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January February 2019 Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


CONFERENCES & EVENTS Greek Marinas Association, the conference host, and event sponsors D-Marin welcomed over 300 attendees to a gala dinner at the spectacular Zappeion in Athens. IWMC 2018: Cross sea challenges for marinas Marinas are a social centre irrespective of whether visitors are boat owners or not and are the ‘route’ to boating rather than just part of essential nautical infrastructure. This message, reinforced by the realisation that boat ownership and use is changing, leading to ‘more boaters per boat’, was repeated throughout last year’s highly successful ICOMIA World Marinas Conference (IWMC), held in Athens 25 th -27 th October. Key conference pointers were summed up by Martinho Fortunato CMM, chair of the ICOMIA Marinas Group as “the need to address change – new technology, energy, sustainability, training and marketing.” Topics included work on creating a longlife battery for future electricity storage (Donald Sadoway, MIT, USA); the electric boat (Christian Pho Duc, Torqeedo, Germany); drystack construction (Robert Brown, GCM Contracting Solutions, USA); and floating solar piers (Anthony Baro, Power Docks, USA). Baro summarised the top concerns impacting marinas as: the growth of electric vehicles and electric propulsion; renewable power; energy storage; power resiliency; remote sensing and monitoring; autonomous yachting; sea level rise; and sea pollution and microplastics. In terms of marketing, Ioannis Kostopoulos, CEO Sammyacht, focused on intelligent systems for next generation marinas. “Customers are demanding a highly personal service. Real time data is the diamond of the future,” he believes. Buy or rent “There has never been so much demand for time on the water. It’s just that boat ownership has changed. We need to enable the sharing economy,” asserts Udo Kleinitz, secretary general ICOMIA, whose policy papers and statistics give the industry hard facts to support plans and proposals. But it’s essential to get into the correct mindset. “Young people are hassleintolerant, more demanding and seek smooth solutions,” says Mats Eriksson, CEO of Swedish Marine Industries Federation, Sweboat. “We need to sell boating by participation, not by selling boats.” Armed with the key buzzwords – fractional ownership, watersports (not boating), and why buy when you can borrow? - Sweboat’s initiative took the association to the ski slope where it could display a boat to a young audience already enjoying one form of outdoor sporting activity. “There are many initiatives around the world and we’re exchanging campaign ideas,” he says. Participation is definitely becoming the key consideration. “People under 40 don’t want to be seen to be owners and the move to share under-utilised assets is fast growing,” explains Nanke Den Daas, CEO Den Daas Group. “But,” she warns, “this is less so for boats aside from use as static accommodation. Boat charter is up 7% but boat sharing is slow to take off.” Sharing boats also has different implications for the marina, such as greater use of facilities and the need for 24 hour security – for the owner who is sharing the boat, the marina office staff who need to know who is on site, and for other boat owners around Thanking the hosts (l to r): ICOMIA secretary general Udo Kleinitz; Stavros Katsikadis president Greek Marinas Association; Martinho Fortunato, chair ICOMIA Marinas Group; Stavroula Kakaletri, Greek Marinas Association; and Chara Dina, event organisers Hazlis & Rivas. IWMC 2018 is widely considered to have been one of the best in the series to date, attracting 414 attendees. 40 - January/February 2019

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