Geary explained that his role will be to ensure that all the superyacht facilities at Gibraltar’s Marina Bay meet or exceed the guidelines and recommendations put forth in PIANIC 134 'Design and Operation Guidelines for Superyacht Facilities', as well as making sure that it is in full compliance with the stringent requirements of the Gibraltar Maritime Administration.
Geary eliminated any questions of the project;s likely materialisation, saying that he is, “confident that as a result of the detailed, careful and comprehensive planning that Ocean Village has carried out to create this state-of-the-art superyacht marina in Gibraltar that it will materialise.”
He added, “There are, of course, a few individuals who may object, but I'm confident that their objections can be overcome once they become aware of the outstanding benefits, not just for superyacht owners and captain's, but for the community as a whole.”
SuperyachtNews.com also spoke to Sandra Lamplough of Ocean Village, who agreed with Geary, explaining that there was, “More support than opposition, particularly from local companies who can see the value in an improved marina with world-class facilities which will attract a market so far denied to Gibraltar.”
The project itself, she claims “will place Gibraltar firmly on the international map for superyachts, as a base rather than simply a place to refuel”, and this in turn, “will have a positive impact for the local economy, in terms of restocking and repairing yachts, but also in increased visitor numbers from crew and owners who would not normally stay in Gibraltar very long.”
Geary also argues that Gibralatar has the, "lowest bunkering costs in the Mediterranean [while a] full service shipyard is ten minutes from Marina Bay - where trained and experienced shore-side English speaking technicians are available 24/7/365."
When asked if she foresaw any particular obstacles ahead, Lamplough stated that they were still in the first stages of securing planning permission with the commission meeting on 26 March. “Once approval is granted for this we will work on the detail of the project, in terms of specific facilities for the berths, apartments and pier office,“ she said.
“As you can see, we are at the very early stages but we intend to have the capacity for ten superyachts, a modern new pier office, including executive crew lounges with sophisticated data networks, an enhanced promenade with pier side landscaping and enhanced secure access to the pontoons and private berths,” she added.
Along with its location between the Pillars of Hercules at the mouth of the Mediterranean it also, "provides comprehensive chandlery services, an airport within walking distance, and a wide-range of up-scale quay-side entertainment," Geary concluded.
Having announced the abolition of import duty to all vessels over 18 metres and with further reductions in 2014 made on import duty on pleasure craft, yachts and other seagoing vessels is now at zero per cent and it seems Gibraltar is carving out a niche for itself as a potentially popular destination for superyachts.
Further details on the project's progress will be announced at the next stage of the application.