We can all agree that the Yachting industry is an important contributor to the economy in Majorca, but why do so many Superyachts choose to come here for their maintenance and refitting? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not because our weather is great. Mallorca boasts more than 400 companies just in the area around Palma which are able to service the specialist needs of a Superyacht. Their excellent reputation for professionalism precedes them in the tight knit international yachting community, where the majority of deals are done through word of mouth and recommendation.
According to Ian Douglas from Pinmar, a leading specialist company in the refitting niche having painted hundreds of yachts during its 45 year long history, most Superyachts are repainted and refitted every four to six years “The yachts have what’s called a “Special Survey” every five years to maintain insurance, class and maritime law requirements. They take the opportunity normally at this time to refit and repaint as well.”
The shipyards in Palma, notably STP and Astilleros de Mallorca, receive yachts and act as temporary bases for yacht crew whilst their floating homes are undergoing reform. If you have ever been allowed inside a shipyard (and some of them are rather strict about who is allowed in there) then you will be enthralled by the constant movement (although try to stay out of the way!) and the social, friendly atmosphere, it seems as if everyone knows each other, much like a gated village within the city of Palma.
After the initial shock of the COVID-19 lockdown last year, many of the yachting businesses have seen a great deal of activity. Leon Blakely from Universal Nautic, an upholstery and furnishing service for the luxury yacht and villa market, said, “We have maintained a healthy turnover in 2020, and 2021 is proving to be very busy indeed and currently shows no sign in letting up, which is not so normal for this time of year.
I think this is a knock-on effect from people waiting to do work once they have more travel restriction information which is relevant to them actually using their boats, as well as a lot of clients deciding not to travel further afield and stay local in case of further outbreaks and restrictions.” The situation has also encouraged some creative problem solving from Leon, “We were asked to source designer furniture in a certain colour range, but the timeframe was 6 weeks and the chosen items due to COVID were not available for 10-12 weeks.
We offered the client our design and inhouse building skills to create the furniture to their personal specification. We made the design, submitted the proposal of textiles and budget and went on to manufacture and deliver it onboard within 5 weeks!”
The future for the refit industry in Mallorca looks bright. Figures from Pinmar forecast a spike in new yacht output in 2021 caused by a delay in project deliveries as a result of the pandemic. The number of yachts due for refit paintwork is projected to grow from 2020 to 2025 by an average of 17.7%, with the larger size 70-90m and 90m+ segments (Pinmar’s sweet spot) expected to see the most growth over this time.
The word on the street is that Palma will need to continue to develop its own services and investing in bigger and better technology in order to accommodate the enormous Megayachts now being created. But that’s how business goes, supply and demand, so watch this space. The yachting businesses in Majorca are certainly ready.