A positive decision allowing the development of a new marina project in St George is anticipated from the Bermudian Government in the coming weeks.
The project would primarily serve larger visiting yachts and superyachts, as demand for more local berths has fallen away over recent years.
In contrast the number of visiting and transient yachts has grown significantly and the provision of dedicated facilities could trigger further increases.
A very recently introduced national tourism plan has identified marine leisure and nautical tourism as areas holding good growth potential for Bermuda, and yachting is currently at a high. Consequently the new proposed marina is both needed and well-supported on the island.
Mark Soares, the owner of Bermuda Yacht Services, is one of three partners in the St George Marina Company, which is the selected consortium to deliver the project.
“The project is all designed and funded and we are just waiting for the government decision before we make a start,” he says. “It has three phases so will expands as demand grows.
“Build time from the go-ahead will be 18 months to two years, which is probably a conservative estimate.”
The St George Corporation is a active supporter of the marina, which will be located in the centre of the St George waterfront close. It will be adjacent to the local cruise terminal, which has not been used for some years because the size of cruise liners has outgrown the berths.
Soares explained to SB that initially the marina project would have catered for both local demand and visiting or transient yachts. However, because of the drop off in local demand it will now largely cater for the latter category.
The marina would consist of 600ft of breakwater with berthing on its inside for yachts from 22m-28m (72ft-92ft), while on the outside, yachts up to 122m (400ft) and possibly larger could be accommodated alongside or stern-on.
Among recent visitors has been 90m (295ft) Athena.