Since Marinetek Finland stepped in with a partnership suggestion for club-based marinas, more boat owners mooring up at Finnish marinas are benefiting from the best of modern floating pontoon infrastructure. Over the past two years, Marinetek’s Finnish subsidiary has worked on a variety of modernisation projects including Kivenlahti Boat Club in Espoo. The result is a transformation of tired and ageing floating systems into safe and modern boating hubs.
With a few exceptions in the private sector, most marinas in Finland are owned by local authorities and clubs and, as is the case elsewhere in the world, the pressure to keep rates down and a lack of investment money, has led to neglect in the longer term. Most marinas in the country were built in the 1980s and early 90s with timber pontoons, concrete floats and mooring fingers. Without the means over the years to make running repairs or undertake proper maintenance, operators are now faced with badly deteriorated and even unsafe systems, and little money to replace them.
During the past two years in partnership with Marinetek, nearly 20 marinas now have new pontoons, mooring systems, safety equipment and power pedestals, and some are even able to accommodate larger boats. “Despite the lack of big new marina builds in Finland, we have been kept busy with small projects,” says Marinetek Finland Sales Manager Aaro Vuori. “Our domestic order book is full until the end of the year.”
Kivenlahti Boat Club marina is one of many to receive the Marinetek touch. Located in Espoo, southern Finland, the club traditionally shared its 560-berth marina with Espoo City. In 2015, ownership of the club area of the marina was transferred to the club, and in 2016 it joined forces with Marinetek Finland and also became a limited company.
Marinetek redesigned and rebuilt Kivenlahti during 2017/18 in phases that caused minimal disturbance to berth holders and eased the financing of the contract. A total of 1360m of All-Concrete type pontoons with widths of either 2.6 or 3.0m were installed, along with access bridges, safety equipment, power lines and mooring fingers (when replacement was required). Espoo City also rebuilt its part of the marina using Marinetek concrete floats.
Harri Peltoniemi, Chairman of Kivenlahti Boat Club, is delighted with the result. “We are very satisfied with the services Marinetek offered us during the process. This was a huge effort for the club and it all went well,” he comments.
Marinetek’s initiative with the partnership programme is helping to maintain essential boating facilities in a nation where one in six people owns a boat. Although most of the 850,000 or so boats in use in the country are small boats and dinghies kept at summer houses, a significant number of larger vessels are moored in marinas. Sound marina infrastructure is vital if boat ownership levels are to be retained.