With the recent addition of more than 13,000 square feet of covered work space, Saunders Yachtworks now boasts nearly an acre of protected space within its two coastal boatyards in America‘s Alabama. The company offers a full array of capabilities, including propulsion engine repowers, boatyard crafts, and exterior and interior refits for yachts and superyachts measuring up to 130 feet in length.
This new addition brings Saunders’ total enclosed space to 35,000 square feet. According to CEO John Fitzgerald, the steady demand for the company’s four existing covered work bays led the company to speed up its plans for expansion.
“Our goal was to increase our covered space capacity to meet the high expectations of a variety of owners,” Fitzgerald said. “So much of our scheduling can be affected by bad weather. We make commitments to our customers for delivery dates, so our goal is to minimize delays wherever we can. Now, we can house up to 10 boats under cover to keep work on schedule, even in adverse conditions.”
The new covered space in Gulf Shores, designed by Vice President of Operations Michael Dunlavy, was built with flexible use in mind. With fully open south and east sides, there are several different ways the 165-ton Travelift can access the space and place boats inside the protected area.
“Depending on the needs of committed contracts, we can place anywhere from three large yachts up to 130 feet or six smaller yachts under the new cover,” Dunlavy said. “The north and west walls provide important protection, and the multiple openings allow us to arrange vessels in the space as needed.”
In 2012, the company opened its brand-new yard in Gulf Shores and debuted a 6,500-square-foot works building with 50-foot door height that accommodates vessels up to 130 feet. This space was booked for paint and refit work continuously ever since. The recently completed 13,000-square-foot addition was the final phase of construction.
The Saunders family has been in the marine service business in coastal Alabama since 1959. The company now operates two full-service yacht facilities with a 165-ton lift in Gulf Shores and a 60-ton lift in Orange Beach.