The latest buzz on the marine scene in St. Croix is the new ownership at St. Croix Marine. George Custer, who has captained megayachts around the Caribbean and world for the past three decades, including most recently the St. Croix-based 120ft Broward motor yacht, Freedom, has planted some shore-side roots by purchasing the marina and boatyard. It’s a perfect fit for Custer who wanted to stop living out of a sea-bag and put down roots among the resilient and positive people of St. Croix, but couldn’t shake the salt water from his veins or his love of small boats both power and sail. Custer, and his team, took over the operation in a hands-on customer-friendly way on July 1st.
“I’m proud to say that since taking over we have completed all jobs on time and on budget and that no one has left unhappy. In fact, the buzz around here from boat owners is pretty ecstatic,” says Custer.
St. Croix Marine, located in Gallows Bay adjacent to the town of Christiansted and bordering Christiansted Harbor, offers 44 wet slips. The marina is capable of docking yachts up to 150ft, but in general caters to small boats. There’s gasoline and diesel available, haul and launch services, a restaurant, shower facilities and an on-site chandlery, which is stocked with parts and supplies as well as serving as the sales and service dealers for name brands like Mercury, Evinrude and Honda. The full-service boatyard has a 60-ton Travelift capable of lifting monohulls and catamarans up to a 25ft beam. Welding, fiberglass, painting and carpentry are just some of the services provided by well-trained and experienced marine technicians.
“Our yard manager and shipwright is Judd Tinius who owns the 115-year-old wooden yacht Galatea,” Custer says. “We’re looking at starting resto-mod work. In other words, take classic power boats and small pedigree sailboats and retrofit them with new and green technology while maintaining the traditional look and sea-keeping ability.”
Custer has also introduced special offers such as a free haul out with bottom painting jobs and is putting together a space and system for DIY projects. There’s no question he’s a proactive owner. After all, Custer is frequently out in the yard, his office door is open and he even has a well-smudged computer keyboard to show for his hands-on style!
For information, visit: www.stcroixmarine.com
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.