Meet our newest Dockmaster Natalie Howard!

“Natalie brings a level of class, professionalism and positivity to every task and challenge, and she has always been successful at accomplishing each one leaving a smile on everyone’s faces who has is fortunate enough to work with her.” said Todd Roberts, president of Fifth Avenue Landing and Marine Group Boat Works. “She has a way with owners and crew, and we couldn’t think of a more perfect fit.”

Howard will handle all operations at Fifth Avenue Landing including slip reservations, marketing and crew relations. Howard’s extensive experience as a chief stewardess on various high-profile superyachts gives her a unique perspective into the industry.

“I joined the yachting industry 11 years ago in Europe and have been lucky enough to work all the over the world and then apply my yachting experience to a land-based position,” said Howard. “All that experience will make the transition to running a marina smooth.”

In fact, her experience working directly for superyacht owners as chief stewardess and managing interior yacht crew are what led to the birth of The Good Stew program. The Good Stew facilitates yacht crew’s day-to day needs during a yard period while enhancing their overall stay in San Diego through networking and hosted events.

“We got asked by crew for local sources for common crew needs such as uniforms and cleaning products. Reasons varied from time zone differences from the West to East Coast to not wanting to deal with lengthy delivery times shipping one coast to the other. Thank goodness for the reason because it has been exciting to watch the success of the program and see it develop dramatically based on the response of the growing market of superyachts cruising to the Pacific,” explains Howard.

The $3 million complex Fifth Avenue Landing in the heart of downtown has been home to some of the world’s most admired luxury superyachts. The famed motor yachts Samaya, Sherpa, Cloud Break, Game Changer and sail yachts Ahimsa, Hetairos, Ganesha and Pumula are just a few of these multimillion-dollar yachts who have docked at this sought-after facility.

“I am really looking forward to building closer relationships and making new connections with yachts visiting San Diego while being a part of the development and evolution of the yachting industry as a whole on the West Coast.”

As dockmaster for Fifth Avenue Landing, Howard will continue to manage The Good Stew program and support the marketing and sales efforts for Marine Group Boat Works. She will work out of the marina office on 600 Convention Way, San Diego, CA 92101. “San Diego Gets Refit Surge After America’s Cup”

San Diego refit surge post America’s Cup


Within two weeks of the final America’s Cup race that declared the U.S. Team Oracle winners, California shipyards Marine Group and Fifth Ave Landing welcomed over a dozen superyachts from San Francisco.

“We’d like to credit it to years of consistently having yacht owners and reps seeing our capabilities for themselves, believing in Marine Group’s ability to perform complicated and technical work lists; and then approving of the high quality work that we’re able to produce,” said Todd Roberts, vice president of Marine Group Boat Works and Fifth Avenue Landing. “Instead, we’re thanking Larry Ellison and congratulating Team Oracle.”

Unlike the refits prior to 2012, the scopes of work at the Marine Group yard have gone beyond the basic haul and maintenance items. The 665-ton travelift facility saw a quadrupling the number of full paint jobs and a tripling of the number of superyacht haul outs over last year. Revenues attributed to full paint jobs will equate to over $4 million, according to the yard.

Marine Group Boat Works main yard in San Diego

“This year, scopes of work included several extensive structural modifications including hull extensions compared to the zero from last year,” said a representative of the yard. “Marine Group’s superyacht division is showing a revenue stream valuing over $20 million, more than double the value last year.

The average yard period last year was 45 days—average yard period this year is 90. There is much more builder involvement compared to years past. Marine Group hosted builders from Alloy Yachts, Pendennis Shipyard, Baltic Yachts and Delta where we assisted with warranty repairs on several newbuilds.”

Earlier this year, Marine Group acquired the former Knight & Carver refit facility one mile away from its headquarters. The new location has been the site of several refits of superyachts over 65 meters (+200 feet).

“Our sister company, Fifth Avene Landing—a superyacht marina in downtown San Diego—is and will be at capacity for at least the remainder of this year, according to the yard. Some of the vessels docked there have either just completed a yard period at Marine Group, are preparing for a yard period with Marine Group or have contracted Marine Group to perform soft work items remotely.

Last weekend, Marine Group and Fifth Ave Landing hosted a customer appreciation party at one of the rooftop nightclubs in downtown. “We had approximately 200 captains and crew from over 20 different superyachts attend this Superyacht Social Hour,” said Leah Yam, director of communications for Marine Group Boat Works and its sister companies. “Captains reunited with their former deckhands who turned officers from ten years ago. Stews reunited with other stews they met in Alaska. Engineers reunited with former chefs they worked with on other boats. It was neat to see so many of them all bond over San Diego.”

