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Potential long-term berthing in Gibraltar

Business

Marina Bay at Ocean Village has a month-long wait while Gibraltar’s Development & Planning Commission makes a decision on its proposed superyacht berths and short-stay and rental apartments. If approved, long-term berthing in the area will become reality.

The proposal comes following recent estimates that suggest the current worldwide superyacht fleet is set to grow by 60% over the next 20 years, meaning that an increased number of berths will need to be made available worldwide. With Gibraltar boasting a zero VAT, zero duty and duty-free fuel, the savings in comparison to neighbouring European countries for superyacht owners are staggering, with Ocean Village aiming to capitalise upon this benefit.

Business and Development Manager for Ocean Village, Karen Houston, says, “According to the 2015 Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report, 70% of superyachts are connected to the Mediterranean with the majority doing the traditional Med-Caribbean ‘milk run’. This ritual forces them to pass through the Strait of Gibraltar at least twice a year but, while they have the opportunity to fill up on cut-price fuel, the existing infrastructure is unable to support their long-term berthing.

Amongst other improvements, we plan to significantly increase power supply and waste water disposal capacity to meet standards typically found in tailor-made superyacht marinas. These world-class facilities will attract a lucrative market that has so far been denied to Gibraltar.

The Marina Bay masterplan outlines ten stern-to superyacht berths with secure access, a modern Pier Office to include executive crew lounges with sophisticated data networks, pump-out facilities, significantly improved electricity supplies, Spa-style facilities, as well as storage, workshop and laundry services. The promenade will be enhanced with landscaping and a ‘mirador’ open to the public, while CCTV will be in place to ensure peace of mind for the high-value superyachts’ owners, guests and crew.

101 waterside apartments complement the scheme and address a local need for short-stay and rental accommodation, and make the provision of superyacht berthing more economically viable. Arranged across three-storey units, with waterways flowing between, the apartments will enjoy rooftop leisure facilities from pools to play areas.

Karen finishes, “If we want to take advantage of a growing superyacht industry and compete with other first-rate marina resorts in the Mediterranean, and beyond, we have to adapt and improve - or miss out. Gibraltar has already abolished import duty for all vessels over 18m, so this project will inevitably have a positive impact for the local economy. Superyachts cost approximately 10% of their initial value to run each year, from berths to maintenance, crew salaries to insurance, and everyone from chandlers and supermarkets to quayside bars and restaurants will feel the benefit of increased visitor numbers.

By Gemma Fottles

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