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Australian Boat Berth Bonanza

The marina and boating industry is looking to the business and finance community for growth, as more self-managed super funds seek alternative income streams.

While a marina berth starts at about $1 million in the key Sydney Harbour berths, dry docks and regional centres are providing returns of more than 8 per cent per annum.

Agents have said there has been a rise in demand to own such a property as a landlord and rent the berth to boat owners, in a similar way to a commercial or residential asset.

Ardent Leisure, the owner of the d'Albora Marinas, one of the biggest in the country, said in its full year result for the 2013 financial year that the division had performed well in a tough climate.

''D'Albora Marinas recorded total revenues of $23.1 million against $23.7 million recorded in the prior year. An earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $10.7 million was recorded, matching the prior year EBITDA of $10.7 million.

The chief executive of Ardent, Greg Shaw, said a small decline in revenue for the period was offset by improved operating margins.''The d'Albora portfolio continues to benefit from strong occupancies throughout the year, as a result of premium locations in Australia's most popular waterways,'' Mr Shaw said.

''Trading in July 2013 achieved revenues of $1.7 million, in line with the prior year.''

The sales and marketing director at Ray White Marine, Brock Rodwell, said while the marina and boating industry had been hit hard over the past few years, signs were emerging of a resurgence of acquisitions and redevelopment plans across the state.

He said there were several under way that were being marketed by Ray White Marine and these included the Batemans Bay Marina redevelopment, Rozelle Bay and several boutique marinas in the Sydney metro region.

Mr Rodwell said marina berths were viewed as a conservative investment that regularly had higher returns than both residential and commercial property.

''Batemans Bay Marina will offer select long-term leases for those wanting to secure their own private berth for the next 20 years,'' he said.

''Developers and equity funds are seeing the value in profitable marinas and are dedicating large amounts of time towards investing and redeveloping existing berths/facilities.''

He said investors and owners who were choosing marina berths as a piece of the portfolio to put towards their self-managed super funds were also on the rise. ''With increased valuations on housing prices, everyday investors are drawing equity from their houses to easily purchase marina berths,'' Mr Rodwell said.

The director of metropolitan investments at CBRE, Tim Grosmann, said marina assets are typically pursued by sophisticated investors - rather than small-time investors - especially given the complexities involved in this style of property.

''Marinas are generally located on leasehold rather than freehold land and the leasehold periods are typically around 30 years, so it's vital to have a good knowledge of the fundamentals,'' Mr Grosmann said.

''We typically find that these types of properties are acquired by sophisticated investors who have some form of involvement in the maritime industry.

''This was the case in the sale of Ferguson's Boatshed marina at Mosman, which was sold by CBRE to the adjoining owner in a deal that settled in recent months.''

The near embargo on the large-scale marina development in Sydney has also led to a scarcity of berths, which agents say has fuelled the price rises in recent years.

Additionally, marinas are facing increasing barriers to expansion and in some instance even repairs and upgrading of facilities. According to industry figures there are more than 800,000 boats registered in Australia, with a further 100,000-plus not regist- ered being under repair or renovation.

Mr Rodwell said a recent survey of the marina industry showed that it provided permanent and casual employment for 15,900 employees (excluding contractors) and generated gross revenues, including rents, of $1.65 billion.

Source: Brisbane Times

New Marina Planned – one hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh

One of Scotland's lochs is to become home to a new marina, providing Perthshire's rural economy with an economic boost.

The operators of Taymouth Marina, at Kenmore - just over an hour's drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh - say the project will create 50 jobs around Loch Tay.

The marina will incorporate 40 deep and shallow berths sheltered by a newly-constructed breakwater extending 70m onto the loch.

It will also give locals and visitors the chance to learn and learn some of the arts of sailing in the non-tidal loch as part of a wide range of courses led by trained instructors. 

The development includes a new waterfront restaurant and wine bar with views across Loch Tay to Kenmore and the Ben Lawers mountain range - much of which is designated as a National Nature Reserve. 

Taymouth Marina is the realisation of a long-held dream for the Crieff-based owners, Eric and Naomi Strickland who are partners in multi-award winning architects McKenzie Strickland Associates and both qualified yacht-masters. Eric, who is also a sailing instructor, first learned to sail on Loch Tay as a child and met Naomi, on the water 15 years ago.The project will boost berthing options for the many yachtsmen based in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Source: Yachting Monthly

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Australian Marina bargains to be had in wake of GFC

A GROWING number of bargain hunters are circling marinas, taking advantage of discounts of up to 50 per cent in the wake of global financial crisis.

Groups such as the John Singleton and Geoff Dixon-backed Riversdale is among the buyers, as it works with adviser Citigroup on plans to list on the stock exchange a new company that owns marinas and pubs. Sources also suggest more established players, including Ariadne and Ardent Leisure, may be buyers at the right price.

Bruce Goddard from Place Estate Agents said prices had fallen since the GFC.A Sydney investor bought Craig Gore's Townsville marina for less than half its pre-GFC price.The 283-berth Hope Harbour marina on the Gold Coast also recently sold for half price.Others for sale include Queensland developer Russell McCart's assets at Airlie Beach and the Port Hinchinbrook marina, as well as others in Cairns and Magnetic Island. Buyers were drawn to the attractive yields, Mr Goddard said. "Pre-GFC, they were buying at a price where they couldn't get a yield out of it. It was purely lifestyle purchases," he said. "It was a lot more aspirational to own a big boat, and post-GFC there were a lot less people who could afford a big boat. There's still enough marinas where you can make money out of them. No one is getting carried away on price."

One of the attractions was that few new development approvals were being sought. "I think there is some good potential capital gain," Mr Goddard said.

Don O'Rorke, executive chairman of Consolidated Properties, said that at the Hope Island marina, which the group owned, berths had been sold individually.

Consolidated Properties had more than 200 marina berths at Hope Island, which have sold out. Demand had been consistent since the GFC, he said, but prices had fallen. Prices achieved ranged from $5000 per square metre to $12,000/sq m.

"The interesting stat that is quoted in relation to marina berths is boat registrations, and boat registrations continue to grow, but supply of new marina berths has been quite stagnant, so in the medium to long term that's what should fuel the price growth," Mr O'Rorke said.

The company bought the marina from Mirvac as part of a wider portfolio and was selling the berths because marinas were not the company's core business.

Among recent marina buyers were former Macquarie banker Andrew Hooper-Nguyen and business partner Chris Ellis, with reports suggesting their latest acquisition was the Port Douglas marina at a discount of about 50 per cent to the $25m it was bought for before the GFC.

The pair also own the 138-berth Scarborough marina at Sandstone Point at Deception Bay in Queensland.

Source: The Australian