Move intended to show support to embattled boatbuilding sector

South Africa’s top marina has slashed berthing fees for boatbuilding clients to help alleviate the financial impact of Covid-19.

Cape Town’s Victoria and Alfred Waterfront on Thursday confirmed a25% berthing discount for multihulls and 20% for monohulls, effective for the next six months leading up to the Cape Town International Boat Show. The marina is a key berthing and commissioning area for Cape Town builders, including Robertson and Caine who export their vessels from the Port of Cape Town.

“This is an offering from the Waterfront to help to stimulate getting back to business,” said Waterfront marine and industrial executive manager Andre Blaine. “We are going to give this discount on mooring rates for the boatbuilding industry . At the moment we will keep this running for the six month period up to the Boat Show, and then make a decision going forward,” Blaine said.

He said the Waterfront, which sees up to 200 000 visitors a day in peak tourist season, considered itself “one of the cogs” of the local boatbuilding industry: “Maybe one of the smaller cogs, but the Waterfront is part of the ecosystem of the industry,” Blaine said. “We want to again show our support.”

South African yards returned to work at the beginning of May in a reduced capacity but most restrictions are due to be lifted as from June 1, subject to strict workplace infection control.

The South African Boat Builders Export Council (SABBEX) this week welcomed the V&A discount:  “SABBEX applauds the V&A Marina Team led by Andre Blaine for this most welcome intervention,” said SABBEX chairman Bruce Tedder.

Blaine said the lockdown and closure of SA’s international borders had sadly impacted on charter boat operations and the influx of yachts to the marina and harbour. “We are keeping close contact with the port and the Department of Health and when there is a call from a visiting yacht or vessel we obtain permission from the port and health department for access this side.  We are set up on Jetty Two and the marina to isolate a vessel if so required.”

“I suppose the frustrating thing at the moment is that the pleasure craft cannot go to sea under the existing regulations so owners of yachts and power boats in the marina cannot go to sea,” Blaine said.

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