Marinas set to dot Goan coastline


The leisure tourism sector in the state is all set to have marinas - ports within a sheltered harbour where boats and yachts are anchored and services geared to the needs of recreational boating are found - by next year, thus attracting large section of elite population possessing small and medium-sized pleasure vessels, from and outside the country. The marinas are most frequently located along the banks of rivers connecting to lakes or seas and may be inland, sometimes up to as much as twenty-five kilometers from the river’s mouth.

The twin exhibitions titled International Boat Show and Marinex ’08, held at the Kala Academy complex, in January 2008, which had over 70 international and Indian market leaders in marine-related industries of shipping, boating, yachting, surfing and water leisure activities showing their strength, received a tremendous response. The theme of the event was ‘The Waters - for business and for pleasure’ and exhibitors included those from Australia, Korea, China, Italy, US, UK, Gulf countries, Europe, Canada, Taiwan and UAE. On display and for purchase were fiberglass boats, kayaks, canoes, parasail, dinghies, jet skies, speedboats, catamarans, luxury yachts, inflatables, engines, floating platforms, tracking and security systems and so on.

With India witnessing a sale of luxury vessels estimated at Rs 50 crore, last year - ranging from Rs 20 lakh to over Rs 2 crore per vessel - and projected sales of Rs 150 crore, this year, the country is seriously in need of parking facilities along Indian seafront. A number of national and international corporates have tied up with local companies in various coastal states to provide marinas that would include re-fueling, washing and repair facilities, ship chandlers, stores and restaurants.

The Goa Yatch Haven Pvt Ltd is currently engaged in constructing one such marina at Sancoale, in Mormugao taluka, at the mouth of the Zuari river. The managing director of the company, Mr Umaji Chowgule told this daily that the Rs 100 crore project would have necessary infrastructure and equipments supplied by Aquasail Yatchs and Power Boats Pvt Ltd as well as Walcon Marine Ltd which has build around 80,000 marinas around the globe.

“The marina would have facility to anchor about 300 pleasure boats, and getting necessary permissions, the work for construction of the marina would begin in a year’s time,” Mr Chowgule added. He also said that a number of pleasure boats arriving in Goa would find suitable docking facilities. Mr Chowgule predicted that the state tourism, especially related to marine activities would boom, once the marina is complete.

The managing director of Aquasail Yatchs and Power Boats Pvt Ltd, Mr Shakeel Kudrolli in a telephonic conversation informed that an application has been filed with the Mormugoa Port Trust (MPT) for granting approval to the marina project. “Presently, soil testing is being conducted for the spot of the marina and the environmental impact study is being carried out,” he infomed.

Stating that the particular marina would have the format of a yatch harbour, Mr Kudrolli said that the marina would have a backyard, a workshop, changing rooms for travellers in the yatch, and even a boating school in the long run. “It is that kind of business venture,” he pointed out. Aquasail Yatches and Power Boats Pvt Ltd has completed a feasibility study for six marina projects, and would be taking up marinas at Kochi, Chennai and Goa by the year-end.

Meanwhile, the deputy captain of ports, Mr James Braganza said that the western side of the Zuari river comes under the jurisdiction of the MPT, while the eastern side of the river as well as all waters of the Mandovi river are handled by the captain of ports. “The captain of ports has not received any proposal seeking permission for the construction of marinas, in waters under its jurisdiction,” he maintained.

The chief executive of Mumbai-based Ocean Blue Marinas, Mr Malav Shroff, interacting from Mumbai informed that his company had set up a modern marina for the Mumbai boat show, and has 15 projects lined up in Goa, Kochi, Chennai, besides along the coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat. “Our client who is proposing to set up a marina in Goa wants his name to be kept confidential,” he noted, adding that Ocean Blue Marinas would hopefully construct more than one marina in Goa. “We however, don’t know the revenue model as at,” he concluded.

Mumbai doesn’t have good water quality along its shores, with the sea being choppy and the tide strong, thus making dredging expensive. This has made Goa along with the Konkan belt, a lucrative proposition for constructing marinas, on the lines of those at Monte Carlo in Monaco, Auckland in New Zealand and so on. (courtesy