Last Thursday, April 30, 2015 saw the Quaynote Superyacht Conference program of events get underway in the fantastic Spain yacht holiday location – Palma de Mallorca, followed by the official opening of the Palma Superyacht Show 2015.
Day 1 was dedicated to ‘Refit and Repair’, with a welcome speech delivered by Antonio Deudero Director General of Balearic Ports and Airports to approximately 100 delegates from the international Superyacht industry. He stressed the importance of the superyacht sector to the region’s economy.
As an example of the recent superyacht growth in The Balearics, partly due to the relaxation of a previously punitive tax regime on charter yachts, Antonio Deudero said that superyacht charter bookings had increased by 52% during the last four years. Moreover, an amazing number of 2000 additional jobs had been created in the local refit and repair yards since 2008.
This was followed by a keynote speech from Rob Papworth, the Superyacht Refit Group chairman of ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations), who mentioned figures from his association’s recently completed survey. This demonstrated that 853 Superyachts (over 24 metres) were refitted around the world in 2014, constituting approximately 20% of the global fleet. This generated a turnover of 332 million euros, compared to 224 million in 2013.
This first agenda session of the day was related to commercial contracts for refit projects and was moderated by Diego Colon, Managing Director of Astilleros de Mallorca shipyard. Diego was supported by a panel including Mallorca-based maritime lawyer Leon Von Ondarza, as well as Jens Ploch of marine insurance company Pantaenius. Along with Tristan Rowe of UK-based Pendennis Shipyard, they discussed the all important aspects of effectively creating a sound contract for a major refit, whilst legally safeguarding insured liabilities for all parties involved.
Day 1 also saw panel style interactive sessions, which involved plenty of feedback in the way of questions and comments from the audience. The remaining subjects ranged from how to professionally project manage a refit to a satisfactory completion, insights into future designs of yacht interiors, and how to successfully apply the final paint finish to the highest possible standard.
A very productive and engaging day came to an end with a number of Round-Table sessions, where smaller groups could choose a specific subject to discuss with an industry expert. These covered specialities such as flameproofing of interior furnishings, waster water treatment, antifouling paints, and even introduced a revolutionary new flat panel satellite antenna. This is a new technology unveiled by the world’s richest man, Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, and now being marketed to the Superyacht world by Mallorca-based company e3 systems.
At the end of the day, the delegates and participants could enjoy the lovely roof terrace of the Melia Palace Atenea Hotel during a cocktail party, sponsored by the paint company Jotun Iberica.