What began in 1947 with a handful of workers is now a three-location superyacht refit and repair specialist. Derecktor Shipyards is not only celebrating three-quarters of a century in business, but also a significant award and a world-record haul-out.
The late Bob Derecktor (who died in 2001) established an eponymous shipyard after returning home from World War II. He chose a location in Mamaroneck, New York, just up the coast from New York City. Initially, the Robert E. Derecktor yard constructed wooden sloops. Within a few years, however, it added patrol boats for the New York Police Department’s harbor unit. Through the following decades, the shipyard built metal vessels, racing yachts, and motoryachts, along with commercial vessels.
Along the way, several notable milestones were reached. For instance, in 1986, it delivered the famed Stars and Stripes racing yacht to Sail America, which won the 1987 America’s Cup. Bob’s son, Paul Derecktor, was running the shipyard at this time. Soon after, the company’s second site in Dania Beac, Florida upped its elevator service capacity, from 400 gross tons to 600 gross tons. The then-new 167-foot (51-meter) Feadship Gallant Lady became the first yacht lifted. Further under Paul Derecktor’s watch, Derecktor delivered Cakewalk in 2010 from a Connecticut site. Though the site is in other hands now, the 279-footer (85-meter) remains the largest yacht ever constructed on American soil.
Since superyachts continued getting bigger, Derecktor’s service capabilities kept pace. In 2012, its Dania Beach facility took delivery of a 900-ton mobile hoist. For yachts to 197 feet (60 meters) and with an air draft of 125 feet (38 meters), it was the tallest in the world, too. Most recently, the purpose-built Derecktor Fort Pierce site eclipsed that latter milestone. It has a mega-size megayacht lift capable of hauling 1,500 tons. Therefore, it can handle motoryachts and sailing superyachts to 246 feet (75 meters).
In fact, in just the last several days, that hoist lifted Coral Ocean (top). The nearly 240-footer (73-meter), a 28-year-old Lürssen, is about 1,300 tons. This put the lift and Derecktor Shipyards in the record books. No other strap lifts globally have ever hoisted a yacht of her magnitude.
Perhaps as a final feather in its cap for the year, Derecktor Shipyards received the Golden Compass award from the U.S. Superyacht Association last month. The award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the industry. Paul Derecktor (pictured, receiving the award), who is still president and CEO of Derecktor Shipyards, says, “My father started this company in 1947 with a small team of dedicated workers. Today, we have a much larger and diverse team who are equally dedicated to providing superior workmanship. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished over the years and excited for the company’s future.”
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