Higgins Yacht Yard in St. Michaels is under new ownership. Jon Clarke, an Eastern Shore native with a background in marine services and yacht design, took over ownership of the full-service boat yard in September from longtime owner Tad duPont.
Clarke graduated from The Landing School in Arundel, Maine and Southhampton Solent University in Southhampton, England, in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in yacht and powercraft design. He returned to the Eastern Shore following graduation and formed the yacht design company Thermocline Yachts. He also served as a contractor for Composite Yacht in Trappe.
“Jon, being in his mid-20s, has a whole new energy and a whole new way of thinking about things,” said duPont, who owned and operated Higgins Yacht Yard for the past 38 years. “He’s much more diversified in fiber glass and composite and he’s got this great ability to adapt to technological changes.”
Under Clarke’s ownership, Higgins Yacht Yard will continue to offer the same slip rental and marine services it’s offered for more than 50 years, including transient docking, winter storage, haul outs, power washing, bottom painting, fiber glass repair, varnishing and rigging, among others. Clarke plans to expand the boat yard’s service to include outboard and mechanical work and eventually offer yacht design services.
“The goal is to expand our design capacity to bring some of my degree to the yacht yard,” Clarke said. “I have a passion for boats, being around boats, and designing boats.”
Clarke currently resides in St. Michaels, where he enjoys racing the family’s log canoe Magic during the summer season. Higgins Yacht Yard has been the hub of log canoe racing in the Miles River for more than 65 years. Unique to this area, log canoe racing preserves the heritage of these historical vessels that are handed down from generation to generation.
Higgins Yacht Yard is located at 203 Carpenter St. in St. Michaels. For more information, visit higginsyachtyard.com or call 410-745-9303.