Dataw Marina Blog

Welcoming our new Harbormaster, Chad Langford

The Dataw Island Owners Association is pleased to welcome our new Harbormaster, Chad Langford.

The Dataw Island Owners Association is pleased to welcome our new Harbormaster, Chad Langford.

Chad brings great skill and experience to the Dataw Island Marina, including a five-year tenure as a hands-on General Manager of the Hilton Head Boathouse. “I like to know how to do every job in the yard. For one, I don’t like to ask anybody to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. And, if you know something that I haven’t learned yet, I want to learn.”

And, Chad lives this mantra. While at the Boathouse, he became five-star Yamaha certified to work on boat engines, “just so I knew how to do it.” He says that the team at Dataw Island has been very receptive and supportive. “Some places, coworkers try to ‘protect’ knowledge and hold it close to the chest. I really appreciate that the team at Dataw Island, from Whitney to the GM, and everyone else for that matter, shares knowledge and seems to want to work for the betterment of the whole operation.”

Dataw Island General Manager Ted Bartlett seems to share the sentiment. “Chad is doing fantastic. I am just thrilled to have him here!”

Bartlett also said that although the Dataw Marina continues its talks with a third-party management company, that Chad’s background and skills would be a great benefit to them as well.

Growing up in the Lowcountry (in Ridgeland, Beaufort, and Savannah) Chad has always loved the outdoors, especially fishing, golf, and boating. In fact, he spent several years in the earlier part of his career in the 1990s working in the golf industry, including as Assistant Golf Professional at Bray’s Island and running a golf store on Lady’s Island called Stic’s. From there, his career has meandered through video poker (back when it was legal!) to the boating industry, and working for a beer distributor.

It may sound like a wide set of experiences, but when speaking with Chad, it quickly becomes apparent that each position he has held has a common thread: working with, and helping, people.

And, connecting with people is important in any role in a club. “Chad is off to a great start and is already connecting with members,” Bartlett said.

Chad added, “I love the salt air and being out in the sun, but mostly I love working around people. And, most boaters are really passionate and form a ‘family’ around their passion. They’re good people. And their boats are their babies, and I get that. Being able to support them is a privilege.”

Morgan River Grill: NOW OPEN for Lunch & Dinner

 Now open for Lunch & Dinner

LUNCH: 11 am – 5 pm
DINNER: 5pm – 9 pm

(Reservations for dinner recommended. Reservation requests made via voicemail will receive a callback to confirm or reschedule if your requested seating is already full.)

(843)838-2474
(843-838-FISH)


Dataw Island is pleased to welcome the owners and staff of the Morgan River Grill to the Dataw Island Marina complex. Evan Hallinan and his family two years ago opened the very successful Madison’s restaurant in Port Royal.

“The Dataw waterfront is definitely ready to come alive again!” said owner Evan Hallinan. “There is an energy since the Dataw Island Owners Association took over that we are really excited about. It definitely feels right!” 

Hallinan’s partner, Amy Schmitt (in life and business – Hallinan is the Owner/Executive Chef and Schmitt is the General Manager), was quick to add, “To say we’re excited is really an understatement, we’re ecstatic!”

The restaurant concept reflects the environment: seafood-heavy and “upscale casual” with a decidedly southern influence.

The owners explained they want boaters to feel comfortable coming straight in from boating, so flipflops and pups are welcome! The porch has been outfitted with all new heaters and custom-fit weather panels to assure year-round comfort, and indoor and bar seating will also be available.

Morgan River Grill’s partnerships with local purveyors such as Sea Eagle Seafood and Lowcountry Shellfish support other small businesses and assure use of fresh, quality ingredients, locally sourced when possible. In addition to seafood, they are offering a number of small plates, signature burgers (check out the Bartlett!) created from a hand-picked blend of brisket, chuck, and short rib (designed by Hallinan and crafted by a local butcher), and also a number of hand-cut steaks and pork chops.

In their first year of operation, Madison’s earned a “Best of Beaufort Reader’s Choice Award” for the Best Restaurant. Not to be outdone, in their second year of operation they again earned Best Restaurant and added to their honors Best Server and Best Chef.

“It’s already been so great meeting members and working with the team here on Dataw Island; it truly feels like the community is a team on Dataw,” Schmitt said.

“Definitely,” agrees Hallinan. “It feels like everyone on Dataw is on Team Morgan River Grill and we are on Team Dataw!”

Stop by and welcome our new neighbors!

LUNCH: 11 am – 5 pm
DINNER: 5pm – 9 pm

(Reservations for dinner recommended.) 

(843) 838-FISH (3474)

Website coming soon – patrons will soon be able to review menus in advance and call ahead for pick up orders: www.morganrivergrill.com
Dataw Island GM Ted Bartlett and Culinary/Operations Director Matt Felix dine with Jennifer and Jim Flanagan at the new Morgan River Grill.

Harbormaster Update 1/23/20

Many of you are aware that there is a beach re-nourishment project going on at Hunting Island State Park.  They have 2 crews and 3 vessels working on that project.  The dredge boat stays out near the park taking on sand from the bottom of the ocean and depositing it onto the beach where it is shaped by bulldozers. 

The other 2 vessels are leasing dock space at the Dataw Island Marina for the duration of the project.  The company name is Great Lakes Dock and Dredge, Inc.  They do these projects all over the country.  Below is a photo of their 55 foot crew boat, the Saginaw River.  The crew arrives at 7am, parks their vehicles in the lot and boards the vessel for the trip out to Hunting Island.  They return at 5 pm and go home.  No one stays on Dataw overnight. 

Soon, the rest of the crew will arrive with the second and smaller scout vessel. They will also be leasing vehicular parking space at the Marina while they work a straight 2 week shift living on the dredge at Hunting Island before being replaced by another crew.  Again, they park their vehicles here but do not stay on island. 

