Marine Group Boat Works Modernizing San Diego Bay Shipbuilding, Repair Facility

A rendering of the planned modernization of the Marine Group Boat Works facility in Chula Vista, Calif. Image: MGBW.

Marine Group Boat Works is undertaking a multimillion-dollar effort to modernize its 15-acre shipbuilding and repair facility on San Diego Bay in Chula Vista, the family-owned company revealed Oct. 10.

Currently in environmental review, the project includes a large solar panel installation that would generate 500 kilowatts of renewable energy for yard equipment and shore power, dock replacement and reconfiguration, dredging and the addition of a new, modern mobile boat lift, considered by the company to be the only sideways-crawling travelift on the West Coast and the largest of its kind in the U.S.

Veneto, Italy-based Cimolai Technology has been hired to custom-build the new mobile telescopic boat hoist. The 820-ton lift, which would replace a 660-ton marine travelift bought in 2007, would take about 12 months to build out before its anticipated Fall 2024 delivery.

The new lift would give Marine Group Boat Works major capacity and flexibility, allowing the company to “haul a superyacht out of the water and transport it forward, backward and even sideways on wheels that can turn 90 degrees,” according to MGBW.

The machine, which would have a Tier 4 low-emission power source,  would allow the crane to extend up to 18.5 feet to better accommodate vessels in various sizes. with smaller beams. The lift helps the company free up valuable space in the shipyard and minimize vessel blockage.

MGBW previously invested in expandable lift equipment earlier this year when it announced in April that it bought a 75-ton marine travelift to bolster capacity at its sister yacht repair and dry-dock facility in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Now, the company is bringing a similar, larger version of this concept to San Diego, a facility with a footprint of a million square feet and more than 2,000 feet of dockage space.

The San Diego facility plans to be fully operational throughout the estimated 10 months of construction, the company said.

By Karen Robes Meeks