- Technology - Insight from a superyacht SME

By SuperyachtNews

Insight from a superyacht SME

We speak exclusively to Palma-based small business and carbon fibre expert, BMComposites…

BMComposites contacted The Superyacht Group for an exclusive conversation about how the lockdown period has affected the operations of the company. As an incredibly bespoke small business, and an example of the countless innovators and artisans operating within superyacht industry niches, the story of this Palma-based company is extremely pertinent.

“A state of alarm and national lockdown was imposed in Spain on 14 March and for the following two weeks we managed to keep working in the port of STP and in our workshop, following strict protocols”, explains Managing Director, Mark Branagh. “During total lockdown in Spain which started on 29 March the whole business was closed for two weeks. We had one day’s notice that this was going to happen and managed to scramble the team to finish a prepreg build in the port on the Sunday before the midnight deadline. With the lifting of some restrictions we were able to re-open on the 14 April under strict controls, but with some of our project team stuck in lockdown in the UK and Portugal.”  

As of 4 May, the company is working at full capacity. This has been a gradual process, with initial works recommencing on 14 April, at 50% and focused on existing projects. “We were fortunate enough to have sent proposals out for various projects in March that are now coming to fruition,” explains Branagh, in what is an encouraging market movement so soon into the transition back to normality. “[This included] the signing last Friday of a new 84m2 carbon fibre bimini for a motoryacht to be built in our workshop outside the port, which has enabled us to quickly ramp up to 100% manpower.

Like many small businesses employing specialist craftspeople and rarely-found skillsets, Branagh says his greatest challenge has been balancing liquidity with the need to preserve both the health and employment of his valued workforce, and expressed both his gratitude for their perseverance, and relief at the speed at which the company has generated momentum.

However, the complexity of the superyacht supply chain, and the varying rates at which this international network is returning to functionality, remains an industry-wide challenge. Branagh has currently found this to be a mixed bag. “We have a strong relationship with Gurit and are the official distributor for their materials for the Balearics and Spain. Their supply chain has proved robust under these challenging circumstances and we’ve had no problems receiving deliveries from them. With other smaller suppliers it has been more complicated to know what hours they are open and whether we will be able to get materials transported in a timely fashion.”

And Branagh is also largely positive or the market’s ability to bounce back in the medium-term. The worry in Spain is the possibility of the virus returning in the autumn, but we all have to get our systems and business as fully prepared as possible so we can react with agility and learn from what we’ve been through [but] we are optimistic that we are well placed to ride out the storm”, he says.

“In the coming months we feel positive. BMComposites has been in business since 2005 and we feel we have earned the right to be trusted - trust at this time is really important for clients. With all the uncertainty, we feel clients want to choose to work with a company which is still going to be operational and someone they can trust to deliver the job.”





Profile links

STP Shipyard Palma

Join the discussion

Insight from a superyacht SME


To post comments please Sign in or Register

When commenting please follow our house rules

Click here to become part of The Superyacht Group community, and join us in our mission to make this industry accessible to all, and prosperous for the long-term. We are offering access to the superyacht industry‚Äôs most comprehensive and longstanding archive of business-critical information, as well as a comprehensive, real-time superyacht fleet database, for just £10 per month, because we are One Industry with One Mission. Sign up here.

Related news

Image for Being lucky is being prepared

Being lucky is being prepared

We speak with Frank Grzeszczak about his new enterprise and outlook on the brokerage market


Image for SuperyachtNews COVID-19 Advisory – Spain starts de-escalation plan

SuperyachtNews COVID-19 Advisory – Spain starts de-escalation plan

What does the Spanish government's latest announcement mean for the yachting industry?


Image for Shipyard status update: Yachting Developments

Shipyard status update: Yachting Developments

The New Zealand shipyard resumes operations after a month-long nationwide lockdown


Image for SuperyachtNews COVID-19 Advisory – new build and refit contracts

SuperyachtNews COVID-19 Advisory – new build and refit contracts

Sarah Allan, partner at Penningtons Manches Cooper, outlines issues that may arise with build and refit contracts


Image for An update from Marina Port Vell Barcelona

An update from Marina Port Vell Barcelona

Marketing & Communications Director Marta Tuñí de la Torre discusses actions taken for yachts in MPV at this time


Image for GYG restarts operations in Palma and Barcelona

GYG restarts operations in Palma and Barcelona

The painting, supply and maintenance business returns to work within Spanish facilities. France to follow suit soon


Sign up to the SuperyachtNews Bulletin

Receive unrivalled market intelligence, weekly headlines and the most relevant and insightful journalism directly to your inbox.

The SuperyachtNews App

Follow us on