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2017 July August Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

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marina manager at Kakumäe Marina. Ilves, in addition to his work developing Estonia’s new flagship marina (see Marina World January/February 2017), is completely dedicated to promoting watersports and works enthusiastically with the Estonian Yachting Union, with an aim to boost membership to 10,000 in ten years. “At the end of April this year we held the 2 nd Estonian Sailing Congress and had 200 delegates,” he says. The Congress and the Union share an initiative to talk to local government to promote boating and stress the financial benefits that boating spend brings to the country. The Union has also gained government support for a travelling sailing school called ‘Friends of the Sea’. This brings canoes, paddleboards, dinghies etc., for children to try out and runs courses on safety, kayak training etc., including evening courses for all ages. The cost is either minimal or free. “We are now in our second year and we hope to visit six or seven locations every year. In our first year we had 900 participants,” Ilves confirms. “We have government sponsorship for three years and then will need to find a new sponsor.” Government investment Sixteen of the ‘guest marinas’ in Estonia come under the SL Marinas umbrella, a trademark of state-owned company Saarte Liinid Ltd. SL Marinas was formed out of a post-Soviet government decision in 2013 to boost tourism by building a marina at every ferry port. The company also runs all the commercial aspects of every port and harbour site. The marinas vary in size, from a single pontoon to 70 Old City Marina With deep water and 110 berths, Old City Marina is perfect for anyone wanting to stay right in the centre of Tallinn. Owned and operated by the Port of Tallinn, the marina offers smart amenities and secure berths for vessels up to 50m (164ft) but, as it is in the midst of a busy port, patience is required when entering or leaving the marina. A mix of mooring options is offered – at fixed quays and floating pontoons. Top Marine completed the 119-berth floating pontoons in 2011 using its Heavy Duty concrete pontoons and mooring fingers. Old City is ripe for redevelopment and a master plan has been drawn up to make the best of its 54ha (133.4acre) space and better connect the harbour with the historic city. or so berths but most have access to good shoreside facilities including showers, laundry, sauna, free WiFi etc. Aside from two small guest mooring sites on Lake Peipus, the SL network is concentrated on the east coast of Saaremaa, in the Gulf of Riga region, West Estonia and at ferry points at Naissaare in the Gulf of Finland and Sõru on Hiiumaa. “We also have one new marina near Kihelkonna on the west coast of Saaremaa to add to the portfolio and have bought a private harbour on the island of Vilsandi [off the west coast of Saaremaa] as a ferry service has to be established,” confirms Meelis Saarlaid, who is harbourmaster for 12 of the company’s 16 marinas. Obviously, Saarlaid travels extensively between the marina sites but meets Koguva Harbour Situated on the northern coast of the island of Saaremaa, Koguva is the best preserved nineteenth century village in Estonia, rich in architectural landmarks and with a strong historical connection to the fishing industry. A very popular summer tourist attraction, Koguva is ripe for sensitive development and Ragnar Pöllu and partners at NGO Anchor saw the potential to transform the old harbour into a marina for modern fishing boats and visiting leisure craft. NGO Anchor bought the old fishing station when it went into liquidation and, with EU funding, has created a fisherman’s museum cum restaurant. Accommodation is also available and soon to be augmented when a four bedroom boutique hotel is completed. If location says it all, Koguva Harbour has it all. As Pöllu points out, “when the sun sinks into the sea, we’ve got a million dollar view.” MARKET UPDATE: ESTONIA Kuivastu Marina has just 50 berths but many more boats are accommodated during regattas. www.marinaworld.com - July/August 2017 37

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