After some protectionist remarks from the CEO of a shipyard at last year’s The Global Superyacht Forum (now, The Superyacht Forum), where it was suggested the industry raise its barriers to entry for yacht builders, it was refreshing to see that the largest yacht on display at the Palma Superyacht Show this year, 59m M/Y Maybe, was built by a new market entrant.
“We had been waiting for an opportunity to enter this market for quite some time,” said Vincente Santiago, commercial manager at MetalSHIPS & Docks, while aboard Maybe, the yard’s first superyacht new-build project, which also happens to be the largest superyacht both designed and built in Spain to date.
After Factoría Naval de Marín went out of business in 2012, a hull was left in the hands of the courts. “The hull had been excellently looked after,” detailed Santiago. “It was on shore, well maintained and not degrading. The opportunity arose for us to purchase it and we judged it was a good investment , so we did.”
Providing an example of the capability and scope of projects tenable at the yard’s 180m facility in Vigo, Spain, Santiago adds: “We are just about to start on the outfitting of a sailing cruiser for a German client. Sea Cloud is a 138m, 136-passenger, three-masted schooner designed for commercial use. It will be a five-star cruiser, so we are fitting it out to a very high standard – comparable to the expectations of the superyacht industry.”
“We had been waiting for an opportunity to enter this market for quite some time.”
The yard had a restricted budget for the fit-out of Maybe in order to accomplish the humble asking price of €34.95 million – a price that has increased by €3 million since her initial listing to include a discretionary tender and an Atlas converter.
Upon inspection, it’s clear that the attraction of this boat revolves around it’s upgradability – there are some fantastic on board spaces (she is 1,053gt) that are well proportioned and the engine room is immaculate.
“The shipyard was tactful in building the interior so that it was open to a more classic or contemporary fit-out if required. Loose furniture and all these sort of things are easy to upgrade if you want to,” says Jonathan Syrett, the Camper & Nicholsons International sales broker representing the listing.
What is not necessarily in the favour of the yard is that a core constituent of increasingly regulated banks’ propensity for lending is a yard’s track record. But Syrett’s retort to this is, “If any buyer or banker went to the shipyard to see the technical platform it was built on, they would be very relaxed, trust me! When you buy a boat like this, you’ll always do a survey and this would breeze through any survey.
“We can’t talk about the residual value, of course, but when you situate a boat on the market, you look at the size, the volume, the age, and very closely at the condition and how she was built. Someone will fall in love with this, or won’t – it’s the same for any other yacht. The shipyard is very keen to continue building in this market, but demand needs to be there for them to continue.”
Largely on the basis that Maybe is sold, the yard has specified a particular interest in the sub-500gt sector, but it is “scepticism” that Santiago believes is the main challenge for the yard to overcome at this point. But with the value for money on offer, which Syrett says stems from the reduced cost of labour and a “conscientious” work force, it’s certainly a yacht and yard that holds a lot of potential for the future.