GULF OF GAETA: SUPERYACHTS HIGHWAY?
During my speech at the Blue Med Economy (watch the video here) in which we compare, the reality of Viareggio shipyards with those of Gaeta, I asked this question: “is it possible to intercept the Superyacht routes that pass in front of the Gulf of Gaeta without (unfortunately) stopping to drop anchor on the island of Ponza or go straight on to Capri?
The answer didn’t take long to come with the recent arrival in port, at the Nautical Base Flavio Gioia of Gaeta, of the M/Y of 55 Mt. Ocean Paradise. A SY launched in 2013 by the Benetti Shipyards of Livorno and which can host up to 12 guests and 12 crew members.
Was it a case?
Certainly no: the Marina, first of all, believed in the project, giving life to a “Super Yacht Division” dedicated to this customer segment and, alongside it, they create a staff of dynamic and qualified consultants with a lot of experience.
Certainly, a lot of credit is due to Ilija Dimitrijevic, Captain of the Ocean Paradise since the day of its launch. He has looked further ahead by offering the shipowner a destination outside the classic routes and he has certainly not disappointed expectations.
Even before the arrival of the M/Y the “Concierge system” of the Marina was activated to organize tours in the beautiful and unknown territory, for guests, and a warm and familiar welcome for crew members.
The Chef of the OP, Armando Selimaj, before leaving, was able to taste the excellence of the unique and typical products of the territory and, in comfort, he can “refill” the pantry for the next cruise.
An even more interesting circumstance: the Marina di Gaeta has turned into the gateway to the Gaeta Territory which has been called upon to collaborate as much as the Marina itself.
But is the Territory ready to do its part?
Let’s start with some technical and economic data:
Units such as Superyacht (from 50 to 70 meters long FT) (Mega yacht: more than 70 and up to 100 meters long FT) and Gig yacht (more than 100 meters long FT) once placed on the market, a economic value between € 600k (per linear meter) to more than double (and this depending on the production site, the degree of the finish and which accessories the owner requests) while the weekly rental of these yachts moves between a range of € 200k to more than four times that figure.
As it is easy to understand, in the majority of cases of High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) and therefore high-paying customers, to make the Territory attractive and welcoming, it needs first of all: on one hand efficient and fast transport services such as heliport and airport for private jets and on the other a high profile of ground reception services.
Is this enough?
No, because if the SY is operating in water during summer, but in winter they need to carry out service activities (ordinary and seasonal maintenance) and refit activities (that last more than 6/8 months and include extraordinary interventions, such as for example modification of the concept, review of the external and/or internal design, lengthening of the hull, replacement of the interior, change of the engine of the SY, etc.).
The economic value of the “ordinary” contract starts with amounts of more than € 300k up to a few million euros.
It is good to know that, although Italy is among the leading countries in the world in SY production (almost 50% of SYs are produced in our country) the recent period of economic crisis has been faced and surpassed by Italian shipbuilding industries also through the conversion of pure production activities into refit activities.
Moreover, the current trend of international yachting, driven by the shipowning class and by yacht management companies requires refits and restyling of the SYs, always with more frequency, preferring to maintain the same unit rather than replace it, adapting and modernizing their yachts.
Having specified the above, the SY business is developed through a circular activity, namely: mooring + service + refit.
Compared to the “pure” activity of a marina which has as its core business the mooring activity, the refit and service of the SY lead to de-seasonalize the activity of the marina itself, transforming it into a continuous cycle activity, detached from the summer/winter dynamics and therefore less subject to seasonal variables.
Nowadays is common that the yachting stakeholder requests to the home-port to be able to dispose of a shipyard that can carry out the activities for SY indicated below:
- a) fast and urgent and often unexpected technical intervention;
- b) seasonal service;
Broadly speaking, a service / refit activity occupies an area of almost 50,000.00 square meters and employs between 50 and 70 units of direct personnel and between 300 and 500 indirect units, developing an annual revenue of many millions of euros.
Finally, it is good to know that this type of business is able to “activate” the territory that moves functionally to it, in various field:
- transportation services
- financing services
- food & beverage
- and other services in a broader sense
With obvious and positive social and economic repercussions.
Undoubtedly, to make SYs stop to the Gulf of Gaeta the initiative and the efforts of a single Operator are not sufficient but will be necessary the collaboration of the Port System Authority of the Central-Northern Tyrrhenian Sea, as a control room for a Territory that has already proved ready to do its part.
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