Posted: 27th September 2017 | Written by: Francis Carter
As one of the oldest luxury superyacht refit and repair shipyards in the South of France, the Nautech Group has enjoyed years of continued growth and that development continues in 2017 with the acquisition of additional shipyards in both France and the Caribbean.
We spoke with Xavier Nedjam, Sales & Marketing Manager of Nautech Group, about the growth plans for the company and their unique ability to offer refit and repair services in two of the busiest superyachting regions.
Founded in 1996 in Marseille, the opportunity was taken to establish their first shipyard in an area with a rich maritime heritage and the epicenter of maritime maintenance operations with the most westerly dry-dock in the South of France.
Since then, Nautech has grown both in France and overseas:
Since 2015, in excess of 100 superyachts visit the Nautech shipard in La Ciotat each year due to their outstanding facilities, the expertise of the craftsmen and the activities laid on for yacht crew. Nautech has use of the 60m dry-dock, 200m of alongside mooring and a 300T, 250T and 750T crane. Over 20 yachts can be worked on at any one time here and with over 35 specialist companies operating 24/7 - painters, engineers, suppliers, yacht agents and more, Nautech is uniquely positioned to handle most requirements out of the one site.
Over the years La Ciotat has also become a very crew-friendly town with plenty of bars and restaurants, a casino and a range of sporting activities such as karting, scuba diving, water sports and several gyms.
Voted ‘The Place to be and Work 2017/18’ Marseille is a vibrant city with strong maritime roots. Based in the Bassins de Radoub, Nautech’s Marseille facility offers lay-by berths and dry-docks within a total shipyard area of 20,000m². The two lay-by berths provide 55m and 75m of alongside mooring together with the dry-docks of 137m and 175m allow Nautech to accommodate the majority of the largest yachts launched to date.
Within the yard there are many of the most highly regarded engine manufacturers and an impressive network of talented craftsmen.
Nautech also offers 400m² office space which crews and project managers can use as a base while the yacht in under repair.
As well as excellent superyacht refit facilities, there is plenty for crew to enjoy in their down time, including a visit to the famous cathedral, numerous art galleries and no shortage of night life.
Very close to the yard, only five minutes by car, crew will find a brand new luxury shopping mall complete with bars and restaurants and great leisure facilities including a gym, rugby, golf, tennis, Karting and of course football.
Nautech Group recently announced its new partnership with Foselev Marine, and the together they plan to further develop refit activity in Toulon with a new 900T capacity, 60m by 20m floating dock.
With access to top technicians coming from the local naval base the engineering and technology capabilities of the yard are also second to none.
Crew will also enjoy the surroundings in Toulon with a wide range of activities in easy access, and for lovers of rugby and visits to the vineyards, Toulon will not disappoint.
Based in the Port de la Darse, Nautech has access to the only dry-dock to be found on the French Riviera, ideal for classic motor and sailing yachts. The dock in Villefranche measures 60m by 11.0m making it suitable for yachts up to 40m long with a maximum beam of 8m and a draught of 3.5m, or two 30m yachts simultaneously.
The site offers secure office facilities, secure storage with a full range of craftsman including painters, carpenters and engineers.
The port of Villefranche is one of the most attractive along the coast, alive also in winter with its popular fish restaurants and weekly markets. Crew can enjoy fantastic site seeing, scuba diving and beach parties and, being just 20 minutes from Monaco and 10 minutes from Nice there’s plenty of night life to enjoy.
Who wouldn’t enjoy a visit to Cuba while the yacht is undergoing technical works? Included in Nautech’s development plans is a new, full-service refit and repair facility east of the Bay of Havana, just 100 miles south of the US coast.
‘’There are fewer and fewer spaces available in shipyards in Europe, and the South of France in particular. We saw an opportunity to bring yachts to the Caribbean to a yard with very experienced teams of craftsmen and engineers.’’ explains Xavier.
The Cuban shipyard was originally founded in 1992 and Nautech acquired the facility along with a highly skilled workforce of 500 staff with the technical capabilities to carry out metal, mechanical, machining, piping and electrical work. Maintenance, repair and refit are carried out in traditional dry-docks, dry platform and wet-berth in our shipyard facilities.
An important part of the Nautech Group ethic is flexibility so clients’ wishes can be fulfilled at each location from routine seasonal maintenance through to full refit, with a proven track record in the execution of urgent repairs.
Another defining aspect of Nautech’s approach is their Support Life Cycle Service for superyachts, where Project Managers follow each yacht throughout its life, acquiring a deep knowledge of the particular requirements of each vessel.
Back on home ground in the South of France Nautech’s expertise in Project Management also sets them apart. 'Despite the four yards we operate in the South of France, we have a small and dedicated team of experienced senior management. Group Managing Director, Nicola Bruni, has many years of accumulated knowledge in the superyacht sector. Recently we were also fortunate to acquire Kyle Baron form Monaco Marine as Project Director, who, again, has years of experience running larger projects and overseeing multiple projects concurrently.” said Xavier.
“As a company we have an international outlook, focusing on quality refits with close relationships with owners, captains and management companies. We also have our own in-house naval architects and interior designers. We offer an all round Support Life Cycle to any yacht we have the pleasure of working with”.
So what are the challenges in a typical day’s work?
“Le futur appartient aux gens qui se lèvent tôt (The future belongs to those who awaken early). I have long and very varied days, but this makes my job all the more interesting and exciting. I meet with captains and yacht managers and visit lots of boats. I still walk the docks to talk to yachts about Nautech’s services - this is where I’m able to connect with new clients. I also work closely with the project teams in the preparation of quotes.”
Xavier is also responsible for Nautech’s brand presence, managing social media content and working with designers on the new company website which launched this month.
“Since Nicloa Bruni joined the company as Managing Director we decided it was necessary to modernise Nautech’s online presence, hence the new website and greater activity on our social channels. I've also been busy preparing for our third attendance at the Monaco Yacht Show and this year we’re announcing some very exciting news on the opening day!’’
See our press release here: Nautech Group Expands in the Caribbean