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RMK Merrill Stevens

Brittani Severn

Brittani Severn of RMK Merrill Stevens o

February 2018

February 2018
Seakeepers Party Nobu Miami Beach

Brittani Severn was new to the job at Merrill Stevens when we caught up with her at the Seakeepers party but their plans for the yard were not to be under estimated.

"The yard is the oldest shipyard in the state of Florida. We've had a major impact on helping develop Miami. We are looking to restore Miami to the glory that it once was in the marine industry, in shipping. So, that is my main goal and focus to try to bring the big boats down the river."

- And we are back, Between Two Yetis, with Brittani Severn from RMK Marine. How are you Brittani?

- Good.

- We're at day three, Miami Boat Show. We're at the Seakeeper's Event. And who are you, what are you doing here? And that's pretty much that.

- So, I handle business development and customer service relations for RMK Merrill-Stevens, the iconic shipyard that's been around for over 130 years.

- Right. We are the oldest shipyard in the state of Florida. And we have--

- You are the oldest?

- The oldest, I'm not the oldest but.

- Well, obviously not.

- But "The yard is the oldest shipyard in the state of Florida. We've had a major impact on helping develop Miami. We are looking to restore Miami to the glory that it once was in the marine industry, in shipping. So, that is my main goal and focus to try to bring the big boats down the river."

- Absolutely, 'cause, RMK, it was out of business for a long, long time and then came back a few years ago. Am I right?

- So, the dynamic of the business is it's actual Merrill-Stevens, that's the iconic name and brand that's been around since 1885. RMK is the new owner, based out of Turkey.

- Okay.

- RMK is--

- RMK Design, absolutely.

- RMK, Romi Koch, I'm sorry. Romi Koch has not put his name on everything. So, he put it in front of Merrill-Stevens because it's super special and he believes that we're gonna change the landscape of the Miami River.

- Absolutely, 'cause, correct me if I'm wrong, most of the work done on boats now is in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach.

- So, many people in the marine industry know that Fort Lauderdale has become the mecca, or the yachting capitol of the world.

- Yeah.

- Well, there's still a lot of opportunity in Miami. So, we're trying to bring the big boats back to Miami. We want a little piece of that.

- Yeah, 'cause there wasn't really that much for big boats outside of Fort Lauderdale and Miami really.

- So, the issue and the draw is the ability to get to a yard, and get to a yard where they can facilitate the work you need.

- Right.

- And part of that is hauling the boat out. So, a lot of places on the river currently, as today's state is, have many limitations. And the big boats haven't been able to be hauled out in Miami, so they go up to Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. We're gonna change that.

- Fantastic. And so, where are you with the developments of the yard? I heard you put a lot of money into it right now.

- So, we've got a 30 million dollar refit project, happening right now on the north side of our yard. We actually have a split dynamic to what we do. The river runs through our two pieces of property.

- Right.

- We're on the north end, the south side of the river. We hug the Twelfth Avenue Bridge.

- Right, okay.

- We are squeezed right in between the Jackson Hospital, the UM Jackson Hospital, and the Miami Marlins stadium.

- Right, okay.

- So, we are in a prime location. We're two nautical miles west of the intercostal, from Bayside.

- Two, that's pretty good.

- Pretty good.

- That's very good.

- We have 17 feet of draft in the river.

- Okay.

- Which is maintained by the Army Core of Engineers.

- And what kind of--

- So, there's no draft issues.

- And what kind of boat size can you haul now?

- Currently, our haul out capabilities are 70 tons. In the next 60 to 90 days we're gonna be increasing that with a brand new ship lift for the south yard. 100 tons, brand new ship lift.

- Very cool.

- And, in addition to that, we are 12 to 15 months out of our 30 million dollar refit project happening on the north yard.

- Right.

- And that will increase our haul out capabilities to 2,700 tons.

- That must be a dry dock then, right?

- It is not a dry dock, it's a syncrolift.

- Wow, okay.

- It's a syncrolift with a railway system.

- Wow, okay.

- So, the boat floats on when the lifts in the water, we block it up, divers go down block it up, lift it up, no pressure, or no, no--

- There's straps.

