This year’s ICOMIA Marinas Group (IMG) Regional Marina Conference, held in May at Puerto Calero Marina in Lanzarote, was well attended, with international consultants and national boating federation representatives sharing valuable advice on issues affecting the world’s boating industry.
The conference explored the growth of nautical tourism in the Canary Islands alongside design, global trends, the importance of customer service and control systems for maintaining quality services. Delegates included Canary Island marina and boatyard managers, cruising associations, and teachers and students from Lanzarote’s maritime college.
Presentations focused on the shift towards the leisure industry, with an emphasis on why marinas should seek integration within the community to ensure an accessible and attractive place to visit with a sufficient range of complimentary facilities and social events. With an eye on the future and changing demographics, IMG experts looked at how to adapt marinas to an older generation and work to stimulate access to sailing as a sport and enjoyable pleasure.
There was an overriding sense that, despite the growing costs of running marinas – with rising employment bills – more receptive legislation that governs all aspects of development makes this an industry that provides huge returns on the work invested which, in turn, ensures a generally high level of customer satisfaction.
Comments from delegates were tremendously positive with professional operators delighted with the quality of material provided by IMG members. Delegates called for more information on the structured and very successful training systems currently being run in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
On behalf of Calero Marinas, managing director José Juan Calero said: “It is a genuine privilege to be able to welcome so many industry leaders and we can’t help feeling really proud that they have chosen to base their event here in Puerto Calero.”
IMG chairman, Dr Roberto Perocchio, closed the event with the positive news that studies were already in place in EU member countries that could well prove beneficial for the industry as, in 2014, the European community had “issued a formal recommendation to all member states to create the best legislative and operational conditions to ensure the growth of coastal tourism.”
Perocchio also praised the conference venue. “The ICOMIA Marinas Group is impressed by the quality of the Puerto Calero Marina in Lanzarote, one of the best ever visited around the world. Running a marina conference with such comfortable facilities, within a successful waterfront and inside a very elegant conference room – and with excellent public attendance – has been a delight for ICOMIA,” he said.
Gold Coast manufacturer Superior won this year’s Best Marina Innovation for 2015 award from the Marina Industry Association (MIA), which held its Marina of the Year awards at the Marine15 Conference on 3-5 May at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Australia.
Superior’s “Waterscape” pontoon, the world’s first commercial and domestic adaptive floating system (AFS) was recently patented and launched in Australia. The product of a two-year collaboration between Superior CEO, John Hogan and designer, Alexander Lotersztain at Derlot Pty Ltd, Waterscape shines the spotlight on the “water appeal” of a home or venue and is set to inspire a diverse range of users including architects, home owners, prestige brands, superyachts and waterfront hotels.
“Waterscape is visually arresting and innovative in its versatility,” said Hogan. “It adds another dimension to waterfront living and entertaining and we see a myriad of applications for yacht clubs, marina precincts, luxury homes and hotels. Anywhere there is a body of still water, Waterscape will extend the usage and enjoyment of the on-water experience.”
As Hogan explained: “The design-led journey was influenced by direct customer input. Through that deep customer insight special items, such as the glass balustrade and the incorporated ladder, were created.”
Along with the Waterscape pontoon, Superior unveiled its Waterscape-branded range of rotomoulded furniture that is designed to complement the pontoon, but which can be used independently.
The next ICOMIA World Marinas Conference (WMC) will be held in November 2016 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the RAI Exhibition Centre immediately following METS.
The decision to change the venue from Rio de Janeiro was made further to concerns expressed by the host association ACOBAR that organising the event would prove difficult due to the new economic situation in Brazil.
WMC 2016 will be jointly hosted by Amsterdam RAI and the Dutch marine association HISWA. It will be the second time that a WMC event has been held in Amsterdam. The first was at a similar time of the year and was a success.
The ICOMIA Marinas Group will hold the first detailed planning session for WMC 2016 at its meeting in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, in May.
From 11 to 14 March, Cyclone Olwyn, a category three tropical cyclone bringing squalls of wind up to 195km/hour (120mph), hit Australia’s northwestern coast causing extensive damage.
Exmouth Marina was built by Poralu Marine and monitored by Engineered Water Systems (EWS), the Australian partner of the Rhône-Alpes-based company. It was hit with full force by Cyclone Olwyn in March.
According to Pascal Weber, managing director of EWS: “Fortunately, the winds were not as destructive as previously announced, but the storm surge was incredible. The marina did not suffer any damage.”
Poralu issued a press release in March to state that, despite this, none of the marina’s main structures, including the pontoons, suffered any damage.
St George Motor Boat Club (SGMBC) in Sydney, Australia has been officially recognised as a ‘Fish Friendly Marina’ by the Marina Industry Association (MIA) and is the first facility in Sydney’s southern region to receive the accreditation.
