Culminating a jobs-saving effort that began more than a year ago, Knight & Carver Maritime has announced that its recently-purchased 4,000-ton dry dock will begin full-service marine operations on September 9.
The 4,000-ton facility has the capacity to lift exceptionally large vessels - including government and commercial vessels, as well as luxury megayachts - out of the water for major repair and refit projects.
With the name Diligence, the 400-ft long dry dock now provides Knight & Carver with the distinction of having one of the largest yacht-friendly vessel lift capacities on the West Coast. More than 100 workers are expected to be hired in the coming months to work exclusively on refit projects performed on the floating dry dock.
The effort to bring Diligence to Knight & Carver brought together a number of high-ranking local, state and federal elected officials, along with government regulatory agencies and marine industry leaders. The dry dock's full operation means that dozens of jobs will be created and saved at the facility, which is located in the largely industrial city of National City, where unemployment levels have been nearly 20 percent in recent years.
"This is an extremely gratifying achievement for our company," said Michael J. O'Leary, President/Chief Executive Officer of Knight & Carver. "We have always been proud of our long and proud heritage as a full-service marine facility, dating back to our beginnings as a luxury yacht builder and now as a large-vessel repair and refit operation. The exciting arrival of 'Diligence' promises to add another productive chapter to our history. We're ready to grow again."
Knight & Carver's operations team has spent the past few months preparing the dry dock for full operations and acquiring relevant permits. Despite several unforeseen delays, the process proved to be a valuable learning experience for the company's team of marine craftsmen, according to Giovanni LoCoco, Knight & Carver's VP of Operations."As it turned out, the expanded timetable gave our crew a hands-on opportunity to become totally familiar with her full capacity and capabilities," said LoCoco, who's been with the company for more than 30 years. "Now that she's in full operational mode, we're more confident than ever in the high level of service we're able to provide our large-vessel clientele. Like us, they've been waiting a long time for this moment."