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William Bryant, a pile driver for B&M Marine Construction based out of Deerfield Beach, is suspended over the docks at the Yachts Miami Beach boat show site. “We travel all around,” Bryant says about his job setting up the framework for the docks at multiple shows throughout Florida.
While B&M is doing its part, just up the way, six Show Management crew are hoisting an access walkway from the sidewalk to the newly installed floating docks.
At the 5000 block on Collins Avenue, Capobella Condominium Chief Engineer Carlos Gonzales is busy fishing debris out of the water awaiting the arrival of the next set of yachts.
Ocean Group landscaping is sprucing up the place. Edwin Pallacio and his crew are aiming for “total bien bonita,” he says about his landscaping plans, “beautiful.” Maintenance employee Edwin Soto is on the same task for now. “Removing anything that is possible,” he adds.
Diamonette Party Rentals are framing tents while another crew is up on ladders draping the vinyl cover around those frames.
In the channel right behind them, a set of Hargrave Custom Yachts is arriving, one by one, preparing to slip into their assigned spaces. At least eight of them are on the way and with grace and precision they pull in side by side, fender to fender.
Almost two miles of docks are coming together, said technician David Paternina who has the AutoCAD crafted maps to the boat show. There are nine pages of 11 by 17-inch maps showing the master plan for the layout of the show, right down to the trees.
“If I measure from end to end, it’s 1.8 miles,” he says. Paternina says that is misleading because it is only the length that the docks span. The actual dockside measurement is more than five times that length.
“We have about 12,000 pieces of docks,” he notes. Some of those are 10 feet, others 40 feet, he added.
Paternina has a tape measure in hand and is double checking a layout at the Collins Avenue 6000 block.
He spots an extra dock that needs to be removed and notifies the dock crew to make the adjustment.
Heading north toward the 63rd Street drawbridge, there’s 7 by 5-foot wooden crate full of dome lights waiting to be installed.
A detailing crew decked out in T-shirts touting “All Class Detailing” out of Ft. Lauderdale is heading over to a set of four Maritimo Yachts which hail from Australia. A giant roll of carpet is spread out and being cut to fit. The wind is making it a challenge as edges are rising up.
The Miami Beach Police are escorting Show Management staff as they set up cones to provide drop-off zones along Collins Avenue.
Westport is prepping the pilings that frame their show area for a coat of gray paint. Service technician Carl Shelton says they are bringing at least eight Westport Yachts this year.
Westport Customer Service Manager Greg Eike is anticipating the arrival those yachts noting that the drawbridge opens five times between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Show Management Coordinator John Nigro is just off the phone, and he’s holding a rope with his crew ready for tie down.
He has a set of those same plans revealing the layout of the show. “We got 164 feet,” he says looking for the largest boats in the show.
Over the walkie talkie the captain of the Invictus asks Nigro to send some crew to help him maneuver his way in. “Sir, I am single-handed,” the captain says. “Would it be possible for you to send me somebody?”
Nigro doesn’t hesitate. “Would be a pleasure captain,” Nigro replies. “Sending two right now,” he says and points to two dock crew. “Go,” he points and they run to help out.
There’s a bunch of 164-foot megayachts on the maps, he says, as he scans the pages.
M/Y Arriva, a 53-foot Pershing, arrived the night before but didn’t get access to its slip until this morning. Dave Tree has custody of the yacht and he’s looking out for it during the docking process of neighboring crafts. He’s holding a fender between the Arriva and the Invictus.
Ten blocks north of the Westport and Hargrave yacht areas, the drawbridge operator is setting the pace for the arrivals.
At least 25 yachts accumulate each time he drops the bridge and raises it again, he says.
And he expects that to continue until they all find their spots.
Suzette Cook is Editor of The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome at email@example.com. For more info on the Yachts Miami Beach boat show visit www.showmanagement.com. The show officially begins on Feb. 11 and runs through Feb. 15.