A wealth of refit opportunities along 350 miles of coastline surrounded by rolling vineyards and golden hills.

Claire Young reports

Bay Ship & Yacht 

  • Maximum length: 120m (394ft)
  • Maximum lift: 1,200t
  • Size of floating dock: 3,000t

Founded in 1977 by Bill Elliott, Bay Ship & Yacht has transitioned from focusing on building wooden ships, to the repair, conversion and construction of superyachts, and commercial and military vessels. The 200-plus staff provide all structural hull crafts

in-house, and can build or rebuild any steel, aluminium, wood, or fibreglass hull, deck or superstructure.

Based in Alameda, the facility includes a Syncrolift that safely docks vessels up to 62m (203ft) and 1,200t, and delivers them by rail to the 3,000t floating dry dock, which accommodates vessels up to 120m (394ft).

The company has recently activated its new pier on Treasure Island, located in the heart of San Francisco Bay. Originally designed by the US Navy to accommodate a battleship, this secured and gated facility is a solid 37m x 283m (120ft x 930ft) concrete structure. It has fender piling and a floating superyacht pier for vessels awaiting a shipyard dry-docking date or requiring pier-side repairs.

Gran Peninsula 

  • Maximum length: 80m (262ft)
  • Maximum lift: 2,500t
  • Total refit area: 78,000m2

Gran Peninsula was founded in 2005, in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, just 60nm from San Diego. The 78,000m2 facility includes lathe-, welding-, and FRP shops, and covered storage for work with four 5t overhead cranes. There are nine 101m (330ft) independent dry working spaces plus dry storage, over 720m (2,360ft) of hardstanding, and the 2,500t Syncrolift can haul vessels up to 80m (262ft), with beams up to 16m (52ft).

For superyacht projects, the company teams up with a number of trusted subcontractors that specialise in the many technical aspects of refits, from interior carpentry and exterior painting to mechanics and engineering.

“We believe that nowadays it’s impossible for one yard to do all of the work that a superyacht may require, therefore we have developed a network of specialised vendors that can help us attain our customers’ goals while at the shipyard,” says CEO, Tomas Fernandez.

Sister company, Baja Naval, also located in Ensenada has been in business for 25 years having serviced more than 5,000 yachts up to 23m (75ft).


Driscoll Boat Works 

  • Maximum length: 60m (200ft)
  • Number of 60m floating docks: Three
  • Number of 58m floating docks: Two

Gerry Driscoll founded Driscoll Boat Works in 1947, and today, the second generation is at the helm. Located in San Diego’s Shelter Island, the facility includes three 60m (200ft), and two 58m (190ft) floating docks to accommodate yachts up to 60m (200ft).

The Driscoll family extended their facilities to meet customer demands in 1994, when they purchased Kettenburg Marine (Driscoll West). It is San Diego’s most historic boatyard and caters to vessels from 4m-38m (15ft-125ft).

Extensive refit services include full fairing system applications, yacht extensions, engine rebuilds, hydraulic cylinder rebuilds, and all metal fabrication and welding. In addition, the highly trained technical staff and purchasing agents can source marine equipment, parts and replacements for any kind of yacht.


Bellport Shipyards 

  • Maximum length: 50m (164ft)
  • Maximum lift: 90t (Newport Beach)
  • Employees: 10-20

Established in 1981, Bellport Shipyard has diversified into Bellport Newport Harbour Shipyard, and Bellport Anacapa Marine Services. Both are full service facilities with lift capacity up to 90t, servicing yachts up 50m (164ft) at Newport Beach, and 38t at Oxnard.

Areas of expertise include custom carpentry and woodworking, metal fabrication, fibreglass and blister repair, engine and drive train services, and heavy crane work and hauls. In the last two years, the Newport facility has handled more than 150 yachts, with projects ranging in scope from annual maintenance to custom projects.

Bellport takes an environmental approach in everything it does, from the Newport yard being a pioneer of the fully enclosed, modern spray booth, to recycling all of its water, and teaching environmental practices to its staff.


Knight & Carver 

  • Maximum length: 122m (400ft)
  • Maximum lift: 330t
  • Size of dry dock: 4,000t

Founded in 1971, Knight & Carver has been refitting superyachts since 2002 from its location in National City, San Diego. The facility includes 6,360m2 of enclosed structures and more than 427m (1,400ft) of space on the 4,000t dry dock, which can accommodate yachts from 9m-122m (30ft-400ft) for extended stays. A 330t travelift, 100t land crane, 300t floating crane, and a 122m floating dock are also available.

The 170-member workforce includes master craftspeople in all marine trades, as well as on-site marine engineering professionals, naval architects, and access to speciality subcontractors.

For the convenience of San Diego and Southern California customers, the company offers a wide range of dockside repair and maintenance services, which negate the hassle of relocating and hauling out the vessel.


Marine Group Boat Works 

  • Maximum length: 68m
  • Maximum lift: 665t
  • Total refit area: 84,000m2

Marine Group Boat Works can be found at the southern part of the San Diego Bay, with a second location in San Jose del Cabo. It refits, repairs and builds vessels up to 68m (220ft), refitting more than 100 superyachts since its renovation in 2007.

The San Diego facility incorporates three travellifts of 665t, 100t and 25t, new on-site workshops, a 2,200m2 build hall, a machine-shop, in-house mechanics, ABS-certified welders, painters and electricians, and a network of trusted subcontractors and suppliers. Specialties include haul-outs, bottom paints, Lloyds’ and ABS-class surveys, engine repowers and mechanical repairs.

“We treat every customer is our guest,” says vice president, Todd Roberts. “We embrace the common bond with them — living and breathing boats.

“We put ourselves in our customer’s shoes and instinctively want to do whatever we can to get their boat back in the water for them to enjoy again.”

Notable refits include 50m (154ft) Lady M and 56m (184ft) Rosehearty.