The Service Hub of Royal Huisman, Huisfit and Rondal on Palma.
P&G Yachting is renowned for their bespoke support services to the yachting industry. For Royal Huisman it was an obvious choice to become a shareholder in 2017. P&G offer expert services, maintenance, spare parts supplies and support to all superyachts, backed by the team of Royal Huisman, Huisfit and Rondal in Holland. We spoke with Alisdair Galbraith, co-founder of P&G Yachting.
Please tell us something about your background
“Originally from Glasgow I spent my formative years sailing on the West Coast of Scotland. At the time I probably didn’t appreciate it but this part of the world is spectacular for cruising, and in fact several Royal Huisman boats have ventured there in the last few years. I now try to get there at least once per year to visit my family and also to relax. I still maintain this is the only place I can unwind 100%.
After leaving school I was lucky enough to be accepted by Glasgow University to study Naval Architecture, whereupon I successfully completed my degree with honours. After university I decided to take some time out, and my dream was to sail the Atlantic – which I successfully achieved in a 40ft sailboat.
Having arrived into St Lucia I was met with the sight of several large yachts and I could not believe they were privately owned! I immediately introduced myself to the crew that were employed on these yachts and this started my career in “superyachting”.
26m / 84ft Foftein of Rye (Royal Huisman, 1988) post-Huisfit (2005-2006)
I proceeded to work on several large (considered large at the time!) sailing yachts over the next years before being introduced, by a mutual friend, to Patrick Paulmann, the captain of the Royal Huisman built yacht called “Foftein of Rye”. We hit it off straight away and I was offered the mate’s position on board. I was intrigued, as the owner of Foftein was not interested in going from St. Tropez to Portofino via Sardinia, like many of the boats I had worked on previously. Instead, he has the most incredible passion for the sea and in particular for whales. So over the next few years we would seek out whales in the Med in order that the owner could film them, above and below the waterline.
When was P&G founded?
It was during my time on Foftein that the owner decided it was time to upgrade the systems on board as well as completely remodel the interior to suit the future plans for the yacht. The obvious choice was to take Foftein back home to her place of birth in Vollenhove, where we were met by many of the original employees that were involved in the build. Both Patrick and myself decided to relocate to the Netherlands for the duration of this refit and we integrated ourselves in the shipyard workforce to undertake this huge project. It became apparent to us both that we enjoyed this process immensely, and the feeling of completing this project with the Royal Huisman team was extremely fulfilling. During our time at the shipyard we learnt a huge amount; especially what goes into producing the famous “Royal Huisman standard” of yacht building.
After Foftein was re-launched and commissioned we headed South to the Mediterranean and in particular Palma de Mallorca. It was during this trip that P&G Yachting was first thought about and I actually still have the first rough notes of a business plan, written on that trip, sitting in my desk drawer to serve as a reminder of the original ideas and values that we set out.
It took several months to work our way through the Spanish bureaucracy and find appropriate offices etc., however, in early 2007 P&G Yachting (full title – Paulmann & Galbraith Yachting SL) was officially born.
The services of P&G Yachting: Project Management; TPA Administration / Temporary importation; Classification Special Surveys; Customs and Immigration formalities for the boat, crew and packages; Foreign Worker Permits (allows non local companies to work in the port); Rondal Parts; Parts sourcing; Freight/Parcel collection and Forwarding; APA – Cash to Master; On site storage facilities
What are the main services you provide?
The reason for starting the business was simple: it became obvious to us that the yachting industry was evolving and that refits (large and small) would become increasingly more important. This was due to two factors, one being that the current fleet are getting older, and the second that – due to more and more yachts being built to a Classification Society – there was the necessity for regular Class surveys in order to maintain this status.
As Palma was our home port during our time on Foftein, we had built up a good network of contractors there. We could now utilise these to help visiting yachts that needed assistance, in building a good team around them. This allowed us to achieve maximum quality in a limited timeframe. It also so happened that Palma is regarded as the yachting hub of the Med. So for these reasons, Palma became the obvious choice.
