Boats have increased in the Mumbai harbor and also along India’s coastline as more and more individuals invest in water front properties. Donny Mathew from Nautilus Yachts says: “The first quarter of 2011 has seen a strong recovery and we are confident this will result in sales.” Anju Dutta from Marine Solutions: “This season was definitely better with us having closed sales in nearly all categories of boats” commented. New brands in luxury yachts, Sport fisher, sailboats and sail catamarans, speed boats and cabin cruisers have made an entry this season. The charter and water sports business has grown by 250%! There have been new boat manufacturers stepping into the industry building a range of boats – wooden and fiberglass. The industry overall is shaping up positively.
The three boat shows this year; the Goa International Marine and Boat Expo, and the Goa International Boat Show, and the Mumbai International Boat Show, attracted discerning buyers over curious visitors. The CII Conference alongside the MIBS witnessed sizeable attendance from boating companies from all over India and the world. The IMF Boating Days also conducted a day’s event with a forum and a networking lunch. The Royal Bombay Yacht Club in Mumbai started the Performance Sailing Program for youth and introduced the Laser Coastal National Championship this year. Several regattas, sailing championships and match racing events in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai have made it an eventful season
The marina in the port city of Cochin is receiving positive feedback from foreign sailors. Given the beauty and culture of Kerala, God’s Own Country, reasonable costs and minimum but adequate facilities, they prefer to stay at the marina rather than the other ports in other Asian countries! Cochin is emerging as the second most important city on India’s west coast. Mr. Simon Arrol from Marina India comments on the lack of marina in Mumbai: “There is no marina in Mumbai because to date the demand has been insufficient. It is only in the past 3 – 5 years that the need has been recognized. There may be in excess of 15,000 marinas worldwide but the ownership of motor yachts and sailing yachts (as opposed to runabouts and dinghies) is a new phenomenon In India. The private sector will build one provided that the government and other public sectors support the idea by making a site available on long lease, and by issuing the necessary consents. I think that the state government and its tourism and sporting bodies now see the need so I think we should be optimistic about a marina in Mumbai. I would say 5 years, but I hope earlier.” The government is the largest buyer of boats in India for coastal security, patrol and rescue operations.