Here’s a staggering statistic: The number of megayachts worldwide has more than doubled in the last decade. While welcome news for the luxury mega yacht charter market, the development of new marinas sufficient in size to accommodate the largest yachts has not kept up with demand.
The yachting community is still talking about this summer’s incident in Antibes when a Saudi prince docked his 265-foot yacht in the last available slip at Millionaire’s Quay in Cap d’Antibes, leaving Russia’s most prominent yachtsman, Roman Abramovich. to moor his 533-foot motor yacht ECLIPSE offshore.
Fortunately, the international marina industry is capitalizing on cutting-edge trends to make sure modern new facilities are built to accommodate these yachts.
Here’s a quick look at the latest trends in new megayacht marina construction:
In the past, it was good enough to build a marina anywhere along the coast. For the new, large megayachts, calm waters are a must. Jana Sheeder, President of SailAway Yacht Charters explains: “As a megayacht owner, you don’t invest millions of dollars in the construction and design of a comfortable vessel to end up rocking and rolling in an unprotected marina all night. New marinas must put great emphasis in large slips in calm water areas."
To accommodate larger vessels, current trends are for providing for no less than 1.5 times maximum LOA (length overall) fairways. This will allow new facilities to anticipate and compensate for bigger and bigger yachts.
Another trend in modern dock design is the use of floating docks. In the past, megayachts needed to be moored at fixed piers with high freeboard. New floating dock systems will have higher freeboard capacity to accommodate the larger vessels.
Yachts and Watts
Adequate power is a real challenge for new marinas. Sheeder explains: "As the yachts continue to get bigger their appetite for more power increases as well. This puts a large burden on the marina developer and the locality to provide sufficient electricity for these yachts. New facilities will need to bring power to the finger piers to minimize line drop (a loss of electricity in the line as it travels over any distance), and deliver power in varying phases and cycles.
According to industry analysts other top trends include:
â— In-slip fueling and sanitary pump outs – "Speed and efficiency are important issues," says Sheeder. “Moving yachts is expensive and can be very time-consuming."
â— Vehicle-friendly piers – Accommodating vehicular traffic and convenient boarding.
â— Shoreside Facilities & Amenities – Onshore facilities and amenities at modern megayacht marinas has become a major focal point. Pools, fitness centers, crew lounges, and computer facilities will be the norm. On-site concierge services will give crews, owners, and yacht charter clients access to entertainment options, restaurants, doctors and health clinics and more.
â— Wireless Technological Advances – With larger yachts come larger crew complements. Wi-Fi bandwidth at new marinas must be large enough to accommodate the demands of more crew members when they arrive in port and jump on Skype and the Internet. Look for marinas to turn to emerging technology such as WiMAX 4G. No hard wiring or link to the marina’s IT infrastructure is required.
What can we expect to see in megayacht marinas in the future? Sheeder is confident that the industry will remain committed to eco-friendly technological advances. “We expect a continuing emphasis on unique destinations. As we look for incremental growth beyond traditional Caribbean yacht charter destinations, we must push for green technology in all new marinas. Energy efficiency, waste reduction, and environmental stewardship must be the norm in the future."
Contact the SailAway destination specialists at http://www.1800sailaway.com/contact_us.html to experience the newest and largest yachts in the world’s best destinations.
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