Barcelona relies on superyachts and is becoming a hub


The yacht maintenance business is booming. MB92, which also owns a smaller shipyard in La Ciotat, France, had sales of 191 million euros (approximately $ 215 million) in 2021, compared to 150 million euros in 2019.

While a superyacht is an impressive showcase of wealth, owners expect their employees to remain silent about their assets and whereabouts. When asked about the Sea Rhapsody’s destination after it left the shipyard, Henk Dreijer, the commercial director of MB92, disagreed, suggesting that it was going to the Caribbean, but it could also be the Seychelles or elsewhere.

“We work for people who like to be very discreet,” he added.

In Barcelona, ​​which is run by a left-wing city government, not everyone welcomes the arrival of billionaires and their yachts, whose marinas are usually delimited from the rest of the city’s waterfront.

“We bring in the richest people in the world, but they don’t spend their money in our neighborhoods, they have yachts that fly the flags of tax havens and they hire crews who are not from Barcelona,” Gala Pin said until 2019 city legislature in Barcelona.

“We have also allowed private and very opaque companies to squeeze profits from public land and instead close off access to a port area that should benefit all citizens of Barcelona,” she added.

A decade ago, Ms. Pin and other residents stopped Demonstrations to protest the original project to develop Port Vell, a private marina for luxury yachts. But now Ms. Pin admits that the yacht business is very firmly anchored in Barcelona. Meanwhile, the city’s dwindling fishing fleet has been squeezed into a small enclave between the MB92 shipyard and the superyacht’s marina.


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