The Triton

Boat Show News

FLIBS18: Captain takes the helm at 17th Street Yacht Basin


By Tom Serio

On the job for just a few months at the 17th Street Yacht Basin (formerly the Hilton Marina in Fort Lauderdale), dockmaster Alan Montgomery already brings a little different perspective to his job. A licensed captain since 1986, as well as having had a hand in engineering and as a mate, Montgomery knows what a captain wants.

“I know what that captain is looking for in a marina before he gets here, since I used to be that guy on the boat,” Montgomery said.

Recently purchased by Brookfield Asset Management from the Blackstone Group, the Hilton property has a face dock for several yachts of up to 600 feet on the Intracoastal Waterway, as well as a 33-slip marina for yachts up to 70 feet   along the canal and to the west of the hotel. The marina will now be managed by US Marina Group, headed by two industry veterans, Kevin Quirk and Jim Bronstien. Montgomery works for US Marine Group.

In the past, the Hilton Marina was part of the its neighbor’s operation, which made it feel like the “red-headed stepchild of the Pier 66 operation, just getting their overflow,” Montgomery said. (Blackstone owned both properties and Bahia Mar Marina.)

Now, the new owners and managers are raising the stakes, promoting the amenities and services, and getting their own identity back.

Capt. Alan Montgomery

“We can fuel a yacht through bunkering, and the location is a mini-hurricane hole, if necessary,” Montgomery said.

They don’t have the volume of transient slips as in the past but will always try to accommodate as they can, he said.

The hotel features amenities such as an outdoor pool and bar, and offers  walking access to 17th Street shops and restaurants.

Montgomery said what he likes best about his job so far is the people. With the large yachts that dock on the ICW, it’s a pleasure to deal with professional crew and know what they want, he said, adding that he takes a certain pride in giving everyone a chance to be human at the marina or when getting off the yacht.

With a penchant for all things on the water, Montgomery also is a paddle board dealer. “It’s been by word of mouth,” he said of his style for selling. But out of 50 boards for his initial order in 2011, he has only two or three left. He said he would paddle around the canals and show off the boards. “I’ve got a little entrepreneurial spirit in me.”

When asked what he would be doing if not a dockmaster, Montgomery didn’t skip a beat. “I would always find something to do in boating,” he said.

With years of experience under his belt, including a few ocean crossings on board Dockwise Yacht Transport carriers, Montgomery said he wants to keep going. He’s healthy at 64, lives on a boat and has a bit of a bounce in his step.

He likes the Hilton operation. “Although there’s a lot to do, especially administratively, it’s a simple operation,” he said. Montgomery said he takes particular pride in the marina’s clean waterway efforts. Without the impact of any green algae or red tide to contend with so far this year, there’s been no impact to the local boating.

“There’s a good flow of water from under the condos [next door], and we scoop out any debris that gets trapped in the corners,” he said.

Changes lie ahead – the dockmaster office may move to the face dock and the back docks may get redesigned  – but Montgomery is confidant he knows what yacht crew want. “My experience will pay off for the marina.”

Capt. Tom Serio is a freelance captain, writer and photographer. Comments are welcome below.

Related Articles

Machinery Matters: Hydraulics without histrionics

Machinery Matters: Hydraulics without histrionics

Machinery Matters: By Larry D. Rumbol I once had a charming aunt who used the word hydraulics in place of far more colorful language when something had gone unexpectedly wrong. Little did she …

New rules in Frisco Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard has enforced new rules preventing outbound ships weighing more than 1,600 tons from passing under San Francisco’s Bay Bridge during heavy fog.The new restrictions aim to …

Boats and brokers in the news: Lady Sara goes to auction

Boats and brokers in the news: Lady Sara goes to auction

M/Y Lady Sara, a 187-foot Trinity Motor Yacht, will be auctioned for sale by the U.S. Marshal on Sept. 6 in Fort Lauderdale at 12:00 p.m. Jason Dunbar, vice president of Luke Brown Yachts was hired …

METS picks award winners

Seven companies and their new, innovative products were honored with DAME awards at the beginning of METS in Amsterdam in mid-November. Jefa Steering of Denmark won the overall DAME for its …

Grilled tequila lime chicken with black bean and corn salad

Grilled tequila lime chicken with black bean and corn salad

For the past three months, I have been captain on a 98-foot Destiny cruising in the Bahamas. There are some terrific grocers in Nassau and Port Lucaya. The third best place to provision is in …

Triton Survey: Warmer water, less wind makes summer in Bahamas a hit with captains, crew

Triton Survey: Warmer water, less wind makes summer in Bahamas a hit with captains, crew

Survey by Lucy Chabot Reed Photos by Capt. Herb Magney When summer rolls around, yacht owners and guests often choose places they would rather not visit in winter -- places like New England, the …


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 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 …