Marina @ Rowena

A New Marina on Lake Cumberland

January 2018 Feature Web Exclusive

It’s finally happening. Marina @ Rowena is about to become a reality.

Marina @ Rowena, LLC is in the process of constructing a new marina development on Lake Cumberland in Russell County, Kentucky, just one mile north of the Clinton County Line.

This new marina is the first to be approved by the Nashville District Army Corps of Engineers in more than 50 years. Marina @ Rowena is exactly what the houseboat community needs, considering this area is widely known as the houseboat capital of the world.

The company owners Tony Sloan and Tom Allen recently announced the management team that will oversee the construction and daily operations of the marina and associated resort facilities.

David Dyson, Marina @ Rowena’s new General Manager, is a well-known, lifelong boater on Lake Cumberland.

Dyson is retiring from a 34-year career as a sales executive and will be onsite at Rowena beginning April 1, 2018. Dyson and wife, Joy, have traveled 10 hours (round-trip) to their houseboat, “Eagle’s Nest,” on Lake Cumberland at every available opportunity for many years and are looking forward to becoming full-time Lake Cumberland Residents.

Rod Parrish, Marina @ Rowena Construction Manager, a native of Albany, Kentucky, is not only a familiar name among local residents but also among the many visitors to Lake Cumberland. Parrish has vast experience designing and constructing houseboats having been a catalyst in the formation of Thoroughbred Houseboat Company, later known as “Trifecta,” after a merger of three major houseboat manufacturers.

Marina @ Rowena’s Harbor Master, Pat Waggoner, has been working in marine related businesses for 40 years and has worked for Marinas on Lake Cumberland and Dale Hollow Lake for the past 14 years. Waggoner and his wife Trina are lifelong boaters and campers having spent time working on many bodies of water in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The Rowena/Watauga Area was designated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a “Strategic Site” for future recreational development in the 1949 Master Plan for Lake Cumberland. With more than 65 years in the marina business, Sloan envisioned that this site would someday see a new marina, especially since boat registrations have increased exponentially since Wolf Creek Dam was built and Lake Cumberland was formed.

Sloan and Allen assisted their friend Nancy Mitchell with a proposal to the Army Corps to relocate her business, “London Dock” to Rowena in 2007.  However, after the Army Corps denied London Dock’s proposed relocation, public officials, at the local, state and federal levels, encouraged Sloan and Allen to continue their efforts to bring a new marina to the Rowena Landing South Location. 

Sloan and Allen persevered through the arduous ten-year application and review process culminating in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarding a 407 acre lease site, for commercial concession purposes, to Marina @ Rowena, LLC on July 5, 2017.  Marina @ Rowena is the first new commercial marina development on Lake Cumberland in over 60 years.

Sloan and Allen both expressed that they were enjoying the construction phase of this new marina after spending the past ten years in an arduous application and review process. They are excited about the construction of the new marina and have great confidence in their management team.

For more information, check out their website:

Here's a picture of the new management team:

Here's a photo of Rowena Cove. It was taken in July 2017, prior to any development: 

This photo was taken taken on Dec. 1, and it shows Marina @ Rowena’s parking lot construction. You can also see the beginning of the docks on the harbor. Wolf Creek Dam is also visible in the upper right corner of the photo.

This is a of Owner Tony Sloan explaining the design and layout of the new marina harbor to future General Manager David Dyson.


This was taken on Dec. 2 as docks were being put into place temporarily. Marina @ Rowena’s main dock, marina store and café will be anchored at the end of this pier at the mouth of the cove so that Lake Cumberland’s Houseboaters, power boaters, and fishermen have easy access to services from the main body of Lake Cumberland near Lake Cumberland.

This is General Manager David Dyson’s “Eagle’s Nest” parked at Marina @ Rowena, becoming the first houseboat to try out the new assembled docks.

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