Destin, FL—It’s been a landmark in the Ft. Walton community since 1978: the centrally located boatyard and marina simply known as The Boat. And now the historic location will be receiving a complete revitalization and rebranding, to now be known as the Emerald Coast Boatyard and Marina. The property was recently purchased by a group of Colorado-based investors led by Andrew Hawkins-Kimmel and Casey Harless.
And while so many of Florida’s boatyards and marinas are bought for their waterfront real estate potential, the investment team recognized not only the importance of boatyards to the marine industry but also the historic nature of the Emerald Coast Boatyard. “Despite the value of the property, we are adamant that it remains a working boatyard,” says Hawkins-Kimmel. “In keeping with those goals, we are going to bring this facility into the 21st century and make it one of the finest of its kind anywhere along the Gulf Coast.”
The new ownership team is focused on developing a world-class facility at the Emerald Coast Boatyard. “We understand that facilities like this one are vitally important in the marine industry,” says Harless. “Large boats and yachts require frequent maintenance and must be hauled from the water to have their hulls painted, propellers changed and more. At the Emerald Coast Boatyard, we will have that team of experienced and knowledgeable people to make this happen in a manner that’s both safe and cost-effective for the boat owners.”
The team plans an extensive series of updates for the yard. These include new docks, the replacement of several buildings with covered work bays, a closed-loop pressure washing system and an expansion of the haul-out ways to increase both the length and beam of vessels that can be hauled from the water, and much more. These upgrades should be completed by summer 2016, with the building replacement upgrades to begin immediately.