ABCs of Nautical Tourism

The inception of this organised type of tourism on our coast dates back to1964. Punat was where the concept that marked the beginning of a new type of tourism was created, which has seen taken over the leading position of this type of tourism on the Adriatic. The first foreign yachts kept here by their owners for safekeeping and maintenance were those on the present day shipyard, back in 1964.

The marina developed on the long tradition of ship building in Punat, dating back to 1922.
The first yachtsman associated with the beginnings of the marina was William Robert Nesher. At a fair in Zagreb in 1962, someone recommended the Punat shipyard to him for the construction of new wooden boats. This experienced yachtsman listened to the recommendation and soon after, he ordered the construction of three boats symbolically marked A, B and C. They became the first foreign vessels left for safekeeping in Croatia. They were named Athena, Belgrade and Cairo. This was the start of the ABCs of nautical tourism on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea. After those three boats, Mr. Nesher and his partner, Mr. Kordes, became owners of seven boats named in alphabetical order: Estoril, Damaskus, Florence and the last boat, Genua. The boats were built for AMC-Adria Motorboot Club Manheim, for the needs of club members wanting to spend their summer holidays at sea.

Mr. Nesher, an American from California residing in Germany, was the marina’s first guest and remained a loyal member until his death in 2004. Neither he nor the staff present on the day of the inception, 13 March 1964, could have suspected that their work would grow into the first true nautical gem of Croatia.

Therefore, the start of organised safekeeping of foreign and domestic yachts on the coast in fact started with the construction of boats in the Punat Shipyard, and continued with the reception of domestic and foreign yachts along the northern side of the shipyard.

Until 1978, the marina was a part of the shipyard, while in 1994 the conversion of the company was completed. Today, Marina Punat and Shipyard Punat operate inseparably, as two most significant companies within the Marina Punat Group.

In the meantime, the number of boats grew from three in 1965 to the current 1,300, including both sea and dry berths. In addition, a large number of vessels arrive in the marina for transit berths during the summer months! The first Blue Flag in Croatia proudly flew in Marina Punat in 1998. It was awarded by the prestigious European Environmental Foundation and it still stands on its mast. Since 2000, Marina Punat and associated companies have been certified in accordance with the ISO 9001 norm, and since 2010 the marina has been applying the environmental protection system according to the requirements of the ISO 14001:2004 norm. Marina Punat has set many precedents, and it is one of the marinas bearing the highest number of awards in Croatia.

You can read a detailed history of the marina in the detailed monograph entitled The First 50 Years.

Monograph in PDF
Members of Marina Punat Group