Thursday, 25 September 2008

If Only The Rules and Regulations Were As Crystal Clear As The Sea!

Just as superyachts were beginning to feel more assured of a warm welcome in Croatia, a new twist to the already murky rules and regulations has arisen. This time it's the unfortunate story of a megayacht that legitimately fuelled up in France, but ends up having fuel dyed a similar cover to the fuel used by Croatia's fisherman which apparently is illegal in Croatia.
This appears to be the first reported incident of its kind and not something that the international yachting industry has come across before, including those with a great deal of experience in the Adriatic. The unfortunate yacht was delayed, fined and its visitors refused permission to embark, though it appears that the authorities have now conceded that the yacht was not breaking Croatian law and are endeavouring to redress the situation.
You can read the full story by following this link and we agree with the comment there that Croatia still has some way to go to reassure nautical visitors that there will be a warm welcome and no unpleasant surprises. This is particularly the case for superyachts, a market that Croatia has specifically stated it wants to attract in greater numbers. Croatia's natural beauty is one thing, but these customers, and the captains with the responsibility for carrying out owners' wishes, need, above all, a smooth and trouble free administrative passage. Just one story like this, circulating fast as it will through a small elite network, is enough to deter many visitors just as they might have been beginning to believe that Croatia really had made the rules and regulations easier for superyachts to meet in all areas.
Today's photo is of the fuel station by Sumartin on Brač Island.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Cruising Croatia - First Hand

Just a quick posting to let readers know that Miggy and Neal's blog is "on air" again with a detailed account of their trip round the Dalmatian coast and islands and an interesting visit to Montenegro as well.
Follow this link for their latest news and I hope they don't mind me "borrowing" one of their photos!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Superyacht Marinas In Croatia

We were lucky enough to be asked to write the lead feature for Boat International's Superports' Directory 2009, a few months ago. That involved a review of the trends in the superyacht industry around the world and an anlysis of major new developments. It also enabled us to try and ensure that Croatian marinas were properly represented in the directory and, as we wrote, it was clear that Croatia and neighbouring Montenegro have all the potential to emerge as significant superyacht destinations. Montenegro has the advantage of being a small and newly independent country that can write the rules sensibly for superyachts without the constraints of the often cumbersome and confusing legislative process that Croatia suffers from. It also has the advantage of a brand new dedicated facility, with exceptional geographical and infrastructural advantages, due to open in 2009. However, when superyacht visitors are satisfied that the Croatian rules and regulations are more transparent and easier for them to meet, they can enjoy an ever increasing number of berthing options.
Readers who can't get their hands on the hard copy will be pleased to know that Dockwalk, a member of the Boat International Group of companies, is now publishing the Directory online and we were pleased to be able to facilitate a number of new or updated entries for Croatia and Montenegro. The Dockwalk site has only recently been launched but is well on the way to completion. You'll already find Marina Frapa, Rogoznica on it (pictured), one of this year's new entries for its recently completed megayacht transit pier.
For those that want to know more about Croatia as a superyacht destination, see our earlier posting Boat International - Superyacht Owners' Guide: The Best of Croatia