Building post-pandemic momentum
As the world continues to recover from COVID-19, marina developers completed fewer megaprojects, with marina operators focusing on strengthening their existing facilities. Nevertheless, notable improvements were made across the globe and, as ever, the industry has ambitious plans for the future. Charlotte Niemiec picks out the highlights from 2022.In northern Europe, Estonia made plans to build a marina and associated facilities using the existing deep water port on the peninsula of Haapsalu, and in Denmark, Roskilde Havn (Harbour), which sits around 65km (40mi) west of Copenhagen, installed a 240m (787ft) SF Marina floating concrete dock, providing wave dampening protection and offering mooring for over 40 vessels.
Premier Marinas commenced an ambitious £75 million regeneration of Noss on Dart Marina in the west of England and now nears completion of phase one (see p.23). Plans were also approved for a multi-million regeneration of Premier Marinas’ Gosport Marina.
Windermere Marina commissioned Marina Projects for a £4 million redevelopment to the existing 300-berth marina on Lake Windermere, the largest lake in England. The new design offers 335 berths at a Walcon Marine floating pontoon system for vessels up to 15m (49ft). The project is being delivered across two autumn and winter phases and is scheduled for completion in spring 2023.
Caol Regeneration Company (CRC) signed a £1 million contract with the Gael Force Group to construct the third and final phase of its £3.5 million project in Corpach, a village north of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. Gael Force will deliver a 40-berth marina with extra space for small boats, supplying floating breakwaters, pontoons and an all-ability access walkway.
Walcon Marine also completed a comprehensive like-for-like rebuild of St Helier Marina in Jersey, Channel Islands. The project retains around 250 berths across seven piers for boats up to 25m (82ft) in length.
In France, a 30-year concession was signed by Island Global Yachting (IGY) and French construction group Fayat with the City of Cannes, to operate, enhance and modernise the 727-berth Old Port (Vieux Port) of Cannes while, in Marseilles, Poralu Marine made ready to supply and install floating docks for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games at Roucas-Blanc Marina. It will build 405m (1,330ft) of floating docks (including 15 footbridges) and 18m (59ft) of overhanging docks (attached to the quay).
In Belgium, the City of Antoing is at planning/study phase for potential redevelopment of the Péronnes Yacht Club Marina – Marina du Grand-Large – to offer expanded facilities and better connection with the nearby nature and sport resort. It is envisaged that 1,270m² (13,700ft²) of pontoon space will be added at a curved pier and promenade, along with a reception building to house the yacht club and general administration offices.
Developments in southern Europe, meanwhile, continued apace. In Greece, a tender process was launched for a megayacht marina in Corfu. The minimum 35-year concession covers the right to build, operate, manage and maintain a marina serving around 98 yachts of up to 140m (460ft) in length. Elsewhere in the country, Marina Porto Heli, a new marina located southwest of Athens in the islands of the Saronic Gulf, began welcoming yachts up to 55m (180ft). Built within a naturally sheltered bay, it has capacity for 149 vessels.
In Spain, a 50-year concession was granted to develop and operate Málaga San Andres Marina on the southern Mediterranean coast. Upon completion in 2024, the marina will comprise around 600 berths for vessels of all sizes up to luxury length of 60m (196ft). The €60 million project aims to make the new marina a reference point in the Mediterranean.
New bespoke superyacht berthing facilities also neared completion at Marina Bay and Ocean Village in Gibraltar. The berths are arranged around the perimeter of the innovative, award-winning Marina Club. The existing 270-berth marina was completely redesigned and rebuilt using a mixture of fixed and floating Marinetek pontoons. The new berths were completed by year end and will be open for business at the start of the 2023 season.
D-Marin acquired its first marina in Italy – the 1,200 berth Marina Punta del Faro Resort in the region of Friuli Venezia – expanding its portfolio to 16 marinas.
In Montenegro, Marina Projects was appointed to manage the redevelopment of the fuel dock at Porto Montenegro superyacht marina in Tivat. The existing fuel berth, which supplies around 20 million litres (4.4 million gallons) of fuel each year, will be upgraded. The project has a capital value of around €4.5 million and the new facilities are expected to open for the new season in March 2023.
A first phase of redevelopment completed on Marina Polesana in Pula, northern Croatia, which is one of the largest nautical tourism projects on the Adriatic, covering over 10ha (25 acres) of land and water area. Current facilities include a 262-berth floating marina and 42 dry berths. The second phase plans for an additional 900 dry berths and 150 wet berths.
