Phuket Island has always had an important relationship to boating and the sea, more so than many other islands. Historically, it was a weigh station for boats travelling between China, India and Indonesia. Its fine harbors on the east coast gave merchant vessels and their crews respite from the seasonal storms, and a good place to simply relax and rest.
Today, Phuket is not so much a destination for merchant vessls as it is a center for those who enjoy recreational boating. Unfortunately, from the perspective of some, however, boating is intimately tied into the overall lifestyle of the rich and famous or simply rich.
In many cases, it seems to simply be an isolated aspect of the the overall lifestyle. It is not so easy for those who simply enjoy boating to pursue their interest without also being a part of that lifestyle.
Below are some marinas and yacht clubs where those who are interested in boating can try to pursue their interests. Fees and costs are not usually discussed in public forums so those interested will have to contact places individually to learn more about costs.
Phuket Boat Lagoon Marina
It is located on the east coast of Phuket Island, a few kilometers north of Phuket town on the Sapam Bay, off of Thepkrasittri Road. It was Phuket's first marina and has been operational since 1994. It is now part of a large luxury resort which contains a hotel, serviced apartments, condominiums, shops, restaurants and offices!
The marina contains 168 serviced births with water, electricity and fuel. It also contains stack storage for 60 speedboats, a 60 ton travel lift, a hard stand area for 80 vessels, and a concrete boat ramp. It is described in various sources as the center of Phuket Island's marine services and repair industry as several boat repair services operate shops there. It is also the departure point for many island cruises.
Royal Phuket Marina
Royal Phuket Marina is located near the Phuket Boat Lagoon on the east coast of Phuket Island, a few kilometers north of Phuket town. Its promotional material describes it as Phuket's "premier life style destination". It is devoted to sailing, sports and leisure, with luxury residences and shopping facilities, set admist landscaped parks and gardens.
It has 350 births, and is the island's only residence with a boat lock, nontidal deep water basin and private moorings on the doorsteps of residences. Vessels up to 35 meters can be accommodated. There is an outer and inner marina, which is only available for resort residences. The marina is only one of two marinas in Asia to be the recipient of the British Marine Federation's "Five Gold Anchors" award.
It should not be confused with the "Royal Phuket Yacht Club", which is simply a hotel and has no connection to boating of any kind.
Yacht Haven Marina
Completed in 1997, it is located on the northern coast of Phuket Island, at Laem Phrao, east of the Sarasin Bridge. It has 158 serviced births and can accommodate vessels up to 60 meters.
The marina is not part of a large resort complex but does have changing facilities, restaurants and bars available, and is only 15 minutes from the international airport.
Standard repair and maintenace, provisioning and yacht management services are offered. It appears to be the marina on Phuket Island best suited to those who simply wish to enjoy boating without indulging in the overall lifestyle associated with boating.
Phuket Yacht Club (PYC)
Phuket Yacht Club is located in a secluded part of Ao Yon Bay, off of Ao Marrkam on the southeast coast of Pluket Island. Over 40 years old, it has flirted with bankruptcy in the recent past but seems to be back on its feet now by focusing on youth education and miniture dinghy sailing and racing, which is held every Sunday.
The club also offers recreational and competitive sailing for adults, and appears to be as much a venue for casual socialization as semi-competitive racing. It has a clubhouse and simple boating facilities, including dingy rental. The Phuket Yacht Club should not be confused with the Royal Phuket Yacht Club, which is not a yacht club, but a nearby five star hotel. The two have no relationship.
Ao Chalong Yacht Club (ACYC)
Founded in the early 1990's, was originally organized as a cruising club and has since developed into a racing club. Races are held In Chalong Bay twice a month, on Sundays, with both monohulls and catamarans competing.
Once a year, a three day multihull regatta is held, and ACYC oversees an international regatta organized by Image-Asia.T he club is not a large resort operation. It has a clubhouse-bar and simple boating facilities, and, like the Phuket Yacht club, seems to be welcoming of all who have an interest in sailing.
Chalong Pier is technically not a marina or a yacht club, but is a 720 meter long seven meter wide jetty located midway on Chalong Beach, a 15 minute drive from Phuket town or Patong Beach. It handles most of the boat traffic from the islands in close proximity to Phuket.
One can observe all manner of boats arriving and departing at the pier. It is home to an immigration office, customs, and the harbor master for Phuket Island, as well as a marine rescue center. The pier is surrounded by restaurants, accommodations, shops and diving centers. Not surprisingly, the Chalong pier is sometimes referred to as a "public marina". While private vessels can't dock here indefinately, it seems they are welcome for brief stays.
Located just outside Phuket town, on the river between Ko Sirey and Phuket, is the island's main commercial shipyard. It offers full maintenance and repair service for vessels up to 45 meters and 180 tons. Facilities to handle smaller vessels are located up the river.
Note: a very exclusive marina is planned and under construction on Phuket Island's east coast, the Jumeirah Private Island Marina Phuket. It is affiliated with the Dubai club of the same name and will be part of a "super" luxury resort and residential complex.