Marinas: quality services in full respect of restrictive rules
The lockdown is fortunately coming to an end and the ports are preparing to welcome a number of boat owners who have certainly already understood that the boat is the safest way to escape – we couldn’t use a more appropriate term today – and spend their weekends and holidays with their family.
In this context, marinas represent a safety hub and, of course, they are preparing to comply with anti-Coronavirusthe safety of both customers and staff with the management of flows, which concern the transit of recreational boats, the embarkation and disembarkation of people on board and all side activities, such as catering and many other services.
The pandemic emergency, in fact, requires marinas to reformulate some customary practices in order to continue to be fully operational while protecting the health of all: staff, vacationers, boat owners and crews.
Distances at the dock and catering service on board
” The large spaces and the modern structure of our marina will allow us to easily comply with the rules on social distancing – explains Giorgio Casareto, Director of the Marina di Varazze – The port quay, along which a series of restaurants and bars develops, offers wide areas and this will give us the opportunity to minimize penalisations in terms of services. In these weeks, we are discussing the measures that will allow us to preserve as much as possible the number of seats in the premises and restaurants, in full respect of the distances that will be established, although the details are not yet known today. When we have specific provisions, we will not be unprepared to set up tables reserved for a few guests”.
A large number of boaters prefer to enjoy their meals on board their own yacht with a few friends and family. Marina di Varazze will dedicate a special onboard catering service to them. “Those who prefer to have dinner in perfect privacy, without renouncing the gourmet proposals of the many restaurants of our marina, can taste excellent dishes directly on their boat, delivered with the utmost punctuality, since the service is practically zero-kilometer”.
Comfort and safety: this combination goes hand in hand with the thesis, particularly dear to The International Yachting Media, according to which the boat is the most protected place from the risk of contagion. “Those who have the possibility to have a boat holiday enjoys, now more than ever, a particular privilege, regardless of the type and size of the boat they have – Mr. Casareto says – When docked in the port, you create a distance physically greater than one meter even between boat neighbors , so staying in the port is in itself compatible with the rule of social distancing. I really hope that boat owners will appreciate the tranquility and security, also from a psychological point of view, that their stay in the port will guarantee ”.
The yacht is like staying at home, but at sea, so it’s a protected place
EvenAndrea Barbagaleta, President of the Marina di Porto Antico (Genoa), takes the view that the boat is like a protected nest because “it represents the projection of the domestic context at sea, so we are free to behave in the boat as we behave at home. According to Federagenti, it is no coincidence that megayachts will be the pioneers of the new safety tourism, because they have large spaces. But small-sized boats, too, such as day cruisers, allow to keep a minimum of distance between guests, both below and outside “.
Some weeks ago, Assomarinas, the Italian Association of tourist ports, issued some safety guidelines for marinas which were sent to individual members with the invitation to customize them according to the logistic characteristics of each marina.
” They are common sense rules that will not impact on boaters’ life – Mr. Barbagelata explains – In addition to maintaining a distance of at least one meter between people, our guests are invited to periodically sanitize the deck of their boat, avoid walking barefoot on the docks, wear shoes and use gloves when they touch the equipment of the port such as electric charging columns, water hoses or garbage bins. As for common areas, such as toilets or the port direction office, we will fix a sign at the entrance of each space indicating the number of people who can be there at the same time. This will guarantee safety and shifts”.
Like Marina di Varazze, Marina Porto Antico remained operationa, in complete safety, during lockdown. “We have alwaysh been available with our customers for every kind of service and, today more than ever, we’re trying to satisfy their needs. Many summer services are already available, such as luggage transport, which will be even improved in order to avoid crowds. Other services, however, have been suspended, such as the ice maker, because everyone can put their hands in it. Furthermore, we will discourage the organization of parties or receptions on board in order to avoid crowds on the dock and prevent non-family members from being involved. All this, of course, will have to be assessed on the basis of the trend of the epidemic during summer and in light of the indications from the competent health bodies “.
In marinas, working in safety is nothing new
Gennaro Coretti, President of the Darsena San Marco di Grado, explains that, in his marina-resort, everything is ready for the post-emergency summer. “ We offer many services, such as catering. Our restaurant already provides home delivery and, in the next months, we will even deliver our dishes on board. Our shipyard mainly deals with sailboats and, since my motto is ” sailing is passion, motorboating is ostentation”, I hope that, this summer, the passion will stir the hearts of customers to come and find their creatures “.
As for safety, in addition to agreeing that the boat is a protected place, Mr. Coretti doesn’t see anything new in that: “For years, our workers, who mainly deal with boat winterizing, hull repairs and polishing activities, have been obliged to wear tyvek suits, a mask with respirator and clear protective glasses while, for example, scratching a hull, and have always worked at a distance. In short, nothing has changed for them”.
The only difference is that we have bought an ozone sanitizing machine, which we use not only in the offices but also in the common areas, such as the reception, changing rooms, bathrooms and showers “.
Darsena San Marco is the headquarters of the business network of the Friulan marinas and includes an observatory that monitors the actual conditions of all the marinas in the region. All official communications regarding union measures, regional ordinances and national decrees come here. The port authorities act as a bridge for the exchange – particularly frequent in this period – of ordinances.
Collaboration between marinas and port authorities
” The positive collaboration between port authorities and marinas – Giorgio Casareto says – can undoubtedly facilitate the correct application of the rules when an ad hoc interpretation is provided”.
Sometimes, however, possible delays in the transmission of information between port authorities and marinas can occur. In this respect, Andra Barbagelata underlines that “port auhtorities’ soldiers are on the front line and work in the field, risking their own health to protect ours, so we all must thank them. We fully understand the current situation: these rules follow one another at a dizzying pace, moving from different authorities to different bodies; moreover, the heads of public administrations hardly have the opportunity to immediately apply a new law, but have to wait for the circulars. There is always a fruitful and constant collaboration with port authorities. “
The marinas are therefore preparing for a summer season that promised to be really demaning between restrictions, unkown factors and one only certainty: staying in the port and on board is safe, especially these times.