Ports: no more shortage of moorings

By 26/02/2018December 21st, 2020No Comments
RENATO MARCONI Founder of Marinedi

Founder of Marinedi

At the Paris Boat Show we met Renato Marconi, the grey eminence of Italian marinas. Due to his shy and reserved character few people know him outside the world of private marinas, but Renato Marconi controls the largest network of Italian ports, Marinedi, which owns the majority packages of almost all the 13 ports that are part of the network. A network that will soon expand to 25 ports. A former managing director of Italia Navigando, Marconi is one of Italy's leading experts on private marinas.


SVN - In the last interview we did with you three years ago, you told us that despite the crisis in Italy there wasn't a surplus of berths, how has the situation evolved today?

R.M. - In 2008 there were 93,000 berths considered safe, available in Italy, today, ten years later, there are about 100,000, as you can see things have changed little, but now we are seeing an acceleration in the completion of new ports.

SVN - In your opinion, are 100,000 berths enough to meet the needs of our boaters?

R.M. - I think so. In Italy there are 150,000 boats that need a berth. Of these, more or less a third can be found in sailing clubs, in the moorings of associations or in other structures, while the remaining two thirds, that is, about 100,000 boats, are in private marinas. As you can see, more or less the number of boats that are in private marinas and available places are in balance.

SVN - So at the moment there isn't a shortage of berths as there was before the crisis, when before buying a boat you had to manage to get a berth.

R.M. - There is no shortage and I don't think there will be a shortage of berths in the future either. Many structures are nearing completion and the number of berths will increase as the market for boats grows.

SVN - What other change has there been regarding the berth market in recent years?

R.M. - One of the changes we're starting to notice more is the ever increasing presence of foreigners. Italian bureaucracy and regulations have been simplified over the last few years and now they are less scary, which has led to more boats arriving from other European countries.

SVN - You are the head of the largest network of Mediterranean ports, 13 marinas with over 5000 berths, what is the objective of such an effort?

R.M. - To create a network, a network that can offer services along the Mediterranean coasts. A network within which the yachtsman can move around enjoying the facilities that a network of this size can offer and a recognised standard of quality.

SVN - What kind of facilitation can a network of ports offer?

R.M. - If a yachtsman needs to keep his boat in Anzio during the winter, but then wants to keep it in Procida during the summer for his holidays, he can use the network and, for the same cost as for Anzio, he can have a place in Procida during the summer. The same thing can be done with any port of the network or even more ports. The only thing we ask is that this necessity is made known at the moment of signing the contract. This is an advantage that only a network of ports can offer.

SVN - What if I decide at the last minute that I want to stop at other ports in the network?

R.M. - You'll get a 10% discount at all ports.

SVN - What are the next ports to join the network?

R.M. - Chiavari and Marinara.

SVN - Did you also take the port of Bizerte in Tunisia?

R.M. - Yes, we are buying 60% of the shares and I believe it is a strategic port for those who want to sail in the Mediterranean.

SVN - Will you be taking more ports in Africa?

R.M. - We are negotiating for the port of Sidi Bou Said in Tunis and we plan to negotiate for the port of Tangier in Morocco.

SVN - Were most of the ports in the network acquired by Marinedi when they were already built?

R.M. - Many of these are partially built and we take over with the intention of completing them and managing the berths, others we build from scratch and others we expand.

SVN - But don't you ever get 100% ownership?

R.M. - No, in almost all ports we enter with the majority stake, only in Balestrate and Vieste we have 100%.

SVN - Earlier we talked about foreign yachtsmen. The Marinedi network is too wide to interest only the Italian market; what are your forecasts, once it's fully operative, what percentage will represent non-Italian boats.

R.M. - Today these represent 20% of our customers, when fully operational I believe we will reach 50%.


Source: SolovelaNet Yearbook 2018 - Download Article [pdf].