Honolulu Star Bulletin (02/19/00)
By Ray Pendleton
In less than a month, Hawai`i's boating enthusiasts will have access to something never before seen in this state: a world-class marina.
A Hawaiian-style blessing is now scheduled for March 16 for the opening of the new Ko Olina Marina, a 270-slip, state-of-the-art boating facility. It will be the latest addition to the Ko Olina Resort, golf club and Ihilani Hotel complex.
This new marina will finally give Hawai`i a facility that is comparable to the best being offered boaters on the mainland, or indeed, in the world. And, it will surely set the standard for any future marinas in the Islands.
The Ko Olina Marina can be considered "world-class" for several reasons.
"We can easily accommodate vessels up to 150 feet," Ko Olina's Kevin Showe told me on a recent tour of the facilities. "But, mooring a visiting yacht of around 300 feet could be done."
Traditionally, yachts in excess of about 90 feet had to berth at commercial piers in Honolulu Harbor because our state-run marinas were not built to accommodate such vessels. This sorely curtailed the number of cruising yachts that might have visited Hawai`i, along with the revenue inherent in such visits.
"We also have the first and only destination resort marina in the state," Showe said.
Such marinas, offering resort amenities, are common in many parts of the world, but until now, they have not been a part of a boater's itinerary in Hawai`i. In this state, visiting a resort by boat has usually meant anchoring off shore, swimming in to the beach, and hoping no one notices you are not a registered guest.
The dock system at Ko Olina Marina, built by Washington state-based Bellingham Marine, is the best available at any price. Oversized stainless steel mooring cleats are just one of the features indicating that nothing there is second-class.
The docks' floating concrete fingers conceal conduits for such creature-comforts as fresh water, electricity, telephone and cable television service for each boat slip.
For the visiting yacht, or the long-term slip tenant, the Ko Olina Marina will also offer world-class services.
"We will be opening facilities for a marina general store, a barbecue and picnic area, a laundry, an Arco fuel dock and a holding tank pump-out station," Showe said. "And very soon, we will be adding a club house - with a bar and restaurant - a fitness center and a swimming pool."
"We have a double-wide launching ramp for trailer boats, as well as secure parking for 33 trailers," Showe pointed out.
Attracting the types of businesses boaters will require is also on the Ko Olina Marina agenda.
"We are looking for a boat dealer who would like to work with us," Showe said. "And, we intend to provide retail space nearby for a marine hardware store."
Ko Olina will also invite a limited number of high-quality commercial boating operations, such as, sport fishing, sightseeing and dive boats, to make their home port there.
Surprisingly, with all of the world-class amenities, the cost to boaters will be somewhat less than comparable mainland charges.
Annual slip rates will start at $9 per foot, per month, and guest slips will go for $1.50 per foot, per day.
Trailer boat storage will be $100 per month, and an annual permit for using the boat ramp will be just $25.
If this sounds like your kind of marina, call 679-1050 for more information.
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