Big haul: A new South Basin Marina would include the ability to lift a boat up to 600 tonnes or 250 feet. *Photo supplied
Big haul: A new South Basin Marina would include the ability to lift a boat up to 600 tonnes or 250 feet. *Photo supplied

The South Basin in Dockyard could be transformed into a state-of-the art marina and boat yard.

The move would create jobs as well as make the West End a hub for passing super yachts, according to WEDCo manager Andrew Dias.

The 11-acre development will involve the construction at the east end of the South Basin of a bridge to connect with the arm of the marina that will sweep across the entranceway.

Inside the arm will be housed a new headquarters for Marine and Ports, a fully functioning boat yard as well as marina berths.

Mr Dias told the Bermuda Sun that the project aimed to ‘rebuild our maritime history’ and provide career opportunities for Bermudians.

He added: ““We have to look at what is housed in the Dockyard area; you don’t want Marine and Ports and the boat yard directly next to your cruise ship hub.

“The vision is to revitalize the maritime industry — it’s part of our culture and heritage.

“In order to do that we need to attract overseas vessels to get back to the glory days and we need a designated area to do that.

“So we formed the South Basin Development Ltd to create a marine industry area.

“Within this we will house Marine and Ports, a very large boat yard with the capacity to lift a boat of up to 600 tonnes or 250ft.

“In addition, we are looking to establish a marine training school which would offer career prospects for Bermudians.


“Currently the Marine and Ports’ operation is spread out around the island – this would be an opportunity to consolidate their facility in one place, too.”

The new marine industry estate would be equipped with the latest technology and lifting machinery to enable routine maintenance to be done to local as well as passing vessels.

And Mr Dias believes there is huge scope to get Bermuda a slice of the super yacht market.

He added: “Our role will be to facilitate and provide a reason for these vessels to come to Bermuda.

“We don’t anticipate conducting major refits here but small work and maintenance that needs to be done.

“Through research we concluded that 80 per cent of the world’s super yachts come past Bermuda every two years.

“This analysis therefore comes to a question “Why don’t they stop in at present” and therefore, we are answering that question through our development.”

South Basin Development has planning permission for the South arm bridge as well as a lease for the land and legislative approval to complete a land reclamation of up to 11.1 acres.

Final drawings are expected to be submitted to the Department of Planning in September.

An Environmental Impact Survey as well as a Historical impact survey have also been completed.

Mr Dias said that South Basin Development has had preliminary meetings with conservation groups to minimize effects on local wildlife including migratory birds and turtles.

Upon permission from the Department of Planning, the project is expected to take 18 months to complete and could come at the perfect time if Bermuda was to secure the America’s Cup.

Mr Dias added: “If we get the America’s Cup, Bermuda will need areas like this to host large events.

“This development will open up a whole host of opportunities that we cannot currently entertain because we do not have a proper working Dockyard with adequate infrastructure.”