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Fifth Avenue Landing

Assembly Bill 2005 Encourages California Superyacht Tourism in preparation for America’s Cup

Two motoryachts cruising the Pacific Northwest make a stop at Fifth Avenue Landing

By Leah Yam

Legislation initiated by a coalition of San Diego superyacht businesses led by Vice President Todd Roberts of Marine Group Boat Works and championed by Assemblyman Martin Garrick was signed recently by Governor Jerry Brown.  Assembly Bill 2005 will improve commerce by easing bureaucratic regulations for large recreational vessels entering California ports.

“Our coastal cities and towns rely on tourism, and AB 2005 will make it much easier for California to roll out the welcome mat. With the America’s Cup already underway we can expect an influx of large private yachts visiting California. My legislation will ensure those recreational and tourism dollars will be spent here rather than ports in Mexico or neighboring states,” said Garrick.

Under current law, non-commercial vessels greater than 300 tons including superyachts have to comply with onerous and costly reporting requirements prior to entering California waters. Assembly Bill 2005 maintains the reporting requirement but allows vessels an expanded timeframe for compliance.

“As a small business owner, it’s refreshing to see action being taken on legislations that benefit the economy. It’s even more refreshing to see lawmakers work with businesses rather than creating barriers for their growth,” said Ann Kinner, owner of Seabreeze Books and Charts in San Diego. Kinner played a key role in introducing Roberts as a marine industry expert for Garrick to source.

Roberts, a California Maritime Academy graduate, oversees two superyacht facilities in San Diego – Marine Group Boat Works, a refit facility with the capacity to lift and service vessels up to 220 feet, and Fifth Avenue Landing, a boutique marina located downtown.  Roberts, among brokers, marina managers, yacht agents and other professionals in the San Diego yachting industry, worked together to take legislative action.

“Don’t underestimate the power of our political system.  This is a prime example of how important and effective it can be to know your local politicians and to write those letters of support,” said Roberts.

Roberts worked closely with Garrick to get the bill approved.  During Senate hearings, Roberts pointed out that incoming superyachts would bypass California often and stopped to resupply in Mexico, Washington or Oregon instead.  Yacht owners would rather avoid California than to deal with the state’s burdensome and time consuming reporting requirements.

“We see firsthand how a yacht impacts our local economy.  In the last three years, Marine Group Boat Works spent an average of $7 million on materials and services within a 15 mile radius of our facility, so you can see how port visits for fuel, food, supplies, services, accommodations and repairs can easily translate to millions of dollars,” said Roberts. “For a yacht owner to be deterred by state regulations is detrimental to our economy.”


Sysco makes a truckload delivery at Marine Group Boat Works to a superyacht getting ready for a big trip to Panama

According to an economic impact study conducted in 2002 for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, a trade group based in Fort Lauderdale, and the Broward Alliance, a public/private economic development organization, for every $1 spent on yacht repairs, another $7 goes into the local economy, as owners and crews seek hotel rooms, restaurants, shopping and entertainment during the repair process, which can take anywhere from a few days to more than a year, depending on the scale of the project. The revenue potential for local coffers is huge, as yacht owners can expect to spend at least 10 percent of the vessel’s purchase price in routine maintenance. For Florida’s Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward Counties, superyacht owners contributed more than $576 million to the local economy.


“I worked with various state agencies, boating enthusiasts and industry representatives for several months to craft a measure that would maintain environmental safeguards but create a more efficient and realistic reporting timeframe. I believe AB 2005 will greatly benefit our local economy and California as a whole,” said Garrick.

For more information on the bill please visit
About Assemblyman Martin Garrick
Assemblyman Martin Garrick serves the communities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Vista, and portions of San Diego, Escondido and Oceanside as the Assemblyman for the 74th District.

About Marine Group Boat Works
Marine Group Boat Works is a full-service boat and San Diego superyacht repair and refit facility with a second location in San Jose del Cabo.  The shipyard’s services include haul outs, repair, retrofit,  hull extensions, conversion and custom painting for boats, superyachts and government and commercial vessels up to 665 tons. Marine Group Boat Works has been featured on The History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” for having the largest Travelift in the nation.   Marine Group Boat Works has serviced superyachts including MR. TERRIBLE, RONIN, TAMSEN, ZENJI, EXUMA, ORION and BANDIDO; commercial vessels for companies including Foss Maritime, Evans Hotels and San Diego Harbor Excursion; and government vessels for agencies including the U.S. Navy, Port of San Diego, U.S. Coast Guard and San Diego Harbor Police.  For more information, visit or call +1(619) 427-6767 or email

Curator San Diego 2012 Hosts 1,200 Guests At 3-Day Luxury Event

Beautiful and sunny San Diego played host to the second CURATOR/ A Global Luxury Event April 19 – 21 at the Fifth Avenue Landing superyacht venue.

