September 1, 2010

Easy Sea Expensive Waters

Prices increases of sixty per cent in the major most wanted marinas yacht harbours in Italy said an article on the very regarded Italian newspaper La Republica with a trend to reserve places for the bigger sizes of 24 metres plus. This surely is hurting the development of the yacht boating industry and may be a system of control should be started especially in those harbours where the infrastructure was carried out by public finances which is paid by all tax payers money, not by the monopolists who are managing these harbours. In recent forums discussions a trend is starting to sleep on anchor even for motor boats which usually have a habit of going into a harbour for the night against the more sailor orientated sailing boats. So was the saying from many owners and declared by a few like a Ferretti 53 owner in Croatia asked 120 EUROS per night, and another in Ibiza quoted 400 EUROS a sleep for his twenty metre Princess 67.
In June the promised Marina privatisation started locally, with the first lease tendered by the Malta government to Harbour Management Ltd of the Mgarr Gozo harbour pontoons. As stated by the Maltese Government in the local media in the last year prices where not supposed to increase for the first four years, the upgrading of the services, and a controlled eye will be made on these privatisations. The control so far seems very weak with Malta setting a record of doubling its prices for the guests with a ten metre boat paying now 30 EUROS plus for night versus the previous 14.56 EUROS Summer high season rate. We are today in September and so far nothing has been controlled and the marina has not yet been upgraded, altough the service seems to have improved a bit. I wonder what sort of control the Maltese government is doing here! Some of this company share holders seem also to carry interests or management positions in the private Manoel Island Marina, a ship yacht repair dry dock facility in Marsa, and a yard looking South of Manoel Island. My dear Malta government always said about liberating the sector from his influence, I never thought this meant giving it to a private monopoly.
Now if we compare this to Sicily and Italy there is a total different mentality to what regards Marina concessions and competition. In all harbours that are government made, that means the Tax payers paid public authorities do the break water and some land infrastracture, there is always a very vital competition. This is the case just to name a few in Pozallo, Scoglitti, Syracuse, Riposto, Vibo Marina etc etc. In a personal case in Scoglitti I moored at the Yachting Club the old two pontoon piers inside of the harbour paying 35 EUROS per night, but while enquiring into the new marinas one manager just asked straight and plane what I was paying and whatever it is he will make it cheaper. Now that is real competition I add, and an example which should be followed.
Easea>Tour was a great promotion carried out by the Ferretti Group with three of its vessels. I must say the idea was amazing showing means and manners what this boating universe is all about. I liked it so much that I got used to following the diary daily and see as the boats touched parts of Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily, Eolian Island, Sardinia, Corsica, and ending in the South of France just three days ago. Another good news was that the yard technical departments where made to use the boats, rather then always seeing them still or much worse on a computer screen. We have seen something similar to this with the My Voyage of the Azimut 74 Magellano doing a Mediterranean circumnavigation the past Autumn, Winter. Hope these type of marketing ideas continue and come from other boat builders too, showing the yachts out of the usual exposition Universe we have been used to in the last years. Spreading the message of this tour is also today very easy thanks to online media sites as YouTube, Twitter, etc etc

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