Front Street Shipyard received the 2013 Boatyard of the Year Award, which is given by the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association in recognition of their work as a service and repair facility.

The award was presented during a three-day conference that ran from Jan. 16 to 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with shipyard facilities from all around the country in attendance. Front Street Shipyard President J.B. Turner said the award is the most significant one given by the association each year, and that it’s only awarded to one facility.

The American Boatbuilders and Repairers Association represents more than 250 boatyards, repairers and associated industries in the United States, according to its website.

“It was a big deal to be named best shipyard of the year when we’re only in our second year of operation,” Turner said.

Turner said the association told him they had notified Front Street Shipyard about the award prior to the conference, but it wasn’t until he saw the shipyard named in the conference program that he realized the company won.

“It’s a very nice award to be able to receive,” he said.

According to the American Boatbuilders and Repairers Association, the Boatyard of the Year Award is given to a service or repair facility that “demonstrates excellence in all facets of their company.” Specifically, a facility is assessed based on the quality of its customer service, customer feedback, safety measures for employees and customers, how it utilizes innovative technology and other categories.

In a statement, American Boatbuilders and Repairers Association President Pam Lendzion praised Front Street Shipyard in Belfast.

“They took a ramshackle collection of buildings, located on a tired waterfront that was begging for a new lease on life and turned it — seemingly overnight — into a modern, state of the art facility that has captured the hearts of those who work there, those who do business there and those who call the small Maine town of Belfast home,” Lendzion said in a statement.

Front Street Shipyard joins the ranks of boatyard facilities in North Carolina, Rhode Island and California to receive the award, according to the American Boatbuilders and Repairers Association.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at