Mega yachts are big business for local company - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mega yachts are big business for local company

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Business is booming in the mega yacht industry and that's great news for one local company.

In the last 10 years, the number of these luxury ships has gone from in the hundreds to the thousands worldwide.

The amenities are amazing.  

"This has a custom built jacuzzi, which sits right in front of the heli pad," Todd Roberts said.  

And the detail is down to a T.

"If you look over here there's genuine fossil in the stone countertops," Roberts said. 

They are features that have made this mega yacht, a match made in heaven for the owner of the Leight Star -- Howard Leight. 

"You fall in love with your yacht for sure. Every room is hand selected...it's just been a love affair," Leight said.

But this isn't just a story about the elite, it's about the economy. 

"This is a wonderful example of how mega yachting can have an impact on a community," Roberts said. 

Todd Roberts would know, he's the president of Marine Group Boat Works -- a San Diego company that gave the 160-foot mega yacht a face lift. He says lately business has been booming. 

"Ten years ago there were less than 1000 yachts over 100-feet. Today, there's well in excess of 4,000 yachts over 150-feet," Roberts said. 

His group specializes in renovating mega yachts, something that requires a crew of a couple dozen. And it's not just giving a boat a new paint job. 

"It can be lengthening the boat, new decking, all interior furnishings...just about anything a typical refit on a super yacht is in the millions of dollars," Roberts said. 

And get this, Roberts says for every dollar spent in a shipyard, seven are spent in the community. 

"They're buying everything from food and supplies, to thousands of gallons of fuel, florists supplies, fine wines...all or our local businesses get a part of that action and it's been a terrific opportunities for the communities that welcome and support super yachting," he said. 

Roberts doesn't see the yacht boom slowing down. In fact, he sees it growing past the 160-foot one he showed us Saturday. 

"This year's order book world wide has in excess of two yachts over 200-feet on order throughout the world," Roberts said. 

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