The Spice Island has it all – an abundance of anchorages, the freshest of food and the friendliest locals. For yachtsmen looking to work on or store their boat, there are three facilities available, eagerly awaiting your arrival and ready to serve your needs.
One of the first boatyards in the southern Caribbean, Spice Island Marine Services has been in the hands of the Evans family for 25 years. According to son and manager, Justin Evans, "The place was existing, run by a charter operation with a slipway. My Father and some investors bought it, put in a Travelift, a restaurant and docks." In 2002, to accommodate the growing industry, the operation was moved across the bay to True Blue and can now handle up to 200 boats.
Shipshape describes the yard where everything is spotless and in working order. Their 70 ton Travelift can haul boats 85 feet in length up to 25 feet wide. Their on site crew includes painters, woodworkers, folks who work on electrical engineering and refrigeration, diesel and outboard mechanics. Turbulence Rigging Shop and Sail Loft are next door as are fabrication experts, TechNicks. A well stocked Budget Marine and The Big Fish Restaurant and Bar are just outside the gates.
"We've done some pretty big jobs," said Evans. "We've put keels back on, repaired bows that were knocked off." Their biggest project to date was the rebuild of a 72 foot Farr that sank during Hurricane Ivan. "We rebuilt the entire boat."
Although owners are allowed to do their own work, the crew at Spice Island is more than happy to lend a hand. "We haven't turned down any job. We usually figure out a way to get things done." According to the high number of repeat clientele, they obviously do it well.
Customers storing their boat for hurricane season can opt for one piece welded steel cradles. Every boat in the yard is anchored with strapping attached to underground rigging wire, welded to plates and tested to breaking strengths up to 4-5 tons.
Grenada's newest place to haul out is a ten acre yard located on the southeast corner of the island in St David's Parish. Grenada Marine is a one-stop boatyard providing storage, repair and maintenance. Topping their specialties is a custom designed, 70 ton Travelift that can haul boats up to 32 feet wide. Summer storage reaches up to 230 boats and, because of the hoist, many are multihulls.
On site accommodations include Customs and Immigration, Island Water World Chandlery, Turbulence Sail Loft and Canvas Shop and a restaurant/bar. Two jumbo work sheds house boats for paint projects, fiberglass/gelcoat jobs and other specialty projects.
The smallest of the lot in this region is Carriacou's Tyrell Bay Yacht Haulout. Tucked into a hillside, this facility began several decades ago with a slipway that is still in use today. Traditional boats as big as Friendship Rose and Scaramouch as well as some multihulls ride the rails for maintenance and repairs.
Other vessels travel ashore via a 50 ton lift, into a small yard that can handle several short stays as well as long term storage for 22. Owner Jerry Stewart explained his philosophy, "We're not interested in doing your maintenance but we can. There's no surcharge if you don't have work done. I want to run the kind of yard I'd want to haul in. We want to offer customers options."
Stewart keeps current catalogs for Budget Marine and Island Water World on hand, guaranteeing listed prices, with speedy delivery from Grenada. "It's a big change from the old days, when it was wise to sail in your own supplies," he said. Back then you bought epoxy in the yard by the pump and solvents by the beer bottle.
The small but talented crew of Tyrell Bay Yacht Haulout can provide pretty much any service you'll need. Conveniently located next door is the Carriacou Yacht Club with four rooms and one cottage for rent along with a small restaurant and bar.
All three of these yards are popular with cruisers especially for summer storage. It's advisable to contact them early concerning availability and reservations are recommended.
To Contact these Boat Yards:
Jan Hein and her husband, artist Bruce Smith, divide their time between the Caribbean the Pacific Northwest with a boat and a life at each end.