It’s amazing how many of today’s top-notch yachting companies started off as small, one-man bands, and over the years have grown in strength, enterprise, professionalism and size, just as yachts themselves have done. There’s Robert Braithwaite (1943-2019) who started Sunseeker International in 1969, the Ferretti brothers of Ferretti Yachts in 1986, Paolo Vitelli of Azimut Yachts in 1969, and Mallorca’s very own Toni Salom of Nautipaints and Peter Allan of Pinmar (1943-2015). But although these businesses started small, they didn’t stay that way, but grew and grew and in most cases diversified – and there are no greater examples than that of the two great superyacht painting and finishing services in Palma de Mallorca – Nautipaints Group and Global Yachting Group (Pinmar).
The very first chandlery in Mallorca was Nautipesca Can Miguel, opened by Miguel Salom in 1971. In 1991 Toni joined his father and in 1997 he founded the paint division, naming it Nautipaints. Since then, as the superyacht industry has developed, so has the Nautiparts Group – now comprising of Nautipaints, Nautichandler, Nauti Industria (tank maintenance), Nauti Underwater (hull maintenance) and latterly in 2016, Nauti International, offering their clients a shipyard painting service department, operating globally, with teams that travel to any European shipyard for whatever paint job their clients require.
Peter Allan arrived in Mallorca in the early 70’s and in 1975 founded a painting business called Pinmar (Pinturas Marinas), which over the years has evolved into the huge painting, supply and refit conglomerate, Global Yachting Group, headed by Remy Millott. GYG is Pinmar, Pinmar Supply, Rolling Stock, Technocraft and ACA Marine. It was one of the first companies to expand outside Mallorca, with the MB92 painting shed in Barcelona and operations in Germany and the States. Now they provide teams all over the world, whether it be for a full paint job, refinishing or refit.
When boat tenting arrived on the island in the early 2010’s there was much muttering from the naysayers – “it’ll never catch on” and later, allegedly, there were complaints from residents on the Paseo Marítimo that “all that plastic” spoiled their view of the bay. But tenting, by increasing the number of superyachts that could be painted at the same time, greatly increased the production and services that both these companies were able to offer, thus making Palma de Mallorca a magnet for superyacht captains looking for exquisite and professional paint jobs.
There are several reasons for painting boats, one is protection – whether the boat is made from wood, GRP, steel, aluminium or ferrocement – the topsides will need protection from the sun at the very least, and the underwater hull will need protection from marine growth. Growth on the hull slows a boat down, costing more money in fuel – or points in a race.
But the best reason? The sheer joy of a seeing a beautifully painted superyacht!