Finally, in Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades inaugurated Larnaca Marina. The marina and port project, with a budget of €1.2 billion, will be the largest ever infrastructure investment on the island, aiming to create a 600-berth marina for vessels up to 115m (377ft) in length. The first phase of the project will take around five years.
Acquisitions dominate in the Americas
In the USA, Centerbridge Partners, owner of Suntex Marinas, purchased Westrec Marinas for around $400 million, creating the second largest marina group in the country after Safe Harbor Marinas. Among Suntex’s other acquisitions were 332-slip Sunset Harbour on Long Island, New York; Lynn Creek Marina on Joe Pool Lake in Grande Prairie, Texas; Garrison Bight Marina – the only drystack operation on Key West in the Florida Keys; and Seaside Boatyard & Marina in Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, California.
MarineMax, the world’s largest recreational boat retailer, entered into a definitive agreement to buy Island Global Yachting (IGY Marinas) for a minimum US$480 million.
Meanwhile, Allied Strategic Partners acquired two marinas on West Point Lake on the border of Georgia and Alabama, while Port 32 Marinas purchased The Marina at Ortega Landing in Jacksonville, Florida. Comprising 192 wet slips for boats of 30-130ft (9-40m) in a protected cove, the marina has been renamed Port 32 Jacksonville.
US-based Legendary Marina & Yacht Club progressed plans for a new dry storage centre in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Phase one was set to break ground in March and it was expected to complete in ten months. It will comprise two fully-enclosed drystacks, wet slips in a marina basin, car parking, ships store and a yacht club. The stacks will accommodate vessels up to 50ft (15m) long and wet slips cater for boats up to 60ft (18m). Phase two will include a restaurant.
The town of Bristol on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island completed a large-scale harbour expansion project, with an SF Marina floating concrete breakwater and pontoon system at the centre.
Windward Marina Group undertook a radical lifts and docks renovation programme at its Jacksonville Beach Marina on the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida. The marina has over 180 wet slips and drystack for 300 boats. It was the first year of operation since Palm Beach Marina – the only public marina located on the 18-mile (29km) long barrier island between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean – reopened to the public in November 2021 after a $40 million rebuild. The marina now comprises 84 slips ranging from 60-294ft (18-90m) divided between three docks.
Construction began at Dana Point Harbor in Dana Point, California. Bellingham Marine is rebuilding it in phases over the next five years, with an extra two phases in the outer basin.
Hagadone Marine Group launched Idaho’s first drystack, at the north end of Lake Coeur d’Alene, a natural dam-controlled lake. The $15 million project is a 60ft (18m) high structure and offers 47,700ft² (4,430m²) of indoor boat storage on a five-level racking system. It can rack around 360 single engine boats of 18-30ft (5.5-9m).
In the Caribbean, plans to develop Porto Habacoa, a luxury superyacht-focused marina on the southern tip of the island of Abaco in the Bahamas, moved into the final design stage, with a grand opening anticipated in 2026. When complete, the marina will offer 136 berths on floating pontoons to accommodate boats ranging in size from 45-220m (148-722ft). Each berth will be configured to handle more than one boat, allowing the marina to accommodate either 372 regular-sized boats or 136 superyachts in total, or a mixture of the two.
In Costa Rica, Marina Flamingo – a new 92-slip facility with an associated marina village – opened in Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste on the northern Pacific coast. Designed and built by Spanish company Ronautica Marinas, the pontoon system can accommodate vessels up to 40m (125ft).
More plans in the Middle East
Several new marina and ferry station developments broke ground in Dubai. Scheduled for completion by the fourth quarter of the year, they include a mix of marina facilities and ferry terminals to be developed at Rabdan, Al Saadiyat Island and Al Aliah Island. An additional marina and ferry station project will be developed at Jebel Dhanna, with completion anticipated in the third quarter of 2023. The facilities will offer a range of services and capabilities, including wet and dry berths, wider slipways capable of simultaneous vessel launch and retrieval, upgraded docking facilities and a suite of new food and beverage and retail spaces. The new projects are expected to enhance the emirate’s marine infrastructure and raise the number of marina berths by 246.
