According to the 2015 Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report, 70 per cent of superyachts are connected to the Mediterranean with the majority doing the Med-Caribbean ‘milk run’. This biannual jaunt through the straits of Gibraltar is already utilised as an opportunity to fill up on cut-price fuel. However, a lack of infrastructure ensures that any berthing will be short-term, and as such, both the superyacht owners and the Gibraltarian government and people bypass a wealth of economic opportunity. With zero VAT, zero duty and duty-free fuel the benefits speak for themselves.
“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.” Explains Karen Houston, business and development manager for Ocean Village. “These world-class facilities will attract a lucrative market that has so far been denied to Gibraltar.”
The Marina Bay project proposes to feature; ten stern-to superyacht berths, a modern pier office that includes executive crew lounges, pump-out facilities, improved electrical supplies, spa-style facilities, storage, workshops and laundry services. In addition to the improved berthing facilities, Ocean Village plans to create 101 waterside apartments for short-stay and rental accommodation.
Karen concludes, “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 per cent 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.”