65 Euro / night, for 14.49m boat, end September.
We called the marina about 10min before we arrived and asked if they had a berth for the night. No problem at all, and a dinghy came out and greeted us when we got to the entrance, checked out our size and guided us to our berth for the night, where he jumped out of his boat and helped us with the lines.
Again, wind was not quite in our favour, but with the second attempt we were safely in our berth and with the mooring assistance quickly secured. Top marks.
It feels smaller, or more personal, due to the layout of the marina/pontoons than Punta Ala.
The office is right at the transient berths pontoon, so we didn’t have to walk far and the office staff spoke a little English (it’s always a blessing if they speak a little English because our Italian is even less than a little – random words, yes, whole sentences, no)
After checking in we went for a walk and found plenty of restaurants, bars and boat related stores (chandler, canvass/sail repair, engine service, ropes, home store (for live aboards).
Although, there are many dogs around, I thought the marina was not very dog friendly as all grass and flower beds are fenced off. Luckily, at the entrance there is a bit of lawn that Tiny gladly used.
The chandler has a great selection of useful items. The first two things we needed were adaptors for the power and the water…. Still can’t get my head around it why there is not one standard connection for these things?!
Next time we passed the chandler, we got 50m of anchor chain, which we then had to cart to our yacht and then somehow get onto her too – that was the afternoon gone.
We didn’t feel like cooking after fighting with the chain for hours in about 30 degrees, so we went to a little take away pizza place. It didn’t look like much and all he had to offer was Pizza Margherita and focaccia. We got both, of course!
If you ever do come to Riva di Traiano, make sure to get some of the porchetta filled focaccia! It was amazing and it even had crackling! It was the best thing we had to eat for a very long time (or so it felt at least). Still dreaming about it sometimes. One thing we weren’t aware of when we ordered that the advertised price was per kg – that meant we had dinner for two days.
The marina has a wee grocery store but we didn’t bother to go there and headed straight to the Coop supermarket – about 25min away, there we stocked up with fresh fruit and veges and some meat for the freezer.
You will also find a self-service laundry (we didn’t use it), where you need to advise (and pay) the adjacent shop before using the machines.
Toilet / shower facilities are all along the marina – no matter where you are, you only have short distances. Some of the facilities were better kept than others.
Riva di Traiano was not only on our way as we headed south along the coast of Italy, but our electrician, Adriano, recommended the Raymarine service shop to check on our VHF and chartplotter. When we got to talk to the owner, Massimo, he said he had discussed the VHF issue with Adriano (Marina di Punta Ala) and he would be happy to have a look at it. We then mentioned the chartplotter as well and dropped both into his shop in the afternoon. No problem, he said, it should be ready in the morning. And sure as, when we came back in the morning, both VHF and chartplotter were ready and working! We were stoked. If you are in the area and need help with your Raymarine gadgets – we’ll gladly pass on his details!
I apologise that we didn't take more pictures of this marina - we have been too busy.
I will try to add a few more pictures from the videos later.
Marina di Punta Ala
100 Euro/night for a 14.49m boat, mid September
Since we couldn’t get an electrician on Elba, we decided to head back to the mainland and find a marina that could help us out and organise an electrician for our Raymarine chartplotter, VHF and autopilot.
I called the marina in Punta Ala to book us in for the following night (Friday) and asked if they could organise someone to check/fix our electrical problems. So they gave me the number of the ship yard. Fine, I thought, and called the ship yard in the marina. Unfortunately, there was only one guy in the office and he did not speak any English… I managed to understand that I should call the marina again and have them call him (which was my initial intention, to be honest). Fine, I thought, and called the marina to ask them to call the shipyard to check if an electrician was available for tomorrow. I then got a call back from the marina (yay!), they gave me 2 numbers for 2 electricians I could call to check their availability. Fine, I thought, and called the first number and asked if he spoke English… Yes! I asked if he would be available the next day… Yes! We were very happy that worked out and looked forward to getting to the marina in Punta Ala to get our problems sorted.
We got in about lunchtime the next day, in strong winds gusting up to 28knots. Upon arrival we were ordered to the fuel jetty. Not sure, if they couldn’t find our reservation in time or if there was confusion with the boat behind us who came in to the fuel jetty too. After we confirmed we did not need any fuel, they gave us our berth: pontoon 3, berth 18. So off we went. And went. On neither side was a berth no.18. Just before we reached the end of the pontoon we turned around and headed back toward the entrance.
Mooring assistance arrived finally in a dinghy to show us our berth – no. 14 (as 18 was already taken by another yacht). Fine, we thought, and reversed into our newly assigned spot. Winds didn’t make this too easy and the guy in the dinghy tried to help but kept pushing us too far over that we needed about 3-4 attempts to finally get it right.
Once tied up, we realised that the berth was too narrow for our boat and we kept moving over und pushing into our neighbours, who weren’t too happy about that, but there was nothing we could do.
First impression: not perfect
We went to the office to check in, the gentleman there was friendly enough with good enough English for us to understand him. Discovered then that the wifi is not freely available but you need to sign in with an Italian phone number… so that didn’t help us either.
