TL; DR: Maximo Boat Yard in St. Petersburg is the absolute best, and we wouldn’t have been able to get this far without them. Call them up when you need help or boat maintenance on the Gulf side of Florida.
We lucked into Maximo Boat Yard this time. Charlie had a few dealings with them in the past, but he worked in another local yard back when he was a yacht rigger, so he always ended up on the other side of St. Pete when he needed to haul. I had never even heard of the place. Right now, though, as I’m sitting in the Compass, bobbing around in the same slip where we first found her over a year and a half ago, I can’t imagine life without them.
I refer to the yard as “them,” and that’s for a reason. This may seem overly sentimental, but the people make this place. Our boat spent a year and three months taking of valuable space in the yard, and we never heard an unkind word about her. Our presence was always met with a smile and a kind word. We were never treated as if we were in the way, or like we were a bother. No one ever made us feel like we’d gotten in over our heads, even though it was apparent that we’d gotten into something that was well over our budget. There were months that we were at the boat every single day, and each one of those days we were made to feel like we belonged in the yard just as much as anyone wearing the Maximo Boat Yard uniform.
I’m sure it’s obvious, but Charlie and I were not looking for a boat when we found the Compass. We had a great little 25′ racing boat we were rehabbing, and we were happily living the simple life. Of course, the dream was that we would buy a cruising boat in five or ten years once the fancy education paid off and we were somewhat established. Though Charlie had never seen a Compass 47 in real life, he’d studied them online, and the model was on his short list of dream boats. I had only seen them in Yacht World listings that Charlie would send me, and since I’d never seen one in person, they didn’t stick with me. When I said before that we were over our budget, that may lead to the misconception that we were actually working with some sort of budget. We didn’t have enough money to actually have any sort of monthly or weekly plan for it. Someone told us that we could own a dream boat for $5,000, though, and we couldn’t pass that up. We knew we could put in the work, and time wasn’t the biggest factor since we hadn’t planned on being able to start in on a cruising boat for quite a few years anyway. If we sold the racing boat and cut back on, well, everything, we could afford dockage. What we really needed was a yard that would work with us, full of people that understood what we were doing. That’s where Maximo saved us.
Do-it-yourself yards in Florida, let alone the Tampa Bay area, are virtually non-existent, and Maximo isn’t even really a DIY yard. What Maximo is is a flexible yard, filled with people who understand the way a project can evolve. It’s also not a matter of what we were charged, since we would have paid at any yard, but a matter of how we were treated. Rob, Kent, and the rest of the team at Maximo worked with us to ensure the timing was right for every project. They sanded the boat but didn’t paint our bottom until we’d had time to thoroughly dry, inspect and repair the rudder, keel and saildrive hole (still can’t find better name for it; sue me). They took delivery of and stored our brand new Beta Marine engine. They never once batted an eye at a 5′ tall, 100lb woman calling (half of) the shots on a sailboat project. They were curious about our progress, involved in finding solutions to our never ending list of problems, and patient while we made decisions. The guys who spend their days blocking up boats, sanding and painting were just as willing to work with us as management, and the contractors the yard works with are the best in the area. We know. We’ve been here a very long time.
I don’t know the people who own Maximo Boat Yard, and I’m certain I’m not the person who should speak for them. Rob is a fantastic gentleman, and he will be able to take care of your needs. If you need a customer review, though, and the post above is not enough, hit the “contact” tab above and drop me a line.
Maximo is located on the east side of southern St. Petersburg, Florida off of Boca Ciega Bay, just north of Tierra Verde. Head east up the Maximo channel from the east side of Boca Ciega Bay until you see the fuel docks.
I can say this for certain: If not for Maximo, we would not moving forward with the Compass project today.
3701 50th Ave S
Saint Petersburg, Fl, 33711
Phone: (727) 826-0908