Turku (Åbo) is the 6th biggest city in Finland and the main city in the western archipelago. Turku offers everything you could expect from a major city: shopping, night life, culture and much more. The main marina in is very conveniently located in the city center on the western shore of the Aura river. It is however quite crowded in the summer and it is a few nautical miles away from the open sea. In this second post I’ll discuss some great Turku marina alternatives, the yacht clubs along your route to Turku. The previous article about the Ruissalo Marina can be found here. (Prices indicated are 2013 prices)
The Motorboat Club of Turku
The Motorboat Club of Turku (Turun Moottorivenekerho in Finnish, TMVK for short) is the first club that offers guest harbor facilities in their own harbor as you approach Turku from the south-west. It is actually located at the bottom of the same bay where you also find the Ruissalo marina, discussed in a previous post on Turku marina alternatives.
To enter the marina, head north into the first bay just after you pass the south-western tip of the Ruissalo island. Pay attention, the entry is rather narrow and the nominal water depth is just 2.4 meters. The Motoboat Club is on your starboard, just opposite the Ruissalo marina, at the bottom of the bay. The marina has just renewed it’s floating jetty and guests can moor alongside (rare in Finland) on the outside of the jetty.
The harbor offers the normal services of Finnish marina: water and electricity on the jetty, showers and sauna on the shore. You can also empty your holding tank and leave your garbage. Because of the close proximity to the Ruissalo hotel, all the hotel services are available but the discounted prices applicable in the hotel’s own marina do not apply.
The Turku Yacht Club
The Turku Yacht Club (Turun Pursiseura, TPS) is the biggest yacht club in Turku. Their home harbor is also on the island of Ruissalo, about half-way east along the south shore of the island. TPS offers a couple of guest berths, they are just opposite the filling station; the two berths furthest out and marked with the text “Vierasveneille Visitor boats”. Most of the time you will however find these two spots occupied. In that case the harbor master or the filling station attendant will direct you to one of the member’s berths that is free at the time. Wait for someone to show you a free berth, the outside of the jetty is deep so you can comfortably wait there in most weather. Depth of the marina is between 2.0 and 2.5 meters.
TPS has a new service building with all the normal marina facilities: showers and saunas, washing machine etc. You can also leave not only normal household garbage but also problem waste such as oil, batteries etc. Talk to the filling station attendant to show you where to leave problem waste. Perhaps the best feature with the TPS harbor is the 6,5 tonne crane which can be used by visitors (with the kind help of the harbor master). Perfect if you need some maintenance to be done on your bottom or engine.
Once your basic needs have been catered for, perhaps you want to enjoy a meal at the restaurant in the harbor. You can also easily reach the Turku city center by bus (200 meters walk to the bus stop and 15 minutes bus trip to the Turku city center (bus number 8, check route and the schedule here). And if you just want to stretch your legs after long days at sea, then the island of Ruissalo is well worth a (long) walk. You will find some of the most beautiful villas in Finland along the south shore of Ruissalo and on the opposite islands. Also the Ruissalo Botanical Garden is well worth a visit.
Price for a night is 17€, very cheap considering the level of services available.
The Airisto Yacht Club
The last marina option before Turku is the Airisto Yacht Club (Airisto Segelsällskap, ASS). ASS is the oldest yacht club in Turku, founded in 1865. The club house in the ASS harbor is also one of the oldest club houses still in use, built in 1904. ASS is located on the island of Hirvensalo, on the east/starboard side of the channel as you approach Turku.
For visitors to Turku, ASS offers an alternative with a little bit of “Gone with the wind” flair and romance but not much service. There are two guest berths on the outermost floating jetty, marked with blue signs. The depth on the outer side of the jetty is about 3 meters.
There are some rather modest services in a small service building on the shore. The club house has had a restaurant, but at least in 2013 the restaurant only serviced groups with pre-reservations.
Getting into the city takes a little bit of a walk to the nearest bus stop (bus 53, about a 0.5 km walk, see route map to reach Turku Market square here). Alternatively you can take a taxi. If you tow a dinghy, then the city center is easily accessible from the marina, you can probably leave your dinghy at the marina in the center of Turku.
The good side of the marina is the price, only 10€ for a night.
Map of all the marinas in Turku.
Map icons courtesy of Nicolas Mollet/CC license