Difficult economic times and a dispute with a client have led Broward Marine to suspend activity at its Dania, Florida, yard.
Earlier this summer, Tom Lewis, Broward’s CEO, told the South Florida Business Journal that work had scaled back and confirmed the layoff of 30 employees. He additionally mentioned that the yard was in the midst of a conflict with the owner of a megayacht under construction, though no lawsuit had been filed. Last month, however, Broward stopped construction all together.
When I spoke with Dan Goodstadt, Broward’s marketing director, he explained that hull #601, launched as a 120-footer and now stretched to 124, hadn’t yet sold. “We’ve had a number of people interested,” he explained, but no deal had been made. In addition, Goodstadt said, the owner for hull #603 stopped payments during the build process. He added that while Broward began funding that project out of its own operating cash, it decided against the practice, which in turn led to the yard suspending production. He also said that a lawsuit resulted from the inability to resolve the situation to both parties’ satisfaction.
A search of court records reveals a legal complaint was filed in June on the client’s behalf. The document states that the yacht was 50 to 60 percent complete but several months past its due date, so the client wanted to take possession of the yacht to complete elsewhere and a refund of the payments thus far. Broward countered that the client could not take the yacht and that he hadn’t met certain obligations spelled out in an amendment to the original agreement.
Goodstadt added that Broward’s refit and repair services were still operational and that the yard expects to resume construction when the dispute is resolved. “There are no plans short- or long-term to shut down production,” he said. In addition, Goodstadt said Broward will still attend this month’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.