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2016 May June Marina World

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SUPERYACHT FACILITIES Brand new superyacht docks at Hamilton Island Marina in the Whitsundays, Queensland, are supported by VIP concierge and guest services. recognised the need to reconsider the slip mix. “The 2008 financial crises depressed the moorage market,” said Brian Kaloper, harbourmaster, “especially for our 39ft (12m) slips. Many of those were vacant six to eight months a year.” Kaloper and Dwight Jones, general manager, saw a trend. Superyachts stay for a long time. “We thought larger boats would provide more consistent revenue,” said Kaloper, “and we charge by the length of the dock not the length of the boat.” Bellingham Marine, the general contractor for the original marina, was consulted and developed a simple conversion. Five 39ft (12m) slips were selected as a test of concept. “We disconnected the finger piers and joined them in parallel to the main walk,” said Rob Rasmussen, general manager of Bellingham Marine’s Northwest Division. “The resulting 14ft (4.3m) wide main walk is stronger and more stable. Some finger-pier piling was removed but no additional piling was needed.” Unifloat docks have timber walers attached by through-rods threaded on the ends and locked in place with nuts. “The through-rod channels of the main walk and finger pier modules lined up perfectly,” said Rasmussen. “With new, longer through-rods we could make them one solid unit.” “Finger piers were in 10ft (3m) modules,” said Kaloper, “and that gave us enormous flexibility to fit it all together. Elliott Bay Marina already supplied 480V 3-phase power so no power modifications were needed.” “We had a superyacht on our dock three hours after we opened,” said Kaloper. “With it came better revenue, so we reconfigured more docks. All told, 32 of our old 39ft (12m) slips were eliminated to make longer berths.” Elliott Bay Marina can now accommodate ten superyachts as follows: two at 328ft (100m), three at 102 to 164ft (31 to 50m) and five at 78 to 98ft (24 to 30m). Maximum draft is 19.6ft (6m). Customer service adapted to the demands of large yachts and professional crews. “We learned to be more flexible and more fluid,” said Kaloper. “We became a concierge operation for our superyacht guests. That raised the level of service for all guests.” The new docks have drawn boats from far and wide. “We have yachts coming up the coast from the Panama Canal and staying a year,” said Kaloper. “We had a boat moor with us from Alaska that originated in Nova Scotia. The owner came by way of the Northwest Passage.” Marina Bay Yacht Harbor (MBYH), Richmond, CA, USA MBYH is located at the north end of San Francisco Bay in Richmond, California, next to Berkeley. “When they built this marina 30 years ago,” said Steve Orosz, harbourmaster, “we had 300 slips 29.5ft (9m) and smaller. Needless to say, the market moved on.” The problem was G-Dock, a combination of 29.5ft (9m) and 36ft (11m) slips just 12ft (3.7m) in width and oriented crosswind. G-Dock had high vacancy rates despite discounted rates. “We began to store derelict boats on G-Dock and maintenance was falling behind,” said Orosz. “It was time to make a change.” Despite the affluence of the area, there is a shortage of large slips. “Over the years we’ve had enquiries from large-boat owners looking for space,” said Orosz. “So we turned G-Dock into a side-tie moorage for superyachts.” “The new dock solves the crosswind problem,” said Orosz. “One thing is sure. The changes will give us enormous flexibility and we anticipate better revenues than what we had before.” San Francisco is known for culture and Italian food but not for superyachts. Orosz planned accordingly. “We targeted smaller superyachts,” said Orosz, “around 98ft (30m); although we can moor larger. Again, we love the flexibility. If we don’t have a 98ft boat we can tie two at 49ft (15m), and we have more places to put multi-hulls.” In a manner similar to Elliott Bay Marina, G-dock was converted by disconnecting finger piers and bolting them alongside the main walk. The 30-year old electric system needed upgrading in any case. MBYH installed a robust power system with more power from shore. “The simplicity of the waler system was crucial,” said Orosz. “The throughrod channels lined up. If the docks had been cable or hinge connected it would have been too costly and difficult to reconfigure.” MBYH has a five-year contract to host the on-the-water portion of a new boat show called Strictly Sail Pacific on G-Dock. “A complete renovation would be the ideal,” said Orosz. “This was a practical step we could do right away.” - May/June 2016 21

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