With the Kochi International Marina that was launched early this year attracting sizeable number of yachts, the city could well become a sale and service hub for vessels ranging from speed boats and motor boats to luxury yachts.

People's interest in seafaring had received a boost when Kochi became a stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race in December 2008.

The designers and operators of the marina — Ocean Blue Boating — would help begin boat/ yacht manufacturing in Kochi, based on the demand for these vessels in this part of the world.

The vice president (Kochi operations) of Ocean Blue, Commander Jose Varghese said that infrastructure for yacht building has to be readied in Kochi. “Already, we build boats as a joint venture partnership with Mahindra and Mahindra. We represent international boating brands and plan to distribute imported yachts tailor made to customer specifications.”

The firm's boat-making activities are currently centred around Goa and Alibagh. It has exhibited at the Kochi marina a three-bed room Italian yacht Azimut, which can take six passengers on extended voyages. Costing around Rs.10 crore, the 70-feet yacht can attain speeds of up to 32 knots (58 km per hour).

The firm also has in its stable interceptor and patrol boats for the police, kayaks and all-terrain vehicles. Yachts are mostly built using high-quality fibre and aluminium.

Our price range begins from motor boats costing Rs.10 lakh up to Azimut 116 yacht costing Rs.50 crore, said Mr.Varghese. “We could also begin yacht chartering in Kochi as we do in Mumbai.”

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