An inside look into the Singapore yachting industry
Posted on: 09/26/2014
Singapore is a well-known tourist destination and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world every year, which includes many superyachts. But what does Singapore offer for yachts, crews and guests? Yachting Pages spoke to one of Singapore’s most experienced yacht services companies, Yachting Singapore, to find out more about the industry in that part of the world.
In your own words how would you describe your business? How has it developed over the years?
I started in 1997 after 15 years in the Navy. We started as a boat builder and evolved through the years to our present form. We were involved in management and maintenance of smaller boats until 2008. Today, our focus is on agency, shore support and supply services for superyachts not only in Singapore, but in the region.
What makes you different from your competitors? How are you unique?
We are a locally owned and operated company, independent from any franchise network or chains that you find in the region.
We have a long working relationship with shipyards and marine contractors going back to the Navy days and when we were a boat builder. Many vendors we work with have worked on my ship before and worked as sub-contractors in my boat yard. We know who we can trust and who can get the job done. That saves captains and chief engineers lots of time, money and headaches.
Also our deep understanding of many background policies and regulations affecting the shipping community help us to overcome challenges faced by superyacht captains and make their stay as smooth and productive as possible.
What facilities are available for superyachts in Singapore for refits/repairs?
Singapore is fast becoming the regional hub for superyacht activity, which includes refit and repair services. Historically Singapore has been a transhipment centre with one of the busiest ports in the world. There is a huge workforce involved in the marine sector with a well-established ship building and repair industry. There are at least five medium sized shipyards with docking facilities for yachts up to 120m and three well managed marinas for berthing and afloat repairs.
Regional distribution and service centres for major brands have also set up shops here; it’s easy to get engineering and parts support. In addition, Singapore is the regional aviation base with repair and overhaul facilities for helicopters.
Parts arriving via sea or air are normally cleared within 48 hours because of the efficient logistic support, clear and concise custom procedure (only liquor, tobacco, motor vehicles and petroleum products are dutiable when importing to Singapore).
Over the years, we have been able to provide everything from engine overhaul to haul out inspection, anti-foul paint job, servicing stabilisers, bow/stern thrusters, change shaft seals … to servicing the ovens in the galley, carpet cleaning etc.
What else is available for visiting yachts in Singapore? Why is it so popular?
Singapore is a modern city with a clean and safe environment. There is also full transparency when working with government agencies. Air hub connectivity and budget airlines means crew can visit exotic places like Borobudur in Indonesia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia with less than a three hour flight time. That gives crew plenty to do while in Singapore.
Do you have any advice or tips for captains and crew in regards to refit and repair in Singapore?
Plan ahead and discuss your scope of work with your agent as early as possible so he can help you with the planning. Comply with prevailing industrial regulations as they are established to safeguard lives and properties and are enforced strictly. Owners are encouraged to bring in their own specialist contractors including painting experts to work in Singapore. Immigration and labour laws here are very favourable to owners in this respect.
For more information, visit Yachting Singapore.