By: Marie Cullen | Photos: Marina Pez Vela
Saunders Yachtworks (below), a family-operated yard for nearly 60 years, performs routine upkeep to complex refits. Featuring a 165-ton hauler, it handles boats and megayachts to 130 feet (39.6 meters). For example, the Westport 112 Kassablanca arrived in May for some work. Meanwhile, most people likely know Marina Pez Vela for its slips for megayachts to 200 feet (61 meters). It also has several restaurants, shops, and rental villas. What you may not know, though, is that it’s further home to the Yacht Yard at Marina Pez Vela (above). This service yard, with a bilingual staff, has a 200-ton lift. It can therefore haul megayachts to 150 feet (nearly 46 meters) for bottom painting and other tasks. The Yacht Yard at Marina Pez Vela is reportedly the only Costa Rican facility with a 200-ton lift. In addition, Costa Rica has no other sites combining traditional dockage and service.
The reason the two companies have aligned comes down to practical facts. “It is important for us to acknowledge the fluidity of the sportfishing and cruising communities in the Gulf of Mexico and Central America,” explains John Fitzgerald, Saunders Yachtworks’ CEO. In fact, “The amount of our customers who travel regularly to Costa Rica continues to grow,” he adds. It’s worth noting that Marina Pez Vela hosts four billfish tournaments each year, from January to April. Therefore, Saunders Yachtworks’ staff can continue supporting customers who participate, or cruising megayacht customers, as they head south.
Those same staff will assist Marina Pez Vela’s craftspeople in expanding their skills, and vice versa. Jeff Duchesneau, the marina’s general manager, says, “We’re thrilled to be affiliated with a yard in the States that has this level of expertise.”
Expect Saunders Yachtworks and Marina Pez Vela to display together at boat shows, along with other events.