Hosted by Worth Media Group and presented by Chartis Private Client Group, this invitation-only event entertained the social and business elite from the greater San Diego area, Southern California and the Southwestern states. More than 1,000 guests enjoyed three exquisite evening receptions and an experience-filled daytime event.

Established in 2011, the San Diego event truly lived up to its mission (” Cruise It, Fly it, Drive It, Wear It, Live It”) with sponsors from the worlds of yachting, aviation, automotive and luxury lifestyle. The event kicked off with a private preview evening hosted by Scripps Health Foundation. (A second private reception and ocean conservancy presentation by the International Seakeepers Society took place on Saturday.)

Leading yacht charter company and In Association With sponsor, Fraser Yachts headed the “Cruise It” line up with a showcase of luxury yachts, and the sailing yacht world was represented by Morris Yachts. Northrop Johnson also showcased one of their yachts.

American Eurocopter displayed its VIP optioned EC135 helicopter and Bugatti Automobiles the stunning Veyron Grand Sport. The very latest Phantom Drophead Coupe was presented by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Aston Martin provided high thrill performance and discreet elegance with their full range of luxury cars and guests were treated to a rare showing of Aston’s new V12 Zagato model. Vintage cars including the 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III were showcased by event partner Blackhawk Collection.

Inside the luxury pavilion guests were treated to presentations from sponsors such as Martin Katz Jewelry, DeWitt Watches, together with presentations from sponsors Inspirato and Tempus Jets. A very popular stop for the ladies was the NewBeauty Lounge presented by Moroccanoil, which hosted a selection of premium beauty brands including CellCeuticals and Dermalogica.

Curator San Diego also treated guests to a diverse selection of culinary and cocktail experiences courtesy of Diageo brands (including Johnnie Walker Blue) with food samplings from leading San Diego restaurants such as AR Valentien, Searsucker, Nobu, Bice, Burlap and award winning Campine.

CURATOR/ San Diego is the first of four series of events in 2012. The next event will be held at Delamar Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, CT on Saturday, June 16th, followed by Ft Lauderdale, FL (October 24-25), and Dallas, TX (December 6).

Future CURATOR/ San Diego event dates will be: April 18-20, 2013 and April 10-12, 2014


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For information on Curator event and sponsorship opportunities, please contact

Timothy McGrane
Events & Business Development Director | Tel 1.818.706.3814 | Cell 1.602.316.6694

AJ Bove
Events & Business Development Manager | Tel 1.818.803.3424 | Cell 1.310.922.7996

Fifth Avenue Landing’s new look

Notice anything new? Like a friend who colored her hair and got a cut, Fifth Avenue Landing has a completely new look!  We’re so excited to announce the launch of our new superyacht marina website — it took us a couple years, but we finally created an interactive forum for us to share all our resources with you.  Since we opened in 2008, we struggled with the development of our concierge program – how could we be a better host to our guests?  The answer was simple, like dinner parties, guests should just enjoy an effortless stay.  Lucky for us, we throw a mean dinner party.  Here are the cool new features we’re serving up on this new website:

Resource Directory where we provide info for places – rental/hired cars, accommodations, spas, etc. – that extend special discounted rates to our guests.

– News and Events Blog and Calendar to keep you updated on the latest happenings at Fifth Avenue Landing and fun activities around San Diego.

– Recommendations and reviews from past and present owners and crew — and where you can share your own!

– An exclusive, password-protected Marina Login section where marina guests can find access codes, emergency contact information and other important information you’ll need during your stay with us.  (Contact the marina manager for the password!)

– Quick link to Fifth Avenue Landing’s facebook page

– An online form to make future reservations and/or request a rate quote


So be our guest, browse our website, explore our city and make Fifth Avenue Landing your home away from home…away from home.

Neil Wilson appointed at Fifth Avenue Landing

Neil Wilson was recently hired for the dual role of marina manager for Fifth Avenue Landing, LLC, a boutique megayacht marina located in downtown San Diego, and director of business development for Marine Group Boat Works, LLC, a superyacht repair facility located in Chula Vista, Calif. with a new location in Los Cabos.

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San Diego increasingly popular for super-yachts

SAN DIEGO — Fifth Avenue Landing, San Diego’s luxurious new downtown docking facility for super-yachts up to 300 feet long, is just the latest development in the city’s growing super-yacht industry, according to a report

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The Best of the West

These large watercraft have a growing presence throughout the waters from the Pacific side of Costa Rica all the way up the coast to British Columbia and beyond. Demand from Silicon Valley moguls, business owners, and athletes has been the engine driving the yachting industry forward, particularly during the last 10 to 15 years.

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