Our History

The Royal Alfred Marina is a private secure gated estate completed in 1989.

In designing the Marina the objective was to achieve the best possible tidal water quality. A carefully scaled model of the Marina was constructed at the University of Natal in order to simulate the movement of the tide through the canals.

The test indicated that all the water will be fully replaced with each tidal cycle. This is 21 times better than the international benchmark established by Moffat and Nicholl in their paper “Hydraulic Model Study of Tidal Flushing”, February 1981 for the State of California, that water quality will remain good provided that 90% of the water is flushed from the Marina within 8 days.

The factor of safety in this Marina against inadequate flushing is 21. This is considered to be more than adequate for the fact that tidal flushing at neap tides is not as efficient as at spring tides.

The unique lifestyle and secure environment the Royal Alfred Marina offers is recognised locally and internationally. The way property values have risen are clear evidence of this.

Canals and Islands

All canals in the Marina are open at both ends to allow a free flow of water through them, permitting a complete flushing with every tidal cycle.

The canals are relatively straight, and the system converges or diverges at the outlet and inlet to allow easy passage of water and craft and easy access to the harbour area.

The islands are on average 80m in width, allowing two 35,25m wide rows of plots and a central 9,5m road reserve.

The islands are linked by hollow core arched bridges with all services out of sight. The arched bridges allow small craft to pass underneath their 3m clearances; however, bigger sailing craft have to sail around via the Kowie River to reach the small craft harbour.

Housing Areas

Each plot has a minimum direct water frontage of 15m. They have compact street frontages, and allow for the creation of wind-protected garden areas at the front or rear of each strand. Access to the Kowie River and the sea can be gained directly from each property by boat.

The north-easterly orientation of most of the stands allows houses to take good advantage of the daily sun path.

Each erf extends its cadastral boundary into its waterfront to the toe of the canal`s embankment. Each owner is responsible for the maintenance of this retaining material. The smallest stand size, including this portion, is 34,5 metres deep by 15 metres wide, for an average area of 517,5 square metres each.

This the world`s first Marina where the structural integrity of the canals is reinforced  with bidem cloth sandwiches.

Professor Tom Hecht did extensive studies on the fish and benthic communities of the Kowie Estuary and concluded that the Marina impacted the habitat and species positively.

This is the only tidal marina of its size where each and every plot has its own private waterfront frontage with perpetual jetty rights.  There are no secondary or tertiary plots or townhouses or clusters.

Lady Hamilton`s Isle

This island retreat is for patrons who want extra privacy and it does not have a bridge connection. Access is by water craft and provision is made for parking at a quay on the approaches to the adjacent Admiralty Way Bridge.


Due to the flatness of the site, each island is provided with an underground sewage pump station. The system is maintained by and at the cost of the local municipality. The Marina is the first development in Port Alfred to enjoy full waterborne sanitation and the development brought about the construction of the local municipality`s sewerage plant in 1988 which now serves the greater Port Alfred.


Stormwater from the Marina is discharged directly into the canals and no reticulation is required.


Maintenance is controlled by an unpaid Executive Committee elected annually by the Homeowner`s Association. This includes management and keeping in good clean order the canals, the tar roads and bridges and public facilities and amenities, namely, clubhouse and swimming pool, tennis and squash courts as well as being responsible for the security of the project.

Estuarine Ecology

The Kowie River was canalised early in the 19th century with semi-permeable, stone-packed walls. In view of the fact that the Marina canals experience full tidal exchange it makes a great contribution to the ecosystem. It acts as:

–          Breeding grounds for juvenile species

–          Protected habitat areas for vulnerable species

–          Areas for the production of plant tissue

–          Contributors of detritus and nutrients to the estuary.

Aesthetic Impact

The aesthetic character of the overall development is controlled by means of the design manual. The objective is to ensure a variety of expression within a harmonious and co-ordinated theme, and to ensure that environmental factors, planting and public areas receive consideration as well as private homes. In order to preserve and enhance the concept and Architectural Committee maintains control over all structures and landscaped elements.