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Another try for a megayacht marina in Ft. Pierce

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By Dorie Cox

Former yacht captain Buddy Haack believes that megayachts should be able to get work done in Ft. Pierce, Fla. At the same time, that town’s home county of St. Lucie is ready to develop for the same reason.

So Haack is preparing to share his vision of a new Ft. Pierce Megayacht Center with a proposal for county commissioners at their meeting April 17. The area is Harbour Pointe Park, 20 acres of waterfront land on the north side of the Port of Fort Pierce at the base of the inlet where the Intracoastal Waterway meets Taylor Creek.

“It’s not far from the turning basin, and we’ve applied for a dredge permit,” Haack said.

County officials had requested plans to develop the area, and in mid-March were given two proposals, according to a news story with Treasure Coast newspapers. The other is from a Ft. Lauderdale company called ASATA, the paper reported.

A rough layout of Ft. Pierce Megayacht Center’s proposal to build on Harbour Pointe Park in Ft. Pierce, Fla. Graphic provided

“The county’s goal is the development of a world-class facility that will create well-paying jobs not only on Harbour Pointe itself but through the growth of existing businesses and the creation of new ones within the community,” the newspaper quoted a county report as stating. “In choosing a development partner, the county fully expects that the development of the site will create a wave of economic activity throughout the region.”

Commission Chairman Chris Dzadovsky urged commissioners to move forward with this project at a meeting in mid-March, according to the newspaper.

“We cannot sit here and let this property stay idle when it could be used for an economic generator,” Dzadovsky said.

About two years ago, Haack leased a nearby property at the former Indian River Terminal with similar intentions. On that site he managed several refits, including the 213-foot (65m) Codecasa M/Y Double Down, while working as managing partner with Taylor Lane Yacht and Ship in Dania Beach, Fla.

Although that lease arrangement ended, the property’s success has fueled Haack’s desire to work in the area, which is about 100 nautical miles north of Ft. Lauderdale’s Port Everglades.

His plan includes an indoor shed that can house yachts up to 250 feet.

Currently, the property is raw land; Haack expects the build out of docks, yard and buildings to take up to 30 months.

“I have just always wanted to build an indoor yard with haul-out capacity, a kind of floating dry dock to pull in and lift,” he said. “We want a pleasant environment to work in with the yachts. People want to work inside, too.”

The idea is to get the yachts, people and equipment out of the sun and wind for safer, better working conditions, he said.

“This is done in commercial and aviation, so why not in yachting?” he said. “The concept is a good one; it is badly needed. I got a call yesterday from a captain who wanted to come to Ft. Pierce. I had to tell him I’m not there right now, but we’re very confident.”

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome below.

 

 

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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4 thoughts on “Another try for a megayacht marina in Ft. Pierce

  1. Peter Jensen Kurki

    Superyacht specific service and formal attentions required are an economic frontier. Facilities like the one proposed will put skilled labor to work, enhance the economic climate and funnel business that can raise all economic vessels. North Carolina can enhance the south Florida market.
    Standing by,
    Peter Jensen Kurki
    Bennett Brothers Yachts

  2. Paul Figuenick

    Great news, It amazes me that Fort Pierce is still untouched by the megayacht industry. It’s such an easy port to get into. The turning basin is large. A small airport not far away with Palm Beach International an hour away. It’s a diamond in the rough. I run vessels over 200 feet. I would definitely have work done in Fort Pierce.

  3. Phillip Jacobson

    As a local resident of Fort Pierce, I think this will be what the town needs to give it a boost of economic life and all the while utilizing the wide array of local vendors who can handle many of the jobs to be had during refits.
    The adjacent port property of over 200 acres is also available for sale for the first time in decades.
    Fort Pierce politicians and citizens widely support yacht facilities and has been included in the port charette plans.

  4. DW

    Lurssen tried this years back. They certainly had the resources to make it work but it did not materialize. Hope the city can finally see the benifit this development could bring. Just look south to West Palm Beach’s Rybovich.
    Good luck!

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