The island completed the step from Caribbean yachting center to one of the world's leading super yacht destinations. St. Maarten is home port to several yachts over 300 feet and is in the same league as Ft. Lauderdale and Monaco.
The marine service industry is highly developed. Boat chandleries such as Island Waterworld and Budget Marine are offering a product range as wide as any major US boating accessories retail chain - but often for better prices. Again, the duty free status of the island shines. Especially outboard engines and dinghies can be bought in St. Maarten for a fraction of stateside prices.
There is a large number of boat yards, both on the Dutch and the French side of the island. Most yards are located on the shore of the calm Simpson Bay Lagoon, with the exception of Bobby's Marina in Philipsburg.
Several new marinas have been constructed to satisfy the growing need for dockage.
The new Yacht Club Isle de Sol on the Dutch side specializes in megayachts. Since the Simpson Bay bridge has been widened, vessels of over 300 length have entered the lagoon to find their berth at the new facility.
The Portofino Marina is marketed through Isle de Sol and takes smaller yachts.
Simpson Bay Marina is still top of the list for service and convenience, being in easy walking distance to restaurants, bars, nightclubs and two megaplex movie centers.
Port de Plaisance takes boat of all sizes and is another popular stop for the megayacht crowd.
La Palapa Marina offers stern-to docking for large yachts and is popular for its convenient location.
Porto Cupecoy - an Orient Express development - is the latest addition to the marina scene with dockage amongst a luxury condominium project on the Western edge of the island's Dutch side.
There are several other, private marinas with limited dockage, the most charming one being Turtle Pier.
On the French side, Marina Fort Louis is an important addition, as this large marina is outside the Lagoon and yachts do not have to negotiate one of the draw bridges. There is also the established Marina Port Royal in the center of Marigot, the Captain Oliver's at Oyster Pond and the marina at Anse Marcel.