Special to the EagleHeraldNestegg Marine, located on the Menominee River in Marinette, was purchased from Jon and Sue Kukuk by Richard Larsen on Jan. 31.
Special to the EagleHerald
Nestegg Marine, located on the Menominee River in Marinette, was purchased from Jon and Sue Kukuk by Richard Larsen on Jan. 31.

MARINETTE — A community anchor for watercraft sales, service and storage is changing hands after 27 years of local ownership.

Richard Larsen, president and general manager of Manitowoc Marina LLC, announced the acquisition of Nestegg Marine in Marinette on Jan. 31 from its long-time owners and operators, Jon and Sue Kukuk.

The full-service marina, located on the Menominee River just off the bay of Green Bay, has been in business since the early 1960s. The Kukuks acquired the business in 1991, and the marina flourished under their management. The marina was awarded National Marina of the Year in 2011, became one of the first 100 marinas in the nation to receive a Five Star Certification and was the first facility in Wisconsin to become a Certified Clean Marina. 

Today, Nestegg Marine boasts about 100 slips; four storage buildings, both heated and cold; a 14,000-square foot service facility; a ships store; and a 5,000-square foot indoor showroom. The business deals for Catalina Yachts and Mercury Marine products. 

The Kukuks decided to sell the business in 2016, and Larsen expressed an interest in purchasing it last year. The sale of the business became final on Jan. 31. 

Larsen is no stranger to boating and service himself. He currently leases Manitowoc Marina from the City of Manitowoc, Wis., and has been affiliated with the facility since 1988, beginning as a service manager. He purchased Manitowoc Marine LLC in 2011, another Certified Five Star dealer and Certified Clean Marina. 

Because of the tight-knit watercraft community in the state and nation, Kukuk and Larsen had known each other a long time before Larsen made the decision to purchase Nestegg Marine: The two were part of a group that together formed the first Wisconsin State Marina Association. 

"It made the transition very smooth," said Kukuk. "I've been thinking about this, selling it to somebody that's an unknown ... it would have been much harder." 

"I'm excited to be here," Larsen added. 

Larsen said he plans to keep the Nestegg Marine name and retain the marina's current employees, including the Kukuk's son-in-law, Aric Chaltry, who will remain with the business as a manager. Some changes are in store for the marina, though, as Larsen plans to bring in new sales franchises, such as power boat and kayak lines, and set up a charter fleet in Marinette in the summer of 2019. He plans to split the time between his Manitowoc businesses and Nestegg Marine, and commute from his home in Manitowoc. 

Larsen also said he plans to keep the business involved in area events and tourism promotion. Kukuk, who currently sits on the Marketing Marinette Ad Hoc Committee, said he will also stay involved in the local watercraft community, and plans to use his retirement to spend time with family, promote watercraft tourism and support local recreational events, such as fishing tournaments.