Anyone who physically arrived at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this year was in for a big surprise.
Most of the five marinas (six, if we count the two ends of Pier 66) that normally touch the show as well as the convention center are in some state of construction or upgrade.
Here’s the story behind those cranes.
Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center
Closed this year and next for a $1 billion renovation. When finished, it will have 1.2 million square feet of space, including a 65,000-square-foot ballroom facing the Intracoastal Waterway, and an 800-room hotel operated by Omni Hotels. It will also have a waterfront plaza with group event spaces.
It is expected to open in October 2021.
At Pier South, the former Best Western/Sails property and now home to the Superyacht Village, the outside dock was replaced with a straight 20-foot-wide floating concrete docks that can accommodate vessels up to 400 feet. They will have 36-inch-high freeboard, max draft of 30 feet, high-volume water and pump out, in-dock high volume transfer fueling, up to 1000-amp power pedestals, high-speed wi-fi, golf cart access, and 24/7 security.
Pier 66 South is soon expected to be designated a foreign trade zone enabling foreign-flagged vessels to be shown to U.S. residents while in U.S. waters.
Pier 66 North dredged the canal on the north side to the ICW, taking it to a depth of 16 feet (MLW).
The new life of the hotel property broke ground on March 12, but construction and renovations are on hold due to permitting delays because of COVID.
17th Street Yacht Basin
The boat show has secured the east and north docks for the show, as usual.
Once the show is over, plans are to refurbish the docks to make them four feet wider and fixed concrete, complete with 480v 3-phase electricity.
Bahia Mar Marina
Suntex Marinas has taken over operations at Bahia Mar Yachting Center. Since the fourth quarter of last year, the dockmaster’s office has been renovated, new security cameras installed, upgraded wi-fi and electrical systems have been put in place, all the pumps in the marina have been rebuilt for efficiency, and a new key card parking system was added.
Larger improvements include the dredging of the waterway along the face dock to 15 feet and the ongoing repairs to the pedestrian walkway over A1A to the beach.
Hall of Fame Marina
Hall of Fame Marina added five slips to its basin,adding 200 feet of 10-foot-wide finger piers, and replaced 400 feet of the original wooden docks with concrete floating docks. The marina can now also accommodate yachts up to 170 feet.
“We listened to our captains and owners and moved forward to fill the market need for these larger vessels,” said Scott Salomon, marina manager at Hall of Fame for the past 19 years.
Managed by Westrec Marinas, Hall of Fame also upgraded electrical service to include 240v single-phase, 208v 3-phase and 480v 3-phase, at each new slip.
Horizon Yachts is a permanent tenant in the marina, taking advantage of the marina’s visibility, accessibility to its clients, and the ease of performing sea trails “from a very accommodating and pleasant environment,” Horizons Roger Sowerbutts said.
Las Olas Marina
Suntex was selected to renovate and manage Las Olas Marina, a city-owned marina. Suntex has plans to add eight slips to accommodate yachts up to 250 feet. Upland improvements are slated to include two low-level buildings of commercial space, restaurants, dockmaster’s office, gym and pool.