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New Marina on the North Bund, Shanghai

SHANGHAI, Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- If the World Expo site was the City of Shanghai's showcase in 2010 then now, in 2013/14, if any area of Shanghai is displaying the city's forward outlook it is the North Bund, also on the banks of the city's mother river.

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Sitting squarely in the middle of the development of the North Bund area is a new flagship commercial district, and like the bull's eye on a target in the middle of this is a brand new marina, the first that one might call a 'proper marina' in the heart of downtown Shanghai.

Adjacent to the city's 'Cruise Ship Terminal' and the city's first custom built yacht basin at Gao Yang Port, the marina is seen as part of the important beautifying process of this former industrial and commercial part of Shanghai Port and is itself the first of two 'sister' marinas being built side by side in the area, with the second one to be completed in the next couple of years.

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The first thing that catches your eye as a boater is the optical illusion that the marina is higher than the river, but on checking with the project manager it turns out to be no illusion. Depending on the tide, the water in the marina is indeed 2-3 metres higher than the water in the HuangPu River, which lies on the other side of a 30m lock that allows boats to smoothly transit from the one to the other. This requires the pumping of fresh water into the basin after each lock cycle, whatever the state of the tide, rather cleverly ensuring the regular introduction of fresh water into the otherwise landlocked basin.

That 30m long lock and a minimum marina depth of 2.5m allows boats of significant size to enter and moor there with berths of various sizes designed for a length of up to 26m.

Additionally, being a manufactured locked concrete caisson, there are not the same concerns about silting that would come with an excavated or dredged basin, meaning that 2.5m depth is less likely to be compromised.

Imaginatively and cleverly, with car parking space in Shanghai being at a premium and, from a developer's point of view, expensive, the builders have placed 3 levels of car parking under the marina – hidden from view and surely therefore some of the most convenient berth-holders' parking ever. Not so much underground car parking as underwater car parking – an unusual concept!

The area around the marina is already completely landscaped, with part of the marina on the river itself already operational, with everything up to a 40m superyacht moored comfortably on the quality fendered pontoon system.

This will be the official marina of the 2014 China (Shanghai) International Boat Show, which will be held from April 10-13, 2014.

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