By Dorie Cox
A billboard on I-95 southbound has heralded the arrival of a new marina for nearly a year. Now the sign states Port 32 Fort Lauderdale is open for business.
It has been years since boats have docked on the New River just west of I-95 on the north side. A soft opening at the newly opened facility on Thursday signaled the end of construction for Phase 1 and welcomed yacht industry professionals to snacks and beverages under the new gazebo.
Yacht industry veterans remember the property when it was Fort Lauderdale Boatyard & Marina or Jackson Marine, and previously home to National Liquidators, including Capt. Ellis Hodgkins, the founder of Cape Ann Towing in 1977. He came to the party with current owner Courtney Day and several of the company’s current captains and staff.
Capt. Day recalled towing on the former properties and his early start with Cape Ann.
“I’ve worked with Ellis since 1989,” Day said. “On my weeks off from the port, I worked with Cape Ann 30 years ago. We used to go to that marina all the time. I refloated a dozen boats in there including an old wooden Haitian boat overloaded with grain.”
The new marina is “pretty nice,” Day said and he already bought gas.
The basin is dredged and new docks are installed. The marina is taking reservations and is open to fuel and house yachts up to 150 feet in length.
For more information, visit port32fortlauderdale.com.
Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.