SuperyachtNews.com spoke to Francois Van Well, vice president business development at Rybovich, about the company's future plans to develop the area and expand the business in to what he described as a “marine-orientated business and lifestyle.”
He commented, “The most challenging and limiting factor that we have here in our facility is our out of water area, and from 2006 onwards we started purchasing significant land holdings in Riviera Beach, which is about five minutes away from here,” land that is three times the size of the current West Palm Beach operation.
So far, he explained, “We have an approved expansion, which will create an additional 2000 feet for dockage of vessels of 90-100m, and that is for the existing marina.”
Van Well added that a recent visit to Holland to find out what Dutch yards have on the horizon, was a way for the yard to plan ahead, saying that it is necessary to be available to and prepared for larger yachts that begin to head to the US and need repairs/refit in future, “as the fleets grows and the boats grow in size.”
In addition to the new facility he added, “We also have our condominium development in West Palm Beach based next to the marina, and all these things are tied together but construction will be over the next five to seven years.” This will allow for the eventual relocation of operations to the Rivera Beach location.
“Of course there will be a complete amenities package to all of our customers,” he added. “It’s the restaurant, the concierge and the transportation, the gym and all of the things we organise; training for crewmembers, which we are working on right now, so they can do their nautical training while the boat is here.”
He explained that the new development would allow them to lift heavier boats, with previously reported hopes of a 4000 tonne synchrolift at the Riviera Beach location. “Once the intra-coastal waterway has been dredged by the Army Corp of Engineers, we can dredge our little T-section to our land-base in Riviera,” he said, with the aim being that there can be easy transference when needed.
Whilst construction begins and things develop, van Well said, “there is no need to take the shipyard here out of commission until the condominiums are going up, the majority of them anyway. Because you can still build - we already have a planned schedule - we can do two or three buildings without disrupting current operations.”
Viking Yachts has also made moves in the area, with the construction of two service centres, a tuna tower fabricator and the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy. Van Well said, “We have been working closely with Viking for many years in that area because they have significant land ownership there as well and we obviously expect to continue those cooperative efforts in the Riviera Beach area.”
Van Well estimated that the development could take anywhere between five to ten years to complete.