Family owned Derecktor Shipyards yesterday signed a long-term agreement with St. Lucie County, Fla., for the development and operation of a megayacht maintenance, repair and refit facility at the Port of Fort Pierce, Florida.
The signing came after a nearly year-long process and will see the creation a new shipyard that will be the first in the U.S, designed and built specifically to accommodate power and sailing yachts in the 200 ft plus range. Until now, these large yachts, particularly sailing vessels which require extreme overhead clearance and considerable water depth, have had few or no shipyard options in this country.
Derecktor Fort Pierce (DFP), as the new yard will be known, changes that. It provides direct access from the Atlantic through Fort Pierce inlet, with no overhead obstructions and a maintained depth of 28 ft (8 m). The yard itself will feature a concrete apron of over 8 acres, providing ample work and storage area, as well as over 1000 linear feet of deep water dockage. An existing large building will be refitted to house machine, wood, pipe and electrical shops along with other service support activity.
Vessel hauling will be accomplished through both a mobile lift and a dry dock, giving DFP great flexibility in the range of yachts it can handle. The lift is anticipated to have a 1,500 ton capacity, making it the largest in the world. This, combined with the advantages of the site, will make DFP the one U.S. yard fully capable of handling the international mega sail fleet. Plans are for the lift to be up and running by fall of 2020. The dry dock, which will go into operation after the lift, is projected to be able to accommodate vessels up to 4,000 tons, meaning all but a handful of the world’s largest yachts can be serviced.
“This is a big day in the history of our company”, said Paul Derecktor President of Derecktor Shipyards, after the signing. “This yard lets us bring in a whole new range of boats. It’s a new market for us and, in large part, a new market for the U.S. We see great things ahead for Derecktor, for Fort Pierce and for the people of St. Lucie County.”
Initial plans call for infrastructure improvements to begin as soon as permits are in place. DFP will start bringing in vessels for dockside work in the very near future, with operations steadily expanding as the facility is improved.