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2017 July August Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

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MARKET UPDATE: ESTONIA Kõiguste Marina Currently offering just 12 berths but with plans for 60 and significant shoreside development, Kõiguste Marina has a five star location with unspoilt hinterland, deep clean waters and extensive birdlife. Coowner Külli Akkermann received approval of the project as Marina World closed for press and hopes that building will start in September this year with a view to a grand opening for the 2018 season. The marina – previously busy and successful before being destroyed by Cyclone Gudrun (Erwin) in January 2005 – started out in life as a Russian military site (hence the deep water) but has all the makings of an exclusive retreat. Jansson Akkermann has plans for an office and berth holder facilities building, and a restaurant or small Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam) Part of the impressive Estonian Maritime Museum, Seaplane Harbour is home to most of Estonia’s historic ships and offers guest berthing for 50 vessels at a specially built pier. Located on the west coast of Tallinn Bay, the harbour runs a tour boat and hosts nautical activities. “They bring life into the harbour,” asserts harbour master Lauri Väinsalu. “The Sail Training Association holds events here and the Tall Ship Race passes through and stops over this month [July]”. Seaplane Harbour is in the midst of waterfront land ripe for redevelopment and enjoys deep water, a rare commodity in Estonia where coastal water is invariably shallow. Without a doubt, surrounding buildings in years to come will be regenerated to create a waterfront destination and more berths could be in the offing. “There’s a plan to build a huge breakwater and a 2,000 berth marina in the Bay of Tallinn,” Väinsalu says. “I reckon it will happen in ten to twenty years.” CGI for Kõiguste Marina (above) which currently offers just 12 berths (below). hotel. Twelve holiday homes are also under construction. In the 2016 season, 60-70 boats visited – most from Germany, some from Finland – and stayed for one or two nights. Munalaid and Pihelgalaid have only ten berths between them. By far the largest marina is Pärnu Yacht Club at the mouth of the River Pärnu and close to the centre of Estonia’s summer capital city. During high season, tourists flock to Pärnu for its sandy beaches and lively nightlife making it a popular holiday destination. The marina has 140 berths for boats up to 20m (66ft). The Estonian islands of Ruhnu and Kihnu, popular in the summer with Estonians and Latvians alike, each have small marinas. Building marinas Estonian marina builder Top Marine has constructed most of the leisure harbour infrastructure in the country since the company was founded back in 1996. Now, although having built up a business that sees it exporting marina systems throughout Europe and into Asia, CEO Andry Prodel and his team retain a market leading position. The most recently completed project is Kakumäe Marina just west of Tallinn. “For the 300 berths here, we installed 1,100m (3,609ft) of pontoons and fingers with a mix of concrete floats and concrete decking, and plastic floats with timber decking,” Prodel tells Marina World. “The total comes in at 2,200 tonnes of floating solutions.” Built on the site of a former Soviet fishing boat marina with very shallow water, Kakumäe underwent a significant dredging project that essentially moved the marina basin further out to sea and used spoil to build up the shoreline. It was a radical move for Estonia. “There was some local objection but this changed when people could see that we really were going to build a marina and that the site wasn’t just an excuse for a property development,” admits marina manager Indrek Ilves. Now that the floating elements are complete, attention is being turned to constructing a new access road, sports facilities and ultimately a boutique hotel and spa. While Kakumäe is the latest Estonian flagship for Top Marine, competitive marina builder FloatMe Marinas has hopes for a large contract for floating walkways on Lake Peipus. In business for eight years, FloatMe manufactures floating pontoons and platforms using plastic or concrete floats and local impregnated pine decking. Although enjoying a small share of the Estonian market with recent contracts such as www.marinaworld.com - July/August 2017 43

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