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After a year and a half of waiting and working, Derecktor Ft. Pierce (DFP) is officially open for business, as announced during the 60th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, with a special visit from U.S. congressman Brian Mast.
As of Friday (1st November), DFP is offering dockside services and pierage to the global superyacht and megayacht fleets. Derecktor has also announced the 1,500-metric-ton mobile lift being built for the facility is due to be delivered onto site in 2020. When complete, the lift will be the largest in the world.
The opening represents another significant milestone in the project: When St. Lucie County issued a request for qualifications from bidders on a megayacht repair and refit shipyard in early 2018, Derecktor was selected to develop and operate the facility, following a thorough and lengthy evaluation process culminating late last year. A contract was signed between the parties in the ensuing months, and since, site work and permitting processes have been underway.
DFP will be the first facility in the U.S. designed and built to specifically accommodate power and sailing yachts over 61 metres (200 feet). Prior to this, yachts of this size, particularly sailing vessels which require extreme overhead clearance and considerable water depth, have had few shipyard options in the country.
The new shipyard provides direct access from the Atlantic Ocean through to Fort Pierce Inlet, with no overhead obstructions and a maintained depth of 8 metres (28 feet). DFP features a concrete apron of more than 8 acres, offering ample work and storage area, as well as over 1,000 linear feet of deep-water dockage.
An existing large building is being refitted to house machine, wood, pipe and electrical shops along with other service support activity. Work is currently underway on the well needed to accommodate the huge lift.
Vessel hauling will be accomplished through the mobile lift and planned drydocks, giving DFP tremendous flexibility in the range of yachts it can handle. The lift, with its 1,500-ton capacity, combined with the physical advantages of the site, will make DFP the one U.S. yard fully capable of handling the international mega sail fleet. The yard is planning for the lift to be up and running by late 2020.
The drydocks, which could go into operation before the lift, are projected to be able to accommodate vessels up to 5,000 tons.
Paul Dereckor, president of Derecktor Shipyards, commented, “This is an exciting step forward for our company. This yard lets us bring in a whole new range of vessels. It opens a new market for us and, in large part, a new market for the U.S. We see great things ahead for Derecktor, for Fort Pierce and for the people of St. Lucie County.”
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