We started the company at (what we didn’t know to be) the beginning of a financial crisis which, on reflection, made us more determined and resilient. The first few years were tough, but on reflection a great learning experience.
Having aligned ourselves with Royal Huisman, Huisfit and Rondal as their “go to” service hub in the Med, we have worked very closely with them since the beginning. We offer the same values, namely transparency, efficiency and Royal Huisman quality of workmanship, which prompted Royal Huisman to further cement this relationship by purchasing shares in P&G. This has allowed us to pull our resources to create a better experience for our clients. One example of this is the recent investment in a fully equipped workshop here in Palma, which allows the Royal Huisman, Huisfit and Rondal technicians to work autonomously with the same equipment that they are familiar with, back in the Netherlands.
P&G Yachting has grown its list of services over the years by listening to our clients and offering them what they require. As a result we have become a “one stop shop” for our clients.
All our services are provided in-house, in order that we can personalise these to our clients’ needs. Basically, we take care of everything for our clients by way of supporting the captain and crew before, during, and after their stay in Palma.
In 2016, as we were nearing the completion of a large refit project (lead by Royal Huisman), I was approached by the owner of this boat asking if we would be interested in managing his boat fulltime. After careful consideration and planning we agreed, and thus the Yacht Management side of business was created. In the following 5 years we built an impressive portfolio of yachts. Previously unbeknownst to us, there is a market for privately owned vessels that do not want to be forced into the “box” of a large management company. We see ourselves as an extension of the crew and we are therefore able to build a close relationship with our clients to offer them a tailored experience. I greatly enjoy the close personnel interactions I have developed with several owners, by being on hand to listen and mentor them as best I can.
What can you tell us about your team at P&G Yachting?
We currently have nine employees in the team – all with different backgrounds and skills, varying from ex yacht crew to specialised customs and legal graduates.
We work closely with local contractors that are hand-picked to offer the highest level of craftmanship and reliability. The quality and experience in Palma is well documented, however, a third, and fourth, trait that we look for are passion and tenacity, as these turn a good result into an outstanding result. We, at P&G Yachting, believe in delivering the highest standards, which aligns us perfectly with Royal Huisman, Huisfit and Rondal.
P&G Yachting clients: Vertigo (Alloy Yachts, 2011) and Twizzle (Royal Huisman, 2010)
Being responsible for Royal Huisman’s Palma service hub: how does it work?
For the past 14 years we have worked closely with Royal Huisman, Huisfit and Rondal and, year on year, we have developed and nurtured this relationship. We are now in the position where we are in contact with the shipyard multiple times per day in order to offer a seamless service to our clients. We also have full access to all drawings and build specs of each boat, which allows us to move forward without stalling as we have everything at our fingertips. Conversely we are also able to jump on board and physically look at any issues that need attention, and offer immediate feedback to the yard.
We assist the shipyard during the period after the delivery of new builds and refit projects. This allows owners to move their boat to the Med and still continue these works, with the added benefit that the vessel can be utilised by the Owner during this period, if so desired.
Whether leaving from Vollenhove or Royal Huisman Amsterdam, the trip down to Palma offers a very good opportunity to thoroughly sea trial, with us immediately on hand to iron out any kinks discovered on the way.
In the past, the shipyard would send down several employees to carry out any works. Now, the shipyard can send a few key personnel to oversee, and we provide local skilled labour that work to Royal Huisman’s exacting standards. This approach not only works for service items but also for local projects, that are planned in the Netherlands and executed in Palma. We have effectively set up a “home from home” here in Palma for our colleagues in the Netherlands.
We have come a long way in 14 years, and learnt a huge amount collectively. The plan is to keep moving forward and listening to our clients in order to give them the best experience in Palma as is possible and with the backing of Royal Huisman, Huisfit and Rondal we are well placed to do this!”
Ravenger, formerly Sea Eagle (Royal Huisman, 2015)