Thailand, and particularly Phuket, is one of the best places in the region for refit, repair and maintenance services, thanks to skilled local craftsmanship combined with lower labour costs. More than just a safe haven to berth a boat, marinas offer yacht owners and captains in-water repair and maintenance, while haul-out facilities allow more extensive work to be done in a hard-stand area.
Ocean Marina is the largest marina in the Gulf of Thailand and the anchor tenant of a Pattaya marina resort complex that also includes a hotel, sports complex, restaurants, residences, and mice facilities. Protected by a sea wall, the marina offers over 370 floating berths for vessels up to 50 metres in length, a hard-stand-area, and travel lift of up to 75 tonnes. A staunch supporter of the Kingdom’s yachting scene, ocean marina has been the host venue for the top of the gulf regatta, the largest regatta in Asia by number of boats, since the race started 10 years ago.
Located at the entrance to the picturesque Phang Nga bay on the northeast coast of Phuket, Ao Po Grand Marina is sheltered within a private bay, providing 200 berths, haul-out facilities up to 90 tonnes and and a hard-stand-area for 60 vessels. Set up to accommodate boats of 80+ metres with zero tide restrictions, the marina is popular with superyachts for its zero tide restrictions and 24-hour access. On-shore leisure facilities are limited, but the marina is part of a larger development plan, including waterfront condominiums, which are currently underway.
Located on the east coast of Phuket, the 5 gold anchor award-winning marina complex combines sailing, sports and leisure with luxury residences and oodles of island sophistication. Access for boats to the sheltered marina is via a natural protected channel – once in, there are 100 wet berths and 50 dry berths to accommodate vessels ranging from 10 to 35 metres, and with a new dry stack storage facility for boats up to 12 metres the marina’s total capacity is now 296. On shore, a world-class health club – complete with floodlit tennis tours – offers yachties a chance to re-energise and find their land legs. A 250-metre boardwalk is dotted with restaurants, offering diners a million-dollar view (literally) of the yachts on display. More bars and restaurants are expected to open in the near future, and the marina also has plans for a hotel from the trendy Foto group and an RPM health club expansion. In February 2016, the marina opened a children’s club named “Kids Mania at RPM”, which is open seven days a week.
Also situated on the east coast adjacent to Royal Phuket Marina, Phuket Boat Lagoon holds the distinction of the island’s first full-service marina. Facilities include 182 wet berths to accommodate vessels with a maximum loa of 42 metres, and a large hard-stand-area with space for up to 134 boats, plus an additional 24 in stack storage. The number of on-site contractors, along with numerous chandleries and marine-related service providers, make boat lagoon a perpetual hive of activity for refit work. An adjoining mid-range resort may lack the glisten of jet-set luxury, but its comprehensive facilities – two swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centre, spa and restaurants – making it an ideal choice for crew members working on a boat. Other facilities within the waterfront community include an on-site supermarket plus a handful of cafés and restaurants.
One of two superyacht marinas on Phuket, Yacht Haven is a popular deep-water choice for large motor and sailing boats. The marina can currently accommodate over 300 vessels measuring up to 80 metres in length, but with an increasing number of large private yachts arriving on Phuket and the marina, expansion plans are underway. Marinetek have designed a new extension which, when complete by the end of december 2014, will be able to accommodate 100-metre megayachts. The unpretentious marina is located on the island’s quiet northeast coast, a fair distance from the main tourist hotspots, but on-shore facilities – accommodation, pool, gym, restaurant, showers and changing rooms – ensure all the needs are met. As yacht haven runs perpetually at near-full or 100 percent capacity, there is always a buzz of activity in the air and friendly banter to be had at the communal areas.
Opened in late 2011, Krabi Boat Lagoon is a sister property of Phuket Boat Lagoon, located approximately 15 minutes from Krabi International Airport. The inland marina is surrounded by coastal mangrove forests, protecting its resident and guest yachts from the sea elements. The marina offers over 80 serviced berths (including six covered berths), a hard-stand-area with a capacity to accommodate over 100 vessels, and a travel lift capable of 50 tonnes at the lifting bay. Current on-shore facilities include a restaurant and supermarket, but the conceptualised master plan, when complete, will include a club house, beach club, and offices for brokerage and maintenance service providers.