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2017 March April Marina World

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MARKET FOCUS: UKRAINE

MARKET FOCUS: UKRAINE Despite the deteriorating infrastructure, many marinas manage to endure, hoping for better times ahead. initiative within the programme remain rather vague, Yalta Marina already has an investor, Andrutsky indicated. “The marina would be built by one (as yet unnamed) Asian investor with the participation of locally-registered intermediates for an enormous sum of money,” Andrutsky said. As Russian investors to date have only been interested in building small marinas of up to 100 berths, this is a huge stride forward. “All main elements of the project would be built by foreign investors from countries such as Turkey,” he added. According to information from the Crimea Sailing Federation there were once dozens of marinas in the region but now almost all are lying in ruins. In total, Crimea has five marinas in current operation. In order to develop the yachting peninsula at least 15 to 20 are needed, Andrutsky estimated. Russian authorities are constantly working to attract foreign investors to Crimea, but so far very few of these efforts have really brought any benefit as the region has the status of unrecognised territory and is subject to international sanctions from the USA and the EU. There are no international banks, no payment systems and not even a McDonald’s in operation. Every investor bringing money into the peninsula and every boat visiting local ports could be subjected to sanctions. This makes the prospects for development projects rather questionable although Russian authorities put their hopes on President Trump, who promised to re-consider the status of the peninsula during his election campaign for the US Presidency. Mainland marinas fight on The political tension between Russia and Ukraine has not only affected Crimean marinas. Boat owners from Russia, Ukraine or the European Union cannot pass through Russian customs in Crimea and then move to mainland Ukraine for fear of being arrested for flouting Ukraine’s customs legislation. As a result, the mainland marinas in Ukraine have lost all their Russian yachts and almost all yachts from the EU and other destinations. According to various estimates, this represents a loss of up to 60% of total boats in the country, resulting in a harsh situation. Nonetheless, nearly a dozen marinas in the Kherson, Mykolayiv and Odessa regions in mainland Ukraine are still open. In the region of Kherson the two largest marines are Maxim Marina in New Kakhovka and the Kherson Shipbuilding Plant marina in the city of Kherson. Maxim Marina was built on the base of a former berthing complex abandoned since the time of the Soviet Union. It is located 80km (50mi) away from the Black Sea gate but despite this has managed to become the most successful marina in the region. Alexandr Dadyka, Maxim Marina’s general director, explained that over past years his facility has attracted yacht owners who previously used services at the Kherson Shipbuilding Plant marina. “This has happened because Dadyka was the first in the country to purchase a Marine Travelift. Almost all other marinas in Ukraine are using automobile cranes, which risk damaging boats during lifting operations,” Dadyka explained. “Maxim Marina was also the first in Ukraine to install a WOG fuelling station,” he said. The marina at the Kherson Shipbuilding Plant has been operating for almost two decades and was designed for 70 yachts. But according to company information in recent years, a significant number of berths remain unoccupied. In the Odessa region back in 2012 Ukraine authorities announced two large initiatives for the construction of a Black Sea marina in the city of Odessa and another marina in the city of Yuzny. With a total of nearly 500 berths, these projects were intended to spur yachting tourism in this part of the coast. However, the current crisis has forced investors to put the plans on hold. Today, the largest marinas in the region are the marinas at the Sovinion Yacht Club, Odessa Yacht Club and Olga Marina. They are designed for nearly 400 berths in total, but most currently remain unoccupied. Alexandr Vrublevsky, head of Sovinion Yacht Club, suggests that his company built the first post-Soviet welldesigned marina with good water space and quality berth construction. It offers 120-130 berths but only one third is in fact occupied, he said. In the Mykolayiv region the only large marina belongs to the Mykolayiv Yacht Club. There is very little information on how it has been operating over the past few years and no public information is available either for a couple of other marinas registered in the region. Lev Galitch, a private yacht owner from Mykolayiv, said that the region has poor infrastructure and was not attracting many yachts even in the good days. Small boats could not even make a trip along the coast due to the lack of fuelling stations he claimed, adding that in 2014 Crimean boat owners came over from the peninsula, primarily to the Odessa and Kherson region, but they didn’t come for yachting. 44 www.marinaworld.com - March/April 2017

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