Sandestin's Baytowne Marina prepares for fleet to arrive

MIRAMAR BEACH, FL (WJHG Sandestin's Baytowne Marina is looking ahead to a very big week. It is getting set to host the 16th Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic.

Things there relatively calm heading into this weekend, but the energy getting set to really ramp up over the weekend and into next week.

88 boats have already signed up for the 2018 E.C.B.C and if that number holds, the event will likely top the $2,000,000 mark in prize money.

As you might guess, preparing to host that many big time fishing yachts and handle the needs of those crews, no easy task!

And that task falls mainly on the shoulders of Dockmaster Dick Flanery.

"The trick to fitting them into the marina" Flanery tells us "is basically understanding the length of the boats, the beam on the boats, and what the power requirements are. So it's kind of a puzzle and you have to make sure you have everything matched up. You've got everything from a 35 foot Everglades to a 105 foot fishing boats in this tournament. And they take power from 30 amps to a couple hundred amps."

Flanery says they've been working on the plans for this event for six months, plugging in all the logistics of the tournament. Among the new aspects for this year's event, they are adding some temporary pilings to accommodate more boats, bigger boats.

Registration for the E.C.B.C. is Wednesday, followed by a Captain's Party. The fleet departs Thursday, with weigh-ins set for Friday between 4-9 p.m. and 4-10 p.m. Saturday.