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Unfolding the sail

Do the maritime composite yacht manufacturers have a chance of success?

In May, Composite Shipbuilding LLC launches 20-meter composite yacht - the first order of the Vladivostok shipyard. The company has already become a resident of the Free Port of Vladivostok and is still the only manufacturer of composites in Primorye. How and why in the city by the sea to build not only huge ships and not only from metal, EastRussia understood.

Unfolding the sail
Family business

As the company that organized the company Dmitry and Alexey Voloshenko, a young company registered in November 2015 and started construction of the first ship in September 2016, in its work relied on the experience of the predecessor company. The construction of yachts for the brothers Voloshenko - a family business, they were in the beginning of 2000-x began to deal with their father. But this company is absolutely new. At the initial stage in its creation, investments were minimal - in legal registration, site creation, office rent, advertising and participation costs in the exhibition of boats and yachts "Vladivostok Boat Show", where he managed to find the first customer, says the director of production of "Composite Shipbuilding" Alexey Voloshenko. As for investments, they are mainly represented by patents and now how. It is important that we managed to gather a team of unique specialists in the field of composite shipbuilding. This specialty is not taught by any university.

- A composite is a combination of components that gives the necessary qualities. For example, reinforced concrete, where the structure is "responsible" for iron, for strength - concrete. In our case, a combination of fiberglass and epoxy resin produces a high-strength wear-resistant material, and the vessel from it is capable of carrying the maximum load, "explains the shipbuilder.

Alex himself mastered the technology in practice, after working for more than a year at a major shipyard in the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, he says with knowledge that such vessels are stronger and lighter than ships of traditional wood or aluminum.

Despite the advantages, the technology used by Composite Shipbuilding has not yet become widespread in domestic shipyards. This is explained by the fact that for the transition to it requires serious re-equipment, respectively, a large investment, but the manufacturers who have a portfolio of orders for months and years ahead, there is no need to do it quickly.

Now the enterprise has started to implement another project - in early April, the shipyard laid the head vessel of a series of small yachts 7,2 meters long, ideally suited for short sea walks. The majority of ships plying through the water area of ​​Vladivostok, have a similar size and characteristics, and the demand for them is always there. The cost of their basic equipment, including all necessary systems and equipment, will be about 2,5 million rubles. As the chairman of the board of the company Dmitry Voloshenko, it is quite comparable with the prices for second-hand Japanese yachts of a similar class, abundantly presented in the seaside market.

The next project finally took shape after the entry into force on 1 of January 2017 of the year of amendments to the Regulations on Internal Passenger Transport by Sea, which simplified the use of ships as a sea taxi or tourist transport. If before even small boats intended for the carriage of passengers had to be built and registered taking into account the stringent requirements that made the project cost "unaffordable", now companies and frequent persons can use ordinary vessels. For Primorye, where 38 thousand boats and yachts are registered, this will be an additional incentive for the development of the tourism industry.

- We propose to launch routes in Vladivostok that will connect the mainland with the island territories. This will require about 10 boats. We developed our own program, which was submitted to the city administration. In case of a positive decision, we are ready to begin its implementation already this year. Private businesses can also carry out transportation. The ship, which will become a "demonstration model" for tourist and passenger companies, is already at work, - says Dmitry Voloshenko.

It is assumed that this type of ships will be available in two trim levels. When used as a sea taxi, it is equipped with passenger seats and a captain's cabin. If the customer needs a yacht, then it will accommodate three cabins, a bathroom and a shower. These vessels have a low draft and are equipped with a ramp, which will allow them to come close to the shore.

Port capacity

In May 2016 "Composite Shipbuilding" became a resident of the free port of Vladivostok. As noted by Dmitry Voloshenko, preferential taxation provided for residents really contributes to savings. Due to this, the prime cost of the first vessel, 20-meter yacht, which is being completed at the shipyard, decreased by 10 percent.

Another mechanism that could significantly affect the final cost of production, the creation of a customs control zone. It should be noted that the special fabric necessary for production, and of excellent quality, is more profitable to buy in Russia. But as for equipment - navigation, electric, mooring, also engines, household appliances, all this is purchased from European suppliers, and at the current exchange rate of the euro is quite expensive.

- In addition, customs duties reach 40 percent of the value of the product, and this line of expenses could be removed by creating a customs control zone. But so far there are many organizational ambiguities, and we have not come to a common opinion whether we will do this, the company’s chairman of the board explains.

Among the questions is the requirement to fence the shop with barbed wire, put a scanner and a metal detector at the entrance to exclude the possibility that the acquired equipment will be taken out of the territory of the resident of the SPS. In addition, if the boats on which the engines imported without taxes are installed, will not be exported, duties still have to be paid. At the same time, while Composite Shipbuilding has no customers abroad.

- Nevertheless, we are looking for and trying to use all possible forms of state support. Recently we signed an agreement with the Guarantee Fund of Primorsky Krai, according to which he will act as a guarantor if we need a loan of up to five million rubles. This money will not hurt us. Of course, they are not enough for a large project, but for the construction of a head vessel up to 10 meters - quite, - adds Dmitry.

As described in the Far East Development Corporation, while Composite Shipbuilding is the only SPV resident who has declared his desire to build composite vessels. There are no direct competitors who would make yachts and composite boats out of the enterprises operating in the Primorye Territory.

With Japanese coloring

- To understand what the yacht manufacturer's market is, it is possible at the exhibition "Vladivostok Boat Show", where companies that are interested in the development of this segment are sure to come. Five manufacturers were represented last year. One of them is from Thailand, four companies are Russian, of which three are from the Far East, "says Viktoria Kidyaeva, Executive Director of Vladivostok Boat Show.

Alexander Yurkin, the manager of the company "Sea trips", engaged in the sale of boats and yachts, the main competitors of maritime manufacturers consider second-hand yachts brought from Japan.

- The most popular models of used yachts, depending on the configuration, condition and year of release, are sold from 300 thousand to one million rubles. On those that cost 1-2,5 million rubles, the demand is less, but it still is. As practice shows, a person who has accumulated 1-2 million rubles, is looking for a used yacht from Japan because he does not know that you can buy a new one made for him, "he says.

- Our people do not yet understand that the yacht can be ordered for their own needs, choosing the engine power, the number of portholes, the height of the sofa and even the number of lamps. But, nevertheless, buying a former yacht for a million, they begin to modernize it - they change generators, lighting, air conditioning. As a result, the cost significantly increases, - supports technical director of the yacht club "Seven Feet" Marat Ahmedov.

In his opinion, the existing stereotypes also hamper the choice of the local manufacturer in favor of the fact that in Russia they do not know how to produce equipment, especially at this level - from the most advanced materials with the help of advanced technologies. 
At the same time, he believes that Composite Shipbuilding has good development prospects. There are a lot of manufacturers in Moscow and St. Petersburg producing yachts of their composite materials with a length of 7-10 meters and a cost of one and a half to three million rubles, and buyers from central regions no longer have a suspicion about the quality of the product. In addition, local shipbuilders do not have to enter into a tough competition with their colleagues.

- It is expensive for them to supply their yachts to the Far East, and they are not ready to occupy the market. Therefore, the guys have a good chance to occupy this segment. Plus, their ships can be used not only at sea, but also on rivers - in the same Khabarovsk Territory, Amur Region, - he said.
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