BELFAST, Maine — JB Turner of the Front Street Shipyard in Belfast said he was surprised and pleased last week when his new company received a prestigious national award.
The shipyard was named the 2013 Boatyard of the Year by the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association at the organization’s annual conference, held in Fort Lauderdale Beach. The award is given to a service or repair facility that “demonstrates excellence in all facets of their company,” according to a press release from the association.
“They took a ramshackle collection of buildings, located on a tired waterfront that was begging for a new lease on life and turned it — seemingly overnight — into a modern, state-of-the-art facility that has captured the hearts of those who work there, those who do business there and those who call the small Maine town of Belfast home,” Pam Lendzion, president of the association, said in her remarks presenting the award.
The Front Street Shipyard joins boatyards in North Carolina, Rhode Island and California, which also have been recipients of the award.
“To be selected the boatyard of the year in the second year of business is pretty cool,” Turner, the president of Front Street Shipyard, said Saturday. “It’s the highest honor. It was very nice of everybody to vote for us. It’s a nice award to see this early in our existence.”
According to the press release issued by the association, Turner acknowledged the shipyard’s employees and the city of Belfast along with partners Ken Priest, Steve White and Taylor Allen when he accepted the award.
The association represents over 250 boatyards, repairers and associated industries in the United States and abroad, according to its website.
Turner said that even though it’s the middle of winter, the shipyard remains busy.
“We have a ton of projects going on right now,” he said. “Three major refits and four or five minirefits and a bunch of just regular work.”
He said that the company needs to hire a couple more full-time employees now, which will bring its total payroll to more than 100.
Front Street Shipyard does new builds, refits and has a marina.