Currently exhibiting at Boot Dusseldorf, Melanie Symes, who is overseeing the superyacht infrastructure development of Puerto Calero’s Marina Lanzarote, spoke to about the Canary Islands’ potential as an advantageous stopover for transiting superyachts.

“We are currently finishing a significant yard installation in our new city facility in the island’s capital, Marina Lanzarote which has 16,000m2 and an 820-tonne hoist”, Symes explains. “There were simply too many yachts coming down here, especially new builds with unexpected problems, which needed to be able to come out of the water but couldn’t due to the lack of services and so Calero Marinas saw an opportunity whereby we can now provide a service for superyachts, the local traditional fishing and tourist excursion fleet and larger multihulls which were also in search of a more efficient method for lifting out.”

Despite being an obvious adjunct for superyachts travelling between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, the Canaries are not as well established as one might expect, and the obvious reason for that is a lack of infrastructure. But this is beginning to change, due to its suitability for racing fleets, including the Volvo Ocean Race competitors and the impending arrival of RORC Transatlantic Race entrants.

The improvement to both the yard’s repair facilities, and the marina itself will be completed in time for the summer season, with a view to attracting superyachts to sunnier climes in time for autumn 2014. “As the autumn season draws on, the options for getting out of the Straits become more restricted”, Symes says. “It therefore makes sense to be able to leave the Med once the season is finished, come down to the Canaries before the late autumn storms start to kick in from mid-October, get repair work done here and then enjoy far more freedom to leave whenever the timetable demands.”

The new travel hoist.

And as an additional incentive for crew, “the island offers plenty of watersports and cycling, with world championships in a number of disciplines held here. We have seen more boats trying out a winter season in the Canaries although we believe that few captains are aware of the benefits that a winter stay can offer.”

Marina Lanzarote as it appears now.

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