GYG, the superyacht painting, supply and maintenance company that is the parent of Pinmar, Pinmar Supply and Technocraft brands, has announced that, following a period of stringent restrictions in Spain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has restarted its operations in Barcelona and Palma and continues to maintain operations across Northern Europe and the United States with enhanced health and safety protocols. Operations are also due to recommence in La Ciotat, France, later this week. SuperyachtNews speaks with Remy Millott, CEO of GYG, about the possible impact of COVID-19.
“The social disciplines that will need to remain in force across the world for a number of weeks and months will have a profound effect on the superyacht industry,” starts Millott. “This period is not only going to affect how we work, but it will impact how owners and charter guests choose to use superyachts. Our industry, however, is incredibly resilient because of the affluence of the individuals that it relies upon (the owners). Come the end of the crisis, owners will still be the wealthiest people in the world and yachting will still be a huge part of their lives. In this regard I do not believe that there will be long-term damage to the market. However, there will be disruption and there is bound to be casualties.”
Within the refit sector, which accounts for the lion’s share of GYG’s business, Millott is candid about the levels of disruption. The unprecedented and unpredictable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some projects to stall, with some owners unable to move their superyachts to their shipyards of choice for works to be carried out. Equally, the preventative measures that have been rightly imposed across yachting’s key European jurisdictions, have meant that other projects have been unable to be completed. However, Millott believes that, as a result of COVID-19, 2020 may provide new opportunities for the refit industry.
“From a Pinmar perspective, we have got a lot of projects that have been half completed that require finishing,” continues Millott. “There are also a number of large new builds that will still be going ahead but there could be some shifting of schedules. . We have had two months of disruption, but now we are back to work, which is positive for us, albeit with the various new disciplines and protocols in place to protect our workers.
“A number of owners have written off cruising during the summer season and, as a result, they have begun planning the refit work that they have been wanting to complete, with a mind to being ready to cruise in 2020/2021 winter season,” explains Millott. “We may find that, come Q4 of 2020, that Pinmar and the wider refit market could be pretty busy. To date there has been no contract cancellations, our clients have been incredibly philosophical throughout the disruption and it has been a case of postponing, delaying and moving projects around until things become much clearer.
It is hoped that, at the very least, some owners and charter guests will be able to benefit from the 2020 Mediterranean yachting season, albeit in a diminished fashion. It is clear that the season will be significantly shorter than it has been traditionally. In the meantime it is of paramount importance that the industry, and indeed the world, sticks to the social disciplines that Millott refers to and abides by the new safe working protocols in order to give the 2020 Med season the greatest possible chance of going ahead. That being said, with many owners considering refit works rather than cruising, many businesses and subcontractors can expect some positives to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, not withstanding that there will also be a number of strong businesses that may struggle to recover in the post-COVID-19 environment.
“As well as looking positively towards GYG’s future in the post-COVID-19 environment, I would like to take this opportunity to express how proud I am of how all of GYG’s staff have handled this crisis,” concludes Millott. “Everybody has been incredibly committed and professional. While many of us have been working remotely, many of our workers have been going into the shipyards and working extremely hard even with the new conditions. I am so proud of our company, as I am sure many others are of their own."
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