SIGNIFICANT Increases in St. Maarten Haul Out Service Capacity Soon to be Realized The St. Maarten Marine Trades is poised for a significant increase in the service level capacity that it can provide to yachts this coming season. With St. Maarten Shipyard’s anticipated arrival of their new 75 ton KMI Sea-Lift, the Shipyard will be able to haul vessels up to 85 feet in length and maximum beam of 45 feet; coupled with the Cole Bay branch of Bobby’s Marina -Bobby’s Megayardâ€”in early stages of operation the haul out capacity on St. Maarten for Catamarans and Large Motor Yachts is reaching new heights.
The new Megayard facility will augment Bobby’s existing 90 ton and 75 ton travel-lifts with a new 150 ton travel-lift. The new lift can handle vessels of 120 foot length with a maximum of 35 foot beam. Up till now, only smaller cats could be hauled and repaired on the island with a lift, others only via a crane which takes extreme skill and a patient owner; and no vessels over 100 feet in length could be hauled at all on the island.
When asked about the new Megayard, Jeff Howell, General Manager of Bobby’s Marina had this to say: “This project has been a long time in coming but will be of major benefit to the whole community from all the additional work and spin off to subcontractors from the vessels in the yard. Bobbys MegaYard will be a state of the art yard, with all the environmental issues carefully addressed from dustless sanding by vacuum
sanders to wash down water treatment plants. This yard will stand out in the Caribbean as a shining
example of how the environmental issues can be addressed and solved in an innovative way.”
Offering this service to the large yachts and the catamarans is something that St. Maarten has been lacking.
Until last year, vessels of this size had to sail to Puerto Rico or Trinidad in order to find a yard with the
capability to accommodate them for a haul-out in the Caribbean*; sometimes jeopardizing charter
schedules but now they can stay in St. Maarten!
Visiting yachts up to 120 feet, can have their bottoms repainted with anti-fouling or a critical propeller or
shaft replaced without leaving their winter home of St. Maarten. This will bring more opportunity not just
to the shipyards but to the chandleries and craftsmen, taxi services, crew houses, florists and provisioning
services as well.
The continued investment in the marine sector despite the economic downturn and the decline in market
share due to increase in entry fees in 2008 for the Yachting Tourist provides a ray of hope that next season
will be stronger than the recent past.
Late 2009, St. Kitts acquired a 150 ton travel-lift and have been experiencing growth in the marine sector
because of it. For questions contact : [email protected] +599 556-3295