RMK Merrill-Stevens Undergoes a Transformation

Image courtesy RMK Merrill-Stevens

By The Maritime Executive 02-11-2019 05:42:52

Florida's oldest shipyard, Merrill-Stevens, is undergoing a thorough refit under new management. The Miami-based yard was purchased in 2013 by Rahmi M. Koç, a prominent Turkish businessman, who sought to return the yard to a leading position by investing in new technology and infrastructure. 

In 2016, the yard appointed Aaron Leatherwood to oversee its transformation as president and CEO. Over the course of his tenure, over $25 million has been invested in RMK Merrill-Stevens' North and South Yards, bringing new jobs and new opportunities to downtown Miami. 

“The renewed interest in the Miami waterfront is driving massive new developments,” says Leatherwood. “We are seeing more high-end riverfront residences, marina expansions and renovations, improved riverfront parks, restaurants, social venues, and the incredible River Landing waterfront mall." The new mall will be located directly adjacent to Merrill-Stevens.

Scheduled to open in mid-2019, the new North Yard will feature a state-of-the-art 2,700 ton shiplift. It will also feature an updated facility, on-site crew lounge, shore power supply for up to 650 amps and the most advanced environmental protection system in the state. A new subterranean water filtration system will clean and reuse runoff water, setting a new standard for shipyards seeking to improve local waterways.

Located directly across the Miami River from the North Yard, the new South Yard will focus on repairs and refits for large cruisers and sport fishing boats. The yard features a 100 ton travel lift, part dealers and fabrication shops. The investment in the shipyard will also bring jobs to downtown Miami: an estimated 100 new positionsbetween the two yards will open, including jobs for technical engineers, marine procurement specialists, skilled tradesmen, yacht quality finish painters and others.