In 1938, The Hamilton Harbour Commissioners attention was directed towards the recreational aspect of the Harbour Development Plan. To meet the needs of pleasure boaters and small commercial craft, they constructed a marine railway and dockyard specifically for their use at the foot of James Street. This enterprise provided for the repairs, refitting and winter storage of smaller, privately owned vessels.

Today the marina offers dockage facilities for approximately 350 pleasure craft and houses over 400 vessels in winter storage.

In 2013, the Harbour-West Marina celebrated its 75th Anniversary.