Both vessels will also soon be fueling up with our new dispenser.  We are pleased to be able to provide a convenient staging location for Great Lakes Dock and Dredge while they work on a much needed project that will benefit the Beaufort community and beyond. 


The electrical system is complete and inspected.  Our electrical system is in compliance with the newer 2017 electrical codes for marinas and the pedestals are more sensitive to vessel electrical current leakage than they used to be.  This results in some vessels tripping the ground fault circuit interrupters when they connect to shore power.  We have ordered a meter that will read this leakage so that it may be remedied by a certified electrical technician. 


The forklift has been repaired and has been hauling boats this week in spite of the cold weather. 


The travel lift concrete runway work has been completed and travel lift haulouts are reconvening.  We waited until the slower season to repair the deteriorated runway surface and it should now be in good condition for decades.


Beer, wine, snacks, drinks, pizzas and basic household and boating items are competitively priced and available at the Marina Store between 9 and 5 daily.


The latest prediction from the restaurant owner for Morgan River Grill is that they will be opening in 4 weeks.


We have had a side scan sonar done to examine the marina footprint for underwater hazards.  This week, divers and a barge removed all hazards except one that still needs to be removed.  There are buoys marking this remaining hazard.  

Harbormaster Update 1/3/20

The electrical difficulty has been resolved and the electric to the wet slips is fully functional.  There was a factory wiring defect that has been corrected in the field.  The dock will once again be lighted at night and slip holders should have power. 

Work continues on the forklift, repairing the damaged wheel.  It is getting worked on this week at a machine shop and we are hopeful to have it back working soon.   

The travel lift concrete runway work has been slowed due to holiday plant shutdowns and rain.  We cannot achieve the desired compaction with the material being so wet.  When we get a few dry days in a row we will be able to compact it tightly with a vibratory roller.  To compensate for the project running over schedule, we are ordering a concrete product that will set up and harden more quickly to offset the down time during curing.  This will get the travel lift back in operations sooner than the alternative.

We expect to resume fueling operations very soon after final approval from the Department of Health and Environmental Control.  Ethanol free gas and diesel will be available.

We have had a side scan sonar done to examine the marina footprint for underwater hazards.  That has been accomplished.  Next week we will be marking these with buoys tied directly to the hazard.  Avoid the buoys with your vessel until we get them removed by barge and crane in mid January.

Harbormaster Update 12/20/19

Today we received our Certificate of Occupancy for the wet slips. Slip holders will be putting their vessels on the dock in the coming days and weeks. There is a docking diagram in the Harbormaster’s office.

Today we received our Certificate of Occupancy for the wet slips.  Slip holders will be putting their vessels on the dock in the coming days and weeks.  There is a docking diagram in the Harbormaster’s office.

The Morgan River Outpost restaurant is doing some décor work and equipment modifications.  Their licensing should arrive by the beginning of February which is when they plan to open for dinner service.

We had a major wheel failure on the forklift making it inoperable.  Parts are needed as is work at a machine shop.  We apologize for the inconvenience and project that the repair will take between  7 and 10 days.

We expect to resume fueling operations in two weeks after some final approval from the Department of Health and Environmental Control.  Ethanol free gas and diesel will be available.

Marina Store Opens

The Marina Store now has beer and wine in addition to lunch items, snacks, household convenience items, boating and fishing supplies, coffee, take and bake pizzas and more. 

We are also accepting debit and credit cards and will now be open from 9 – 5 daily. 

Looking for holiday gift ideas? The Marina Store and Harbormaster’s office have Dataw Marina logoed clothing and other gifts and supplies to help get you ready for the season. 

Harbormaster Update 12/3/19

Marina Progress Update

It is hard to predict with so many interwined projects and inspecting authorities but it appears that next week we will enter the last week of critical path construction.  Another week or more should be anticipated to get final inspections completed and a Certificate of Occupancy permit.  We are hoping to be putting boats on the new shoreline dock around the end of the year or beginning of next.

Fuel – The last steps with the fuel are to hook up the low voltage wires to run the dispenser, purge the lines of any old fuel and calibrate the dispenser to be sure that a gallon is exactly a gallon.     

Pilings – All of the excess pilings have now been removed and all new piles installed.  The 10 remaining piles perpendicular to the shore are planned to be reused for a new attenuator in that location at a later date. 

Fire System – The 4 inch galvanized pipe and flex piping are completely installed.  There is one last hydrostatic test to be performed later this week on the piping system.

Electrical – There are only a couple of items remaining to complete.  A part is shipping in from out of state that will complete the work.  That part has been tracked to be here tomorrow and the work should be completed by weeks end.  We will then call for an inspection from the County Building Codes Department. 

Marina Restaurant – The new name of the restaurant will be the Morgan River Outpost.  They are installing equipment and décor currently.  They plan to open operations in January as soon as they have all of their licensing. 

Marina Store – The Marina Store now has beer and wine!  We are also accepting debit and credit cards now.  We will now be open from 9 – 5 daily.  Looking for holiday gift ideas? The Marina Store and Harbormaster’s office have Dataw Marina logoed clothing and other gifts to help get you ready for the season. 

Financial Status – The 2019 Marina operating budget will finish on plan and as communicated.  The construction project will also be on budget, spending the amount of money on project work that we had intended. 

The couple of unknown projects that arose throughout the year (water damaged sub floor, extensive fire system upgrades) are being funded from reserves as discovery items typically are. 

Dry Stack – LAST CALL!  We still have available berths in the dry stack area.  If you sign an annual contract by the end of December, you will receive a free month of storage.  This promotion ends on December 31st so if you are thinking about it, act now.