By Lucy Chabot Reed
After 34 years, Richard Perkins has sold the U.S. operations of his company, Interior Technology Services, which cleans interior fabrics on yachts. He has relocated full time to Amsterdam where he will continue to consult on new build and refit projects in Europe.
“I’m slowing down,” Perkins said from his office in Fort Lauderdale this summer. “After my heart attack in 2014, and with the hot climate down here and running my business, I need to slow down.”
He listed five yacht builders opening refit yards in Europe, and noted “I’ll be as busy as I want to be.”
The new owner of the U.S. side of ITS is Russ Erickson, who has owned and worked for several boat manufacturing facilities over the years, including Sterling Power Boats and EdgeWater Boats.
“Carpet cleaning is a little new for me, but I’ve got a great crew,” Erickson said soon after taking over the business in early May. “I’ve been looking to come out of retirement for a couple years. Once you get saltwater in your blood, it’s hard to get rid of it.”
Erickson said he hopes to expand ITS with an office in Palm Beach County to service yachts at Rybovich and the new Derecktor Ft. Pierce yard.
Perkins served seven years as stew and chief stew on yachts in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since starting his business, he has achieved several certifications, including certified master restorer. ITS has built a reputation for professional service on some of the world’s largest and most prestigious yachts.
“Ninety-nine percent of what I bought is the goodwill of this company, not just the equipment or collateral,” Erickson said. “I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize that. The staff that they [captains and crew] have become accustomed to are remaining, and there will be no changes they will even notice.”
Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.