Marine Day Dispatch

Maggie May
Leadership Palm Beach County
December 5, 2013

Marine Industry Day Dispatch

December 5, 2013

By: Maggie May


Marine Industry day was planned by Jonathan Ricketts. The day started at Phil Foster Park. At the park, there were two speakers to start the day off. The first one

being Alyssa Freeman. Mrs. Freeman is a part of the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County. The Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County has been around for 29 years. It is a nonprofit organization created to promote and protect the sound growth of the marine industry in Palm Beach County for the benefit and

education of its members, the community, and the environment. The Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County makes most of its revenue by their annual Palm Beach International Boat Show, which takes place in March. This boat show is among the top ten largest boat shows in the world. Along with the boat show, this organization gives back to the community by having their annual holiday boat parade. The parade starts in North Palm Beach and ends in Jupiter. This takes place in December every year. Not only does it benefit the community for amusement but also it benefits the needy by having toys for tots drive along with the parade. Volunteer boaters collect toys as the parade goes by. Last year the Marine Industries Association collected over 18,000 toys.

The second speaker of the day was Charlie Isiminger. He is a costal engineer. Mr. Isiminger explained the history of the Lake Worth Inlet. He explained that in 1823, the year Florida became a U.S. territory, Lake Worth was a fresh water lake. In 1917, there was a permanent inlet put in. At this time, it was more of a canal and boaters were charged to pass. In 1947, there was a land boom among the land surrounding the

Water and many houses were built. Singer Island was "born" at this time. Mr. Isiminger also explained the importance of seagrass in his line of work. He explained that if seagrass is destroyed by building it must be planted elsewhere.

The next stop of the day was at Geico Racing. While there, the class met Scott Begovich. He explained his personal stories about racing boats and some facts about the boats themselves. Mr. Begovich has been racing boats since 1995 and he is

currently the owner and throttleman of Geico Racing. He and his crew have won six world championships and have broken five world records. The team completes in about 12 races yearly. They have about 3 million dollars worth of boats with engines that cost around $135,000. These engines only last about 20 hours which is about 3 races worth.

The next part of the day was held at the Port of Palm Beach. The Port of Palm Beach has been around for 100 years, it stretches across 162 acres and moves

$4 billion dollars worth of cargo yearly. The Port of Palm Beach is the fourth busiest container port in Florida. It both imports and exports. One of its biggest exports is sugar. While at the port Van Kent a representative of Tropical Shipping spoke to the class. Tropical Shipping has about 50,000 containers and 12 boats. This business has been in Palm Beach County for 50 years. About 90% of goods come by sea and Tropical

Shipping makes it possible. In addition, while at the Port of Palm Beach the class took a bus tour and saw the enormous amount of sugar that was being prepared to be


The final stop of the day was at Rybovich. While there, the class met with Jason Sprague. He informed the class about Rybovich and what they offer to anyone who stays there.  Founded in 1931 by the Rybovich family. Then in 2004 it was bought by Wayne Huizenga Junior. The Palm Beach location was opened in 2007 and expanded in 2010. Rybovich services and repairs boats, the facility can hold about 60 yachts. Costing about $3 dollars a foot per day. In 2012, Rybovich got a floating dry dock, to help repair the larger ships. The floating dry dock can lift 1500 tons up to 250 feet in the air and is 200 feet long. Their first haul was last year. At the conclusion of the day, the bus returned to Phil Foster Park with the class much more knowledgeable about the marine industries.