Great summer not good for marinas
A fine New Zealand summer may have meant many boaties were far too busy out on the water to dock their superyachts at Wynyard Quarter but Waterfront Auckland is hoping a slow summer will translate into a stream of winter activity.
The organisation reported a lower than anticipated occupancy of superyachts at both Silo and Viaduct marinas for the last quarter of 2012 in a report to Auckland Council in April.
But Waterfront Auckland chief executive John Dalzell says while occupancy at the Viaduct remains lower than hoped, Silo Marina is currently operating at about the level the organisation expects after a dry summer season.
‘‘Because of the weather there hasn’t been so many people in dock. You never quite know what’s going to happen but it’s not inconceivable that we might have a busy winter.
‘‘The maintenance still needs to be done and the fact is that the boats have been out so they’ve got to do it sometime, so logically we think it’s going to be a slightly busier winter than last year.’’
Both marinas specialise in accommodating superyachts. Silo Marina has eight berths up to 116 metres long with full servicing and fuelling facilities while Viaduct Marina has 50 berths between 20 and 55m.
Improvements to the Viaduct’s outer berths and wave retention are vital to attracting more boaties to the marina, Mr Dalzell says.
Construction of two 90m pontoons as part of Waterfront Auckland’s superyacht refit and commissioning marina extension is hoped to give Auckland the ability to maintain a foothold in the $90 billion global superyacht refit industry. Plans for a 20-hectare marine industrial site in Hobsonville, called Yard 37, were given a second chance by Auckland Council’s strategy and finance committee on May 1.
Auckland Council Property Limited conducted a review when Yard 37 failed to generate the necessary property sales.
Three significant land sales had to be received before March 31 for the project to get the green light but only one was secured. If three sales can be reached by the time the unitary plan takes effect, which is expected to be in 2016, the area will become a mix of 10ha of industrial and 10ha of residential housing.
There should be no direct effects for Wynyard Quarter whether the project is given the go ahead or not, Mr Dalzell says.
‘‘We’ve still got the existing busi- ness we’ve got here. It’s all about the scale – if you were doing a major refurbishment it would have been easier to go up there but equally if you’re just doing internal work then it’s quite easy to do the work down here and it’s a lot more convenient because it’s more central,’’ Mr Dalzell says.
New Zealand Marine Industry Association executive director Peter Busfield says the marine industry has recovered well from the financial crisis and this should continue to be reflected in superyacht occupancy.
On May 7, Mr Dalzell and mayor Len Brown unveiled plans to develop a 28,000 square metre block of land in Wynyard Quarter into a new family-friendly suburb complete with a five-star hotel on the site of the Team New Zealand yacht base.
Waterfront Auckland is hoping for superyacht occupancy at its Silo and Viaduct marinas to improve this winter after a dry summer run.