Cozumel marina

The impressive new 333 berth Cozumel marina started operating, last month, but many boat owners have complained about its design, problems with contracts and unfinished facilities.

Work started on the project in 2008 and it represents one of the Mexican government's largest investments in tourism infrastructure. Its construction has been managed by Fonatur, the same federal agency that created the Mexican Caribbean resort of Cancun.

Known in Spanish as Marina Cozumel, it lies next to the Caleta marina, a few miles south of downtown, and shares the same sea access as its older relative next door.

Marina Cozumel

Originally designed for all types of boats, including luxury yachts that may be attracted to the island, at the moment it is mainly being used by local scuba diving and fishing boats.

One group of boat owners is refusing to move from the old Caleta marina next door until legal details are clarified in the new contracts. Some dive operators have also complained about a lack of shade and bathroom facilities, and difficulties getting equipment to the piers.

Environmentalists have also raised concerns about the damage it may cause to nearby reefs and the project has been plagued with delays since its conception, including problems gaining access to the sea itself. It was officially inaugurated in 2012 by then Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, but it was not opened for full use until July 2015.

Cozumel Fonatur marina

Despite the choppy start, many locals agree the new marina is much needed and that all the problems can be resolved with time.

One captain of sailboat tours in Cozumel said the new marina is much better as all boats have full pier access and the marina owners are working hard to finish all the facilities and make everything as convenient as possible.

Local media have reported that the government needs to raise more investment to finish the project. When this is done it is hoped the new Cozumel marina will be of major benefit to the local economy, attracting more investment and visitors and creating thousands of new jobs for locals.