By David Robinson

Two superyacht repair and refit facilities will be fully operational by the end of 2014 following a €40m investment by Sanya Visun Tuscany Yachting Co Ltd (VTY) – a joint venture between China’s Visun Group and Toscana Refit in Italy.

The first and smaller of these facilities, located opposite Sanya Visun Marina, opened on March 27 and will be fully operational by June. When completed it will be able to handle yachts up to 35m (115ft).

The investment here is €10m and the yard will have a 160-tonne travel lift, a 2,000sq m bonded warehouse for handling yachts from outside China or marine equipment, a 850sq m hangar with a height of 15m (49ft), specialised workshops for electrical, carpentry and mechanical tasks, and 12 berths for yachts from 19m-37m (60ft-120ft). The workforce will include several Italian managers, including an Italian general manager, and about 20 Chinese workers.

The second and larger yard at Yacheng in western Sanya will see €30m being spent. This will go on a 66,000sq m facility equipped with a 2,000-tonne synchrolift and two travel lifts of 900 and 250 tonnes respectively. This purpose-built yard involves land reclamation for a man-made island on which there will be five large sheds and hangars providing covered space to work on yachts up to 80m (263ft). There will be space to haul out and work on up to 200 yachts at one time, depending on size. There will also be berthage on three sides of the facility.

Pietro Barucca, operational manager for VTY, told SB: “The first facility will be fully operational by June and we expect it to be full by the end of this year. For the Yacheng facility, Visun has bought three times the land area of the yard and it is expected work on this yard will start by the end of the year and be completed in 2015. VTY is a 49%-51% joint venture between Visun and Toscana. Visun is paying fully for both facilities and the joint venture will lease the facilities from Visun.”

At the Sanya city facility there will also be a Yacht Harbour Joint Inspection Service bringing together four agencies such as Customs & Immigration. It will be the main centre for all yachts visiting Sanya.

A repair facility is also planned for Shenzhen, where Visun is building a 400-berth marina, but details are not available at present. Barucca says: “We plan to develop a regional network of yacht repair facilities of which the two in Sanya will be the first.”

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