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Whats NEW at the Caribbean Boatyards

The times they are a changing

Boatyards throughout the Caribbean offer everything from routine maintenance to extensive haul-out facilities and services for sail and power boaters. Here’s a sample of ‘What’s New’ in yards on a number of islands.

Jamaica:
Jamaica’s northeast corner will be home to a 250-ton lift by June 2012. Part of the new Port Antonio shipyard project, the lift will be capable of lifting ships/yachts to 150ft and with a beam of up to 35ft. The shipyard will encompass all of the existing Errol Flynn Marina Boatyard, across from the Errol Flynn Marina, plus a major part of what was the massive Boundbrook Wharf where the banana industry in the Caribbean was born. “The Jamaican marina/shipyard will include a variety of subcontractors such as electrical, electronics, HV/AV, and sand blasting services and a duty-free chandlery,” notes Carl Vaughn III, who is heading up the project and who has been a principal of the St. Maarten Shipyard for the past 14 years. The facility has been designated a Free Zone which will permit the shipyard to be extremely price competitive.

Dominican Republic:
IBC Shipyard, located at Marina Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic has recently invested in extensive staff training, says Fernando Flaquer. “We train our technicians in Italy as well as in the U.S. on a wide range of skills. This has allowed us to expand our services into new areas as well as to further enable our current employees to specialize in areas such as ABYC Marine Electronic Certification and esthetics and finesse in carpentry and fiber-glassing.” IBC Shipyard has been designated an ‘AZIMUT Gold Repair and Service Center’ as well as attained a listing in the exclusive ‘Benetti Service Center Network’. VQRs (visual quality reports in the form of pictures) are sent to boat owners anywhere in the world in order to see the work being done. This service is free. Flaquer adds: “Our parts logistics service area continues to grow and we are currently building a Café with free WiFi.”

British Virgin Islands:
The number of slips and amount of yard space at Nanny Cay Resort and Marina, located on Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, is set to double over the next two years. “In order to do this, we plan to build a breakwater on the shallow rocky shoreline on the opposite end of the property and put in 220 slips, which will include 15 megayacht slips, and increase our total to 400 slips,” says Nanny Cay Marina partner Cameron McColl. “We’ll also increase land storage from the present 100 to 360 yachts. Shoreside facilities such as restaurants, chandleries and other services will be expanded too. We anticipate completion by May 2013,”

St. Maarten:
Bobby’s MegaYard in Cole Bay opened in July 2010 with both150-ton and 75-ton lifts. “The yard is not finished and we are working on it continuously,” says general manager, Jeff Howell. “However, the lifts are working and the yard is full of storage and working boats. We do all the bottom jobs and offer subcontractors for all services above the water line.”

Bobby’s Mega Yard Airport Road branch is primarily a storage facility, yet bottom jobs are performed there, along with above waterline services by subcontractors.

St. Lucia:
The boatyard at IGY Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia can accommodate 120 yachts. There’s a 75-ton lift, 40-ton transporter, three refit enclosures and a soup-to-nuts menu of technical services. “New services to be added this year include sandblasting and powder blasting of keels and hulls,” says Portia Mogal, marketing, sales and event coordinator.

Antigua:
North Sound Marine Services is the island’s newest full-service boatyard. Located to the north and close to St. John’s, there’s a large capacity for storage ashore on a concrete base with welded stands and tie downs, a 150-ton lift, undercover storage, pressure washing, hull scraping, water supply and repair services. Dockage, slipway launching facilities and tender storage are also available as are workshops and store rooms for rent on short term lease.

To the south, Jolly Harbour has installed high definition CCTV cameras in its storage and working yards, which link back to the security office. In addition, there’s a surfaced, dedicated yard area for up to 30 cradles for three sizes of yachts up to 70 feet. Next season the yard will add a boat bottom painting service.

Finally, Antigua Slipway in English Harbour has plans for major improvements which are currently under consideration by the planning authorities.

Trinidad:
Free WiFi and a new Internet Café with four PCs, four lap-top plug-ins, and an on-site tech to solve any problems is new at Peake Yacht Services in Chaguaramas. In addition, says owner Peter Peake, “We’re building a yachtsmen’s work area with equipment such as vices, drills and bench grinders for do-it-yourself work.”

Next door at Power Boats Ltd., there’s a new platform lift with a reach of 60 feet for doing mast work aloft as well as a new 60-ton marine hoist to augment the existing 50-ton model. “We’ve installed 18 additional security cameras in our boatyard as well as filled low lying areas,” says managing director, Donald Stollmeyer.

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

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