Industry » Features » Stateside: Changing of The Guard

Stateside: Changing of The Guard

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The Lauderdale Marine Center in Florida has been a mainstay in the city that, rightly so, owns the title of the yachting capital of the world.

For as long as I can remember, and I have been at this for many, many, years now, this place has always provided a special venue for all things related to getting our boats, yachts, and just about anything nautical squared away and done right.

With 19 covered buildings that allow repairs in all kinds of weather, facilities for yachts up to 210ft/64+m, and a workforce of skilled, independent marine contractors, the 60 acre Marine Center, an anchor in the city’s boat and yacht refit and repair infrastructure, and a bolster to its local economy since 1997, is now being sold.

The Carlyle Group, a diverse company whose holdings include private equity, real estate, and energy concerns, is reported to be paying between $US140 – $150 million dollars to make the deal. Carlyle also owns Zodiac Inflatable Boats and several hotels with marinas in the Florida Keys, so they are a bit salty at that.

Lauderdale Marine Center

While rumors of condo planning for part of the property ebb and flow along the New River facility, there are no reported plans to alter the services this vital resource provides for the boating and yachting community to those in town and visiting mariners.

He Said, She Said

Well readers, it’s time for yet another 2016 Miami International Boat Show update. When we last left our hapless and contentious combatants, each side was engaged in vigorous finger pointing as to the merits and shortcomings of their respective viewpoints.

For the village of Key Biscayne, it was how to deal with the added press of traffic - a situation already acknowledged by the villages’ support of the annual Miami Open Tennis Tournament, a street-clogging event to be sure - and how the city of Miami would address bringing in several other large events to offset the US$16 million in necessary investments. On the other side, that being Miami and the NMMA, it’s the 74 year legacy as well as the US$600 million impact the show brings in to the local economy.

miami2 0617

The latest compromise is the appointing of a singe representative to stand in for each concerned viewpoint and move the conversation along those lines. According to sources, the Miami International Boat Show is one of the most important annual events in South Florida. Updates will surely follow.

Fuel for Thought

For a long time now, we have been having a spirited debate on the use of alternative  and renewable energy sources to take care of our ever-increasing need for power. Wind farms, solar energy, and tidal generators are just a few of the topics whose conversations, on both sides of the debate, are continually resounding from the halls of Congress right down to the everyday citizen.

One of the more controversial disputes affecting the marine industry is that concerning the use of bio-fuels, and in the gasoline sector in particular, the use of ethanol. With several reports showing that a high percentage of ethanol—known as E15 for a 15% ethanol added blend—can cause significant damage to marine engines.

Now, industry engine manufacturers are looking at the benefits of using biobutanol as an option to ethanol. All the hubbub is aimed at fulfilling the already mandated 2022 Renewal Fuel Standard, requiring that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel be added to the gasoline supply by that year.

Photo courtesy of European Community

According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, renewable biobutanol can be produced from the same feedstock biomass as ethanol—that being sugar beets and corn among other crops. When compared to ethanol, it has a higher energy content, lower vapor pressure, which translates to reduced volatility and evaporative emissions, and can be produced domestically thereby creating jobs as well as adding to our energy independence.

As with most new technologies in this sector, both research and practical application will be moving forward as more and more data is collected and distributed throughout the industry.


Many beautiful mega and super yachts, such as Imagine, pictured here, have slipped down the ways at Gulf Coast-based Trinity Yachts. With shipyards located in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Gulfport, Mississippi, known as the Gulf Coast Shipyard Group, news coming from this noted builder always makes the front page in the industry.


Now, Harvey Gulf International, a company whose specialty is to provide offshore and support vessels for deepwater operations in our Gulf of Mexico waters—and the only American ship builder awarded ENVIRO+ Green Passport status for environmentally friendly offshore supply vessels in the region—is taking over the assets of Trinity.

The new company is called the Harvey Shipyard Group and its focus is on building our first liquefied natural gas-powered offshore supply vessels that can also run on diesel.

Harvey Gulf to Build LNG Marine Fueling Facility in Port Fourchon USA2

According to Harvey Gulf, it plans to develop its newly acquired Gulfport and New Orleans operations as it goes forward with its dual-fuel ship designs. The company said in a statement that it expects to expand operations in Gulfport and New Orleans as it continues to develop these specialty vessels with a US$350 million investment in the fleet.

There has been no word yet on the future of Trinity.

More Sun for The Sunshine State

According to the organizers of the 2015 Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo, just held in Amsterdam this past June, the show was such a resounding success that they have set aside January 11-13, 2016, as the dates for the first Stateside E&H expo. The event will be held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Noted for its status as the yachting capital of the world, Ft. Lauderdale, with its solid infrastructure of shipyards, marinas, dealers, brokers, suppliers, finishers, specialty and veteran workforce, is the perfect venue to show off the next generation of alternative energy and power options.

Electric Outboard

With such innovative and ahead-of-the-curve technologies as energy storage solutions and lithium-ion equipment, electric motors, permanent magnet motors, electric outboards, cooling systems, inverters, diesel/electric generators, emission reduction technology, electric/hybrid control and propulsion systems, and LNG/hybrid propulsion, among many others, this show is sure to get lots of attention.



Fair winds, shipmates. – Capt. Ken

Should you have any special interests that you would like me to look into, please send your request to the OnboardOnline site and I will do my best to track it down for you. I hope to see you around the docks or better yet, out on the water.

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