UPDATE, APRIL 23, 2019: Derecktor and St. Lucie County officials formally signed their long-awaited contract on April 16 to create a refit yard in northeastern Florida. Derecktor Fort Pierce will focus on power megayachts from 150 feet (about 46 meters) and larger, as well as sailing superyachts. Paul Derecktor, president of the eponymous yard, tells TCPalm.com, “The sailing yacht market is not serviced by any (ship) yard in this country. The port, with its deep water and no bridges or power lines to block access to the water, allows for us to service vessels with their tall masts.” As for the deep water, the maintained depth is 28 feet (8 meters). Although a lot of infrastructure development must follow, including constructing drydocks and renovating buildings, James Brewer, the business-management director who will additionally oversee the site, anticipates having the first yacht arrive in about two months.
Among the specialty equipment coming on site: a mobile hoist that should have a 1,500-ton capacity, the largest in the world. It should be ready in 2020. Following that, Derecktor Fort Pierce plans to inaugurate a drydock for yachts to 4,000 gross tons. In a media statement, Paul Derecktor says, “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 Ft. Pierce and for the people of St. Lucie County.”
Read on for our original article.
The St. Lucie County Board of Commissioners still needs to vote on it, but a final agreement exists between Derecktor and the county to establish a superyacht refit yard in Fort Pierce, Florida. The Derecktor Fort Pierce refit yard has been months in the making, offering more service and repair facilities in the United States, especially for super-large superyachts.
On its website, Derecktor states, “We are happy to report that we have completed the last touches on the lease agreement to develop and operate a new megayacht repair and refit facility in the Port of Fort Pierce, FL.” It adds that county commissioners will review and vote on the deal during a public meeting on April 16.
The county and Derecktor reached their agreement on April 4. According to TCPalm.com, a news site focused on the St. Lucie region, submerged-land rights details weren’t publicly available following the meeting. (Derecktor wants to use a mobile lift to hoist yachts out of the water, so submerged-land boundaries needed clarification. This was among a few aspects of the Derecktor megayacht service yard still in negotiations last month.) However, those details should become known during the April 16 meeting.
Otherwise, the main components of the 30-year, $33-million contract remain unchanged. Specifically, the Derecktor Fort Pierce refit yard will be the company’s new headquarters within three years of operations beginning. This requires relocating the current headquarters from Dania Beach, though not shuttering that facility. In addition, Derecktor will create a training program with Indian River State College. Furthermore, the lease has the option for three 15-year renewals.
The Derecktor Fort Pierce refit yard is a cornerstone for the city and county to attract more jobs. Linda Bartz, county commission chairwoman, commented on this to TCPalm.com. “It is too late for my kids,” she says. “I wished there was something like this for them, to give them an opportunity. At least the children coming up will have that option.”
The new service and repair site is a boon for the stateside superyacht industry, too. Fort Pierce is one of seven deep-water ports along Florida’s east coast. In fact, depth is 28 feet (8.5 meters), making it accessible to large sailing yachts and motoryachts. Furthermore, the area has already been attracting megayachts. Fort Pierce Yacht and Ship, another industry company, has been working on yachts on property adjacent to the Derecktor Fort Pierce refit yard. Currently, for example, the 164-foot (50-meter) Vibrance is getting a new paint job.
Derecktor Shipyards derecktor.com