The Triton

Boat Show News

FLIBS17: Century-old shipyards to meet yacht needs on the Miami River

ADVERTISEMENT

By Dorie Cox

One hundred years ago, a 100-foot private yacht was immense. Two Miami shipyards that serviced the large commercial and private boats on the Miami River during that era are still in business. And both are upgrading for megayachts.

RMK Merrill-Stevens and Jones Superyacht Miami announced plans at separate events at the 58th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on Thursday.

RMKMS CEO Aaron Leatherwood

The yard now known as RMK Merrill-Stevens began in 1885. Today, the company plans to invest more than $25 million for new infrastructure and a 2,700-ton rail transfer shiplift.

Aaron Leatherwood has been company president and CEO for more than a year and aims to work with today’s larger yachts.

RMK Merrill-Stevens showed an image of plans in a photo display. Photo by Tom Serio

“We’ll be able to easily lift a 200-foot yacht and, depending on the dimensions, some up to 235 feet, with the largest shiplift on the east coast of Florida south of Jacksonville,” he said.

The six-acre yard is split by the river; old structures on the north yard were recently demolished upland of the 450-foot continuous bulkhead. There is a 240-square-foot workshed and, when renovations are complete, the yard will house 30,000 square feet of workshops, ship’s store, offices and a crew lounge. The company also reopened its Merrill-Stevens Yachts sales and brokerage business.

Jones Boat Yard, now Jones Superyacht Miami, hosted a champagne toast to celebrate the company’s 100 years in business.

Fred Laporte, general manager and chief operating officer, said the name change reflects the the company’s five-year plan to rejuvenate the property. He said the company is training its employees on the newest technologies for modern yachts.

Jones Superyacht Miami employees celebrated 100 years in business during the show on Thursday. Photo by Tom Serio

“And we have a huge machine shop that does all work in house,” Laporte said. “Few yards have that capability.”

The yard has hauling and dry-dock capabilities for yachts to 300 feet and can do welding, carpentry, electrical, paint and more on most any of today’s yachts, he said.

“We’ve seen growth from 50 meters to — is there a limit?” Laporte said. “They get bigger, bigger, bigger.”

Dorie Cox is editor of Triton Today. Comments are welcome below.

About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →

Related Articles

U.S. considers wind farms off Hawaii

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has received requests for the construction of two floating wind farms offshore from Oahu, Hawaii. The unsolicited requests, now available online, …

Yachties invited to ‘Spin for a Cause’

Yachties invited to ‘Spin for a Cause’

Young Professionals in Yachting have put out the call for the marine industry to unite on Aug. 16 for an afternoon of fun and exercise to raise money for charity. All proceeds from the one-hour …

Motoryacht Sea Owl launches

The 203-foot (62m) Feadship M/Y Sea Owl has left the shed and began sea trials in early June; it is expected to launch officially this month. The yacht has a jade mist green hull and oyster …

Lifting, bending, straining, even laughing can cause a hernia

Last November I noticed a little discomfort and swelling in my groin area, on one side. At first I thought nothing of it, maybe I was imagining things. Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away, I …

Suntex acquires 11 Loggerhead marinas

Suntex acquires 11 Loggerhead marinas

Texas-based Suntex Marinas has acquired 11 marinas in the Loggerhead Marina portfolio. The facilities include 2,300 slips located throughout Florida. Slips for yachts up to 120 feet in length are …

USSA continues mission of speaking for large yacht sector in US

USSA continues mission of speaking for large yacht sector in US

By Kitty McGowan The year was 2006, in the epicenter of the superyacht industry in the United States -- Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There was a lack of a unified voice in the U.S. for the unique …

Comments

Editor’s Picks

ABM gives Bahamas update

ABM gives Bahamas update

Joe Dargavage, vice president of the Association of Bahamas Marinas, gave attendees of last week’s Triton Virtual Networking event an …

New lift coming together at Derecktor Fort Pierce

New lift coming together at Derecktor Fort Pierce

It’s happening, and it’s going to be big. That’s the sense one can get as they see the buildout of the new Derecktor Fort Pierce …

COVID, fires, lawsuits, obituaries among top stories of 2020

COVID, fires, lawsuits, obituaries among top stories of 2020

Yacht captains and crew -- as well as other yachting professionals -- found lots of news of interest on The-Triton.com last …

Ending weird 2020 in the Exumas

Ending weird 2020 in the Exumas

At the beginning of this pandemic, I went into panic mode and pondered what my options were, seeing as I expected this to totally stall …

Events