New owners intend to expand the Chesapeake Bay shipyard into a premier superyacht refit and service facility

Cape Charles Yacht Center in the US has been acquired by JB Turner, president and co-owner of Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, Maine, and Nicole Jacques, owner of Rhumbline Communications in Belfast, Maine. The new principals intend to expand the Chesapeake Bay shipyard into a premier superyacht refit and service facility.

Cape Charles Yacht Center was established in 2013 by South Port Investors with the expectation of developing it into a superyacht facility. The shipyard is located in Cape Charles, Virginia, off the mouth of Chesapeake Bay where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.

An 18ft-deep channel leads into a modern marina with 1,000 ft of face dockage, a 75-tonne boat hoist, and 30/50-amp single-phase and 100-amp three-phase power. The property is located in a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), eliminating many duty costs for visiting vessels.

“We identified Cape Charles Yacht Center as an ideal location for superyacht services because it’s central for vessels traveling along the East Coast between New England and Florida,” said JB Turner. “For years we’ve encouraged our customers at Front Street Shipyard to stop into Cape Charles when traveling south, and their feedback has been very positive about the location, quality of service, and amenities.”

Turner and Jacques are developing a multi-year expansion plan with the support of investors, which includes a 30,000sq ft facility, 600-tonne mobile hoist, and additional floating docks. Currently a new service facility is under construction.

“We intend to maintain Cape Charles Yacht Center’s great reputation for service among their existing customers throughout Chesapeake Bay,” said Jacques. “Our first initiative is to grow the yard’s talented workforce and equip them with more modern equipment so we can attract additional international vessels seeking service and major refits.”

Turner and Jacques have more than half a century of combined first-hand experience growing shipyards and attracting vessels. Turner is the president and general manager of mid-coast Maine’s Front Street Shipyard, a yacht construction and repair yard with a superyacht marina.

Along with his partners, Turner founded Front Street Shipyard in 2011, beginning with nothing but flat land, deep water, and a vision for a world-class shipyard. He quickly grew FSS into one of New England’s most-capable superyacht facilities.

Jacques is the owner and marketing strategist of Rhumbline Communications, a marine-focused marketing agency specialised in launching new marine businesses into the international marketplace, as well as boosting market share for established companies. Her clients include shipyards, trade shows, manufacturers, suppliers, and trade associations. Jacques has managed the marketing efforts for Front Street Shipyard since the yard’s inception.

Both Turner and Jacques will maintain their existing roles in their respective businesses as they also partner to operate Cape Charles Yacht Center.