The folks at Yank Marine in South Jersey are getting ready for a viewing party next week. Theirs is one of the shipyards featured in the National Geographic Channel's new series, “The Yard.” The series, which airs on Wednesday nights, features shipyards, large and small, from Wrangell, Alaska, to Tuckahoe, N.J., going about the business of keeping U.S. vessels afloat.
John Yank. National Geographic Channel photo.I asked Bette Jean Yank, who with her husband John own Yank Marine, how the production company found their yard in the first place.
"One of our customers was featured on another program about commercial fishing, so I guess that is how they heard of us," she said. "Then the production company approached us about taking part in a reality show about boatyards."
Bette said at first her husband and the rest of the team were reluctant to get involved.
"Nobody was too keen on the idea of having the cameras on them all day," she said, but eventually they decided that the exposure was a good thing so they went with it.
The cameramen arrived, a husband and wife team, and took hours and hours of video. They were not intrusive and became friendly with the Yanks. "We wound up having them over for dinner, they were really good people."
"What was most interesting to me was how they melded all that video into a story," Bette said. The Yanks were able to review the rough cuts before final editing and airing, and they were impressed.
The Yanks are hopeful that National Geographic picks up more seasons of The Yard as Yank Marine significantly expands its capacity with a new 600-ton Marine Travelift at their second yard on the Maurice River.
The show also features Diversified Marine in Oregon building a tractor tug, a sailboat salvage off Ocean City, N.J., by Shamrock Towing and a lot of bleeped out words when rain threatens to ruin a spray foam project at an Alaska yard.
This show looks like one that is tailor-made for WorkBoat readers.