Over 1 million square miles makes the Caribbean Sea fourth in size, after the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. More than 700 islands, reefs, and cays mean it often takes a boat to get around. Not to mention the sheer fun of being on the water. Boatyards throughout the Caribbean offer a full range of services to keep vessels on the water as well as to both service and shelter them during hurricane season. Here’s a sampling of what’s new at Caribbean boatyards.
TURKS & CAICOS.
The Boatyard at South Bank Marina, in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, is now a dealer for Seakeeper stabilizers. This follows on from the yard’s dealerships for Honda and Yamaha engines. “We are doing more concierge services for our clients to enhance their experience with us,” says Portia Mogal, operations manager. “When they are ready to use their vessels, we offer the services of launching the vessel, detailing it, fueling it, and stocking the cooler for them. When they return, we wash down the vessel, put it back into storage, and cover it up.” The property also has a new restaurant, called Sail Shades. The cuisine is Caribbean with rotis and doubles as the most popular dishes. www.southbank.tc/haulout-storage
THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Big boats are finding a home for yard work at the IBC Shipyard, in La Romana, at La Marina Casa de Campo. “In the first 6 months of this year, we had 10 boats over 35 meters in the yard and it was a real success,” says Giacomo Moriconi, general manager. Additionally, IBC has made new investments in the shipyard as well as bought scaffolding to be able to paint boats indoors. The latter has made for a significant improvement in the quality of work and in delivery times to customers, says Moriconi. www.ibinautica.net
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.
In St. Thomas, Subbase Drydock continues to haul vessels up to 225-foot in length with a beam up to 51-feet with its 350-ton and 1,200-ton floating drydocks. “We are home to a full-service machine, fabrication, welding, painting, and fiberglass shops,” says Marie Kral, who with brother Gino is the second generation of this family-owned and operated yard founded in 1981, with a staff today of 30. Notable is that the yard can machine any discontinued parts. It has a certified 100-ton 3900 Manitowoc crane, an ABS-certified welding shop for aluminum and stainless steel, and Awlgrip painting and fiberglass specialists on staff. subbasedrydock.com
South in St. Croix, there are new yard, marina, and service managers, all ABYC standards certified and USCG licensed, at the St. Croix Marine Center in Christiansted. There are two Mercury and Yamaha trained technicians too, for outboard and sterndrive. In addition to the 60-ton Marine Travelift, a new 40-ton Marine Travelift TM40 hydraulic transporter will arrive soon. “We are rebuilding another dock this fall to increase slips from 24 to 44,” says Christian Herold, yard and marina manager. Soon, the physical size of the fully stocked chandlery will be increased. stcroixmarine center.com
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS.
“We have ordered a substantial amount of new staging equipment for vessel storage,” says Hannah Love Thayer, public relations manager for the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour Marina and Boatyard, located in Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda. “Our facilities are in the process of a significant improvement and expansion, and we will have upgraded facilities in time for the 2022-2023 season.” vgyh.vg
ST. MARTIN, FWI.
The DIY Time Out Boat Yard, situated adjacent to the Sandy Ground Bridge in Marigot, now offers the services of Pepper Professional Marine Services for yacht maintenance and repair. “We had an ‘abandoned’ wooden boat that was damaged elsewhere in Irma, and we converted her into our new social area with picnic tables,” says Keith Ellison, operator. A fun addition is larger-than-life wall art of a mermaid sitting on an anchor painted by internationally famous Guadeloupean wall artist, Jimmy Sheik. www.facebook.com/tobysarl
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA.
There are two security-regulated yards at the Jolly Harbour Boatyard & Marina, owned by Eastern Caribbean Marina & Boatyard Ltd., in Jolly Harbour, Antigua. Both yards have 110/220V electricity and potable water. “Not new, but worth reiterating, is the availability of four concrete pits in Yard 1. These are specially designed for rudder jobs and don’t require having to lift the vessel to take out the rudder, thus minimizing costs,” says Lindsay Ralph, boatyard supervisor. “Concrete space is available to do work that requires a clean environment.” jhmarina.com
IGY’s Rodney Bay Marina & Boatyard (RBM) has partnered with Sterling Insurance to offer coverage during the hurricane months both in the water and out the water, says Sean Devaux, general manager. “Sterling is a broker with regional ties to some of the biggest names in the business – Guardian, Massy, United, and Beacon Insurance – creating coverage across the Caribbean while cruising during the summer at RBM.” www.igymarinas.com/marinas/rodney-bay-marina/
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO.
Two new shops are expected to open soon at Peake Yacht Services, in Chaguaramas. “One is a safety equipment company and the other a tool rental shop,” says Susan Reece, customer service manager. “Additionally, our restaurant will be opening under new management later in the year.” peakeyachts.com
New at Spice Island Marine Services, in True Blue, are several notable improvements to this insurance approved yacht storage facility. General Manager, Dane Evans, shares “We’ve expanded the boatyard and added new docks with 14 Med-Moor style marina slips offering both 230v 50hz / 115v 60hz power. Customers will also enjoy an expanded Budget Marine chandlery and newly opened restaurant One Love featuring the best pizza and gelato on the island.” www.spiceislandmarine.com
Parlez-vous francais? Oui a Varadero Aruba. “We have developed a strong crowd of French Sailors through the years, with lots of Amel, Lagoon, and Outremer vessels spending their summer in our storage,” says Alex E. Mansur, owner of the marina and boatyard in Oranjestad. “We now have someone onsite who is a native French speaker. A real relief for many of our French clients.” www.varaderoaruba.com, Fr.varaderoaruba.com
Boatyard Bonaire, in Hato, can now haul catamarans up to 45-feet, says owner, Mark Ten Hoopen. www.boatyardbonaire.com
The Shelter Bay Marina’s boatyard, in Colon, Panama, situated at the entrance to the Panama Canal, is catering to a wider range of yachts. Updates include trimmed-down shrink-wrapping operations with more tenting crews available to cover entire or partial sections of yachts, private or commercial, sail or power, short or long term in just a matter of hours. The ship’s store added new lines of paints and finishes, and the yard has a partnership with the Raymarine dealership in Panama City. Finally, says operator, Giovanni Gaudiano, “our fiberglassing, spray painting, gel coat restoration, woodworking, blister repairs, and copper coating teams, were all enhanced with better equipment, more parts, and ease of operation to be better prepared for 2023.”