• 2014 September 15

    Yachting facilities in Russia

    Russia is set to develop yacht infrastructure at the Black Sea coast. However, there are few natural harbours for marinas in Russia so the development of yachting facilities does not seem realistic without the state participation.

    As of today, only two yacht marinas (except for Crimea) operate in Russia. They are located in Imeretinsky district of Sochi.


    Imeretinsky marina (Sochi) has been created on the basis of Port Sochi Imeretinsky in 2014. As it is know, the port was built by Basel for handling of cargoes necessary for construction of Sochi Olympics venues. This marina is a part of the premium class resort area “Imeretinsky”.

    The marina is intended for all types of yachts whose owners are registered in both Russia and abroad. The first phase marina facility provides places and services for 40 yachts. The marina can be used by both the residents of the new resort area and its guests. There are three lines of floating berths, 45 meters each. Two of them have facilities for mooring of yachts up to 15 meters in length. Yachts with the length of up to 45 meters can moor along the third line. Besides, there is a possibility to accept large yachts, up to 120 meters long. There is a special zone for short term mooring of boats and sea scooters. 

    According to Andrei Yelinson, Deputy Director General of Basic Element – Managing Director of resort area “Imeretinsky”, the expansion of the marina and the construction of new berthage facilities is included into the port conversion programme which is to be implemented in the coming years according to the “Imeretinsky” area development plan.   
    At the present time, the marina is fully occupied, Deputy Minister of Transport Victor Olersky said at the meeting of RF Government’s Marine Board in Gelendzhik.

    “Sochi Grand Marina”

    “Sochi Grand Marina”, also a heritage of the Olympic Games, was opened in October 2013. According to Novoship, the investor of this facility, pontoon berths of “Sochi Grand Marina” welcome 230 yachts including six 40-50 meter yachts. The technical zone of the marina can simultaneously accommodate up to 20 vessels with the length not exceeding 20 meters.

    By 2016, the marina is to be extended to 300 places.

    “Sochi Grand Marina” is also considered as the venue for international and domestic regattas.
    Presently, the marina is half occupied (according to the data announced at the Marine Board meeting in Gelendzhik).


    New marina at port Gelendzhik is to be built by 2017. It has already been designed and the environmental study of the project is in process today. The construction is to start in early 2015 and to last for about two years.
    The project provides for a possibility to accept passenger ships with the length of up to 200 meters and a construction of a small ro-ro terminal to ensure the project profitability.

    The state customer of the project is the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency (Rosmorrechflot), the designer – Lenmorniiproekt.


    There is a marina in a natural harbour of Balaklava. The entire complex can accept vessels with the length of over 20 meters. The harbour sees no storms even in winter. With its berth line stretching for more than 700 meters the marina can accept 250-270 yachts of different classes throughout the day. The draught limit is 3.5 meters.

    Deputy Transport Minister of Russia Victor Olersky says it is reasonable to develop yacht infrastructure in Feodosia which does not require huge federal investments. 

    As for Yalta, it is necessary to build a wave protection facility at the passenger port, the official says.

    Besides, ARS Group in cooperation with its partners from Switzerland has developed a project for construction of a marina in Sevastopol with the application of hi-tech wave protection facilities.

    Challenges and prospects

    According to Victor Olersky, the development of yacht marinas along the Black Sea coast of Russia is hindered by the absence of natural harbours (with few exceptions). Considering hydrographic and geographic conditions, implementation of marina projects through private investments alone does not seem realistic, state participation is required. It should cover, first of all, the construction of wave protection facilities. “If we want to develop marinas along the Black Sea coast, it is impossible without federal investments,” the Deputy Minister says.

    Moreover, the yachting development would be facilitated with the legislation improvements.

    A draft law on 72-hour visa-free stay of foreigners arriving in RF by sport sailing boats and leisure crafts has been approved by the State Duma of the Russian Federation in its first reading. Besides, certain documents have been signed by Russian Government in respect of multiple crossings of the State Border and the territorial sea of the Russian Federation. According to ne legislation, yachtsmen sailing the flag of Russia are allowed not to go through border control procedures while post factum notification is allowed for those sailing foreign flags (if the border is crossed within the framework of international competitions).

    In June 2014, RF Minister of Transport signed an agreement with the Italian classification society Rina according to which yachtsmen can apply to this society as well as to Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS). 

    Under the Federal Law on support of national shipbuilding and shipping imported yachts registered with the Russian International Register of Vessels. However, there is a problem with the financial support before the registration but a special document has already been prepared as a solution.

    ARS Group President Sergei Sologub gives an example of a yacht marina in Limassol (ARS Group is a co-investor of it). Limassol Marina is one of the largest projects of this type in the Mediterranean Sea. The volume of investments – EUR 500 mln. According to Sergei Sologub, the success of the project was directly ensured by the state participation which accounted for 30% of total investments. Besides, he thinks it is necessary to arrange a network of marinas for successful development of yachting industry.
    In general, Sergei Sologub believes that Russia can create a large yachting market in the Black Sea area in case of an adequate approach.

    Vitaly Chernov