Phuket Boating: A Haven in bloom
PHUKET: The recent completion of the new dedicated superyacht pier at Phuket’s Yacht Haven Marina in Mai Khao has delivered the region its first 100-meter superyacht berths marina-side.
Yacht Haven welcomes boats of all sizes, but is widely regarded as a first port of choice for superyachts. With deep-water access and sited 15-minutes’ drive to the airport, it has become the largest and busiest marina in the region and has seen demand grow sharply for ever larger berths.
In response, the new pontoons increase the total berthing capacity at the marina by introducing over 800 linear meters of alongside berths, all configured to accommodate yachts from 60m to 100m.
The new floating pier is already drawing head-turning yachts to the island’s northernmost marina. Leading the pageant is the stunning 60m Diamonds Are Forever, custom built by Benetti in 2011 and sold a year later for US$59.5 million, that’s more than 1.93 billion baht in a single boat.
Moored beside Diamonds is sibling Benetti, Elysium. Measuring 52m from stem to stern, Elysium may have been launched in 2001, but she underwent a full refit in 2012 – and she gloriously shows it.
Other sailing stunners Northern Sun, Samax and Tanvas now also call Yacht Haven Home.
Previously, the largest of these giant pleasure crafts had to tie up at the Deep Sea Port at Cape Panwa, alongside cruise liners and cargo ships.
Construction of the floating pier was by Finnish Marinetek, and the accomplishment delivered the turnkey contractor with a landmark introductory reference in Southeast Asia.
The large concrete attenuating pontoon is used for berthing on both sides and comprises Marinetek ‘Superyacht floats’ to give a length of 260m, and nine further floats to create three 48m long ‘fingers’.
All pontoon elements were manufactured in Johor, Malaysia, and made the 600 nautical mile journey to the marina on an ocean-going tug-barge equipped with a 100-ton onboard mobile crane.
The pontoons were installed and anchored in under six weeks by a team of specialists flown in from the Mediterranean.
Kristian Rame, Marinetek’s Regional Director for Asia, reported he was simply ‘delighted’ by the project.
“Phuket is already a popular yachting and charter destination and with the new pontoon extension, the marina will offer the latest and best berthing facilities available for the growing Asian superyacht community,” he noted.
“Yacht Haven will be the only marina in Phuket to accommodate mega yachts.”
Joint marina managers, Nick Wyatt and Zara Tremlett, were also delighted to see the extension complete.
“The pontoons, mooring system and marine anchors are all very high-tech, allowing us to handle the huge loads and meet superyacht standards without traditional piles, with minimal impact to marine eco-systems, while maximizing berthing flexibility and minimizing the need for continuous maintenance,” said Nick.
The large 20m long and 4.8m wide 48tn concrete floats offer excellent stability with 66 centimeters freeboard and appropriate power and fresh water supply.
“Each outlet on the pedestals delivers 250 amps, so boats can double-up and draw a recharge of up to 500 amps,” explained Nick.
The pedestals will also soon serve as WiFi access points, providing coverage to the entire berth area of the marina.
“We are also in the process of laying fiber-optic cables to the pedestals so that yachts will be able to access a much-faster mainland internet connection,” added Zara.
“We are very happy to bring in the superyachts on the waiting list to fill up the new berths. This, together with our extensive landside developments, will significantly advance our services to superyachts and their crews,” she added.
“Presently with a restaurant, bar, gym, pool and accommodation, plans are underway to upgrade and increase our shoreside services.
“As a major full-service marina in Southeast Asia, we believe Yacht Haven has an important role to play in driving this part of Thailand’s tourism sector.
“With a further 30 new superyacht berths and the aspiration to constantly improve our personal service at all levels, we aim to keep Yacht Haven Marina a secure, choice destination.”
— Chris Husted
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