Zonker

Steel yacht repair yards - East Coast USA?

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Good friends of ours cruising the US east coast got hit by a fishing trawler in New Jersey. They're OK but the boat isn't. Thankfully their boat is steel so they didn't sink. They're well insured as well.

It has the deck/hull damaged to a depth of 12" all above the waterline. Interior cabinetry is also damaged as well. Their boat is about 20 tons displacement, 56' long. It's immaculate. Nobody believes it's steel until you knock on the hull. Best condition steel boat I've ever seen. Rust is simply not allowed on this boat. They're really particular about it. This repair will take 2+ months I'm guessing. 

They are looking for recommendations for a repair yard on the East coast of the US. Bonus points if they in-house shipwrights/joiner people who can do top quality work. This is a boat where inside all the lockers are painted with Awlgrip.  This is what I've suggested to them, but I'm a west coast guy, so looking for local knowledge of yards that can provide a very high quality job for the exterior damage is important. To my mind, US steel yards mostly do commercial work and few can achieve a superior yacht level of finish.

They live aboard but I think they have offers from several friends to put them up for the duration of the repair work.

1/ Derektor 
 
2/ Yank ? They were/are busy building two new aluminum fast ferrys for NY Harbor so might still be busy. More of a commercial yard
 
3/ Topper Hermanson in Florida closed after founder died a few years ago. They were good.
 
4/ I found Custom Steel Boats in this review:
and here:
 
Their website really sucks  http://www.customsteelboats.com/
 
but they do seem to have lots of experience. Maybe a builder more than a repair yard? Google satellite at their street address shows a long road leading to a launching slip on a backwater of Pamlico Sound. Draft might be an issue. So let's keep them in mind, but only as a backup.
 
5/ AF Theriault in Nova Scotia, Canada - cruise the Canadian Maritimes next spring? Spring takes a long time to come there. Warms up starting May :) Very good small yard though.
 
6/ Brewers was bought in 2017 by a group of Marinas (Safe Harbor Marinas). Hopefully they kept up Brewer's standards. They were a good yard.
 
7/ Blout, Warren RI - avoid. Commercial builders in steel but ugly, Very much focused on cheap construction. 
 
8/ Jarrett Bay, NC - experts in cold moulded wood. Don't think they touch steel but their interior woodwork is top notch.

 

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Eastern Shipbuilding , Panama City ,Fl

I was working for the company that did the teak decks ,interior floors for S/V Columbia ...I was so impressed my their steel work during the build. Fast forward to the 1 minute mark of the vid

 

 

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How about new England boatworks? 

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Thanks, keep them coming. I should add the hole in their hull is temporarily sealed with expanding foam and their surveyor has given them permission to move the boat in conditions no more than 15 knots wind / 2-3' seas. So east coast of Florida is probably a bit too far to go with that sort of damage. (They're in Sandy Hook NJ right now)

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I'd vote for Derecktor's. Close by, easy to get to (less than a day under power from NJ) and they know what they're doing. We had family friends who had a Hunt sportfisherman built there in aluminum.  No visible welds or unfair lines anywhere.  Steel is even easier. Get it done right.  

 

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Might be worth looking at Lyman Morse in Thomaston Maine as well - do top quality interior work, and have a good fabrication shop that has a lot of experience building/repairing steel.  They may be too far away, but have given us top service on some below the waterline steel repairs and interior work in the past.

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My vote's for Hinckley Portsmouth, RI. Impeccable aluminium work (can also do steel) and even better interior joinery and systems. They've got enough open space for a 56'er. NEB currently has two big projects on the go...

 

HW

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18 hours ago, PaulK said:

I'd vote for Derecktor's. Close by, easy to get to (less than a day under power from NJ) and they know what they're doing. We had family friends who had a Hunt sportfisherman built there in aluminum.  No visible welds or unfair lines anywhere.  Steel is even easier. Get it done right.  

 

+100

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On 9/3/2018 at 8:36 PM, Haligonian Winterr said:

My vote's for Hinckley Portsmouth, RI. Impeccable aluminium work (can also do steel) and even better interior joinery and systems. They've got enough open space for a 56'er. NEB currently has two big projects on the go...

 

HW

um........ you are out of date on the goings on at neb

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Billings marine, stonington, ME

front street shipyard, Belfast, ME

portland yacht service, Portland, ME

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On September 3, 2018 at 3:17 PM, SCANAS said:

Brent Swain. 

Tidal flats, Comox, Courtenay. Bring Lucky Beer.

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Funnily enough they met Lyman Morse while cruising in New Caledonia in 2003. He apparently didn't want any steel boats in his yard!

Thanks for all the suggestions - they ended up at Derektor.

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13 hours ago, TonyFromSheepsheadBay said:

Hard to see why Derecktors isnt an obvious choice.  Sure Lyman Morse or others in Maine.  But you can’t get there from here .

 

Well...it is, in fact, it was mentioned as the #1 known possibility by Zonker; he was looking for additional options.  As far as getting to Maine is concerned, Zonker's post lists yards along the entire East coast from FL all the way to Nova Scotia.  I know Front Street has been steadily increasing its exposure to steel yachts, and it is in fact part of their overall strategic position being a yard that is capable of handling refit and rebuild slots that normally go to mega yacht refit yards down in FL, GA and NC.  Here is a video from a couple of years back on the refit of Berilda:

https://frontstreetshipyard.com/berilda-refit-update-winter-2016/

The other thing about Front Steet that may be appealing is that they are co owned by Steve White of Brooklin Boatyard.  As a result, they have a good working relationship where one yard may subcontract work for the other where it makes sense for scheduling and or quality purposes.  French and Webb  is also in town, and they are well known for doing some of the finest joinerwork in the world, having cut their teeth doing subcontract joinery for Hodgdon Yachts when the built Antonisia and Scherezade (now Asolare) which was recently refit by Front Street.  

 

Billings Marine would also be a great choice, although they are in fact a little harder to get to, being on Deer Isle (although there is a bridge).  They have a long history of executing fine work and working on all manner of craft, a lot of them steel.  Before LM, Front Street and others grew into handling larger yachts, Billings was THE place in Maine to go, and they are still and excellent yard, just not as flashy as the other yards.  

 

As far as LM goes and Cabot Lyman not wanting to do steel back in 2003, certainly may have been the case.  Back in '03 they had a lot more in the way of new builds in the pipeline and were expanding along those lines with them working almost exclusively in composite.  Things are very different now.  They haven't built a whole lot relatively speaking in the last bunch of years, and have expanded by purchasing Wayfarer in Camden in an effort to garner more refit and service business.  Their stance on steel may well have changed in that time, as they are trying to compe directly with Front street.  That said, they wouldn't be my first choice if I was getting steel work done, although they certainly have a capable joinery shop.  The reality is though that Maine happens to have an incredible population of highly skilled artisans and joiners that allow for virtually all of the yards that you can think of offering a superb level of craftsmanship.  

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