For our first Triton Networking event in October, we visit that off-the-beaten path yard run by Yacht Management South Florida. Across the canal from Bradford Marine, Yacht Management not only runs a business taking care of yachts for absentee owners, but also owns the yard and provides myriad services for owners, captains and boats big and small.
Join us on the first Wednesday in October (Oct. 2) to see the changes at the yard. Until then, learn a little more about the company from founder Joshua Kerrigan.
Tell us about Yacht Management. What do you do?
Yacht Management is a full-service yacht repair and operations company. We have more than 200 yachts under management, and many take advantage of our monthly and seasonal maintenance plans. These yacht care packages include dockside services such as washdowns and bottom cleanings for boats in South Florida and emergency repairs delivered to boats throughout the Caribbean.
Custom yacht care packages include work we do at our Fort Lauderdale boatyard facility, including full mechanical and electrical repairs as well as out-of-water work such as bottom painting, fiberglass repairs, prop speed and refits.
Wow, that’s a lot. How’d you come up with this business idea?
While I was still in high school (in 2001), I started working as a dockhand at Sands Harbor Marina in Pompano Beach, fueling boats and loading them with provisions for the day. One of the boat owners asked me if I would keep an eye on his boat while he went back north for the season. He and I agreed on a price, and I started to wash and look after his boat.
This quickly grew to all the boats in the marina and beyond. I soon started coordinating and handling all the repairs for the boat owners, divers, mechanics, electricals, detailers, etc.
After I graduated from Pompano High School, I obtained my captain’s license. From that point on I never looked back. I went after boats, marinas and clients, pitching my one-stop shop program and monthly plans.
Yacht Management is raffling off these prizes during Triton Networking: 1. Bose SoundLink Revolve Portable Bluetooth 360 Speaker with charging cradle 2. Yeti Hopper Backflip 24 Soft Sided Cooler/Backpack 3. Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler White
So why buy a boatyard?
Before we acquired the yard in 2014, we subcontracted all our work to various yards around South Florida. It allowed us to accomplish our goals — the one-point-of-contact concept — but made it very hard to control the quality of work, the time frame, and the cost for our clients.
By having our own location and staff, we can ensure the clients’ boats are always ready when we say they will be, the work is of the highest standards, and the cost is at fair market pricing. We control the entire process now, all still with that one call.
Do you have a core customer, a captain or boat size that you target?
Our ideal vessel is 40-100 feet. We do have smaller vessels in our program and coming to the yard, and we also manage and crew vessels much larger. Our largest managed and crewed vessel is 143 feet with nine full-time crew.
Wait, you provide crew as well?
We do. As part of our management program, we offer crew for owners and captains, provide payroll and accounting services as well as budgeting and health insurance for crew members. As we grew and took on larger vessels into our program, we discovered the need to provide crew for these vessels. We have a great team of 28 crew members that are assigned to vessels within our fleet of managed vessels. These crew range from captains, engineers, chefs, stews and mates.
Tell us about your staff. I understand a few are relatives.
The company now has 90 full-time team members; most of them work at the boatyard’s three-story service center, including our ABYC-certified technicians. The yacht management side of our business is still the largest division, but the yacht maintenance department is getting busier with new technicians joining the team every season.
As the company grew, I leaned on family to help. My sister, Brianna, is our lead yacht manager. My brother, Joe, is our controller. My mom, Michele, is in charge of sales and marketing.
And SeaTow is onsite, too?
Sea Tow has its office on the second floor of our building. We acquired the franchise three years ago, and it has been awesome to have that component as part of our program. We manage vessels, repair vessels, fuel vessels, crew vessels, and dock vessels. I figured we might as well be able to tow vessels when they have an issue.
So what’s new around here?
Since we acquired the boatyard in 2014, we have been making non-stop changes and improvements. We have extended our haul-out slip by 15 feet allowing us to haul vessels up to 115 feet.
We start construction this month on a new 10,000-square-foot service department building and shop that will allow us to take on larger projects and service work. A small boat division aimed at servicing yacht tenders is also in the works.
And we are purchasing a new 120-ton travel lift set to be delivered in 2021. We also have office and workshop space available for vendors or tenants to rent.
All Triton readers are welcome to join us for Triton Networking on the first Wednesday in October (Oct. 2) at Yacht Management South Florida, 3001 W. State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale (33312). For more information about the yard and its services, visit www.myyachtmanagement.com or call +1 954-941-6447.