Dania Cut Superyacht Yard in Ft. Lauderdale has signed an agreement with the property owner at Broward Shipyard to take over some of its slips, meaning that perhaps by this fall, a Ft. Lauderdale shipyard will be able to dock a yacht of 300 feet.
The agreement, which goes into effect May 1, gives Dania Cut space for five more slips to accommodate yachts of about 300 feet, 270 feet, and three more up to 210 feet.
“It’s exciting,” said Kevin Klar, vice president and partner at Dania Cut. “Our yard is jam packed. We have the clientele, we just don’t have the space. With this, we’ll be able to keep a lot more boats in South Florida.”
Dania Cut will begin removing fencing between the shipyards this month, perform some maintenance dredging in the basin and take over the southwestern corner of the property, an area of about 300 long and 100 feet wide, including the 5,000-square-foot shop building.
The yard will invest about $800,000 to recap the seawall, reposition the steel pilings to reconfigure the docks and upgrade electrical power to 480 three-phase, 600 amps each, Klar said.
“Our goal is to get Pegasus V and Seven Seas, the yachts that have to sit at Pier 66 because there’s no room for them in the yards here,” he said.
The largest slip will face south side-to the dock. A slightly smaller yacht will rest just east of it, accessible by a floating dock behind the sterns.
Three other yachts of 200-210 feet will be able to fit there as well, including along the face dock, which Dania Cut already uses on an as-needed basis.
News of the lease, which is for 10 years with the option for two 10-year extensions, was good news around South Florida, including at neighboring and competing shipyards.
“It provides more facilities for megayachts in South Florida, so it can only be a good thing for all of us,” said James Brewer, director of sales and marketing for Derecktor Florida, the next shipyard west of Dania Cut on the canal, which is just south of Port Everglades. “Hopefully, people are shifting their haul-out plans to include Ft. Lauderdale.”
The agreement between Dania Cut and Broward, rumors of which emerged a few months ago, was a blessing for Broward Shipyard as well. Having Dania Cut take over some of dockage space means Broward will pay 43 percent less in rent each month.
“It’s major for us, it really is,” said Christopher Moore, vice president of Broward Shipyard. “We’re losing three to four slips, but the amount of money we save on the lease far outweighs what we lose. We can still operate our business normally on the north side of the basin.
“We had a great opportunity to reduce our overhead on a monthly basis without hurting what we do as a business while at the same time helping our neighbor achieve what they want to achieve,” he said.
With the lease change comes the chance for Broward to configure its remaining slips, pointing them slightly more toward the south, parallel with the haul-out slip, and revamp its prices to be more in line with other Ft. Lauderdale yards that target yachts less than 120 feet.
“We’ll be able to pass along the savings to be more competitive with who our clients are and to be more in line with who we’re really competing with,” he said, referring to shipyards up the New River.
Broward rents the property from Palm Beach Polo Holdings, which is still owned by Glenn Straub. Straub bought Broward Yachts from the late Frank Denison in 1998, but sold the business in 2005.
Freight company G&G Shipping also operates on the property and has been running its trucks through Broward’s haul-out area. That company is in the process of rerouting its exit along the east side of the Broward shed, giving Broward room for as many as 20 yachts on the hard, about 50 percent more than what it can handle now.
“Our goal is to utilize hard space and haul what we can lift,” Moore said of the facility’s 150-ton Travelift. “And to keep the relationships with the larger boats we already have. It’s a great opportunity to move forward for us and for the industry to have something more competitive.
“I want to see this place succeed again,” he said. “And to do what this place was meant to do: build boats.”
Steel Marine Towing of Ft. Lauderdale does much of the towing for Dania Cut Superyacht and is an outside tower for G&G, which shares the basin on the property. Owner Jim Steel said he will help coordinate ship movements with yacht movements so the two won’t get in each other’s way.
G&G uses tugs on most of its ship movements, he said, as do most of the yachts in the area, certainly anything larger than 160-170 feet. Some captains have expressed concerns about the ship traffic in the basin.
“There’s always an inherent risk with every close proximity situation, but I don’t believe it’s any more dangerous than any other place,” Steel said. “I would say it’s even less treacherous if you start looking at the size of vessels versus the size of the area. There’s no current in the basin so all you have to worry about is wind.
He’s seen business booming on the canal in the past year and is building a new 32-foot, 800hp tug boat to handle the traffic.
“The yachts there are getting bigger and bigger every week,” he said. “It’s time to bump it up. It’ll be a really interesting place for some of these boats to go, for the whole industry in South Florida.”
The captain on one of those boats is ready for “his” slip to be ready.
“They keep telling me they’re nearly ready for me,” said Capt. Martyn Walker of the 257-foot M/Y Pegasus V. He’s been going to that part of the canal for years, on previous yachts Montigne, Apogee, and the first Pegasus, some even before Dania Cut Superyacht was there.
Unfortunately, though, his next yard period has to include a haul out of the 2,500-ton yacht for its 10-year Lloyds. He’s most likely heading to Jacksonville for that work this fall.
“Hopefully, I can get some of the tank work done there [at Dania Cut] before I have to go,” he said. “I would rather keep the work here in Ft. Lauderdale.”
Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome at email@example.com.