Fishing was the main means of livelihood in old Blankenberge. However, nothing indicates that Blankenberge had a refuge harbour previously. Blankenberge needed one though for its fishing. Despite this need, the work on the harbour of Blankenberge only started in 1863. The refuge harbour came into use in 1871. But there were problems from the start: it was almost impossible for the boats to sail out when there was a wind from the west and insufficient draught for the keel boats later on.

The fishing industry in Blankenberge had a steady decline between the two world wars. It was in the periode 1953-1954 that a few people suggested switching over to a marina. The council then also saw a new future for the harbour and obtained permission in the beginning of 1955 to build the first jetty in the harbour. The fairway was dredged and the Blankenberge marina was inaugurated on July 9th 1955.

The number of yachts grew strongly, new jetties were built and the old fishing harbour became saturated. In the second half of the sixties the idea was introduced to use the inner harbour as a marina. The work on this started at the end of the seventies and this new section of the marina opened in 1980. Since then the marina could accommodate approximately 750 sailing yachts.

The most recent chapter in the Blankenberge harbour history was written in the year 2000. It started with a new marina extension that offered space for an additional 250 sailing yachts. The vicinity of the marina also had a facelift: the northern quayside (barcadère) was renewed, the small peninsula at the little fish market disappeared, there was a new walkway and the Franchommelaan was redeveloped. The expanded marina, good for about 1000 berths, was officially opened on May 21st 2004.

You can still find lots of evidence from the maritime history of Blankenberge in and around the modern marina.

Haven (1)
Haven (2)
Haven (3)