Award-winning Marina Punat, on the island of Krk, Croatia and the largest marina in the northern Adriatic, has been taking extra measures to ensure that boats receive optimum care during their owners’ absence, particularly as several customers are based overseas. The marina has been closely monitoring and following government advice, maintaining continual communication with customers, with a prepared series of Frequently Asked Questions covering specific topics.
Preventive and protective measures include regular dock staff visits to all vessels and monitoring of what is happening at the berth. Work is ongoing for customers who have contracted yacht services.
Aware of the need to reinforce yacht care for absent owners due to travel restrictions, and uniquely capable to react with advanced tech products, they have boosted their services to provide the following:
- Winter storage on land has been extended for free until further notice
- For boats in the water – connection to electrical power without charge until 30. June 2020
- Free Marina Punat mobile App for the best boat view + tracking of mariner activities in real time
- Free SENSE4BOAT sensors for our annual contract partners + free installation and 3 months of free subscription
The marina has also been collaborating with media coverage on the topic, describing the key role played by the nautical sector in tourism and the naturally isolated and self-sufficient nature of boating, an activity that intrinsically lends itself to observing distancing protocols. Considerable preparation is being done to determine how boating can start again, with proposals covering user requirements and contingencies.
The following excerpt is a translated text from an article written by Mladen Gerovac and published in the newspaper “Jutarnji List” on 22.04.2020, describing measures such as exemption from payment of concession and support for the charter business, proposed by the Association of Marinas at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, to be urgently adopted not only to save nautical tourism in this crisis period, but also to ensure its further development in the long term. (Charter in Croatia accounts for approximately a quarter of berthing in main marinas and represents one of the largest charter fleets in the world). Other concerns refer to the continuing debate of a higher rate of VAT being applied to marinas as a sports and recreational enterprise whereas activity shares more characteristics with tourism.
Marina Punat: We are in contact with our guests
Despite everything, Marina Punat works. We respect all restrictive measures based on the provisions of state institutions. We act responsibly, part of our team is at home, but the staff on docks , electricians, maintenance and cleaning workers, receptionists, mechanics, staff at the travel lifts they all are still here – they monitor the boats, repair the engines, paint the boats, maintain the equipment and appliances in the marina, complete the projects we started before the crisis. We care about preserving jobs, and the Marina Punat Group employs more than 130 people and many subcontractors are also active in the marina and our shipyard.
As expected, after the measures were announced, we had intense communication with our boat owners. And these are always friendly and well-meaning conversations. Of course, the most common question is when they will be able to come again and enjoy the boat, navigation and sea. They know that they do not have to worry about the safety of the yacht because they see their ship digitally and receive a news report on a regular basis.
Special care is taken about the safety of the vessel. Now, with the help of sense4boat sensor, our partner Marina Cloud, both we and the owners have a direct insight in the event that something starts to happen on board: the possible occurrence of smoke, rising water in the bilge, changing the state of the batteries. In doing so, we have provided our guests with benefits during this temporary state so that we do not charge for services related to the use and installation of sensors. Recently, there is also a free mobile app through which our guests can more easily monitor the activities of our sailors on their ships.
We are in constant contact with our colleagues, the leading people of the marinas gathered in the Association of marinas of Croatia, but also with our international association that brings together all the factors in the nautical industry – ICOMIA (International Council of Marina Industries) and members of the board of the International Marina Group. The President of our Association, my colleague Sean Lisjak, has articulated on many occasions in recent weeks the proposals and requests of marinas, the nautical sector, above all to recognize and officially recognize the nautical industry as a tourist activity, on the basis of which packages of assistance measures could also be applied to marinas. Because help will surely be needed – the losses will only start to add up.
Marina Punat is also ready to welcome guests. We will adjust the work as directed by the instructions and we are ready to start the nautical season together as soon as possible. But it all depends on how the situation will unfold in Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Italy, because these are the countries our guests come from.”