Expansion work continues at marina
More megayachts are choosing to make the Rodney Bay their home port and base as a result of the recent expansion and upgrading works undertaken there. Marina General Manager Cuthbert Didier said in August, “We have seen a huge spike in the demand for megayacht berthing over the last two weeks. We have one vessel, The Grand Finale, which will be berthed and stationed here for six months. We have several others that are coming and we’re finding out that even in this hurricane season, these vessels are choosing our marina, and by extension St. Lucia, to home port and base.”
“It’s an endorsement of what we have been saying all along,” said Didier. “If you build and you have a good rate, price structure and good service and the facilitation of customs and immigration there, the vessels will not only come but they will stay.”
Didier said there were now five of these megayachts berthed at the marina which was uncommon for this time of year. According to Didier, St. Lucia and RBM continued to address the insurance issues that in the past had chased a lot of yachts further south. “There is no invisible line and no hurricane-free zone, so yachtsmen are now choosing where they berth based upon the quality of facilities, even if that means staying further north, and St Lucia is benefiting,” he said.
Didier noted that, so far, this hurricane season had not shown any strong signs of being active and, because of that, people were still in their normal pattern of sailing and enjoying the Eastern Caribbean. Meanwhile, expansion works at the Marina were continuing. “We are in the midst of some significant projects,” said Didier. “We are about a month away from finalizing the boatyard. We have a new dredger that’s been at work in the entrance of the lagoon and alongside by the fuel dock. We’re working with Sol to commission the new fuel tanks up to a capacity of 10,000 and 20,000 gallons of diesel and gas with high speed dispensers. The final set of work in landscaping and dredging is being done.”
Didier said there was no word yet on the commencement of the second phase of the expansion. The company was still looking at the slowdown in the world economy, assessing the developments in St Lucia and making sure that the demand was there before going into the second phase.
Report submitted by Ernie V.G. Seon