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A Superyacht Berth For Dun Laoghaire? It’s More Realistic Than You Might Think

8th September 2017
The impressive 150–foot Latitude motoryacht arrived into Dun Laoghaire marina via the northwest passage, Greenland and Iceland in 2015. It is so far the largest super yacht to berth at the town marina. Far bigger craft are looking to berth at Dun Laoghaire and represent a new market for the vacant harbour The impressive 150–foot Latitude motoryacht arrived into Dun Laoghaire marina via the northwest passage, Greenland and Iceland in 2015. It is so far the largest super yacht to berth at the town marina. Far bigger craft are looking to berth at Dun Laoghaire and represent a new market for the vacant harbour

#Superyachts - All indications show the superyacht market is turning around — and as it expands, it’s important to note that more and more of these vessels are eschewing crowded Mediterranean spots and cruising instead in Northern European waters.

Typically these luxury craft, many greater than 50 metres in length, are heading to northern destinations such as the Orkney IslandsNorway and Sweden that are already popular with cruise liners.

On the way, they’re transiting the Irish Sea — and seeking opportunities for safe and convenient berths close to transport links in the UK and Ireland alike. Dun Laoghaire is perfectly positioned to capitalise on this market.

Super yacht Dublin cityThe completion of the Samuel Beckett Bridge across the River Liffey in Dublin City effectively meant the demise of the Dublin City Mooring facility in 2010 as large craft could no longer transit the river. During their relatively short period of operation, the modest Dublin City Mooring pontoons in the heart of Dublin was able to attract a number of superyachts (like the Triple 7 above) to berth on their pontoon which was located conveniently in the heart of Dublin. This is no longer possible and has effectively ended Dublin as a destination for visiting superyachts but these superyachts still want to come here

Above and beyond the local spend on overnight berths, and victualling these superyachts, there are significant opportunities to target high net worth individuals in the luxury tourism market. And Dublin is a recognised go-to destination.

dun laoghaire harbour aerialThe Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company is currently marketing the harbour as a cruise ship destination in competition to the existing location of Dublin Port. It is seeking to establish the harbour as a stop over for small to medium sized cruise ships and has identified the Carlisle Pier for this purpose. Super yachts can also be accomodated in this plan. Photo: Michael Chester

Many of these superyachts are the size of small ships, weighing over 250 tonnes. It means they’re too big for Dun Laoghaire’s 800–berth yachting marina, but they represent a welcome boon for a harbour vacant since the loss of the Stena HSS ferry service. One recent arrival into Dun Laoghaire was the magnificent Atlantic schooner from America in August. Read Aflaot.ie's article on the Atlantic's visit here.

Arcadia yachtThe 35.80m Arcadia berthed in Dun Laoghaire in September 2014. Not only does the impressive 'Arcadia' have gorgeous lines but as the 159th vessel to transit the Northwest Passage, she's also a serious long distance expedition motor yacht too

SY ChristopherEven seasoned observers were gobsmacked at the sheer size of the 46–metre (150–foot) Superyacht Christopher berthed at Dun Laoghaire marina in 2014, dwarfing all 500 local craft in the harbour. Christopher represents the upper limit of craft permitted at the marina due to weight and draft restrictions. In fact Christoper could only be facilitated in the marina due to the fact she has a lifting keel

What's more thanks to the Failte Ireland accredited marina, it has the type of 'concierge' facilities to deal with visiting superyachts: everything from car hire to hotel bookings.

But this isn't an overture for billionaires who have no place to park their superyacht. There's a business case to say that Dun Laoghaire town can easily take advantage of this.

Atlantic superyacht dun laoghaireThe two-year-old 185–ft three-masted schooner Atlantic alongside at Dun laoghaire Harbour in August. The replica that was too big for the yachting marina stayed for a week at a secure but somewhat neglected (below) berth No.4 alongside at the abandoned ferry terminal. Photos: TwitterAtlantic superyacht dun laoghaireThe facilities required to operate a Super yacht berth amenity are relatively few. A serviced, heavy duty linear concrete pontoon of approximately 80–100m length with shore access via a bridge. Secure access by crew, guests and staff only. Crew facilities could be located in the ferry terminal and be accessible 24 hours to include toilet and shower facilities and wifi access. There is an existing level of security infrastructure which would be utilised including CCTV and Harbour Police to give added assurance to crew and guests that their boat will be secure at all times

At a time when nothing seems to be going right for Dun Laoghaire, these boats could be an important part in the mix of rejuvenating the harbour, bringing much needed revenues — and a splash of glamour.

They’re coming here already, but more could be done to market Dun Laoghaire as a superyacht destination that could even see the harbour as a winter lay-up hub, too.

To attract them would not need consultants, planning permission, investment, tenders — just the space they need. And that’s already available in Dun Laoghaire, which has four vacant ship berths capable of accommodating such vessels.

The question isn’t whether Dun Laoghaire can attract this lucrative superyacht business — the question is, who in the harbour will take the initiative?

super yacht graphicSource: Towergate Insurance

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