Ayia Nappa, Cyprus – 7 August 2020 – The long-held vision of Cypriot Gerry Caramondani, in partnership with Naguib Sawiris, a prominent investor from Egypt, has become a reality with the opening of a 600 slip marina, drystack and the arrival of the first boats in February 2020. Ayia Nappa Marina is approximately 45-minutes east of Larnaca International Airport and 70 minutes from Limassol. The marina is located near the Mediterranean resort town Ayia Nappa, a world-famous holiday destination known for its beaches on the southeast coast of Cyprus.
The marina, built by Bellingham Marine, features full-service finger berthing that provides greater access and ease of mooring for boats up to 30m as well as full-service berthing options for boats up to 65m. “This iconic marina will become the standard that other marinas in the Mediterranean aspire to meet,” says John Spragg, Bellingham Marine’s President of Australasia and the Middle East, “Once boaters use the finger mooring system, they will demand it elsewhere.”
Editor’s Note: Marina Dock Age magazine talked with Joe Ueberroth, owner and CEO of Bellingham Marine. Ueberroth’s investment firm Bellwether is also part owner of Dana Point Harbor Partners, the partnership that is redeveloping Dana Point Harbor in California. In the late 1990s, Ueberroth’s marina management company, BellPort Group, partnered with Nishida Tekko, the owner of Bellingham Marine, to develop and operate marinas in Japan. In 2006, Ueberroth bought Bellingham, through a public company that he was operating at that time. In 2009, his company Bellwether, bought all the Bellingham assets and privatized the company. Ueberroth has an extensive background in investments in a wide range of industries and businesses – from internet companies to hotels, greenhouses and riverboats. As an owner and entrepreneur, he has repeatedly learned, sometimes the hard way, that fundamentals in business do matter. His successes and failures have influenced his business strategy as a dock builder, marine contractor and marina developer. We talked with him about development trends for marinas, aggregation of the industry, the waterfront lifestyle and what all that means for his marina businesses.
Q: How would you describe your experience working internationally and how does that compare to U.S markets?
Ueberroth: The place I’ve had the most international experience is Japan, and in Japan, I quickly realized that there was so much lost in translation. I don’t speak Japanese. I didn’t understand their business environment and what’s important to them. Having great Japanese partners made all the difference.
Most often, the first thing we want to talk about in the U.S. is price. When you meet with a client about a project in Japan, they will say yes to your price for they want to focus on all aspects of quality. When I came to understand from my local partners that price was to be re-negotiated after all other aspects were completed, it removed the frustration from the negotiations.
My experience in Japan influenced how we have expanded Bellingham’s business internationally. We have a couple of plants that we own internationally, but they are all in English speaking countries. In countries where we don’t speak the language, we won’t understand their business. In places, like Korea, China, Japan, Dubai and Spain, we have a local partner.
By Robert Wilkes
Caution: this is a story of marina redevelopment and expansion in New Zealand that contains a number of challenging Māori names. Be undaunted. It’s an inspirational story well worth the effort.
Lake Taupō is considered the “beating heart” of the North Island by Māori. The lake bed is formed by a huge volcanic crater and is owned by Ngati Tūwharetoa, a Māori tribe made up of 26 hapū, or sub-tribes. Motuoapa Marina nestles on the shore of a village of the same name. Now that you have mastered these challenging Māori names, we begin.
New Zealand is a new land that rose from the sea as the result of the massive collision of tectonic plates. Lake Taupō is in a volcano caldera or crater formed by multiple eruptions over 300,000 years. The last major eruption 1,800 years ago may have been the natural phenomenon noted at the time by chroniclers in China and Rome. Located in the middle of the North Island, the 623 sq. km lake is the largest in New Zealand. Major population centers are three hours south and north, notably Wellington and Auckland. The lake is dotted with stunning cliff-side Māori carvings and visitors enjoy fishing excursions and adventure tours. Remarkably, but not in New Zealand, there are ski resorts not more than 30 minutes away.
The original marina was built fifty to sixty years ago by local boating enthusiasts and members of social organizations who wanted a place to keep a boat on the lake. They did it with grit and sweat on weekends. They created a cozy marina for family boating in a beautiful setting; some say it has the greatest trout fishing in the world. All the slips are permanently rented by local residents and boaters who drive up from the cities.
Ready for renewal!
Unfortunately, there were no hydrologists among the volunteers. While the lake water just outside the marina is always pristine, the water inside did not flush and was stagnant, algae-choked and infested with invasive catfish. There were plenty of other issues. An island took up valuable space in the middle of the basin. Boats berthed around the perimeter were pile-tied with their bows to a crumbling timber sea wall. The “boaties,” many of them aging, had to clamber onto the pointy end with their groceries in their arms and shuffle alongside the deckhouse to the cockpit.
Motuoapa Marina was loved, but long past its useful life. There was no water, no electricity, no security, no lighting and no services. Part of the marina was on the boundary of private land and half the boaters were effectively trespassing to get to their boats. Worst of all, due to a lake level that fluctuates by 1.4 meters over a year, boaters couldn’t access their berths or navigate the channel during low water.
And you think your marina has problems!