Set up in 1990 and known island wide as The Welding Workshop, Ruben Doñaque, a long established family run engineering business in Mallorca, offers specialised welding, metal repairs and fabrication. They work with all metals and alloys, such as stainless steel, aluminium, mild steel, copper-nickel and others.
Rubén is making sure that the family´s legacy still continues to thrive. Never turning down any jobs even no matter how small hey may seem, and always providing a very ingenious and professional service, his team strives to provide the best solution and service to their customers, getting the job done as quickly as possible and producing the best quality products.
Miller Marine is an international marine consultancy providing services specialising in Marine Surveying, Naval Architecture and Project Management. They are governed by ISO quality standards, our professional institutions and the authority delegated from key Flag State Administrations and EU Notified Bodies. They have in their Mallorca base a team that can survey yachts and provide a full range of services including Condition & Pre-Purchase Surveys, Statutory Flag Surveys, Project Management, Naval Architecture and Design throughout the island. When asked if business has increased recently in Spain Tracey Miller says, “As the volume of boats in operation has increased (both private and commercial) the Spanish marinas and shipyards have responded by increasing capacity (to provide space to haul out larger /higher tonnage vessels) and adapted their infrastructure to make them a serious contender for owners, captains and project managers. The surge in business has enabled many of the shipyards to develop the quality of workmanship and provision of services has improved in recent years.”
So if Spain is on the up and up which countries are losing out? At Cabbs Brendon Jost is not so sure. “But I would say probably France may have lost a bit, I have heard that their laws are making it less attractive for boats to do work there, again that’s just hearsay I can’t confirm that. I would also say that as the installations are becoming bigger and bigger here then areas like northern Europes would be losing a bit of the smaller refit contracts probably just due to the location of Palma and not having to travel so far north to do the work.”
Following their 25th anniversary celebrations last year, MB92 has been busy in a number of areas, all aimed at providing clients comprehensive service. Work continues at pace on their 4000t Shiplift which is due to be completed in 2019. Alongside that work at the facilities in Barcelona, the company has expanded operations through the mergers of Blohm&Voss La Ciotat and Compositeworks, with all three entities now being integrated into the newly formed MB92 Group. The group is currently delivering around 100 projects per year and with the average size of superyachts being launched over the last 3 years at over 100m in length, the MB92 group believes it is now positioned as a global refit centre able to cater to every client need now and into the future.
If ever there was someone we could ask about who is losing out to Spain it is MB92. They believe, “France and Italy are the two main locations currently losing strength in the refit and repair market, not only because of Spain’s gain but also because of the recently implemented regulations and taxes.” They add, “Industrial ports or shipyards with less activity and industry around its facilities are losing clients searching for easy logistic connections and leisure activity for their crew team. The new generation captains are constantly searching for potential new refit hubs. Nowadays we can say Barcelona and the Balearic Islands are one of the top destinations they need to look at.”
“Furthermore,” they say, “Refit centres located in France were badly affected by the ENIM updates released in early 2017 affecting the non-French flagged vessels forced to be subjected to the French social security system for seafarers.”
Recent tax changes, fiscal and social regulations and Maritime safety standards updates have affected the clients’ purchase intent becoming a potential explanation of Italy’s and France’s loss of clients. Miller also adds here, “I have seen an increase in vessels changing from private to commercial to take advantage of chartering in the Balearic Islands and Spain offers a great base to obtain high quality crew and services. I’m not sure if other countries are losing work. The volume of work has increased. Other countries such as Spain are merely responding by offering facilities to take the increased demand.”
Nic Clarke at Pure agrees it is “France and Italy,” adding, “Mainly due to location and price.” Pure specialises in overseeing and managing significant refit projects ranging from all service trades and providers, re¬finishing paint works, engineering, interior fit outs, survey and class compliant works. Nic Clarke says, “Pretty much everything that a superyacht requires to maintain its operation and performance, but we are currently trying to specialise in refits and interior exterior furniture. However we have enough depth of knowledge to do most things like teak decks and teak deck repairs. However if given a choice we prefer the interior joinery.”
Nic Clarke’s Pure has worked on 60 metre CMN and a 72 metre Feadship recently while Cabbs have worked on a number of vessels from a J class sailing yacht, Large Motor boats by Feadship and even a Turkish Gulet. Work included paint works, engineering, interior fit out works, full paint refinishing and in the case of Hampshire II, a hull colour change, engineering and interior upholstery and carpets. Cabbs have undertaken teak deck repairs, caulking repairs on the J class, refitting of bathrooms which they have done a lot this year for some reason on the Feadship and Gulet. Jost says, “We have also done some cabin alterations and forward exterior furniture on the Gulet.”
He added, “As far as I am aware all the clients have been extremely satisfied with our work. I haven’t had any requests for any guarantee work yet either which is always a good sign. They were passing comments like, the boss is extremely happy with the results, that the exterior settee is his favourite spot on the boat, and that we did exceptional work of the bathroom refits. It is nice to hear things like that.”
With business booming in Spain what does the future hold? “Good,” says Nic Clarke, “However it is challenging as the yard is getting booked up earlier and earlier right now there is 50% booking already for Sept 2019, which makes it challenging when brining in significant refits as we only get the approvals in July and Aug of that same year. Brendon Jost is equally confident, “I think the prospects look very good. STP is looking at increasing the size of the vessels they can haul out onto the hard so that will attract larger vessels I am sure. There are always more and more superyachts being built so I think it’s quite positive. The crisis seems to be well and truly gone now so people are ready to spend on their toys once again.”