British Columbia – The next superyacht hub?
Point Hope Maritime shipyard is preparing for the inevitable influx of superyachts on the west coast…
A 180ft shrink wrapped vessel in Point Hope Maritime shipyard
With improvements to infrastructure and maintenance capabilities in British Columbia, it is likely that we will see a bolstering of superyacht numbers cruising the west coast of North America. Point Hope Maritime shipyard in Victoria, B.C, is aiming to be one of the driving forces in this transformation as they welcome superyachts for maintenance and repair services.
Point Hope Maritime recently received positive feedback from the clients of a 50-meter motor yacht that came to the shipyard for necessary emergency repairs and maintenance work.
The superyacht underwent repair work on both the hull and engine compartments, “We received excellent feedback through our customer satisfaction report as well as verbal appreciation from the crew and master,” said Riccardo Regosa, General Manager of Point Hope Maritime, “Considering that the client has already booked another maintenance slot for this same boat in November, at the end of yachting season, this tells me that our clients were very happy with the quality of our work as well as the experience working with our professional team at Point Hope. I liken it to the culinary industry; it’s always a great compliment to the chef if you visit the same restaurant and order the same main course twice in a row.”
Point Hope Maritime shipyard can haul superyachts up to 200 feet in length and 1200mt in weight, with an infrastructure capable of holding up to six vessels at any time on the dry dock. While the yard does not yet have a dedicated space for superyachts, there are facilities in place which can separate the private yachts from the ongoing commercial projects.
With an experienced core team of Vancouver Island local trades, the shipyard can easily bring in service providers from the mainland of B.C or from the US if necessary. On Point Hope Maritime’s ability to accommodate working for the private industry in a commercial yard, Riccardo explained his joy at the ease of transition, “Our employees are highly skilled and welcome new opportunities to apply their expertise. We provided training and instructions over toolbox meetings along with some pre-work instructions. I must say we were impressed with the level of awareness and professionalism our crew demonstrated. All work undertaken on board was conducted in a very careful manner that respected the type of vessel and its high-end presentation”.
With Victoria International Marina a mere 15 minute walk from the shipyard, it is clear to see why Point Hope Maritime are readying themselves for more superyacht arrivals. The marina can host superyachts with a maximum LOA of 175 feet and with new state of the art facilities, the area is sure to attract superyacht owners. In 2015 the Pacific Northwest saw migration numbers at the 165 mark during the summer months, in just three years those figures jumped to 245, an increase of 49%.
According to Riccardo, the reason British Columbia is only just getting the attention it deserves, is down to a simple lack of awareness, “I think that the Pacific Northwest cruising environment just isn’t as well known in the yachting community compared to cruising destinations such as the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. But Vancouver and the surrounding coastline have some remarkable sights. It’s very similar to the fjords you find in Scandinavia, and the marine life is stunning,” explained Riccardo. “As more boats arrive in the area and stories of our beautiful coastline spread by word of mouth, I think we will see a big increase in the numbers of boats exploring our coastline and our coastal communities –especially Victoria. The market is certainly developing and as more superyachts visit and decide to stay here, their presence gives us a stronger case for developing our infrastructure and facilities to accommodate them”.
A challenge to be overcome however is the coastal rainforest climate, something that has not been an issue in recent weeks as temperatures across Canada soared to over 40 degrees Celsius in a historic heatwave. On this topic, Riccardo sees easy solutions to the presence of rain, “This is a problem that can be easily solved by investing initially in temporary solutions that provide the optimum conditions needed to perform weather sensitive activities. For our superyacht clients, we are developing a standard solution to quickly and economically provide shrink-wrap, allowing us to guarantee ideal conditions to perform weather-sensitive services throughout the entire year.”
A protected deep water harbour along with an urban setting, makes Victoria International Marina an ideal homeport for superyacht owners seeking to explore new areas. Riccardo emphasised that, “We are at a great point for exploration cruises to begin their journey. You can head north up the BC coast to Haida Gwaii and on to Alaska. Alternatively, you can steer your boat towards South America and stop of at all the great locations in the US.”
The data has shown that the more adventurous locations (in the superyacht perspective) have been some of the biggest benefactors of generational growth in the industry. The future for superyachts in B.C is greatly anticipated among the community.
Victoria BC through the years
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