Tuesday 24 November 2015

Yacht Makers Look To Mumbai Marinas For Demand Cruise

Foreign luxury yacht makers are eagerly awaiting the two marinas in Mumbai, at Mandwa and Belapur in Navi Mumbai, to come up as these would create the much-needed infrastructure and eliminate security concerns at the present anchorage near the Gateway of India.

This, along with proposed changes in regulations would greatly boost the demand for this plaything of the super rich following a sustained depressed market since Mumbai terror attack.

“India doesn’t have the marinas and other infrastructure required for yachts to be more popular. It’s a social lifestyle thing, and unless there are enabling facilities it’s difficult to market them,” Michel Francois, sales director, Prestige Yachts of France, told dna.

The two marinas, places where yachts are docked, would surely revive leisure yachting in Mumbai, says Anju Dutta, managing director of Marine Solutions, one of the largest luxury yacht distributors in the country.

“Since 2005, we have been lobbying with the authorities in Mumbai to promote marinas, which is essential for yachts to dock. There was little awareness back then. After sustained effort, government is now enthusiastic with transport minister Nitin Gadkari taking active interest. Currently, we understand two tenders are out following sustained push by him. So, we believe we will soon have marinas in Mumbai. Plans are there to build five in Mumbai, then along the way to Goa there will be two more,” Dutta said.

From an 112-footer Ferretti yacht of Anil Ambanis to the one made by the same company owned by Sunny Wadhawan of HDIL, the couple, Anju and Gautama, has sold around 15 yachts till date including many in Goa, where they are the biggest dealer.

The Duttas and Francois were in Kolkata to hand over a 41-feet Prestige 500 to realtor Rahul Saraf, the first Kolkatan to own a yacht.

Saraf plans to use it to entertain apartment owners of Atmosphere, the priciest living tower in the city being built by his Forum Projects.

While Ferretti of Italy remains the most desired yacht brand in India, Prestige of France is a relatively smaller player.

“It’s a new market for us, In India we have sold about three,” said Francois.
“Apart from docking facilities, marinas, internationally, are places where one can shop or eat creating job opportunities apart from the fact that yachts themselves create many jobs, particularly for those coming from the fishing community due to their knowledge of the sea,” Dutta said.

Apart from infrastructure, enabling regulations like pleasure boating rules would also help the sector grow.

The pleasure boats and privately owned crafts not plying for profit were licensed under Section 7(k) of the Indian Ports Act of 1908.

With an aim to have a complete and regular system of registration of all inland vessels, the IV Act, 1917 was enacted.

“We were badly hit by the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai. While security went up, rules were not in place. We are currently working with the customs, the police authorities for pleasure boating rules. The country doesn’t have any such rules anywhere though it is the norm globally across many tourist destinations. Rules like the IV Act are not ideal as these boats are not used for any economic activities like fishing or other commercial activities. Pleasure boating rules worldwide are very clear and less restrictive,” she said.

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Source - epaper.dnaindia.com 

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