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  • 2021-Jun-24


Where to put the superyacht?

Everyone has his or her biggest problem, no matter how small it may seem to others. This is true for everyone, from the poverty-stricken to the super-rich.

Few super-rich, or rather far too few super-rich people, own a yacht that simply overwhelms the vast majority of marinas because of its main dimensions and the supply structure required for it. By no means all the worthwhile places and cities of this world are really prepared to be able to accommodate and supply such splendours in their harbours.

Either the harbours are too narrow and do not allow the necessary space for safe manoeuvring or the infrastructure is not sufficient to ensure, for example, delivery traffic directly to the yacht or the supply of electricity and fuel. Most marinas are only suitable for vessels up to about 30m-35m in length. They may have the space for one or two superyachts, but just not enough to accommodate more. Here, the superyachts usually have their fixed berth, which is kept free for them. Tourism between different harbours cannot develop in this way. 

The other harbour operators, municipalities and local transport, local specialist businesses, restaurants, hotels and retailers miss out on a considerable source of income due to the lack of berths, which would otherwise be guaranteed by large yachts and their personnel. Moreover, marinas also attract other people who are not actually watersports enthusiasts, as they exude a certain atmosphere and stimulate curiosity.

Thus, these jewels of yacht building, of which, according to statistical sources, there are currently about 6,000 units, can be found in disdainful container ports or at tanker terminals, where they certainly cannot feel at home with their owners and crew and are not shown off to their best advantage. By the way, the number of these yachts is currently growing by about an impressive 160 per year. Their length is also increasing. Apart from a few perfect superyacht harbours, which of course exist, they are really only left with dreamlike bays or a place in front of marinas that are too small, where they lie at anchor and are surrounded by supply traffic.

What can be done to make this problem a smaller one?

Back in 2015, an international group of professionals came together to develop standards for marinas. They formed Working Group 8 within Technical Committee 228 under the umbrella of the International Standards Organisation in Geneva. The ISO standards of WG 8 should be less technical in content and more to formulate the service quality of the marinas.

What does it take to attract yachts and their crews and serve their needs?

After years of intensive cooperation, the standards of the series ISO 13687 Parts -1 to -3: Tourism and related services - Marinas - Minimum requirements for basic/intermediate/high service level marinas were developed first for the usual marinas. Subsequently, to remedy the above mentioned shortcoming, ISO 21406: Tourism and related services - Marinas - Basic requirements for luxury marinas was developed.

A number of countries have already incorporated these international standards into their official standards library as national standards. Nevertheless, their application is voluntary and not required by law. The standards are regularly reviewed and possibly revised to adapt them to the ever-changing needs of the consumer.

There are a few organisations worldwide that also offer voluntary certification of marinas based on these standards.