Major reconstruction work is due to start within the next
month at Bobby’s Marina in Great Bay, kicking off a project that has been in
the pipeline for some four years. Up will come the existing wooden docks, to be
replaced by concrete slips and a new breakwater to cope with the swirl and
swell that enters Great Bay in a clockwise direction.
The yard will
continue to host the assortment of motor fishing boats, catamarans and visiting
yachts but the addition of the new slip, coupled with dredging to 15ft, will
allow up to 12 megayachts to berth in Philipsburg.
Director Raymond Ditton, these slips would appeal not so much to the larger
yachts that come to St Maarten’s Simpson Bay Lagoon for weeks, but for those
who want to arrive, shop and be underway again to St Barths or further afield
without waiting for bridge openings.
These are busy
months for Bobby’s Marina. On the lagoon itself, the Cole Bay yard development
looks to have received government approval at last. In September’s All At
Sea we reported how the plans for the $5 million project had hit opposition
from angry local residents and was holed up with the planning department
waiting for a hindrance permit. Now, the Cole Bay yard, which will include a
record-breaking 500-ton travelift, looks to have received government go ahead,
making it the first marina on the Dutch side to meet local government planning
restrictions relating to a fire plan, drainage and access.
began in 1971 as Bobby’s Yacht Service and was the first yard in the Caribbean
to bring in a 50-ton travelift. It currently has a 90-ton lift, the only one of
its kind in the northeastern Caribbean, which can handle boats up to 22′ wide.