Yachts/boats have been part of Managing Director Andrew Fairbrass’ life for as long as he can remember. He keeps a picture on his desk of himself in a Mirror dinghy aged 2 years old, the outboard of which is now in Berthon Spain’s ‘Big Blue Shed’ and going strong.
He writes: “The Mirror dinghy was the beginning of a lifelong obsession with boats that I’m pleased to say hasn’t dwindled one bit since I was two.
Family holidays were always afloat, and I have no idea to this day how as family of 5 we didn’t kill each other on a 33-footer! As I got older and not wiser, and after a brief foray in finance, the sea once again beckoned. I met my now wife Rowan on the Isle of Wight whilst doing our Yacht Masters and we then went on to run a flotilla together in Greece.
Following this, we were lucky enough to land our first drive which was a Nautor Swan 68, previously sold by Berthon in Lymington, called KIANDA which had just undergone an extensive refit. We were soon sailing off to Palma de Mallorca and of course had no idea that this would ultimately be somewhere we would call home.
After 3 years of running the Swan, the first Fairbrass family crew member came along, and this would eventually be the catalyst of what is now Berthon Spain. Having brought a CNB back from Fort Lauderdale, I decided I no longer wanted to be away from the family, so Rowan and I started a business called Sentinel Yachting.
Our goal for the business was to provide guardiennage and to offer a standard of service which rivalled on-board crew. We wanted owners to realise they didn’t have to constantly put up with breakdowns and their yachts looking unkempt, just because they had chosen not to put crew on-board. We were lucky enough to start looking after a lot of Oyster yachts, then several Princess motor boats and then we formed a close working relationship with Baltic yachts.
After 4 years of running the business, I was very fortunate to once again cross paths with Dominic May when we had dinner together in Palma. To my surprise the next morning, I had both Dominic and Sue Grant in my very un-impressive office at the time, discussing a potential partnership.
From that moment on we haven’t looked back and with Berthon International and Managing Director Sue’s support we have rapidly expanded the business from 4 staff members to nearing 20, and from a pokey little office and workshop to the Big Blue Shed and two very smart offices.
Our capabilities for yacht refits mean we can now offer a complete service. From the moment a client buys the yacht, we are there to support them for the whole journey and with Berthon’s international network we are blessed with friends located in all corners of the world who can help us out.
I am looking forward to the continued expansion of Berthon in Spain.”