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Berthon Spain Review | 2019

13-g-cool-to-the-point-of-freezing-2019

By Andrew Fairbrass

This is my first Market Report contribution since Berthon and our business Sentinel Yachting merged in the last quarter of 2018. I was over the moon with the agreement for us to become Berthon Spain. The name Berthon captures everything that the Sentinel (now Berthon) team have stood for since starting the business, therefore you can expect continued high quality service from people you can trust. The Berthon brand also mirrors our family business ethics and I hope that Berthon Spain will continue to thrive well past my innings, not that I am ready to retire any time soon!

Palma de Mallorca is acknowledged to be the centre of yachting and yacht sales for medium to large yachts in the Mediterranean. Since we started in business here in 2014, we have watched Palma go from strength to strength. With many yachtsmen unhappy with the quality of service and care that they received further East, together with the fantastic location of Mallorca, it is not surprising that Palma is booming. The market here is competitive but that’s great for yacht owners as every company knows that if they are not offering a 100% quality service, they simply won’t last the course! The reason that Palma Bay is packed with beautiful blue water and super yachts is not just the tapas – it’s because Palma is one of the best places to come for an unrivalled service.

Berthon Spain is primarily a refit and guardiennage operation designed to dovetail with Berthon’s yacht sales operation and we are very busy. As I write, we are finishing an engine and generator replacement on an Oyster 55’; we are replacing the rudders, propeller, shaft and P bracket on a Gunfleet 58’ and installing a new hydraulic passerelle on her sistership along with a number of stainless steel additions and improvements. We are also busy with a technical makeover on a Sunseeker Manhatten 60’ to make space for 2 crew providing 2 berths and a heads. Then there is a windlass service on a 50m Couach and a windlass rebuild on a 41m Tamsen. Whilst this is going on we are also managing extensive service works on a Discovery 55’ and an Oyster 655. Our central listing, the Dixon 73’ LA LUNA is also having a mini refit.

In addition to this list, the guardiennage team are super busy antifouling, polishing, teak cleaning and doing general cleans to make sure that the Berthon Spain fleet is sparklingly, ready for the new season.

We are looking forward to what 2019 will bring, as we have a great team in place as we welcome all our existing clients back to Palma and we continue to build the Berthon Spain fleet. Since we announced the merger in September our team has grown by 25% to 10 and we welcome the new members; their enthusiasm is infectious!

Of course the team is everything. We have Nick Mullen, who is key at Berthon Spain, leading our team of engineers and ensuring that our projects are delivered on time, on budget and to our standard. Nick is also working on some new and exciting projects using the world of 3D printing which is upping our game in the fabrication department.

Nick is assisted by Mark William, Richard Green and Richard Potts, all of whom are fantastic engineers. Mason Jones has also just joined us from Oyster Palma. Addy is another new Berthonite, from Palmawatch, and as Guardiennage Captain, is doing a great job with her superb yacht knowledge and attention to detail. We are quietly confident that our yacht owners are going to be super happy when they see their gleaming yachts this spring. Addy is joined by Melanie Romain and the wonderful Maria Pavlova (no, she is not a chef!). Alice Dubini and my wife Rowan are also key to keeping me in check and their control of the office ensures that the administrative side of the business runs like a Swiss clock.

Having been a yacht captain, I know well the stresses that both owners and captains face in a foreign port, and with job lists so long, it can be challenging to know where to start. Accordingly, I think that it is our job to take away as much of the stress as we can. Many years ago a client taught me a big lesson when we embarked on a major project on his yacht. He told me that he wanted only one point of contact as he had enough going on in his working life and that he needed a simple email with an update, problems, solutions and cost – and in that order. I took this to heart and so when we are carrying out a refit or even a small project we are straight forward and keep our clients updated not irritated, and we shoulder the responsibility for the whole project. As the business grows we do more jobs in–house without recourse to outside labour which makes the process easier to control. However, we also have a trustworthy team of specialist subcontractors who know our standards and strict time scales to ensure successful delivery of our projects.

Of course as a centre for yacht sales, Palma is where it’s at. We are working closely with the other Berthon offices on the brokerage yachts that Berthon has in Palma and we are able to provide a great service to maintain, refit and berth yachts, which makes keeping and selling your yacht with us a hassle free option. I mentioned LA LUNA earlier, and we are also looking after the Humphreys 77’ AGLAIA, another Berthon central listing. We are able to offer fantastic support to the international sales team and also to participate in sea trials and assist professionally through the sales process. We have also just signed a contract with Discovery Yachts to become their brand ambassador for the Balearics. This gives us the opportunity to offer new yachts from the Discovery portfolio as well as to take care of any Discovery owners. Berthon has a long history with Discovery and our knowledge of the yachts is deep.

So, as I draw my first Market Report to a close for Berthon, I hope that you will let me know if we can help you with your yachting in Palma de Mallorca. We are looking forward to meeting and working with Berthon clients old and new and wish you fair winds this season.

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