Megayacht tourism

Nice article on concerning marina projects for Megayachts, including plan of Sandy Ground Marina :

by Gregory Weykamp
Anguilla, the northernmost of the Leeward Islands along the eastern edge of the Caribbean, is a beautiful island nation of just 15,000 residents. Known for its quiet and peaceful beaches, friendly locals, and a distinct lack of American style franchise chains that clutter so many other Caribbean islands, Anguilla has made a conscious effort to focus its efforts on protecting the authentic character of the island by concentrating on serving a smaller number of tourists, but at a much higher level of service. Rather than compete for the mass market cruise ship industry, which could easily overwhelm the natural resources and culture of the island, Anguilla has set its sights on providing a new destination for the hundreds of super and mega yachts that cruise the Caribbean.

Located just 12.8km (8mi) north of Saint Martin, Anguilla is a very desirable alternative to the more crowded beaches and cruise ports for those looking for a different experience. While large yachts regularly visit the waters around Anguilla, there are currently no dedicated facilities for berthing private yachts of any size anywhere on the island. Visiting yachts must anchor offshore or utilise one of the very few mooring fields and use their tenders to visit the island or provision the yacht.


sandy ground marina Sandy Ground is a narrow peninsula with an ocean front beach on Road Bay to the west and a 43ha (106 acre) salt flat to the east. Just 150m (492ft) wide, Sandy Ground is home to some of the best local restaurants and beaches on Anguilla, as well as many historic homes, all of which are threatened by sea level rise. The concept master plan for this site proposes to transform the salt flat into a megayacht marina capable of supporting nearly 2,900m (9,514ft) of berthing for vessels in excess of 100m (328ft) in length. The new marina will be nestled into the site and surrounded by a nature preserve for nesting terns and emergent wetland and upland vegetation. The maritime traditions of Anguilla will be preserved through a heritage centre that will share the traditional knowledge, cultural artifacts and history of the Sandy Ground site. Additional elements include high end resort and residential, as well as marina service facilities, all on new land created by dredging the salt flat to create adequate depths for navigation. The plan avoids displacing existing residences and businesses and will also provide for the use of the dredge materials to raise the Sandy Ground neighbourhood above anticipated sea level rise.

Marina concept in Blowing point

Extract from The Anguillian newspaper :

marina anguillaThe Blowing Point Concept

The proposed Blowing Point location is centrally located on the southern side of Anguilla’s main island, and is home to the existing ferry terminal docks, where travelers arrive when coming to Anguilla by sea. The Country’s Security Customs building is located immediately upland of the existing ferry terminal docks. Westward of the existing ferry terminal docks is a beach extending roughly 427 meters (1,400 feet) in length with the remains of a former dolphin exhibit observatory sanctuary that was destroyed in the 2017 recent hurricanes last year (Hurricane Irma, September 2017). There are several existing structures that line the beach westward of the ferry terminal docks. The beach also extends eastward roughly 305 meters (1,000 feet)’ in length, where it meets the landward end of a coral reef formation. Two reef formations extend outward from either end of the beach creating a somewhat natural harbour/ basin. Within this natural harbour is a mooring field where locals use mooring buoys to secure smaller [(less than 12 meters/ (40 feet)] vessels while they are not in use. Approximately 76 meters (250 feet) inland of the eastern beach is a roughly 2 hectares (5 acres) existing salt pond. The site’s coral reef and salt pond were surveyed and summarized as part of the environmental considerations section of this report. Existing water depths are favorable at this location; however, it is anticipated that dredging will be required to create an entrance channel and outer mooring basin.

The conceptual site plan for Blowing Point, utilizes the observed natural wave break that is present due to the existing reef formation, as well as the inland salt pond. This location encompasses a much smaller footprint when compared to Sandy Ground; however, it introduces the idea of two large rubble mound breakwaters that will enhance the existing natural harbor and create a marine climate that is suitable for mooring megayachts. The concept plan includes the creation of an outer mooring basin for megayachts up to 91 meters (300 feet) and an inner marina basin that utilizes the existing salt pond. The inner basin would handle vessels up to 31 meters (100 feet) in length, in addition to a number of smaller slips ranging from 12 to 24 meters (40 to 80 feet) in length. Development of the uplands should also include the addition of a maritime museum to preserve, and celebrate the legendary captains, boat builders, regattas, and maritime heritage from Anguilla’s rich history.

marina anguilla rendez-vous bayRendez-Vous bay project on the left offers more places for yachts of all sizes. It would just replace the existing 60 acres pond.

The five proposed superyacht marina sites identified by Edgewater Resources are Sandy Ground, Blowing Point, Rendezvous Bay, Little Harbour and Scrub Island. It is estimated that each project ranges in cost from US$26 million to US$81 million. Chief Minister Banks noted that two other marinas were under discussion in Anguilla – one in the area of Altamer Resort at West End; and the other, part the Conch Bay Development Project in The Forest Bay area.


Anguilla signs $350 million MOU for marina hotel villas in East End.

Maltese Falcon Anguilla mega yacht marina mou projectThe project entails a Mega yacht Marina that will handle up to 150 large yachts and another 100 smaller vessels. A hotel comprising of 100-150 rooms and 100 villas as well as other hotel related public spaces and a convention center. A number of high end retail outlets are envisioned as part of the project.

From Anguilla Government page:

Anguilla – Acting on behalf of the Government of Anguilla, Chief Minister Hon. Hubert Hughes today signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with American based development company ECMA for a Megayacht Marina for the Southern coast of the island. The MOU was witnessed by Trade and Investment officer in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Perin Bradley. The MOU was signed by Mr. Ellington Ellis of ECMA.

The partnership between the Romney’s family, the developers and the Government of Anguilla will create an ultra-luxurious Mega yacht Marina to accommodate the best yachts in the world. It is envisioned that the project will have a mixture of hospitality products, high end shopping and other services.

On hand were, Permanent Secretary M. Foster Rogers, Chairman of the Tourism Investment Committee, Hon. Jerome Roberts and Hon. Haydn Hughes who are also members of the Tourism Investment Committee.

“This project is long overdue and will create employment for 100s of jobs for the Anguillian people. Anguilla has a number of world class hospitality products and we have been challenged to encourage investment for a mega yacht Marina for many years. This opens the door for the development of this marina and these investors are serious business people. I would like to thank my Ministers, Miss Mary Clare Haskins for her hard work, the Tourism Investment Committee, Ms. Lavan Hoyoung and most of all, the Romney’s family for making this dream a reality” the Chief Minister Hughes stated at the signing.

The Anguilla United Movement Government, economic and investment strategy is to diversify Anguilla’s economic base by the development of Marinas of this kind. This is a deliberate effort to do so as stated in the Anguilla United Movement’s, ‘BLUEPRINT FOR ANGUILLA’S RESCUE AND DEVELOPMENT.”