To the people of St. Lucie County:
As President of Derecktor Shipyards, I thought it would be a good time to update you with some facts about our project to turn part of the Port of Fort Pierce into a state-of-the-art shipyard and a destination for the world megayacht fleet. Amid all the concerning news both nationally and locally, we are happy to be able to report positive developments right here in St. Lucie County.
While much has changed in the world during the last eight months, one thing that has not is Derecktor’s commitment to the people of St. Lucie County to build a world-class shipyard in the Port.
At a time when many businesses have scrapped large-scale projects due to the health and financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Derecktor continues to move ahead at full speed. We have assembled a core team of marine industry professionals at Derecktor Ft. Pierce and have completed the extensive engineering required for the first phase of development and creation of a slipway to accommodate megayachts as they are hauled from the water with America’s largest mobile ship lift. The 1,500-ton lift is currently under construction at Cimolai Technology in Northern Italy and is scheduled for delivery in the fall.
While the lift is being completed, we have been awaiting permit approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the haul-out slipway - an approval which we hope to receive any day. Once this permit (we applied November 6, 2019) is in place construction of the slipway can begin, a process the contractor estimates will take 4-5 months. When this is complete, the lift will go into operation and Derecktor Ft. Pierce will be on its way to becoming one of the world’s most capable megayacht facilities. What this means is that the permit process (which has been understandably delayed by the pandemic) is dictating the schedule - the lift will be on site before the slipway is complete.
Meantime, our team has been busy reaching out to the global yachting community and marine industry at large about Derecktor Ft. Pierce and the unique advantages it will offer. The response has been tremendously positive, reinforcing our belief in the demand for such a facility and the future benefits it will bring to the area.
Even without the ability to haul a yacht from the water, Derecktor Ft. Pierce has brought in more than a dozen vessels for either pier-side work or dockage since opening the yard in November. Notably several of these were large sailing yachts, whose towering masts and deep draft make Fort Pierce the ideal port to serve them.
We know from experience that building a shipyard is a long and complicated process. I’m sure the residents of St. Lucie County can appreciate the complex nature of transforming a 100-year-old industrial property to a modern facility capable of servicing the world’s greatest yachts.
But we are in this for the long haul. We share the County’s vision and determination to bring the benefits of a thriving shipyard to the City of Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County. We built our facility in Dania Beach at a time well before Ft. Lauderdale was known as the “Yachting Capitol of the World.” We are proud that our yard played a central role in helping the area earn that title. Now it’s Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County’s turn.
We look forward to continuing our work with the Board of County Commissioners and Staff to bring the global megayacht fleet to the Port, along with the many positives a thriving shipyard will create. In these difficult times we at Derecktor are proud to be staying on course.