A new $40 million, 66-berth marina is also planned for Marfa Al Jubail, with completion set for mid-2023. The marina is being built as part of the grand Marine District, which will offer luxurious residential space, a yacht club complex, and boardwalk containing restaurants and outdoor cafés.
To better service superyachts in the region, Al Seer Marine, MB92 and P&O Marinas agreed to jointly develop the first dedicated superyacht refit and repair facility in the UAE. The yard will be located in Dubai and is scheduled for completion in 2026. Services will be available in 2023 to kick off a strategic plan.
A trio of developers announced they would develop a resort on the man-made Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. The plans include a hotel, shopping mall, spa and marina.
In Saudi Arabia, plans for the Jeddah Central Project progressed with a development contract awarded. The project spans a land area of 570ha (1,410 acres) overlooking the Red Sea. Terms of the contract include demolition of around 400 existing buildings and the creation of a world-class marina with over 2.5km (1.5mi) of fixed and floating berths.
Amaala, the ultra-luxury development located along Saudi Arabia’s north-western coast, revealed an iconic HKS design for its Triple Bay Yacht Club. The building complements a 10ha (25 acre) basin hosting a 120-berth marina for yachts up to 130m (430ft) in length. Deepwater superyacht berths, fuel dock and personalised service ensure Triple Bay’s future rating as a destination for visiting superyachts, international regattas and domestic cruising.
Superyacht facilities gather pace in Australia
In Queensland, Australia, Southport Yacht Club installed the country’s largest superyacht berth (see p.55). Measuring 163m (535ft) long – berthing edge of 153m (502ft) – and 4.6m (15ft) wide, it was engineered and designed by Superior Jetties to welcome and accommodate some of the world’s largest vessels. The facility includes a statement entrance with security gate, fencing, signage, drop off area and an adjacent service lane inclusive of landside refuelling capabilities and crane access for heavy lifts when required. With over 60 superyachts expected to visit the region for the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane, the demand for such facilities will continue to grow.
Waterfront developer Pelican Waters also broke ground on a 126-berth marina with 160 drystack spaces on Queensland’s Caloundra Coast. The developer expected to complete construction of both the marina and the boatyard by the end of the year.
In Western Australia, a AU$27 million proposal is set to transform the historic Nedlands Bath site on the Swan River into an iconic tourist attraction. The proposal includes a two-storey boutique hotel, function centre, restaurant, café, bar, public amenities and a protected marina.
At the end of the year, construction was also nearly complete on the first stage of the Ocean Reef Marina development in Joodalup, Perth. Both the new breakwaters were built at full height and the northern breakwater had reached its final height. When the marina is complete, it will have 550 berths, a drystack for 200 boats, boat ramps and trailer parking.
Brisbane City Council gave approval for a $200 million expansion at Rivergate Marina & Shipyard, bringing Brisbane a major step closer to becoming the premier superyacht destination in the Asia Pacific region and giving the country a strategic location for the refit and maintenance of military and commercial vessels. Key elements of the expansion include a $35 million state-of-the art shiplift, capable of lifting vessels weighing up to 3,000 tonnes and of 90m (295ft) in length, new hardstand space, sheds, and berthing to service multiple large vessels at the same time. Upon completion, the expansion should generate an estimated 2,000 new jobs for marine and tourism sectors and inject close to $1 billion into the Queensland economy each year.
In Tasmania, work began on a 113-berth extension at Bellerive Yacht Club (BYC). The new berth mix allows for vessels of 10-20m (33-66ft) and the project also includes a two-sided 36m (118ft) long fuel dock.
Te Rahui, a proposed boat harbour at Whakatane on New Zealand’s North Island, will be the first Maori-owned marina and is planned in two phases. Stage one will include 60 berths for commercial vessels, such as fishing, aquaculture and commercial charter. Stage two will add berths for recreational users, a public boat ramp and further commercial premises. The marina was expected to start construction soon after the middle of the year and take around two years to complete. Permission was also granted to develop a project to build a boat harbour in Keepa Road in Whakatane. The consent is issued with a robust package of over 100 consent conditions. Subject to construction timelines, the first boats could move in early in 2025.
It was a significantly quieter year for Asian developments, but Thailand’s transport ministry announced it was considering a new luxury marina in Bang Saray, near Pattaya in the east of the country while, in South Korea, UN-Habitat, Busan Metropolitan City and blue tech company Oceanix unveiled the design of the world’s first prototype sustainable floating city.