Gibraltar superyacht berths near completion

New bespoke superyacht berthing facilities are nearing completion at Marina Bay and Ocean Village in Gibraltar. The berths are arranged around the perimeter of the innovative, award-winning Marina Club, which offers over 10,000m² (107,600ft²) of residential space.

CGI of the new superyacht berths surrounding the innovative Marina Club residences.

CGI of the new superyacht berths surrounding the innovative Marina Club residences.

Marina Club, a new development of 144 waterfront rental apartments that form the centrepiece of the development, has been constructed over water on mini piles and is accessed via a landscaped pier. The primary challenge for the designers of the superyacht berthing was to coordinate the berthing design within the overall scheme.
Marina Projects of the UK (see article p.55) designed some berths stern-to onto piled anchorages surrounding the Club and others stern-to on a new Marinetek floating superyacht pontoon. All have head mooring buoys. The next phase will be the provision of access to the Club spa decks and facilities.
“The building of top-class marina and superyacht facilities in Gibraltar has been a huge team effort and one that I am immensely proud to have been associated with,” said William Bowman, marina director of Ocean Village and Marina Bay Marinas. “This development represents a massive upgrade in all the marina facilities available. Gibraltar has her first fully serviced superyacht berths, and we look forward to welcoming vessels up to 90m [295ft] in length.”
The Marina Club  during its development phase.

The Marina Club during its development phase.

The need for the marina to remain open throughout the build period and continue to satisfy the requirements of the nearby Gibraltar Airport operators presented obstacles. A mini piling system used throughout the development was chosen to reduce noise and disruption to surrounding stake holders during the build.
Despite the impediments, the existing 270-berth marina has been completely redesigned and rebuilt using a mixture of fixed and floating Marinetek pontoons, selected for quality, long life and stability. The available water space has been used more efficiently, allowing for many more, longer and wider berths, better suited to modern yacht design. The Mediterranean moorings were replaced with modern finger pontoons.
The team of engineers had one unique and tricky problem to resolve: free passage for occasional maintenance to a floating hotel. This resulted in several design solutions being considered. With grouted piles being drilled, in some cases more than 8m (26ft) into the seabed rock, a simple pile extraction was ruled out. The adopted solution was to allow a section of the superyacht pontoon to be removable.
The pile structure designed to handle the mooring loads for the superyacht pontoon is supported by an underwater structure anchored to the seabed at either end. This means that the whole anchoring system for the superyacht pontoon, together with the pontoon it is supporting, can be raised and removed using the tide. In normal operational mode, this smart engineering remains hidden on the seabed.
Gregory Butcher, chairman of the developers, commented: “This whole project has been undertaken using our own teams of staff and engineers and our own marine civils equipment with a busy marina operating throughout. We are now ready for the next project in Gibraltar!”
The new berths are due to be completed by year end and open for business at the start of the 2023 season.


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