By Eugene Gerden

The volume of private investment in the Russian yacht industry is steadily growing, mainly on account of the recent inclusion of yachting in the list of priority goals planned by the Russian state for implementation over the next several years.

Recent calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin to national businesses to provide funds for developing yachting and related infrastructure in the country has resulted in an influx of investment.

For example, Russian millionaire Vladimir Verstunin, owner of the Mercury-2 group of companies (a Russian financial holding), has announced plans to invest up to RUB 4bn (US$100m) in the establishment of a new state-of-the-art marina close to the city of Anapa, one of Russia’s best resorts on the Black Sea.

Details of the project were not disclosed. However, according to some sources close to Verstunin, this will be one of Russia’s largest marinas on the Black Sea. The official commissioning is scheduled for 2019.

In addition to the marina itself, the project also involves the creation of a 600m-long beach and promenade.

This is the second large project in the field of yachting planned for implementation in Russia over the next several months. A few weeks ago, Gazprom announced its intention to invest up to RUB 21bn (US$500m) in the establishment of a yacht club and marina in St Petersburg on the Baltic Sea. The new marina will be officially commissioned in 2017/18.

The project will be implemented as part of Gazprom’s plans to relocate its headquarters from Moscow to St Petersburg over the next few months.

In the meantime, according to an official spokesman of Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s Minister of Sports and Tourism, which controls the development of the yachting industry in the Russian government, these investments are just the beginning and during the next several years new marinas will be built by private investors in Russia, as the development of yachting in Russia is personally controlled by President Putin.