Story by Lucy Chabot Reed
Photos by Tom Serio
A recent walk around Universal Marine Center in Fort Lauderdale gave the impression of a busy spring season. Sanders were out, contractor trucks filled the parking lot, and scaffolding was being hammered in place in preparation of a paint job.
Although it has been full for weeks, the yard on the New River had seen a drop in contractor visits and yachts hunkered down to fight the spread of COVID-19.
Now, as stay-at-home orders are lessened and companies are permitted back to work, projects on yachts docked in UMC have begun again.
The yard, which offers a preferred list of vendors and is open to any vendor, had its best April ever in terms of revenue, said General Manager Laurent Bensoussan. Although the yard took a hit on gate fees since projects had lessened, more and larger yachts filled the marina, more than making up for that loss in revenue, he said.
Since most yachts are still there, he’s expecting a good May as well. Here’s a look around the yard.