French refit shipyard Nautech, which specialises in the refit, repair and maintenance of yachts from 25m to 95m, has announced a new facility in Cuba, joining its existing European facilities in Marseille and Villefranche-sur-Mer, France.

"The whole thing came about roughly a year ago because we wanted to have representation in the west," explained Pascal Voisin, general manager at Nautech.

Voisin's search led to an agreement with the Cuban government, which owns and operates the shipyard. The new facility is located east of Cuba's Bay of Havana and 100 miles south of the US coast. With a share in the facility, Voisin plans to make full use of the shipyard's existing 600-strong workforce together with contractors from Europe to offer a new service that could be up to 30 per cent cheaper compared to its European counterparts.



"I would like to start with a massive refit project here and we are targeting vessels between 40m and 130m," said Voisin. "It is a good mechanical and classical shipyard."

Nautech Cuba offers six dockside berths with a combined length of 1,100m and a dry dock of 151m long and 24m wide. Voisin explained that it was early days and that there is work to be done before they start work on any projects, but Nautech is actively looking for a client.

"You cannot go and start making changes in a new place without understanding the mentality and culture of the country. Cubans are very nice people who are ready to work hard."

When questioned about other key benefits of this announcement, Voisin was keen to point out that he wanted to provide new and more convenient refit options to the American market - especially clients in the Caribbean. This, combined with the financial benefits, make the facility an interesting proposal for those looking to refit their yacht.

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