Join us for casual networking on the yard from 6-8 p.M. Until then, learn extra about the modifications on the yard from preferred supervisor Laurent Bensoussan:
Q. Tell us approximately the Universal Marine Center.
We are a renovation and refit offerings yard with the marina experience. What does that mean? It manner the humans coming in to get a refit finished are glad to stay onboard as it still appears like a marina, now not a shipyard.
That’s very critical for captains and group. And for the coverage, due to the fact they require you to have crew onboard always. It’s a win-win for all of us.
And our name suits. Universal — we welcome boats from all around the world. And we talk many languages: English, French, Spanish, Filipino (and Tagalog), Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch.
Q. So who owns the yard?
He likes to live in the historical past, however, he’s a French businessman, an owner, and lover of yachts.
The backyard was closed due to the fact that M/Y Sacajawea dropped off the Synchrolift in 2004. He sold it in 2009 and had several managers here before me, simply the use of it as a parking region for yachts.
In 2015, [Capt. Bernard [Calot] and I joined the yard due to the fact he virtually wanted to put money into it.
Q. Tell us approximately that funding. What new things have you accomplished in the beyond 4 years?
He invested about $5 million to improve power. We widened the doorway and dredged the basin. We upgraded and accelerated the docks — from 18 slips to forty — with storm-rated floating slips.
We improved electricity all around the marina to 480 volts, delivered excessive-pace wi-fi, and stuck the seawall so there’s aspect-to dockage at the river.
And we created a service center and haul out vicinity for tenders up to 39 feet. We can now in shape 50 tenders and jet ski trailers on the tough.
We brought 40 garage bins — 20-foot and forty-foot — for yachts to save their toys even as doing a refit, and Tiki huts with BBQs for the group to have a place to head and loosen up after paintings.
Q. What offerings do you provide?
Bensoussan: Here, captains are in control to use whoever they need for their initiatives. We have a complete array of onsite qualified contractors or they could bring their outside ones for a small gate rate. Our best request is insurance to shield the yacht and us. We don’t place any percentage on the pinnacle of their invoices or hidden expenses.
Calot: We can help with the whole lot from in-water paint jobs to hydraulics, electrical and mechanical, AV, A/C, welding, even indoors refits. We have the desired contractors and on-website companies/tenants.
We also have an unfastened control workplace. It’s reserved for the management corporations or venture managers who bring refits right here. We supply them space without cost.
The most vital issue we will do as a shipyard is offering help with our yachts’ initiatives. Some captains ship us an electronic mail beforehand so we’re ready to begin after they get right here. Some more youthful captains arrive absolutely uncertain the way to start. For me, it’s smooth to assist them. I’ve been a captain for 15 years. Having been on the other side of the dock, I apprehend their concerns.
The real difference right here is that captains leave different yards careworn. Here, they’re satisfied. They feel respected and part of their own family. Everybody right here is available.
Q. Tell us about your group. Who will captains and team engage with?
Calot: We have plenty of former team individuals operating inside the yard. Galla is an ex-leader stew with lots of years enjoy. She’s my proper hand, and every now and then my left. Galla and Malena organize all our offerings, together with the forklift, crane, fuel, rubbish.
Bensoussan: And Bernard is a captain. He’s in charge of commercial enterprise improvement and works very intently with the yachts on their initiatives.
Calot: And my services are free.
Then there’s Aaron, Acklie, Aldo and Leo, our group of dockhands.
Q. You host a whole lot of team occasions. Tell us approximately the ones.
Calot: As a captain, I’m comfy assembly every person, but many captains and crew don’t meet their acquaintances in a shipyard or marina. Here, to make it more family orientated, we commenced doing small events for them to fulfill every different. It enables loads with the atmosphere of the marina, because once they recognize every different, they may be much more likely to help every other out.
We started out three years in the past with 20-30 crew and now we have 150-200 people coming from all the yards close by, captains looking for crew, crew seeking out jobs. We try to do it once a month.