Perfect mooring solutions for yachts in the Bay of St Tropez

By Curiós

Perfect Mooring is a new AGents company proposing 3 mooring buoys in the bay of St Tropez for yachts up to 70m LOA from May 2017.

A first in France and Europe, this offers a great and cheaper alternative to chasing after a berth in St. Tropez and comes with an ancillary garbage disposal service.

After 2 years of work dedicated to the production of a solid feasibility study and meeting with local bodies, Perfect Mooring obtained project authorisation from the Var Prefecture, allowing the installation of 3 buoys based on an innovative environmentally friendly system which has undergone strength tests to the very highest standard.

Perfect mooring solutions for yachts in the Bay of St Tropez

Currently, no dedicated mooring zone for larger yachts has been introduced in France. The Perfect Mooring project is thus a significant precursor and represents a solid solution to the problems linked to the over-occupation of certain mooring zones.

The mooring buoys are situated on the north side of the bay giving a 7 minute access time by tender to St. Tropez or Cogolin and also easy access to the Beauvallon Golf course.

The booking system for use of the buoys will be very much in the same style as a port with reservations available in advance and prices relative to the size of yacht. A daytime option will also be available for yachts in transit wishing to enjoy St. Tropez without staying overnight.

The operation was conceived and will be managed by Thiery Garcin, who has great experience of the area and conditions and is also the founder of Agence Maritime Tropezienne, which is part of the Catalano Shipping/AGents group.

Perfect Mooring buoys positioning in the Bay of St. Tropez

The anchoring system employed in this design conforms fully not only with ecological requirements but also with yacht security and on board logistics:

Ecologic
The system can be dismantled and will have no impact on the marine flora and fauna. Its installation and use allows this zone to avoid the constant use of kilometres of anchor chains during a season and will thus preserve the seagrass and tapeweed. The avoidance radius of 120m around each chest (an area of 45,238 m2 per mooring), prohibiting anchoring to any other boat will create a totally protected area. All three moorings thus create a total expanse of 135,714 m2 in which the marine species will be protected.

Security
The system guarantees a very high level of security for yachts thanks to the different sensors installed on the mooring buoy (ref. technical specifications); this security will be further enhanced by the exclusive zone restricting other yachts from mooring within a 120m radius of each buoy.

On board logistics
A daily service for the collection of domestic refuse, crew transportation shoreside, package deliveries, etc will be available at the request of the moored yacht. It should be noted that at the present time, this service at sea hardly exists along the French coast. Crews are thus forced to dump their garbage in neighbouring ports, not to mention the uncivil behaviour of discards at sea that this causes. By collecting garbage from ships at anchor and treating them privately, we will allow the Gulf communities to make a significant saving in their seasonal waste management budget. It also seems logical to assert that fewer macro-wastes will be dumped directly at sea through this activity.

The garbage collection service at sea will additionally allow the municipalities of the Gulf of St Tropez to make budgetary savings which, nowadays, is rather rare.

Technical Specifications
Each system is composed of 6 anchorage piles embedded into the sand, on top of which is fixed a hexagonal structure encompassing the mooring line ring which the anchorage is fixed to.

From the point of view of anchoring this system is therefore a major innovation. Indeed, screw anchors only existed for beaconing and more rarely for small units (less than 25m). It had never been adapted to vessels of this size. It should be noted that Catalano/AGents asked a second research firm specializing in offshore work (Océanide) to validate the various tests of resistance of its anchorages. Although the technical and material constraints are much more stringent in the offshore environment, Company’s tests have been validated.

The tensile strength of the Perfect Mooring base is equivalent to that of a 30 ton block of concrete that would occupy a surface area of 16m2. This system reduces the seabed area affected by 94% and will allow sea-life interact around it.

Additionally, in order to guarantee an optimum level of security for its customers, a weather warning buoy with an anemometer will be located near the mooring areas. The Company has further equipped each of its systems with 3 GSM sensors permanently connected to the captain's telephone and the local system manager. These sensors measure in real-time the wind speed, the wave height and the tension on the mooring line. If one of the 3 docking standards is exceeded, an alarm will immediately be triggered on the contacts of the master and the person in charge and the ship will be prepared to leave the mooring. These limits of use are fixed at a wind of 6 on the Beaufort scale (about 50k /h) and a wave height of 1.3m; It should be noted that these meteorological conditions represent less than 5% of the conditions between April and the end of September (study by meteofrance 2015).

In short, these systems are totally innovative, both in the anchoring field and in the technical level guaranteeing maximum security for the customers.

Increased mooring restrictions

“A prefectoral decree (N° 155/2016) of June 2016 imposes geographical zones of anchorage for very large units. Our buoys thus make it possible to maintain a capacity of reception if the imposed zones were to be saturated by the cruise ships which are more and more present in the Gulf of St Tropez.

The arrival of these very large ships is imperative for the fabric of the local economy, It seems obvious to us to offer this clientele the possibility of continuing to come in spite of certain navigation restrictions. Maintaining and improving the capacity to welcome these megayachts seems to be one of the few solutions enabling the fragile local economy to continue.
From an economic point of view, the ships are increasingly big and port reception capacities are very limited. Our moorings therefore allow us to multiply the secure reception capacities for these very large units whose arrival is absolutely essential to the local economy. In the Gulf of St Tropez there is only one place at the harbour for a ship of 70m; The Perfect Mooring project increases this capacity by 300%,” says Catalano/AGents.

Catalano Shipping Services are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. Recently, the yacht service agency has also opened a new office in Antibes, bringing the Catalano/AGents brand to 8 offices - in France, Monaco and Corsica.

Source: Catalano Shipping