Summer Series: Lake Life

Lake Hartwell is one of the southeastern United States’ largest recreation lakes, and we are fortunate enough to live right on its shores. We want to highlight all of the amazing things about living near the lake in our new summer series, Lake Life. During the months of May, June, and July our Lake Life series will get you up to speed on all of the ways to take advantage of this amazing resource that is the center of summer fun and memories for locals and visitors from all over the country. In the first installment of our series, Big Water Marina, located at 320 Big Water Road, Starr, SC 29684, is profiled.

Big Water Marina: Anderson’s Sleeping Giant

By: Leanne Cobb

“What only God can create.”

These are the words Big Water Marina Owner Trey Boggs uses to describe the sunsets across the water and the mountain views that surround Lake Hartwell. This is also what attracted Trey and his brother Bryan Boggs to this marina in 2000 the first time they asked the previous owners if they would sell the marina. After 17 years of asking, finally the deal was sealed in April 2017 and what started out as a sail boat marina in 1982, became Big Water Marina, a full service facility that caters to all types of lake lovers.

No matter how you love to spend time on the lake, Big Water Marina offers something for everyone, from boating enthusiasts, to kids, to those who love spending a day at the lake just sitting on the shoreline and enjoying live music, great food, and people watching.

“We are the only marina that welcomes you in for a day without needing to rent a boat,” says Boggs.

If you are a boat owner and want to make lake days a breeze, you can rent a boat slip as well as keep your boat protected all year long with their dry storage amenity. If you are not a boat owner and want to explore the lake at your leisure, you can rent pontoons for half days, full days, or for a romantic evening of sunset cruising. To make sure you stay fueled up for your lake day, new gas pumps with 93 octane fuel specially ordered with NO ethanol have been added. If you prefer to take on other kinds of adventures, Big Water Marina offers rentals of kayaks, hydrobikes, and paddleboards. For a unique paddleboard experience, you can take a paddleboard class hosted by Anderson Yoga Center at Big Water Marina. For the kids, the water park, added in 2022, is a much loved attraction, along with the pirate ship playground.

“Everyone knows if the kids are happy, the parents are happy. The pirate ship is strategically located where parents can sit and enjoy live music while the kids play. It is a free amenity if you pull up on a boat,” says Boggs.

Big Water Marina covers 100 acres of land, offering plenty of room for growth and adding more ways to make lifelong lake day memories for the 11 million people who visit Lake Hartwell each year.

“For the last 2-3 years we have been working on a master plan,” says Boggs of the plans for expanding the amenities of Big Water Marina.

Plans include adding a man-made beach with a tiki hut, an exciting addition to the 7 natural sandy beaches the marina currently boasts. The goal is to have the man-made beach completed by spring 2024.

To accommodate locals and visitors alike, the plans call for over 100 tiny cabins and there is enough land to add over 500 RV pads.

“People love the tiny cabins. They have high ceilings, sleep 6 people, kids love the lofts, and they are great for people who don’t want the maintenance of an RV,” says Boggs.

Additional plans may include a hotel and a convention center.

“Big Water Marina is laid out for 2 hotels and we do have developers looking at it. We’d love to see a hotel on Lake Hartwell because it’s never been done before. A convention center would be great for all of the new industry from all over the country and the world moving to Anderson,” Boggs says.

Covered boat docks are the next big addition.

“People have been asking from day 1 for covered boat docks,” says Boggs. “We are working on adding 100-200 right now, but there is enough water to build about 1000. These are so in demand that we already have a waiting list.”

Boggs notes that Anderson County has been super supportive of their master plans and have been great to work with.

“This is the quality of life we need for all of the people moving here. All of the bones and infrastructure are there,” says Boggs. “We even get people who used to go to Lake Norman and Lake Lanier, who now come to Lake Hartwell because it’s not congested and commercial.”

Located on the largest expanse of open water on Lake Hartwell, Big Water Marina is the premier lake day location. Referred to by Boggs as a “sleeping giant,” this is the perfect oasis to immerse in the atmosphere of the lake on and off the water.

Learn more about Big Water Marina by visiting their website at and find them on Instagram at bigwatermarina.