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2017 Nov Dec Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


SUPERYACHT FACILITIES Perfecting a pioneering superyacht centre by Robert Wilkes Having bought Rybovich in 2004, Wayne Huizenga, Jr., made a multi-million dollar gamble. He thought his location in West Palm Beach, Florida, had the potential to attract large yachts from around the world. His vision for a one-stop marina and service centre had not been executed on this level before. On the other hand, there were few suitable alternatives in the area for superyachts passing through. To test the idea, he would have to dredge the basin, an expensive undertaking. Huizenga, as it turned out, was right. Since setting up the world’s first integrated superyacht centre, Rybovich has enjoyed steady growth and expansion. The marina and refit centre has acquired a worldwide reputation among superyacht owners, captains and crews that is arguably unmatched in the world. Without doubt, Rybovich has benefited from the continuous building of new superyachts. There are just under 5,000 superyachts over 100 ft (30m) worldwide, and shipyards are turning out 150 new ones each year. But expanding market size is only part of the story. Huizenga is from a very successful South Florida business family. So it’s no surprise that his success has more to do with sound business practices, most importantly listening to the customer, adapting to market needs and having a clear, “big idea” and staying with it relentlessly. Changes at Rybovich Rybovich in West Palm Beach is a Bellingham Marine-built floating dock facility with 57 slips up to 390ft (120m) in length. The heavy-duty docks support scissor lifts and a fleet of golf carts. The marina provides fresh water connections, in-slip pump-out for grey and black water and superyachtcapable shore power. New power pedestals with increased capacity have recently been installed and the electrical capacity continues to be upgraded. Much of the service work is done in water, and the marina also has 10 dry-space locations for on-land refit for vessels up to 600 tons and 195ft (59m). Soon after purchasing the marina, management could see more space was needed for out-of-water work. In 2006, a 14-acre (5.6ha) site two miles (3.2km) north at Riviera Beach was purchased and put in operation. Rybovich in West Palm Beach offers 57 slips for seriously large vessels. The heavy-duty floating docks were installed by Bellingham Marine. A property improvement plan for the Riviera Beach location is in process. Called Rybovich North, once complete, it will have a 1,100-ton Marine Travelift to complement its 2,500-ton floating dry dock. A 400-ton Marine Travelift will also be added to the facility. A channel had to be dredged to 15ft (4.5m) before the two sites could be operationally linked. Permitting took seven years. The channel allows transfer of very large yachts from one site to the other. Bellingham Marine built a 400ft (122m) floating dock at Rybovich North to stage 250 to 280ft (75 to 85m) yachts for servicing. In 12 to 18 months the facility will have haulout capabilities for large yachts. The goal is to move the industrial work to Rybovich North and have the two sites work seamlessly at the same level of quality and service. Meanwhile, at the marina, the - November/December 2017 27

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