As many of you have seen we have moved our operation to the Republic of Panama on the other side of the Pacific. Why? It still amazes me that while Panama is the centre of the sailing world it has almost zero facility for yachtsmen. No proper marinas, little boatbuilding, no sailmaker, no riggers, no.... I could go on but you get the picture I am sure. It is true that Panama has the World's largest merchant vessel fleet and accordingly has excellent big ship facilities and metal trades, bunkering and supply companies etc which can adapt or be adapted for the yachting and cruising fraternities. This still leaves huge gaps to fill and I am endeavouring to do so by creating a very large marina (990 berths, 35 superyacht berths, 4500 vessel hardstand, 300 boat drystack, all the ancillary services this location demands) and encouraging local and foreign businesses to weigh in with their expertise. We ourselves are already providing rigging services, marine electrical and mechanical services and agency for a variety of product including Rocna Anchor, www.rocna.com, Harken chandlery, www.harken.com Windrider, www.windrider.com Kiss polymers, SideShift, Wallacraft, and a number of others too.
In addition the wildlife and cruising here is unequalled by anything I have seen anywhere in half a century of sailing. More birds then anywhere else on Earth, extraordinary climate, beautiful scenery, whales, dolphin and marlin in huge numbers, stable politics, a US dollar economy and almost no visitors. An opportunity to develop a tourism industry with environmental sensitivity. The opportunities here are extraordinary and we now have the ear of the new administration here so full steam ahead for us.
The downside is that I have neglected the core business of Marine Scene, multihull brokerage etc in New Zealand, and will continue to have my attention elsewhere for some time to come. The spin off for my NZ clients will be greter access to international stock and clientelle in the future so that outcome appears quite positive, though quite distant. Another spinoff is that NZ suppliers of nautical product or service will have an advantage here in Panama and I do look forward to some of you taking advantage of my efforts.