Located just 40 miles from the French border, Marina di Loano is a large, purpose-built yacht harbour on the Italian Riviera. Not only can it offer haul-out facilities for superyachts, it is also about to put in seven new berths of up to 75m.
Gazing out on to the Marina di Loano from the central location of the Yacht Club, you are struck by the size of the engineering involved. When conversion of this former fishing and leisure port began, the economic boom was in full swing and it was expected that all 1,000+ berths would be snapped up. Unfortunately, the marina was completed in 2008, so not surprisingly, there are still a large number of empty pontoons available.
“In the current economic climate, we have a lot of the wrong type of berths,” said harbourmaster Marco Cornacchia. “We have plenty in the 8m-40m range, but these are not so busy. The real demand is for the 50m+ range, so we are going to strip out two unused jetties and put in seven stern-to superyacht berths instead.”
Based beside Amico Loano’s refit facility and directly opposite the yacht club, this new superyacht marina will offer four berths of 75m, one of 65m and two of 55m. These will supplement the cluster of superyacht berths already available in the centre of the harbour for vessels of up to 80m. Some of these are already leased on an annual basis, while others are for yachts in transit.
Superyachts that visit this friendly marina will find all they need right on their doorstep. Not only is the infrastructure fully geared to large yachts, with generous alongside docking, three phase 250A power, and all domestic hookups, it also offers a strategic position 43 miles from Monte Carlo, and 80 miles from Corsica. Loano is a typical Italian Riviera town with a long promenade beside a well-kept series of beaches, the nearest one set aside for marina guests.
The marina lies at the eastern end of the town, and is protected by two sweeping breakwaters, the western-most one measuring 300m long and 5m high, and the eastern one 60m long and 6m high. The entrance is 70m wide and, once inside its embrace, there is an average depth of 5m at the lowest astronomical tide, so superyachts of up to 80m have no trouble with access and manoeuvring. For those that want to take on excise-free fuel, there is a convenient bunkering dock 100m long by 10m wide. Three high-pressure pumps can deliver up to 500l/ min, and there is a sewerage and bilge pump-out facility available as well.
Tucked into the north eastern corner of the marina is Amico’s Loano operation, a scaled down version of its Genoa facility, but able to offer virtually all the same services and to the same high standards. The yard covers 8,000m2, including a large central building housing workshops, offices and a dedicated spray booth. Yachts of up to 24m can be housed in the main building, while temporary covers can be erected for larger vessels housed on the smooth hardstanding. A 550t travel lift was shipped in from Genoa and can haul out vessels of up to 50m. Also at the yard are a 35t crane, and a 300t trolley lift.
There is full vehicular access to the alongside berths, but also along the inside of the breakwater to where the new berths will be installed during 2013. Water, power, Wi-Fi and garbage collection will be available for each yacht. The yard also specialises in classic yacht restoration and repair, and offers a rigging service for the many sailing regattas that use the marina and yacht club as a base. Security at Amico Loano is tight, with high fences, key-card access, CCTV and floodlights at night.
The marina was created with a long, L-shaped central pier, the Centro Molo, and this is where the Yacht Club Marina di Loano (YMCL) is housed. We were guests of the club for one (very comfortable) night, and were given a tour by secretary general Chantal Goggiola.
The club opened on 9 April 2012, and is to a ‘modern and rigorous’ style by Guido Spadolini, Massimiliano and Robert Morlacci, while Servizi e Progettazioni Immobiliari 97 from Milan provided the striking external architecture. Its location gives panoramic views over all aspects of the marina, and there are nine spacious suites, each named after a famous yacht from the America’s Cup. Prices for a night start at around €230. “We want to encourage captains, crews and owners to use the club,” Goggiola said. “We have a lot of social activities throughout the year, and provide a number of services for the superyachts moored alongside.
“The clubhouse, which occupies 3,700m2 of prime real estate, feels like the inside of a luxurious liner, complete with a wooden-decked first level approach from the raised promenade along the breakwater. The reception and offices are on the first floor, where there is also the main members-only lounge and bar, covering 420m2 and with a huge window of 40m by 3m looking out to the north-east. The lounge is full of deep, comfortable chairs, which can be rearranged for briefings, lectures and social events. At each end of the lounge is a conference room with equally distracting harbour views. On the second floor, there is a restaurant with its own internal hall and a 400m2 teak terrace, with an attendant lounge and wine bar that is open from 8pm until midnight. While the restaurant is currently open to the public, the third floor is for members and guests only, and is reached via a private spiral staircase. Here they will find a solarium and hot tub-style swimming pool, with 360º panoramic views.
The yacht club is able to offer its growing membership a wide range of services, many of which are particularly suited to superyachts. Apart from free access to the club, there is personal concierge, onboard catering, car and motorcycle hire and a customised beach service. A number of restaurants and bars are just a short walk away along wide quaysides, and there is parking for nearly 1,000 cars, with yacht club parking virtually alongside the yachts themselves.
Loano itself is a pleasant historical town to visit, just a 15-minute walk away, with a train station that links directly with Genoa and its airport, 80km (one hour) to the east. The surrounding area of Liguria also has its own tourist attractions, such as the famous karst cave system of Toirano, one of the finest show caves in the country. During the summer, the marina becomes busy with high profile sailing events organised by the Circolo Nautico di Loano, while the marina staff are on call 24-hours a day to assist with docking and other services.
With its dedicated refit yard, prestigious yacht club, large number of superyacht berths, and strategic location for cruising the Med, Marina di Loano is arguably one of Italy’s best laid out and most modern superyacht facilities to date, with plenty of room for expansion in the future.
This is just as well, as somehow, we don’t think those seven new berths will be enough for long.
Amico Loano Srl
Address: Lungomare Madonna del Loreto, Porto di Loano, 17025 Loano (SV), Italy
Email: Tel: +39 019 673 765
Yacht Club Marina di Loano
Address: Molo Centrale Banchina Porto, 17025 Loano (SV), Italy
Tel: +39 019 667 835