American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) has awarded Gold Coast Yacht the 2017 ABBRA Boat Builder of the Year award at a ceremony on Jan. 24 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The award recognizes the St. Croix boat building facility that through its commitment to innovation, sound engineering, quality workmanship, teamwork and professional project management, has built a vessel or vessels that demonstrate a process and product that has made a lasting contribution to the recreational marine industry.
The 120-plus, large multihulls built by Gold Coast Yachts reflect the experience gained from over 31 years of vessel construction. The company got its start 30 years ago, developing and refining boats for the day-charter business, primarily in the Caribbean; today, it can be found worldwide.
The company patented a unique wave piercing designed power cat in 1992 and most recently pioneered a new carbon fiber manufacturing process for custom vessel production. The firm is known for its cutting edge design and build techniques and for producing catamarans that are efficient in both construction and sailing performance.
The heart of Gold Coast Yachts sailing designs is their rotating wing spar. The low windage rig combined with its developed high rocker and thick sectioned high aspect ratio rudders and dagger boards produce maneuverability unparalleled by other catamarans. Their latest build is a 104-foot, carbon fiber, tandem catamaran that weighs 30,000 lbs.
The company’s success is the result of a passion for boatbuilding and the drive to discover what makes a better boat and what doesn’t, based on sound engineering and a great deal of research.
Rich Difede, Gold Coast Yacht’s founder and president, has put his heart and soul into boat building and developing a highly skilled workforce, expected to perform under difficult conditions. He has also put together a well-respected design and engineering team. He is proud of what the company has become and will be the first to say that his skills have been honed by the mistakes they have made.
As a philosophy, Gold Coast believes that relationships are more important than issues. In their relationships with employees, suppliers and clients they endeavor to embody that principle.
Founded in 1943, ABBRA is a national marine trade organization that represents, is dedicated to and seeks to strengthen and encourage professionalism in the boat building, boat repair and marine service industry.