Repair businesses are cramped for space. | Archive

The board of the Balearic Ports Authority has approved a 120,000 square metre expansion of the commercial docks in Palma, which will mean that the principal shipyard in Palma, Astilleros Mallorca, can move to a new home in this area creating an enlarged refit and repair centre for private yachts including superyachts. The size of the area presently managed by STP, experts in yacht refit and repair, will also increase by 56,000 metres. Just this week STP, using one of their giant cranes, started refit work on a luxury British superyacht.

This, it is hoped, will help to placate repair and maintenance businesses who have long complained that superyachts were going elsewhere for their refits. The ADNEA association of nautical businesses and self-employed had called a demonstration outside the Balearic government's headquarters for November 4 to protest against a situation causing serious financial and employment damage to the boat repair and maintenance sector.

The nautical industry is vital for the local economy and the new area will sustain and create hundreds of jobs especially during the winter period when yachts go into refit.

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While Balearic waters are home to some of the largest yachts in the world during the summer months, maintenance work is done elsewhere. It is hoped that this will now change with the enlarged areas.