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2016 Jan Feb Marina World

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SETTING THE STANDARD FOR BOAT HANDLING EQUIPMENT Versatile hydraulic trailers Hydraulically expanding width frame Full frame lift for easy lift and set Complete suite of options available Factory pricing on all equipment sales MW2016JanFeb.indd 44 05/01/2016 09:36:01

PLANNING & DESIGN More and more regulations are issued every year, mostly in order to control things but also often as a result of political correctness. The latter are often the costly ones. Noise control - from gates screeching through to air conditioning equipment humming - and control of light pollution, were non-existent issues in the 1980s but are part of environmental control compliance today. All this, of course, varies depending on country, area and local yachting tradition. Many authorities see new marinas as a King Midas residence and impose burdens in fees, leases and, sometimes what are euphemistically called personal incentives, that are too heavy. Others are afraid to loose control and shy away from involving outside consultants for advice, and a few think they can do the job alone and make all the profit. You do not have to be a genius to build a breakwater and drop in a few pontoons, do you? Well, answer this after your first three seasons... The developer marina We have dealt with legal/social/ political preparations. The next step is the boat mix. Small or big? How many of each? The easy years when a marina would be built and wait to achieve maximum occupancy (which not necessarily means full capacity) in a reasonable period of time are gone. Again, subjects such as place, demographics, weather, geography, history and access, to name a few, play an important role in creating the character of a marina, for which the facility will be judged by future clients. Is it a destination people want to visit Security should be adequate but not intrusive. (transient clients)? Is it a spot where clients want to leave boats during the low season (winterising clients)? Is it a fancy marina where people want to see and be seen? Lately, the tendency is to build or refurbish marinas for bigger yachts (20m and longer). While a 15m yacht was a custom made craft in the '60s, 40m yachts are built today in production series. It is tempting to have bigger berths occupied by yachts that deliver more money than small ones, but it is not only berth size that makes a captain choose a marina. Nor is it available power. Big berths are good, but when one of these is unoccupied, the percentage of the marina occupancy falls drastically. When you have smaller berths, fluctuations are easier to deal with. The cost of extra manoeuvring space, power supply, rubbish collection and car park space for bigger yachts must be well assessed before deciding on the boat mix. The ratio for investment/ maintenance/income could be very disappointing. Award-winning Marina di Rodi Garganico on the Adriatic is a bustling communityfocused destination with a wide variety of berths and a marina village favoured by locals and visitors. The user’s marina A lack of security - including access control - car parking close to the yacht, available parking for suppliers, and internet quality are pet hates and will make any captain or yacht user look elsewhere for a berth. Personnel are also vitally important. A successful marina runs a constant training programme. Such training is not only about maritime issues but also about the business of hospitality. Dockhands are the first people a boater meets upon arrival. A friendly attitude is necessary but this is far from being enough. Guests must feel welcomed, pampered, safe and comfortable. A dockhand should be able to read the client’s mind and react to minimal indications, like offering to take rubbish to the collection point if he sees the client stepping ashore with it. All marina personnel must master the art of saying “no” by giving it a positive twist: “I will find out, and if we do not have it I will look for an alternative”. These are attitudes that will set the marina apart from others and secure customer loyalty. He won’t want to be anywhere else. All this creates a community, a group of people enjoying the water, the same sport and the great treatment the marina gives them. And these subjective issues must be backed up by a marina design based on operational needs and customer comfort. A successful marina by coincidence is something of the past. Oscar Siches CMM is a marina consultant and partner/manager of two marinas in Mallorca, Spain. He can be contacted on email: - January/February 2016 45 MW2016JanFeb.indd 45 05/01/2016 09:36:04

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