Phuket Marinas Making Waves News Feed

Phuket Marinas Making Waves

Exciting news splashes into the Southeast Asian boating world with the announcement that Royal Phuket Marina (RPM), one of the three largest marinas serving Phuket and the surrounding area, is doubling in size. Already voted one of Asia’s Five Top Marinas and awarded the esteemed British Yacht Harbour Association’s “5 Golden Anchor Award” and CNBC’s “Best International Design” award, expansion plans clearly bode for a great future for the marina. This news, indicating overall growth and mooring capacity for the marina facility, adds to the super synergy now putting Phuket further up the list of a worldwide destinations for marine based tourism andr yacht owners who search the globe for the ultimate, beautiful locations for residences or holiday boating.

Thanks to RPM’s non-tidal deepwater basin, unique boat lock and motor-up private moorings that face luxe housing doorsteps, the marina is already well known, and Phuket is rapidly becoming known as a yachting destination on par with the likes of St. Tropez, thanks to its quality amenities and access to top-tier private villas, fine restaurants, fitness, health and spa establishments. RPM developer Gulu Lalvani says demand for space now exceeds the facility’s capacity of 150 vessels up to 35 metres (including 50 “dry” berths for craft up to 40 metres), noting that expanding berthing facilities are needed to accommodate fast-growing demand.

Indeed, Phuket mooring overall requires expansion, as it was hailed among boaters in the last Phuket King’s Cup Regatta as “favourite sailing venue and best regatta location” in a survey of attendants at Thailand’s signature annual yachting event. Established in 1987 to honor the 60th birthday of His Majesty the King of Thailand, the regatta celebrated its Silver 25th anniversary in 2011. In 2012, it has grown to become a pedigreed global event hosting over 1,000 participants, with more than 2,000 people attending race parties, over a week of exciting races and events. Now holding status as one of the world’s “big boat” affairs, it is an increasing draw of yachts from China, Korea and Japan, furthering the island's reputation as a haven for luxury boating. It certainly helped that in 2007, Thailand dropped boat import taxes to zero percent, from 200 percent and the annual PIMEX Boat Show now draws ever increasing numbers of international exhibitors, while niche yachting events such as the Yacht Boutique held by Northrop and Johnson and Asia Yacht Services further demonstrated how appeal to Asian boat owners and others in the area is on the rise.

Other options for area yachters include Yacht Haven Marina, located in Laem Phrao, just up the northeast coast of Phuket. A full-service destination marina for boats up to 80 metres and 5-metre draft, this facility has apartments just above the marina, a fuel jetty far enough from berthing to not feel jammed-in, and a spectacular view out over the broad channel between Phuket island and the mainland, making the marina and ever popular choice for larger vessels. Then there is Ao Po Grand Marina, located at the entrance of Phan Nga Bay, with 24-hour access to its 200 berths, also allowing 80 metre yachts in its deep water facility. With metered water to all berths, extra wide pontoon walkways, golf buggy transport options and the attractive Quarterdeck Bar & Restaurant on the waterfront and another eatery at its inland laguna, this marina is expanding as well.

Nearby sailing destinations to Phuket are endless, with many deserted white sand beaches, fish-filled coral reefs and alluring jungle to explore. A few cruising options worth mentioning include: the Racha Islands (10 nm southeast), with the lovely Ao Dawan Tok bay for sunsets; Naka Islands (9 nm off Phuket’s east coast), with is pearl farm to visit; diminutive Kai Islands, with excellent snorkeling around its occasionally tour boat-crowded coral reefs; and close-in (4 nm) Rang Islands, with their own pearl

farm, mini-golf and enough other entertainment for a fun day trip. Further afield, remote archipelagoes like the Similan and Mergui islands offer the ultimate marine adventure for overnight excursions.


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