Puerto del Rey Marina is fast becoming a global yachting destination rather than simply a transient location for local and visiting yachtsmen. This is thanks to a number of new and renewed facilities and services that have been completed or are currently under construction by owners, Putnam Bridge Funding LLC, who purchased this 1400-plus capacity marina, the largest in the Caribbean, in 2013.
“Our slogan is: A port called home,” says managing director, Richard Christiansen.
Enter by land and see the beautifully refurbished entrance off Route #3 in Fajardo with its ornate Spanish tile roof. State-of-the-art security starts here too. There’s controlled access via a windshield chip or access card. The entire property is equipped with a high-tech security camera system.
Arrive by sea through the 200ft wide 15ft deep channel located six nautical miles south of Cabo San Juan and see the building of a fuel dock with six high-speed pumps underway. This facility will open in early summer as will a first-ever center in the middle of the main dock that features restrooms on the first floor and a lounge and restaurant capable of seating 80 people on the floor above.
Delivery from dock to yacht is now a breeze. There’s a renovated covered drop-off area at the head of the main dock that offers 16 slots for golf-cart parking. In addition, a quick call to VHF channel 71 brings a member of the marina staff in one of a dozen-strong fleet of manned carts. Yachts 60-feet-plus tied up on gated VIP docks 13 and 14 have prime access to VIP parking making it easy to transition between sea and shore.
New, the Seashore Bar & Restaurant has been completely refurbished, including the addition of a live lobster tank, outside bar and cool air-conditioning inside. A brand new pool will adjoin the restaurant this summer as well as a tennis court.
The full-service boatyard has recently added a 70-ton Travelift (bringing the total to four: 165, 80, 70 and 30-ton), four new forklifts for dry stack storage, and one of the few sealifts in the Caribbean. The yard also boasts one of the largest and strongest hurricane tie-down programs in the region.
Lastly, Puerto del Rey will be home to many more yachting activities. Following on the heels of the highly successful Puerto Del Rey Billfish Tournament in November, the marina will host its inaugural Puerto del Rey Sailing Challenge on March 20 to 22 2015.
“We expect about 80 boats, everything from Melges 32s, IC-24s and bigger racing boats, to chalanas and smaller Optimists, Lasers and Hobie Cats. We already have entries from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and USA,” says Christiansen. “Prizes total over $10,000 in cash.”
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.