The club is now the 16th ‘Fish Friendly’ marina in Australia, participating in the information campaign and accreditation programme that was launched in 2013. The programme focuses on marina fish habits and was developed by the Department of Primary Industries in collaboration with the MIA and the New South Wales Boating Industry Association.
The initiative is attached to MIA’s International Clean Marinas Program and is available to marinas across the Asia Pacific region. To achieve the accreditation, marinas must adhere to additional fish friendly criteria and an audit is required. The initiative has received positive support from numerous government departments and authorities across Australia.
MIA executive officer, Colin Bransgrove, said: “Marinas can provide important habitats for fish and the ‘Fish Friendly Marinas’ programme has been developed to inform marina managers on how to maximise the benefits for fish and recognise those operators actively working to improve fish habitat.”
Two state-of-the-art lock gates have been successfully installed and tested at Milford Marina, making the vibrant harbour one of the most accessible locked tidal marinas in Britain.
The gates, which weigh 90 tonnes each, were installed as part of a £6 million project to speed up lock times and improve accessibility into and out of Milford Docks and Marina. They have been fitted one third of the way down the giant 120m lock that was originally commissioned 126 years ago.
The Dock Lock project is the single largest investment ever at Milford Marina and is one of the largest civil engineering projects of its type undertaken in the UK over the last two years. It is part of a plan to make the area a marine leisure hub for west Wales.
The project is part of Visit Wales' Coastal Tourism Project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, to encourage tourism along the Welsh coastline.
Building work took 18 months to complete, requiring thousands of tonnes of concrete and steel to be buried either side and on the bottom of the lock to create a sill and hangers capable of taking the pressure exerted by the lock gates and huge volumes of water.
Alaric Churchill, marina and docks manager, said that for leisure users either based in or wanting to visit Milford Marina, it would transform the experience of accessing the outstanding facilities of west Wales’ only 4 Gold Anchor accredited Marina.
“Boats can now come and go more often and more quickly. Now that there’s less waiting to get in, we want everyone to know we very much welcome visitors on a day out, or those wanting a perfect base for their boat from which to explore Pembrokeshire’s beautiful coastline.”
Chief executive of the Port of Milford Haven, Alec Don, added: “This has been a challenging but exciting project and we are delighted to finally announce its completion in readiness for this year’s summer season. This achievement also marks the end of the first phase of our £70 million regeneration scheme – the Milford Dock Master Plan, which is gaining momentum following its planning approval earlier this year. It is definitely an exciting time for the Port as our diversification strategy begins to pay off.”
New facilities were officially opened at Plymouth Yacht Haven marina on 3 April, the result of five months’ building work and a £400,000 investment at the Five Gold Anchor marina.
Timed for the start of the new boating season, the marina has installed new luxury showers, spacious washrooms and modern laundry facilities on-site.
Commenting on the launch, marina manager Laura Whinney said: “We are thrilled to be opening our beautiful new washrooms. This investment has transformed the berth holder facilities at this popular marina. As one of the south west’s Five Gold Anchor award-winning marinas, we are continually looking at ways to improve and update our marina and to ensure our customer service is of the very highest standard.”
Modelled on facilities at the Yacht Havens Group’s flagship site at Lymington, Plymouth's redevelopment includes hotel-quality luxuries including underfloor heating, large changing rooms, modern and eco-friendly features, plus a bath suite.
The marina offers 450 berths with water, electricity and free WiFi, excellent places to eat, a well-stocked chandlery, 24-hour diesel, 24-hour manned security and free car parking. Plymouth Yacht Haven also offers haul-out services up to 75 tons.
In a bid to take greater control of dredging at Brighton Marina, Premier Marinas has invested £800,000 in purchasing its own dredger, which is specifically designed for dredging below and between bridgeheads, pontoons and fingers.
Delivery of the dredger, which will be owned and operated by Premier Marinas, is set for the end of November and will allow Premier to undertake extra dredging works to complement its current annual dredging programme.
Furthermore, Premier has been granted a 10-year licence by the Marine Management Organisation, which allows dredged material to be pumped directly to the dispersal site, where it is introduced into the ecosystem.
This method, which has the full support of The Environment Agency and Natural England is usually a natural occurrence. However, Premier, together with the Agency, will monitor the results to ensure there is no adverse effect on the ecosystem.
Premier Marinas managing director, Peter Bradshaw, said: “Deploying our own dredger will enable us to carry out dredging more frequently in a way that is less disruptive to the day to day operations at the marina. Moreover, we hope it demonstrates our commitment to investing in our marinas and working in partnership with national and local governing bodies.”
Brighton Marina offers in-water berthing for over 1,200 boats. Over the past two years, Premier Marinas has invested over £1.5 million in upgrades at Brighton Marina including pontoon and finger replacement works, new electricity supplies to pontoons, a new lock pontoon and security improvements.