The marina as such looks quite nice and berths up to 880 boats. There are shops, chandlers, a little grocery store and restaurants along the promenade and a self service laundry.
That sounds ok so far, unfortunately, there are only 2 washing machines (one of which was out of order – this happened after we put our 4.00 Euro in it) and the other one didn’t have a spin cycle. The dryer then, of course, is not able to dry the clothes, even after 2 cycles. We resorted to hanging a washing line inside of Tiny Nical (it was raining) and turned our yacht into a dryer ourselves.
The grocery store does not help if you needed to stock up your boat for your next longer trip. There are hardly any groceries available and fruit and veges have also seen better days. At first I thought, this was because we went there on a Sunday afternoon and they did not receive any fresh deliveries. But on a Wednesday morning the sight was the same. We just got some (overpriced, like everything) packed bread and some of the world’s most yuckiest croissants (not the shop’s fault, really, but I still associate them with the shop).
If you need to stock up, there is a supermarket in Punta Ala, but not in the marina itself. Unfortunatley, we did not have the time (40 min walking distance) to wander up there.
Toilet and shower facilities are ok, they even have hairdryers available.
The weather forecast is interactive and you can check on different parameters at different times, this is updated through the weather website (I couldn’t see which one) probably hourly, so you can plan your trips easily.
Coming back to our electrical issues. When we arrived in the marina I gave the electrician a call and within 30 min he arrived at our yacht. We went through our problems and we made some progress – the VHF aerial and lead we bought on Elba were wrong, the card reader in our chartplotter had a defect and could not read any cards and hence could not to a firmware update and the clutch of the autopilot was burned out (also there was a dodgy bypass made by the previous owner to still be able to use the autopilot). Adriano, our electrician, who not only speaks English but also a little German, said he would get us a new aerial, lead and take the clutch away to rewind the coils. Being Friday afternoon, he would try to get this all organised by Monday. So we had to stay 3 nights…
Monday morning Adriano came back with the aerial and lead but the work on the clutch was still in progress and it would only be ready by Wednesday. He also brought his electric winch along and in no time, Alistair was winched up the mast to change the lead and swap the aerial. (It took me about 30min to winch him up when we were still in the boat yard!). Aerial fixed but VHF radio had a defect and could not receive.
We left Punta Ala for two days and returned on Wednesday afternoon. Adriano, followed us on Marine Traffic and knew we were back and collected the clutch for us. After a lot of hair pulling and swearing, him and Alistair managed to put the autopilot motor back together again, and hooray, it is working! We are so pleased!
Last thing he did for us was contacting a friend of his in Riva di Traiano, who is not only a Raymarine service person, but THE Raymarine service person in Italy. He said he could fix our VHF, no problem.
To cut a long story short, we were underwhelmed by the marina in Punta Ala and would not recommend it. It is ridiculously overpriced for what it’s worth.
But if you are ever in need of an electrician, we can definitely recommend Adriano! Please do contact us, if you are in the area of Punta Ala and need assistance, and we can get you in touch with him!
94 Euro / night for 14.49m sailing yacht, mid September 2016
Pretty little marina situated right at the old city with berths along the promenade with shops restaurants and bars.
During the day quite busy but at night the roads get closed. With all the bars and restaurants along the promenade there is still quite some foot traffic passing by the boats until late at night.
Berthing assistance was great, they picked us up from the marina entrance and showed us our berth. Great help with throwing/tying our lines. Every berth has access to water and shore power.
Office staff had very good English and helped with organising an electrician to come onboard to check on our VHF, Chartplotter and Autopilot. Unfortunately, the electrician was not on the island for this week. Free wifi and information pack are provided upon check in.
There is a chandler on the other side of Darsena Medicea – about a 15-20minute walk away. If you don’t need something too special, they will be able to sort you out. We on the other hand wanted a new VHF whip and a lead – and we got the wrong ones (which we didn’t know at the time). The light bulbs worked a treat though.
About a 4 minute walk away is a laundromat and a wee convenience store, who luckily did Campingaz bottle swaps (behind the deli counter of course). A supermarket is as well in walking distance. There are toilet and shower facilities, which we haven’t found (but we weren’t looking for them either).
If you send more than 1 day here or don’t have to fix things on your yacht, you can also (amongst other things) visit the Museo Archeologico, which displays archeological finds from shipwrecks from around the area or wander along the Medici Fortresses from the 16th Century.
There is a big anchorage just before you turn into the marina – the area is fairly sheltered from the wind but every 30min a ferry leaves or arrives at port and you get the wake from those.
We really enjoyed the marina and the winter rates were very reasonable with 200 Euro/ per month with a minimum stay of 3 months. Since we liked the marina, we tried to book us in for winter but unfortunately for us, they were already booked out for the winter months.
If you do come and stay here, try to find the specialty of the island - take away fruit salad! :)
Follow Alistair and Nicola as they share their experience of traveling around the world.