Monday, April 23, 2012

Croatia’s Troubled Shipyards

Croatia Online -Trogir Shipyard & Seget Marina

Back in 2006, we took a detailed look at the Croatian shipbuilding industry, both the public and private sector. We were prompted to revisit these postings by an interesting article on the same subject by Reuters.

Even six years ago, it was obvious that the titanic nature of government subsidies to the state sector had to be addressed in order to fulfil EU negotiation and entry conditions. However it seems that, since then, there’s just been tinkering around the edges and the prospects look bleak.

We used to be based in Trogir and the state owned shipyard there provided employment, stability, life and another dimension to a town that would otherwise have to depend almost entirely on tourism. Trogir has a life all year round and the children playing on the Riva during breaks from their school is as much, if not more, of a joy to watch as the posh yachts mooring in the summer!

There’s been continual pressure to “relocate” the school and turn the building into a hotel, such is the desirability of its location. Similarly, rumours that all or part of the shipyard is to be turned into a luxury marina, appear regularly in the papers.

It’s been obvious, for a very long time, that operating the shipyards profitability, without a huge investment in modernising the infrastructure, is a slim hope. However their loss would be a very sad thing indeed for the settlements that derive their living from them, and to the fabric of much of Croatian life in the surrounding areas.

Croatia Online - Croatian Shipbuilding Industry Part 1 (2006)

Croatia Online - Croatian Shipbuilding Industry Part 2 (2006)

Reuters - Oldest Croatia Dock Slowly Sinks (2012)

News is a little bit happier in the private sector. Looking back at part 2 of the 2006 Croatia Online Shipbuilding industry analysis, NCP have a new website, appear to have gone from strength to strength,  and have just opened their dedicated superyacht marina alongside the existing marina. Heliyachts has proved elusive to find on the web now, but we noticed their unique luxury yacht Galatea is up for sale.

We wrote about Galatea after having a chat with her owners at the Split Boat Show in 2007. Her story is fascinating - in particular, her building was a triumph of human resources and quality over minor challenges such as civil war – and there is no doubting her classic lines.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Galatea Photo

Croatia Online - Galatea Best Yacht At Split Boat Show 2007

Galatea For Sale

Otherwise, a quick link check of the original posting suggests that the other private shipbuilders we referred to are prospering!


Today’s photo is taken from a layby on the scenic back road from Trogir to Šibenik.  Trogir’s shipyard is on the peninsula sticking out from Čiovo island. The island is linked to Trogir by a small road bridge. Nearer to the viewer are the new breakwater’s of Seget Marina (photo taken Sept 2009). The marina is now fully operational and you can read more about it, including a link to their website, on sister site Croatia Cruising Companion - Marina Seget


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