US shipyard RMK Merrill-Stevens has unveiled industry veteran William Clewes as its new CEO. Clewes will lead the North and South yards, which straddle the Miami River, the ongoing redevelopment of both, upcoming renovations, and the grand reopening of the yards.
Clewes brings decades of experience in manufacturing and facilities management, process improvement, ISO systems, and lean manufacturing to the role. Clewes previously led the development of a $170m (c. £130.3m) state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and served as the director of operations for Seaspan and plant manager for Canfor.
Clewes said, "I am here to build a team and facility to be part of the exciting future for the yacht community in South Florida, meeting customer satisfaction with a team of quality employees, and working together to do the right thing.”
The first half of the year has not been easy on the business, however, Clewes used the time to get comfortable in his new role and prepare the shipyard for future growth.
"I have settled into the role of CEO, understanding the challenges that the boating community faces in the yacht and commercial part of the business," he noted.
"I believe RMK MS is fully prepared to take the challenge on. The ongoing pandemic has not changed the focus or plans for the North and South yards. [I’m] very optimistic that we will grow to be the premier superyacht facility to service the South Florida community in the coming years."
Over the past six months there has been a transformation in the construction of the North Yard and numerous upgrades to the South yard, including a new parts department, workspaces, and more.
The shipyard recently completed the commission of a new 2,700-ton Pearlson shiplift on the North Yard, which first arrived at RMK Merrill-Stevens in August 2019. The new 2,700-ton Pearlson shiplift enables RMK MS to service yachts and superyachts up to and exceeding 200-feet, which was previously unavailable in South Florida.
The shipyard's convenient location on the Miami River gives superyacht clients easy access to the yard without requiring the use of a tugboat or straps that increase the risk of damage. The North Yard is now accepting reservations for service, maintenance, classification inspections for classed vessels, and refits.
In the coming months, Clewes expects the North Yard to be filled with yachts and superyachts, and that the RMK MS team will continue to grow to meet the demands of the business.
"We will always be looking to enhance the team and the experience of our customers. We are thankful to ownership for putting their faith in the growth of the Merrill-Stevens team to bring the shipyard back to its former glory," he added.
For more information, visit RMK Merrill-Stevens.