Published: Monday, 18 November 2013

“Unlike Europe, marinas in Asia are more about safe berthing than being a destination in their own right”, says Captain Nick Coombes, head of Asia Pacific Superyachts Malaysia based on Langkawi Island.

In Asia Pacific few marinas are located in the popular tourist destinations. So the idea of sitting on your yacht watching the world watch you is not really an option. So, most superyacht visitors and charters never get to see the inside of a marina as they tour around Asia. They tend to cruise from one beautiful anchorage to another exploring the natural splendor of Southeast Asia.

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Certainly, the number of marinas is growing in accordance with the increasing affluence of the region. There are now world-class marinas and accommodation in places like Phuket, which provides hundreds of berths for everything from superyachts to small cruisers. Langkawi to south is a popular winter destination and other small chains dot the coast down the Straits of Malacca towards Kuala Lumpur and onward to Singapore. Yet others are found on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand.

However, there is no doubt that superyachts are having a hard time finding somewhere to park, most especially given the ballooning of the world's superyahcht fleet by 25 percent over the past five year to around 4,600. This is according to Marina Projects, a U.K. consultancy firm. In the Mediterranean, where most of the yachts are located, there are an estimated 3,000 superyacht berths. Shortages in some countries mean opportunity for other aspiring yachting centers.

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For those interested, Asia Pacific Superyachts New Zealand director Jeanette Tobin sheds light on the growing berth space for those superyachts visiting New Zealand. Auckland sports two marinas, Viaduct Harbour Marina and Silo Superyacht Marina, both located in downtown Auckland with full power and water. Vessels can clear customs and biosecurity in/out from both marinas and there’s easy access to all local contractors, chandleries, supermarkets and Auckland’s leading restaurants and bars.

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Viaduct Harbour Marina was built for the 2000 Americas Cup. It provides one 60-metre side-to berth, four 50-metre berths, four 40-metre berths and eight 30-metre berths, with full power and water facilities and wi-fi connectivity.

About 500 metres to the west of Viaduct, in the newly developed Beaumont Quarter, is the Silo Superyacht Marina. This is a new facility built to cope with the growing demand from larger vessels and an area where new bars and restaurants have sprung up.

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Viaduct and Silo Marinas are near Auckland’s central business district where visitors can enjoy the entertainment planned throughout the summer, which includes outdoor movie theatres, wine and food festivals, seafood festivals, music concerts and much more - offering crews a real taste of New Zealand.

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Silo Marina has recently increased its capacity to accommodate vessels and currently has M/Y’s A, Nahlin and Pacific enjoying its facilities. A new 90-metre dock with a one-metre freeboard has been added, making it the biggest pontoon in New Zealand. Adjacent to the new pontoon, dredging has been carried out to provide ease of access to the dock and to open up access to a 64-metre berth adjacent to the new premises of Rig Pro which offers the ability to carry out mast stepping.

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A new extension is being added to the northern end of the marina to create two new 65-metre berths. With the new developments, Silo Marina will move from 535 linear metres to 874 linear metres of available space, doubling capacity and creating 10 berths in total.

Tobin also mentioned Port Nelson at the top of the South Island, which has superyacht berths for larger vessels. The port has a 40-metre pontoon for superyachts and is an excellent, safe facility for those visiting the Nelson region. The marina's central location is very sheltered and not subject to sea surges.

These marinas for superyacht berthing in New Zealand come hand in hand with a wealth of information on stunning itineraries and anchorages from Tobin and her team. They can take care of all one's needs and arrange a truly memorable journey in and around New Zealand.