Silo Marina in New Zealand has reported the busiest summer season ever. The superyacht facility recorded 28 visits in the period from October 2014 and April 2015, which translate into solid returns for the Auckland Council owned facility with $1.2 million turnover. The figure is on par with the same period in 2013/2014.

Located at the foot of the 37 metre high concrete silos in recently revitalised former industrial site in Wynyard Quarter, Silo Marina was designed as a purpose built facility in 2010 to cater for the growing number of superyachts visiting these shores.

Since then, its capacity has nearly tripled from 350 linear metres in 2010 to 870 linear metres in 2014, thanks to an ongoing construction programme by Waterfront Auckland, the Council organisation that manages the facility.

$5.3 million of capital investment has been delivered over that time starting out from a four-berth facility in 2010 expanding to 10 berths over the last season.

The growth in available space has seen 83 vessels come to Auckland since 2011, 30 of which have visited two or three times.

In addition there have been significant indirect returns to the local economy with estimates that over $12 million in refit and maintenance work has been carried  over the last five seasons (within Silo Marina alone) plus the discretionary tourism spend associated with these vessels exploring the Hauraki Gulf and the rest of New Zealand’s waters.

According to Luke Wigglesworth, Silo marina manager, the increasing popularity of the facility has a lot to do with its unique proximity to the CBD and a world-class marine business cluster but service is also key.

“Due to our relative small size to other like marinas internationally, we’re able to also provide a more boutique service and better cater for the specific demands of our clientele,” he says.

One of the biggest vessels to visit Silo Marina in recent months, is the 134 metre Serene. She became the largest private vessel to visit New Zealand waters eclipsing the 119m Phillipe Starck designed superyacht A, that docked at the marina last summer.

Waterfront Auckland chief executive John Dalzell, comments: “It’s been great to see an influx of these luxury vessels appearing on the Auckland waterfront in recent years as every time we get one in the dock we’re talking about more jobs and apprenticeships for the region in the rapidly growing refit sector.”

Future development plans at Silo Marina include the transformation of a 1.6 ha site adjacent to the marina to create a purpose built superyacht fit-out facility as part of a mixed use development.

Waterfront Auckland went to market in October last year with an Expressions of Interest process and is currently assessing bids submitted by short listed parties.