inception. Over the years, Seven Points built and expanded upon a dry stack facility with a current capacity for 285 boats and expanded its wet slips to 661. The marina has a strategic plan for upgrades over the next 10 years, including researching and designing a floating facility for administrative offices and rental center and a restaurant and floating pier.

The rental fleet of boats serves as integral part of the business. Over the last few years, the marina has invested $200,000 to upgrade the fleet.

In 1946, Peg and Jim Filson bought a piece of land on what was, at the time, a 10-mile lake, and their marina quickly became a focal point of the lake. Now, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concessionaire, Seven Points Marina continues the tradition, serving boaters and the community with its personal touch.

Head over to http://www.7pointsmarina.com to book your next houseboating trip or to check out available slip space. 

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