EMERGING MARKETS: SRI LANKA The start of things to come? Yachts tied up at a mooring point in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka - the next sailing destination in Asia? Continuing efforts are under way to make Sri Lanka “the next sailing destination in Asia” and “a magnet for yachtsmen and pleasure sailors worldwide” reports Priyantha Perera of Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) Sri Lanka. The APS yacht services agent shares the following article written by the editor and published in NewsIn.Asia and includes additional port news. While Sri Lanka is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, abundant with scenic views and a high biodiversity of ocean mammals, sailing for pleasure has never been a pastime of the Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka was never considered a worthy stop for yachts due to the lack of fully-fledged marinas in the country. While many proposals and suggestions have floated the need to develop marinas adjacent to domestic harbours in the southern and western coasts of Sri Lanka, including the development of Galle Marine and a repair and maintenance centre for yachts, the project is yet to take off. In the meantime, a series of public and private sector partnerships in Mirissa and Marawila are seeking to create a breakthrough in the country’s luxury boat building, repair and berthing industry. The first attempt at introducing luxury yacht building, maintenance and berthing in Sri Lanka was made by Belgian entrepreneur and industrialist Pierre Pringiers. Thirty-five years and an annual revenue of US billion later, Pringiers is turning his interest towards making Sri Lanka a magnet for yachtsmen and pleasure sailors worldwide. With annual tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka at well over 2 million, Pringiers feels that a nudge from the public and private sectors could make Sri Lanka the next sailing destination in Asia. Highlighting the need to offer a unique destination experience at every location in Sri Lanka, a group of innovative industrialists is seeking to claim a niche among high spending tourists who enjoy yachting and the associated lifestyle. While Sri Lanka is yet to establish a single full-size marina offering a complete range of services to leisure boaters, Malaysia operates marinas with a berth count of 1,400, Thailand has 1,300 and Singapore, with only one-fifth of Sri Lanka’s coastline, 750. An unwavering faith in a possible boom in the yachting industry driven by the growing tourism sector has seen the rise of a number of luxury yacht building facilities in Sri Lanka. A few companies are in full operation designing and building yachts, masts, sails, yards, cordage, electrical components, mini marinas and moorings. A technical school in the south is training youth from fishing villages in yacht building, electrical engineering and engine repair and maintenance, while another academy trains them in sailing skills and ocean conservation. Following Pringiers’ footsteps, more boat builders and adventure sports enthusiasts like Neil Marine, Accolade Ventures and German investor Dr Dietmar Doering of the Asia-German Sports Exchange Programme are also diverting heavily into yacht and marine development to promote leisure sailing and yacht berthing on the coasts of Sri Lanka and to develop local and regional economy through them. Priyantha Perara says Sri Lanka is a useful stop for yachts en route to the Red Sea and a good point of departure for cruising the Maldives, Chagos and Seychelles. “While the northern parts of the country were out of bounds for many years, Trincomalee on the north-east coast has now opened up to cruising yachts,” he reveals. “Special permission must still be obtained before travelling to other northern states. Colombo, on the central west coast of Sri Lanka, has a large commercial harbour with little provision for yachts and formalities are complex.” “Refuelling and provisioning at the old port of Galle (on the south-west corner of Sri Lanka) is straightforward. This is where most yachts clear-in and conditions for visiting yachts have improved slightly. Whilst Trincomalee is a military port and therefore unfamiliar with pleasure boat clearance, it is a port of entry and cruising boats have successfully cleared into Sri Lanka here. Delays may be possible however due to officials being more familiar with commercial vessels.” An agent is required to clear into and out of Sri Lanka and basically organise everything. APS Sri Lanka can help with a custom itinerary. www.asia-pacific-superyachts.com 42 www.marinaworld.com - March/April 2018
LIFTING EQUIPMENT INTEGRAL MANUFACTURER FOR MARINAS AND SHIPYARDS GH 70 Galicia, Spain (Electronic Steering) GH 82 Hong Kong (Electronic Steering) GH 165 Menorca, Spain (Electronic Steering) GH 70 Mallorca, Spain (Mechanical 360° turning) During 2017 GH Cranes & Components has installed several boat hoists in different parts of the world, continuing with its worldwide expansion strategy and keeping its strong position in Spain. Above our 4 last installations, 3 of the units include Electronic Steering system which allows our clients to work more efficiently by using 4 different steering modes controlled by PLC: 2WD: 2 front wheels steering 90° + 2WD: Lateral displacement + 2 right wheels steering 45° Crab: Both diagonals running Polar: 360° Turning Bº Salbatore s/n 20200 Beasain, Gipuzkoa (SPAIN) T: +34 943 569 176 marineghcranes.com www.ghcranes.com The last one, commissioned in Jan 2018, is equipped with Polar Mechanical steering system which is appropriate for the configuration of this specific marina in Mallorca.