Looking back on 2022, there are many milestones that stand out as achievements to be proud of, and successful firsts for Berthon Spain. As MD Andrew Fairbrass projected in last year’s Market Report, we expanded our team to a total of 26 staff members!
In our electrical engineering department, Leo Laterza joined Richard Green to allow Berthon Spain to offer a wider range of marine electrical installations. He has played a vital role in all the refits we have completed in 2022. They have been so successful that a third team member is now required to fulfil the work schedule. We are receiving a lot of requests for lithium-ion battery installations, and something that is becoming ever more important – reliable, fast internet on board, even when the yacht is at sea.
Our engineering department has expanded with the addition of mechanical engineers Alex Omiadze and Graham Arnold, and shipwright Carlos Rodriguez. Carlos is very experienced and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our workshop. Graham comes to us from a 15-year career with Sunseeker. As well as his engineering ability, he is also a keen sailor. Alex is the youngest engineer on the team and has a promising career with Berthon Spain ahead of him.
Our Guardiennage department has been bolstered by welcoming our new Captain, Giles Walton. Giles comes to us from a career in the marine industry spanning more than 20 years. He has worked on superyachts as both a captain and an engineer, bringing with him the valuable skill set needed to maintain the Berthon Spain Guardiennage Fleet to the high standards expected by us and their discerning owners. His move to a shore-based role is a win for us. Addy Daly, who had efficiently fulfilled the role previously, has moved seamlessly into a new position within Berthon Spain as Client Liaison. She is now the central point of contact for all Guardiennage clients, managing their queries and keeping them up to date on any projects under way on board their yachts. We added a further crew member who came to Mallorca from Ukraine early in the year, and she has quickly become a steadfast part of the team.
In the office there are a few new faces as well. Joan Busquets has joined us as Chief Financial Officer, taking control of all the finances and implementing a completely new digital accounting software system for the business. Alicia Bottoms took over from Sophie as the PA to Management. Her friendly demeanour and positive outlook are much appreciated.
Out in the warehouse, managing the day-to-day logistics of stock control, storage space and tool allocation and maintenance, we welcomed Mark Camfield to Berthon Spain. Together with Joan in the office, they have great plans to streamline this aspect of the business.
The most notable first for Berthon Spain was undoubtedly our full and comprehensive refit of a Spirit 70’, something which had never been undertaken before, by any other yacht refit company, anywhere in the world! It was a full team effort, with all the ups and downs and surprises you would expect from such a project. There is barely a corner of the yacht the Berthon Team have not touched from truck to keel and stem to stern. When she finally launched in August, she was completely transformed, and was even more beautiful than we could have imagined! As predicted last year, she certainly turns heads. The deck was completely replaced, and all her bright work freshly varnished. The hatches and surrounds were re-designed to sit flush with the deck, and each one had to be custom made to exact specifications. She had a complete overhaul of her navigation equipment, with a whole new B&G system installed. A new bank of batteries specified and fitted by Richard and Leo. Both her salt water and fresh-water systems were removed and new piping installed throughout, including the addition of a custom designed watermaker. The day she launched was a momentous day for us all! The whole team worked tirelessly to get her ready, which in the heat of the Mallorcan summer, is not for the faint hearted.
Other projects we were running simultaneously include a CNB 76 and an Apreamare 54. After the Apreamare came into the workshop at the end of 2021, she underwent a complete transformation before going to launching in July 2022. The CNB 76’s owner had been a client of Berthon Spain since mid-2021, when she spent a number of months under our guardiennage care. Throughout 2022 we completed a very long job list for this large project, including overseeing the 5-year rig survey. Jobs we completed consist of upgrading the internet access on board, installing a new bank of lithium-ion batteries, identifying and rectifying areas of water ingress into the engine room, and replacing the stern seal and shaft.
The running rigging was replaced and the topsides polished. All of this was accomplished alongside the regular maintenance and service requirements of a yacht this size, such as hydraulic ram service, genset service, replacement of the rudder bearings and giving the teak deck a light sand and repairing it where necessary.
The Guardiennage Department expanded to 17 yachts in 2022, with a combination of both sail and motor yachts, and now 3 multihulls, in the fleet. Yachts range from the 11m motor yachts that we keep in our storage facility through the winter, to a 23m sailing yacht that use our trusted services when the captain is not aboard. Another example is an Azuree 46’, which originally arrived in Palma by ship in June, after a full topsides and underwater paint at Berthon in Lymington. Her owners changed their plans, staying in Palma for the winter, and entrusted Berthon Spain with a list of further engineering jobs. Many of the yachts in our care are directly linked with the Berthon International Sales team, where together we continue to provide a complete service to both buyers and sellers in the Balearics.
Within the workshop, we have invested in a wide range of new tools and machinery, allowing even more of our projects to be done in-house. We have improved the workbench areas for each engineer, allowing them the space to work on each project with ease. The storage capacity in the workshop has been expanded by the addition of a mezzanine. Designed and built in-house, this stores all our hand tools and sundry supplies. For 2023 we have plans to develop this area, turning this into a stores supply for the whole team to use. Our aim is to eliminate the time spent searching for just the right type of nut and bolt for the job!
Looking forward into 2023, our project on a Valdettaro 112’, which is already in full swing, will be completed later this year. In the final months of 2022, we stripped the interior back to the bare hull of the yacht. New interior bulkheads will be built to change the interior layout to her owners’ desired specification. Work has already begun on the engine and generator removal, and installation of their replacements. Our electrical department will also be kept busy with the installation of new navigation software and upgraded hardware. We are excited to see the finished product after such a major change to the yacht’s interior.
As usual, we have each of our guardiennage clients booked in for a yard period in the spring, when Berthon Spain’s engineers and painters get to work. The continuity of keeping your yacht with the same team year after year is hugely beneficial. It is the best way for our crew to truly get to know the boat and monitor the maintenance schedule. The fact that we have clients still with us since 2015 is testament to how well our monitoring works.
And finally, moreover, in our spare time we somehow managed to build the Titanic! Well, a scale replica out of Lego, but still something to be proud of…