With pirates keeping away circumnavigating cruising yachts from the north Indian Ocean, one would have to wonder at the timing, but top Sri Lankan boatbuilders, Cey-Nor have announced that they will be building a 'marina park' in the southwest coastal city of Beruwela.
Beruwela - second marina planned for Indian Ocean
Beruwela is an attractive tourist resort located between Gall and Colombo and is considered an ideal location for such a marina development.
The only marina anywhere near is in Kochi, in India, for which business has been decimated by the non-arrivals of international cruising yachts. However, Cey-Nor thinks that local sailing and visitors from Asia might fill the gap.
The growing volume of export orders for pleasure boats and sea faring fishing vessels continue to propel this government-owned enterprise to new heights, and hence the marina idea was born.
'We have positive inquiries and confirmation for pleasure boats and sea faring fishing vessels from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Norway, The Netherlands and Germany', says Rohan Jayasinghe, the Chairman of Cey-Nor.
Asked why such aqua industries already well developed in these countries would place orders with Ceynor, he said that Ceynor meets ISO standards in manufacturing boats and maintain strict standard inspection.
As a boat builder, Ceynor is entirely owned by the Treasury and is administered by a Board of Directors. Ceynor has also ventured out to Bangladesh as a joint venture company called Sri-Bangla Limited, which is expected to launch operations in the latter part of June this year, he said.
'Opening inland water-ways and rejuvenation of the valuable network of Dutch canals is substantially unavoidable for the tourist industry. Pleasure boats could sail in these canals. There are approximately 200 kilometers of canals and lagoons interconnected and tourist potential is substantial,' he said.
Reverting to the Marina Park concept and influx of upper expenditure business class yachts docking at these sites would be additional income from tourism.
'With prevailing peace and tourism picking up, the future for the boating industry looks good,' he said.
Sail-World hopes that by the time the marina facility is ready for occupancy the Somali pirate problem will be 'solved', enabling boats that formerly anchored in Galle to have the option to use the new marina.