When developing a successful marina project there are a number of perspectives and considerations to take into account and equally as many pitfalls. To take aesthetics as the primary consideration would be to disregard the importance of facilities and serviceability to superyachts. And yet, to take functionality so far that it is to the detriment of aesthetics would be to wholly disregard the need for beauty within the luxury sector.

“In any marina project, there are at least three design perspectives that must be considered,” says Mathieu Salomon, technical manager at Camper & Nicholsons Marinas (CNM). “There is the architect who, ordinarily, will be charged with creating the visual representation of the marina and may not necessarily engage too heavily with ergonomics, anthropometric considerations or the many other considerations of an engineer like myself. I would say that engineers put more primary objectives ahead of aesthetics, such as structural, electrical and mechanical factors, without which the marina would not function as the marina.”

However, perhaps more important than both form and function, albeit it intrinsically linked to both, is the perspective of the end user. For all the expert master planning in the world, creating a marina that looks like a shell from the air has very little effect on how the marina will be used at ground level. Marinas must be designed in such a way that vessels entering, berthing and leaving can use the space available efficiently.

“Listening to the opinions of captains, owners and naval architects is invaluable. They have a certain amount of knowledge that is fundamental to marina design because, ultimately, they are the people that will be using it. These individuals are frequently the best forms of feedback that I receive,” continues Salomon.

Before engaging in a marina development project, it is also of paramount importance that an appropriate business plan has been selected, not all marinas are able to rely on continuous custom like the Monaco’s of this world. Some marinas may rely on land-based infrastructure to recoup the capital they have invested. Alternatively, the overdevelopment of land-based infrastructure could be detrimental to the success of a marina if the geographical location is unable to draw in enough consumers to make the project financially viable.

In issue 183 of The Superyacht Report we speak to some of the superyacht markets leading marina consultants to discuss the key considerations for developing a lucrative marina project. Elsewhere Tim Heywood speaks about his life in superyacht design and we highlight the rapid pace of development a La Ciotat Shipyards, France. Click here to subscribe to The Superyacht Report and read the full article.