- Stress on the haul, right.

- Absolutely, there's straps.

- So, we bring it in, we have the opportunity, we have over 200 feet available on that lift. And we have over 60 feet in width and 200 feet in length.

- You are very polished on these numbers. How long have you been there for?

- I have been combing through and getting into the ranks, and jumping on board for all of 66 days I think.

- Okay.

- So, I'm fresh, I'm new, but I got a great pair of eyes, and clean lenses on what we're doing and where we're going.

- So, where were you before? Have you always been in the marine industry?

- I've been in the marine industry about four years. My last established place was at Waterdome Marine Center.

- Okay, very cool.

- So, I know shipyards, I know the model that they have, I know the model that we have, and where we're going. And there's a big business out there that we can all get a little piece of the pie.

- Absolutely.

- So, we're pretty excited about that.

- I was saying to your boss, Aaron, that, you know, are the yards concerned about competition, or do they welcome it, because it'll trap more boats, there's more opportunity?

- So, I can speak to our yard, and what our vision is, and our vision is that we wanna partner with everyone. We wanna have good relationships with everybody in the industry because at the end of the day, we need favors, they need favors, at the end of the day it's the marine industry that needs to grow.

- Yeah, yeah.

- And if the marine industry grows, it's good for everyone.

- Yeah.

- It's good business for everyone. We wanna raise the bar of the quality of work that's being done, not only in Miami, but in South Florida. And if we do that, we're gonna keep the business in the United States, we're gonna keep in in south Florida, and everyone benefits.

- Absolutely. How are you finding the show? Are you seeing some good bits? 'Cause you've got a booth here.

- We have multiple locations, multiple locations.

- Multiple?

- So, we have a booth located near the third entrance of the Miami Yacht Show.

- Right there.

- We've got multiple boats in the water here at the Collins Show. Newport Custom is one of our boats. We also have some Fjords, and then we have two Sealines in the water over at the Miami Stadium on Key Biscayne.

- Now you guys refinish and things like that?

- Or Virginia Key. Yes.

- Wow, okay.

- We offer warranty on some of those lines, we refit, we actually have a new build of a company called rCup that's taking place in our water right now.

- Okay.

- We're building a self-sufficient houseboat.

- Okay. Fully self sustaining, electrical. Came into our yard, started with pieces of a barge, we started putting those pieces together, the structure's now in place.

- Wow.

- We've got about six months left of that new build. And we're very excited. Every week, I walk back there, and I'm like, oh my gosh, there's this, there's that, there's so many things going on. And we are making the spec of that. They share our booth over at the Collins Show, at the Miami Yacht Show. And we will continue to provide lunch and learns, cocktail hours, we wanna get people down to the yard.

- Absolutely.

- Remind them of Miami's glory. Merrill-Stevens former glory.

- Yeah, yeah.

- And let people know what we're doing, and show them what we're doing.

- God, you guys are really pushing it, right?

- We're giving it the AB punch, the Aaron Brittani punch, the one two.

- I like it. I see you guys at all the events now, which is fantastic.

- We get out there, you know, as you saw we sponsored the YPY Mixer yesterday with Yacht signs.

- Yup, that was very cool.

- That was a great event. We had, I feel like we had over 100 people walk through that event.

- Yup, that was, the dock was giving way a little bit.

- It was giving way.

- It was, yeah, yeah.

- I am boots on the ground, hitting the pavement everyday, meeting people, introducing myself, letting them know this is what RMK Merrill-Stevens is doing. We're here, we're not going anywhere.

- Yeah.

- And we've got a lot of exciting things happening right now.

- Wow.

- And it's gonna be the premier and prime location to bring mega yachts in the next 12 to 15 months.

- Good Lord, wow.

- Well, Brittani, thank you very much for your time.

- I appreciate it, thank you.

- And we'll see you around the show.

- All right, have a good one.

- Thanks, have a good one.

#rmk #rmkmerrillstevens #brittani #miami #superyacht #nobu #yeti #betweentwoyetis #thisisourindustry

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