Flagstone builds first U.S. Super-Yacht Harbor
The Super-Yacht Harbor at Island Gardens will be the only facility in the area that is exclusively designed for mega-yachts. The super-yacht harbor, which will provide a spectacular backdrop to Island Gardens, benefits from the deep waters of the cruise ship terminal, which are deep enough for large cruise ships and not subject to tidal restrictions for access.

As most marinas in Florida do not offer deep enough waters for sailing mega-yachts and the very large Super-yachts, the harbor at Island Gardens will have a clear advantage by being able to supply deep navigation routes and berths. In addition to the general growth in demand for mega-yacht berthing space, changes in the travel patterns of these vessels since September 11, 2001, has exacerbated the need for further docking space in South Florida. As a result, Island Gardens Harbor is expected to achieve high occupancy rates shortly after opening.

Demand for boat slips to berth mega-yachts (defined as yachts over 80 feet long) far exceeds the supply in the world, and particularly in South Florida. In addition, the category of very large mega-yachts or super-yachts (where the boat size is in excess of 150 feet) has enjoyed particularly strong growth in recent years. These larger mega-yachts, together with an expanding global fleet of sailing mega-yachts (which feature deep keels) require deeper waters than a typical 80-foot vessel. Most of the marinas in Florida do not offer deep enough waters for sailing mega-yachts and the very large mega-yachts. Even those that have somewhat deeper waters, are only available for access during limited hours of the day, subject to tide levels.

While the marina is geared towards the mega- and super-yacht categories (capable of berthing 43 such vessels), it will also provide some limited space for boats of smaller size (60 to 100 foot range).

MEGA-YACHT AND SUPER-YACHT OVERVIEW

In 2003, orders were placed for more than 580 new mega-yachts worldwide. The industry, particularly in the upper-end of the market, has had a long history of doing well in both good and slow times alike. The resilient growth, particularly with regard to the larger vessels, the so-called mega-yachts, has created a global berthing shortage.

SUPER-YACHTS

The terminology, mega-yachts or super-yachts, represents yachts over 80 feet in length with the average in the 150-foot range. As the trend for new-builds continues to grow larger, the term mega- or super-yacht may eventually refer to yachts in excess of 150 or even 200 feet. Several new builds are currently underway in excess of 200 feet with some exceeding 300 feet in length.

The yachting segment targeted by Island Gardens is unlike any other part of the market. This quality is not only driven by the size of the yachts but also by the purchase price, which can vary greatly between production and custom yachts, required to enter this exclusive club.

In the past 10 years, as vessels have grown in size and quantity in the area, most large yacht owners bought real estate where they could store or buy a slip. These include Ocean Reef, Fisher Island, Deering Estate, etc. In those days, owners merely had to find a slip that could accommodate their 80-100 foot vessels. Now the vessels they seek to own or charter will not fit in the “traditional” marinas.

The number of mega-yachts being ordered annually since 1997 has been growing rapidly, while the share of mega-yachts in excess of 120 feet has also been growing disproportionately.

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