Despite the fact that the number of megayachts worldwide has more than doubled over the last decade, there remains a global shortage of berths for yachts that are 100 feet (30 meters) or more in length. This lack of “parking space” for luxury megayachts was on full display last summer after a Saudi prince docked his 265 foot (81 meter yacht in the last available slip at Millionaire’s Quay in Cap d’Antibes and forced Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich to keep his 533 foot (162 meter) $1.2 billion Eclipse offshore. This begs the question: Why have a megayacht at all if you won’t be able to conveniently moor it at a marina?
However and as Carol M. Bareuther recently noted in Yacht Essentials, the big international marina players are beginning to address this situation. Just some of the important megayacht marina trends mentioned by Carol included the following:
- Megayacht Marina Location. Megayacht marinas are being built all over the world where calm waters can be found. And while this may seem like common sense, Carol quoted a Marina operator as saying that customers have told him they simply will not dock at certain marinas in order to avoid rocking all night at the dock. Moreover, megayachts need enough room to manoeuvre and hence, megayacht marinas need to have (at a minimum) 1.5 times maximum LOA fairways.
- Megayacht Marina Design. Carol commented that important megayacht marina design trends include increased utilization of floating dock components and the provision of adequate and variable power as the power requirements of yachts can vary considerably. Other megayacht marina design trends include fast and efficient in-slip fuelling plus having a dock wide enough so that vehicles can be driven right up to the boat for ease of provisioning and passenger access.
- Megayacht Marina Facilities & Amenities. Onshore facilities for megayacht crews are now an important consideration along with access to local accommodations and good restaurants plus access to ample parking facilities for both guests and for provisioning purposes. Carol also noted that security is increasing a consideration but the trick is to create a megayacht marina facility that still allows for easy customer and guest access without the look and feel of a prison.
- Megayacht Marina Technology. Finally, technology is an increasingly an important megayacht marina design consideration. For example: Given that a megayacht can easily have a crew of 20+, megayacht marinas must have adequate wireless Internet bandwidth to ensure that they can handle every crew member (plus passengers) jumping on Skype at the same time. However, Carol also noted that marinas typically have difficulty providing both high speed and uninterrupted Wi-Fi thanks to high levels of interference plus the overuse of existing frequencies but WiMAX 4G does offer a solution to these problems.
Carol ended her article by predicting that green technology which addresses energy efficiency, waste reduction, the use of local or regional products/materials and better environmental stewardship will increasingly play important roles in the construction and operation of megayacht marinas.