Unlike other areas on the French Riviera where decades-old constraints have literally halted marina development, the Port of Cap d’Ail has a unique position thanks to concessions ending in 2027. With the permission of local authorities and current leaseholders, the port has been allowed to redraw its marina layout to keep pace with increased traffic and size of vessels.
Cap d’Ail is a small marina, which made it easier to get consensus from the private companies holding the leases and the local government. Because most berths n the French Riviera were built in the 1950s to the 1970s, they are drastically out of date, unable to accommodate the width or length of today’s superyachts.
From 1950 to 1955, beams ranged from 5.3m to 8.9m. Compare that with beams from 2011 to 2015 that range from 5m to 16m, and one can see the inherent problem. As well as berths being too small, there are also too few berths because of the increase in the number of yachts worldwide.
The stern-to style mooring that is inherent in most of the Riviera has made practical berthing for larger yachts few and far between with no solution apparent unless new concessions are ratified. The proposed redrawing of Cap d’Ail’s northern quay takes the original 19 berths and turns then into 13 berths, with an emphasis on more berths for the 20m to 30m range. In addition to the redrawn quay, the port will include improvements to the “Bassin d’Honner” superyacht moorings that will allow it to accommodate superyachts up to 65m, following the extension of two 55m berths and the removal of an impractical and unused 50m mooring. A new 40m berth will also be created.
Cap d’Ail’s proximity to Monaco should make it an attractive prospect for superyacht owners who are not able to purchase berth leases in the principality.
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