Marine Group Boat Works has submitted plans to redo its facilities to allow deeper-draft yachts to access it, plus make more efficient use of existing space. These and more are part of a modernization effort that simultaneously will see one of the largest marine lifts in use on U.S. soil.
California state regulations require an environmental review for the plans first. (Marine Group Boat Works is in Chula Vista, on San Diego Bay.) While review is currently underway, if approved, the plans will see several additions to the site. Firstly, Marine Group Boat Works will add what it says is the biggest solar-panel installation along the San Diego waterfront. Specifically, it will provide 500 kilowatts of power for yard equipment as well as shore power for superyachts and other craft at its docks. Secondly, the refit and repair yard will replace and reconfigure its docks. A total of about 2,000 feet (610 meters) of dock are currently available. Further as mentioned, dredging will occur, to restore deep-water access.
Also once approved, the yard says work will take about 10 months to complete. The yard will remain open during the construction, too.
There are multiple reasons why. For instance, besides the higher capacity, the lift will be capable of not only lifting a superyacht out of the water, but also transporting it sideways—besides the traditional forward and backward methods. The wheels on the lift turn 90 degrees, allowing for this type of versatility. Yet another benefit, the lift has telescopic abilities, therefore able to expand or collapse according to the beam of the yacht it’s lifting.
In the meantime, Marine Group Boat Works has already ordered the new lift, an 820-ton mobile telescopic unit (below). Presently, the shipyard has a 660-ton lift dating back to 2007. This lift, the largest-capacity lift of its era, can accommodate megayachts to 220 feet (67 meters). Additionally, the shipyard refitted the crane with Tier 4-compliant engines. (Tier 4 is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard for nitrous oxide and particulate matter.) While the 820-ton hoist will also have Tier 4-compliant engines, it will replace the older lift.
Finally, and most importantly, Marine Group Boat Works will be able to use its 1-million-square-foot (92,903-square-meter) shipyard more efficiently. (top) The collapsible nature of the mobile hoist means the staff can block yachts closer together, while preserving safe maneuvering space. A traditional lift has a fixed width and therefore can only block yachts according to its own footprint. Therefore, space gets eaten up that otherwise could be put to use. The new crane should arrive on site next fall.
Besides servicing superyachts, Marine Group Boat Works addresses the needs of commercial craft. It further builds and repairs vessels for the U.S. military and other governmental agencies. A total of 200 craftspeople are direct employees, too.
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