The Boat Lagoon was Phuket’s first marina complex. It has been fully operational since 1994. This circular, 168-berth lagoon was originally a tidal flat at the head of a shallow, meandering 2-mile creek, Klong Tha Rua.
Klong Tha Rua was once the main port of the island, long before Phuket Town was built by the predominantly Chinese tin miners who arrived over 100 years ago. Phuket-based entrepreneur and pleasure-boat enthusiast Khun Kanit Yongsakul started the project some years ago, damming the stream and digging the basin to a depth of five metres before reopening the entrance.
Royal Phuket Marina was opened in 2005 and shares the approach channel with The Boat Lagoon. The entrance is on port, closer to the sea by about 1 mile. The rectangular outer basin has berthing for 76 yachts.
The Boat Lagoon is situated further up the channel after a 90-degree turn to port. Services in both marinas are comparable with facilities elsewhere in the world.
The well-marked channel has concrete pilings set approximately 13 metres apart all the way from Ao Tha Rua, starting at 07° 58.65’ N, 98° 24.9’ E. The channel meanders through the large shallow open bay until it enters the mangrove creek. Both the depth and width of this very tight channel vary along its length.
Keeled or deep-draft vessels up to 35 metres length and draft 2.5 metres can enter either side of high tide. It is wise to check with the harbour master on the latest channel dredging information. The shallowest depths in the channel, at the time of writing, were 2.5 metres at a 2.8 metre high tide.
While in the open water channel, keep the pilings 10-15 metres off the port side all the way in. Allow approximately 45 minutes from the open water channel entrance to arrival in either marina basin (at five knots, which is the speed limit from the entrance to the mangroves onwards).
We strongly suggest deep draft vessels negotiate this difficult channel during the last hour of the rising tide.
Royal Phuket Marina
The phase 1 basin has a minimum depth of 4 metres and berths for 76 yachts up to 30 metres. The 60-ton travel lift services a hard stand that can accommodate 40 yachts.
Dockside on the ground floor of the condominium blocks are commercial units housing five top class restaurants, a fitness club and many top-level retail outlets. A recent addition is the conference and exhibition centre where the annual Phuket International Marine Expo (PIMEX) is held.
Call the Marina Office on channel 79 when entering the channel or phone 076-379397.
More information at www.royalphuketmarina.com or email marinaroyalphuketmarina.com.
Phase Two will comprise a prestige development of 150 homes and 300 condominiums around an inner locked basin with 250 berths and a minimum depth of 3.2 metres.
Royal Phuket Marina, with its stunning architecture, musical water fountain in the central ‘town square’ and already host to many spectacular events, is fast becoming an island landmark.
A canal complex of condominiums, a hotel, serviced apartments and restaurants, shops and offices surrounds the Boat Lagoon. Short and long-term accommodation is available overlooking the marina.
Services include 3 travel-lifts up to 60 tons and large concrete areas and hard stand for up to 120 vessels. In the inner basin, there are 170 wet berths and in the approach river another 60 berths are currently being installed. All berths have power and water and there are hot showers and changing room facilities nearby.
The harbour master is available during office hours on channel 71 or call 076-239055.
More information at www.phuketboatlagoon.com or email thanaphuketboatlagoon.com. The Boat Lagoon is currently the centre of marine services in Phuket, with many service companies located in the ring of shops immediately around and facing the berths.
Several boat charter, brokerage and tour companies have joined the more typical marine services, which include haulout, repair, electrical, canvas, cleaning and others.
It’s an interesting and useful mix of water related industries. Quite a few fascinating characters, some with many years experience in Phuket and other ports around the world, can be found working in these shops.
There are several restaurants around the marina, including Watermark, Boat Lagoon Resort, The Taverna, Spice Island, Winch and The Bakery.