After 23 years, it’s time for a facelift.
Destin Fishing Fleet Marina, home to 40 charter boats located in the heart of Destin, is in the process of getting just that — a facelift.
For the next couple of weeks, construction workers will be updating the west dock at the marina located on Destin harbor.
“We’ve turned those boards over a time or two with Opal and various storms over the years. They’re getting a little bit more than weather beaten,” said Kelly Windes, president of Destin Fishing Fleet Inc.
Destin Fishing Fleet Inc., which owns the property and marina, has 48 stockholders comprised of fishing families.
The Fort Walton Beach-based Anderson/Gore Homes Inc. started work on the western dock last Friday.
In the next two weeks, not only will they replace the timber on the docks with a synthetic composite board, but they will put up all new fish racks, new cleats on the docks, new benches, all new electrical outlets and wiring as well as water.
“We are going to start over,” Windes said.
The composite board should last longer than the timber.
“It was little more expensive … it just looks so much nicer. I think we’ll be proud of it,” Windes said.
Fishing Fleet Marina has been in existence since 1995.
“We brought the boats here in August or September of 1995,” said Windes, who retired last year after 40-plus years at the helm, docked his boat Sunrise at Fishing Fleet Marina since the inception. “Then Oct. 4, we got the big bang (Hurricane Opal). So we all had a cryin' time for awhile, then we got together and rebuilt our brand new dock.
“So it’s time to do it again,” he said.
Wednesday morning, construction workers were out replacing the boards and none to early.
With the first wave of spring breakers just days away, construction will overlap with the visitors to the area who might want to go fishing.
“There will be a week or so where it will be uncomfortable and awkward. We’ll just have to work around it … it will be tough, but we’ve got to get it past us,” Windes said.
The 20 or so boats that dock on that west wing will have to use the fuel docks on the east side and even the inside bulk head to pick up and drop off passengers.
“We’ve just to make it work three weeks,” Windes said. “Yes, it’s going to be inconvenient but it would have been inconvenient if we had done it in December like we wanted to. But we couldn’t get bids, people were busy. We had no choice, we had to take it.”
As for the price of the facelift, “it’s pretty pricey … substantial,” Windes said. “But it’s a lot of work and it’ll be good, and it will be worth the money.”
Destin Fishing Fleet Inc. plans to revamp the east dock next winter.