The Covid-19 pandemic has caused problems for businesses operating in every corner of the globe, with many businesses in the yachting industry affected not only by a down turn in charter, slowing of production schedules, operational considerations and the obvious health concerns, but also by the halted travel industry.

We caught up with the Caribbean’s ‘biggest little boat yard’ to see how they were faring on their side of the pond.

How has the pandemic affected Subbase Drydock so far, and the island of St Thomas?

Subbase Drydock is a marine repair facility, primarily servicing private yachts, car ferries and excursion vessels. The excursion vessels are directly linked to the cruiseship industry. Since the onset of Covid, all cruiseships have ceased operations in the Caribbean. This loss of tourism to the island has caused many vessels that we normally service throughout the year to cancel routine maintenance with our facility. However, throughout all of this, Subbase Drydock has been able to remain open this year without having to reduce its workforce.

We have proudly been in business for 35 years on the island of St. Thomas and we have long-standing business relationships with many of our customers. We understand that all local businesses are affected at this time. We are anticipating that once Covid is more manageable, and the cruiseship and tourism industry able to pick back up, that we can all resume normal operations both professionally and personally.

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Have you still been able to participate in events, and how have they changed?

Subbase Drydock will be participating in the US Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association Yacht Show, which will be held at IGY Yacht Haven Grande Marina in St. Thomas, from Nov 12 through the 15th.

The organisers have implemented all the necessary safety protocols, including social distancing, and Subbase Drydock will be hosting a remote “Virtual Booth” to showcase our yacht services.

How do you think the pandemic will affect this winter’s cruising season, and maintenance schedules?

We anticipate that there will be more yachts travelling around the US Virgin Islands due to the continued closure of BVI ports.

We understand that the migration pattern for yachts has been significantly altered due to Covid-19. If you are planning on cruising the Caribbean this fall and winter or if you need to ready your yacht in preparation for early spring and the summer, please call us at Subbase Drydock to discuss how we can help and schedule required works.

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Monday morning at the dry dock 🛳🇻🇮 #stthomas #stjohn #stcroix #usvi #bvi

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Are you continuing to work as normal, and are all your facilities and services available?

We can accommodate vessels as small as 40’ feet and as large as 225’ feet. We have two floating drydocks (400 ton and 1200 ton) to accomplish all your repairs needs.

We continue to have dedicated project managers for each yacht/project and we’ve made great use of FedEx for any necessary components not available on island! So far, we have been able to maintain our efficient service and complete projects in a timely manner – getting our clients back out on the water!

Subbase Drydock works closely with the local USCG personnel for all certifications necessary for commercial vessels. We have ABS certified MIG and TIG welders, Lloyds registered paint options for high performance coating systems both above and below the water line, a full range of steel and aluminium plate, flat bar, and tubing for all of your projects, innovative and experienced machinists to assist you in custom designs or fabrication and/or copies of necessary parts that have either been discontinued or are difficult to procure.

Man at work at Subbase Drydock

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