From its humble beginnings in 2013, when a handful of staff literally worked out of a suitcase, Baltic Yachts Service and Refit has developed into one of the most sophisticated and respected companies in the Palma de Mallorca superyacht metropolis, reflecting its mission statement of ‘Supporting Clients to Enjoy Their Yachts’.
Now, with a staff of almost 40 and the opening of a brand new 800m² multi-department workshop in the Son Castelló district of Palma, the Service and Refit team will mark their 10th anniversary and the expansion of their business with a party, presentation and drinks for 100 guests in their new facility on the eve of the Palma Superyacht Village 2023 show, 27-30 April.
The celebrations come as Baltic Yachts itself marks 50 years in business with events planned in Jakobstad and Sardinia, where a 50th Anniversary Rendezvous regatta will take place from 14-17 September. The show will also be an opportunity to learn more about current build projects in Finland including the Baltic 110, Baltic 111 Custom, which will both be launched this year and the newly commissioned Baltic 80.
The Baltic Yachts Service and Refit team, led by managing director Olav Ahlö will be available on stand SY 30 in Palma Superyacht Village 2023, together with members of the head office team including Sales Director Kenneth Nyfelt and Executive Vice President Henry Hawkins.
“The Palma Superyacht Village has become a preeminent show for large sailing yachts and it’s also the perfect platform for our important Service and Refit team to explain what we have to offer and to engage with clients,” said Henry Hawkins. Both the 175ft Pink Gin and the Baltic 68 Café Racer Pink Gin Verde will be in the area and available for viewings.
Baltic Yachts’ presence in Palma has seen strong and steady growth since 2013. With all the experience and facilities of Baltic Yachts’ Jakobstad headquarters in Finland supporting the Palma operation, the team quickly gained a reputation for excellence, developing a vital network of trusted local companies, whose expertise in every discipline in superyachting helped enable the company to provide top quality service, refit and guardianage for almost any yacht.
A key achievement this year was to gain DNV classification and ISO 9001 quality control status. “This is proof that we have externally audited processes in place which provide reassurance for our clients and enhance our reputation for trust and quality,” said Henry Hawkins. Baltic Yachts’ Head of Quality and Sustainability Pamela Honga has been working in Palma for a year to help achieve these standards and further classifications will be secured this year.
Baltic Yachts’ growth in Palma quickly led to it establishing a Spanish company and opening an office opposite the STP shipyard in 2014. By 2018 the company was employing 15 people, a facility was opened in Can Valero and a year later a larger office was opened opposite STP. With the opening of the Son Castelló facility this year, the workforce has grown to 37. “Having the facility in Son Castello up and running is a game changer for us and enables first and foremost new possibilities in developing composite components and manufacturing of more complex composite parts in a clean, controlled, and expedient environment,” said Olav Ahlö.
The services now offered are wide ranging and can include major refits for any size yacht, work on the recently completed Swan 115 Jasi being a good example. PLC upgrades are in particular demand and retro-fit work such as the 40m² advanced composite hardtop for Baltic 175 Pink Gin are among the many specialist services the Palma Service and Refit can offer.
Malin Ström, the company’s office manager and events co-ordinator reports that there are currently at least eight large yacht projects underway in the company’s STP facilities, plus a number of smaller projects. Almost 50% of the yachts being worked on are non-Baltic builds demonstrating the increasing demand from a wide range of clients.
The Service and Refit team will also be commissioning the second Baltic 68 Café Racer, Open Season, which has been shipped from Jakobstad. The yacht will have her keel and rudder fitted, rig stepped and undergo trials in the Bay of Palma before embarking on a race programme.