'Mumbai current anchorage for yachts'
Kochi, the rich port in Kerala, south India, already has one and soon Mumbai may be following suit. It looks as though Navi Mumbai will soon get the second only marina in India, along with a harbour development for yachts and a waterfront for social activity. This will be a further encouragement for long range cruising yachts to visit the capital.
Plans include facilities for fuelling, repair and maintenance facilities, as well as space for café, restaurants and offices to match India's ‘international counterparts’. It is an early sign India has the will to compete with not only Kochi but nearby Asian territories expanding services for yachts at a rapid rate.
'With its alignment, the Navi Mumbai coast can prove to be a good location for marina and waterfront development. This, in turn, could boost tourism.' said a senior CIDCO official, requesting anonymity.
'Waterfronts are popular public spaces. Our idea is to develop social and cultural activity at these waterfronts and attract tourists,' the official said.
The marina will be particularly good for visiting yachts in the commercial port. 'The concept of yachting is picking up in India and the growth seems promising,' he said.
In the past few years, there has been a rise in the number of boat owners in Mumbai. According to officials, Mumbai can boast of 143 privately owned yachts, the highest in the country. Though top business honchos such as Vijay Mallya and Gautam Singhania own a yacht, in the absence of marina facilities, the boats are moored where they can.
'We in the pleasure boating industry hope that such initiative reaches its logical conclusions,' commented Jitendra Rami, head of operations at yacht refitters, West Coast Marine Yacht Services.
Rami explained the lack of a marina in Mumbai has been a real problem for the 350 or so yachts ranging up to 40m in size that base themselves in the city or visit from time to time, especially international yachts. The fleet currently anchors off the Gateway to India monument, requiring owners to step on board via a passarelle, or, in the case of larger yachts, hire tenders to ferry them around, as there are few, if any places for tenders left unattended in the busy port.
Things are certainly looking up for yachting in India!
by Lee Mylchreest
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8:10 PM Tue 20 Aug 2013GMT
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