Every few years the Marine Industries Association of South Florida releases a study showing just how big of an economic impact megayachts make in the region. The most recent study, released about a month ago, showed that in 2006, 1,500 megayachts cruised into the area, spending a total of about $732 million on everything from shipyard services to slip rentals and even taxis and meals at restaurants. Of that sum total, approximately $372 million was spent in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, though most went to the latter two.
Which, according to a recent article, has Palm Beach county hungry for a bigger slice of the pie. And while a few marinas are expanding their offerings as a result, the most famous, Rybovich, has been quietly broadening its services and facility for the past two years.
Its 12-acre marina and boatyard is in the midst of an estimated $100-million renovation and expansion that has already seen the opening of seven service slips for yachts to 275 feet. This first phase also saw the opening of a new 40,000-square-foot megayacht repair shop this summer, featuring a 660-ton TraveLift, which complements the 330-ton one it already had. Add to this a draft of 14 feet and dry-slip space for nine yachts to 200 feet, and Rybovich is the big-yacht draw in the Palm Beach area.
More amenities are in the works, too. By next summer more floating and fixed docks will be released, and when the final phase of the construction project ends in a few years, shops, a public promenade, and restaurants will open.