Moores Marine has built a reputation over 27 years as the premier company for restoration of antique and classic yachts. Now it is expanding to work on modern vessels with the acquisition of the six-acre site of Core Creek Marine on the ICW in the Jarrett Bay Marine Industrial Park outside of Beaufort, N.C.
The company opened the 17-acre Moores Marine Yacht Center Inc. in the complex in 2007, expanding from its South Florida base in Palm Beach.
The new facility, acquired in December, will be named Beaufort Marine Center Inc. to avoid confusion with the classic yacht yard down the road. The yard caters to modern motor and sailing yachts with services including composite, fiberglas and metal fabrication, repowering, systems and rigging. It will also feature Moores Marine’s traditional craftsmanship in structural marine and interior carpentry and paint and varnish.
“The new marine center is part of Moores Marine in terms of how we do things, but we wanted to give modern yachts the same attention we give to the antiques and classics,” said Jim Moores, who founded the company in Florida in 1986 after honing his craft by building commercial fishing boats and dories in Maine.
Moores has specialized in rebuilding and restoring American-built wooden vessels, particularly Trumpy yachts. The company has completed in excess of 100 major projects including work on more than 25 Trumpy yachts. Recent high-profile projects include the 1931 Honey Fitz, the eighth presidential yacht beloved by JFK, and Pilar, the 1933 Wheeler restored and retrofitted to play the role of Ernest Hemingway’s sportfisher for a film about his life.
Core Creek Marine owner Jim Flynt died in 2012 after battling cancer for several years. He had opened the yard a decade earlier as “a friendly place to work on your boat.” Moores met Flynt while building the new Moores Marine Yacht Center in 2006.
“We came to know Mr. Flynt not only a neighbor, but as a friend and would come to him when we had questions about the area,” Moores said. “We want to keep Mr. Flynt’s legacy of friendliness.”
While the new owners hope to attract larger vessels to the yard, don’t expect a lot of overlap with the classic wooden yachts they work on up the road. “One of our new clients said he had heard of me – that I’m the guy who works on Trumpys, and the rumor was I was going to fill our new yard with wooden boats,” Moores related. “I had to laugh. I told him I didn’t think there were enough Trumpy yachts to fill the yard I already have, all 17 acres, never mind the new one.”
Plans for the new facility include adding floating slips and services geared toward expedition and megayachts under 151 feet, up to 200 tons.
“Superyachts have these elaborate boatyards all over the world catering to them. Those places are like vacation spas,” Moores said. “We aren’t going to be that fancy – just a good clean boatyard where you can get your work done at a reasonable rate. We want to get you in and out as soon as we can so you can take a real vacation.”
While the boats might not be same as those served at the company’s other yards, some of the clientele may overlap. The same clients who own an antique Trumpy or a Consolidated often own modern yachts that would be at home in the new facility.
“Many of our clients are collectors. They don’t necessarily have a fleet, although some do, but one boat isn’t enough,” Moores said.
The new acquisition is part of the company’s long-term commitment to the North Carolina coast.
“We love this area because of all the waterways and its boatbuilding tradition,” said Moores. “There are sounds, rivers, Cape Lookout – you name it. It’s not just the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s just a terrific place for boating and fishing. Beaufort is off the beaten path as far as the highway, and that’s why the town has been able to keep its old seaport charm. But, as far as the Intracoastal Waterway, the town is right on I-95. We’re 800 miles away whether you are in Miami or New York. It’s just the perfect spot on the Intracoastal.”