DANA POINT — After more than a decade of having to turning away vessels weighing 50 tons or with beams measuring more than 18 feet in length, Dana Point Shipyard has decided to catch up with the trend of servicing larger boats.
When Gene Jerry built Dana Point Shipyard in 1977, there were only six boats in the harbor that he and his co-owner, C.B. Shannep, couldn’t accommodate. In recent years, Jerry’s daughter and current shipyard owner, Catherine Cope, has noticed that boats have simply gotten larger. In 2007, her business did a study on the 2,400 boats in Dana Point Harbor.
“We took inventory of the boats in the harbor; there were about 300 boats that were too large for our current lift capacity,” she said. “We haven’t done a new inventory of the vessels since then but the vessels that we’re seeing are much wider and our current Travellift can’t accommodate them.”
In light of their findings, the shipyard will undergo a $1.6 million upgrade that will include increasing the beam Travellift length capacity from 18 feet to 25.5 feet, and the 50 ton lift capacity to 100 ton weight capacity. The lift upgrade, which will cost $500,000 will allow the shipyard to support boats measuring up to 90 feet in length.
Cope is not the only one who’s noticed the change in boats recreating in the harbor.
“I have noticed visiting vessels at our guest docks getting larger. We have a 300-foot-long side tie that will accommodate large vessels and it is regularly full with five or six large vessels visiting Dana Point Harbor,” said Brad Gross, director of OC Dana Point Harbor. “Over the last few years [there] has been an increase in vacancies in slips 26 feet and less. It is unusual that slips in Dana Point Harbor are readily available but we exhausted our wait list in slips 26 feet and less while our larger wait lists continue to grow.”
Along with upgrading their Travelift, the shipyard will also be configuring its U shaped docks to a straight lateral design in order to accommodate larger and or more vessels.
They’ll also be working to create a cleaner, more efficient work space.
“We’re putting in a quad chamber filtration system – it’s an upgrade to our three-stage water clarifying unit,” Cope explained. “All the water we generate in our facility goes through our clarifier before it’s discharged to our sanitary sewer.”
The new system will allow the shipyard to reuse water generated from the facility, while meeting National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit parameters. Should they ever have to discharge into the ocean in a five year, 24 hour storm event, the water quality will meet the given benchmarks, Cope said.
“We at OC Dana Point Harbor are 100 percent behind the shipyard’s efforts to improve their facility to accommodate a wider range of vessels found in Dana Point Harbor and surrounding harbors,” Gross said. “We will continue to support them and are pleased with the direction they are going and especially with their recent certification as a Clean Marine Facility and their plan for a new water clarifier as part of the project.”
The landside and water filtration portion of the upgrade is set to start in a few months, whereas the construction of the docks and travel lift will happen after the 2014 summer season.