An intimate look into a leading superyacht metal works company

Yachting Pages is pleased to share an article featuring an interview with Christian and Desirée Doñaque from leading metal works and fabrication company Rubén Doñaque. Both gave an in depth introduction to the family run metal works company and elaborated on the industry they are a part of.

In your own words how would you describe Rubén Doñaque’s business and how it all began?  

Rubén Doñaque´s welding workshop was set up by Rubén Doñaque (the father of Desiree and uncle of Christian) in Palma de Mallorca in 1990 when he first came to the island. Rubén comes from a family with an extensive background in metal works and welding.

Back in the early 90s Rubén Doñaque´s welding workshop was one of the pioneers in the metal works sector and Rubén´s reputation increased over the years, as he and his team have always been able to weld and repair almost anything, no matter what size!

Since 1990 the company has increased in size and has kept growing from strength to strength, thus becoming one of the preferred providers of top quality metal fabrication for all industries.

What makes you different from your competitors and how are you unique?

Rubén Doñaque is a long and well established family-run business. By far our extensive background in the metal work sector exceeds our competitors’ and our uniqueness lies in our ingenuity to repair and fabricate any metallic piece.

We have a multidisciplinary team and have in place milling, turning, cutting and polishing machines which help provide an all-round service when it comes to metal work. Rubén Doñaque is very resourceful and has many contacts in associated trades, so if we cannot make it in our own workshop we will find the right people to help complete the job that customers expect.

Rubén Doñaque also has strategic partnerships with chroming, galvanising, hydraulic engineering and other companies alike. We have the ability to design customised metallic structures for superyachts and help our customers visualise their project.

What’s new with your business?  Are you working on any new developments at the moment?

Rubén Doñaque has invested in new metal folding and milling machinery and is also being trained on AutoCAD by experts to help take Rubén Doñaque to the next level in the design of metallic structures. Moving forwards Rubén Doñaque constantly improves and is already planning for the future with a new state of the art cutting-edge polishing machine.

Is there anything that people don’t know that you would like to announce?

We would just like to reiterate that we are Lloyd´s certified for the welding of aluminum and grade A steel.

What are the biggest challenges that you face in the superyacht industry at the moment?

The world is becoming a less stable environment, and nothing can be taken for granted. The superyacht industry, which had always been kind of immune to worldwide crises, has been affected by the economic recession of the last few years. Our biggest challenge in this ever changing world is to keep customers returning to us and wishing to invest in the maintenance of their yachts.

How is business?  How have you been effected by the recession?

Business is stable; the recession has affected almost everyone, the yachting industry included. In particular, we are seeing how owners of small to medium sized yachts are not spending as much as they used to in the maintenance of their boats, and some have even had to sell them. Even on the large superyachts, captains and owners are more discerning and are demanding more value for money. However we feel this falls in to Rubén Doñaque’s hands as we guarantee the highest of quality work and can deliver on value for money.

Being in Palma de Mallorca, Rubén Doñaque is in a better position than others placed around in the Med and the Caribbean. Mallorca is safe, has good weather and has the service capacity required by the superyacht industry with great air and maritime connections with the rest of Europe.

What are your top tips in your industry?

Be a specialist on one hand, and diverse on the other. People come to Rubén Doñaque looking for solutions; if a supplier can meet what the customer needs, then the discussion on costs, quality, time scales etc. will surely follow and flow more easily.

What is the most bizarre client request you’ve received?

We were asked to provide a perspex protection for a Jasper Johns American flag diptych, located in the owners ‘salon, which last went in auction for $29M!

On a more local and modest level and in a different industry, we were asked to repair the railings on the top of the lights of the landing strip in Palma´s airport. That was scary for our guys, not suitable for vertigo sufferers!

What iconic superyachts have you worked with that you are of?

Recently we have worked on board: 30m M/Y Sprezzatura, 41m M/Y Azziza, 37m M/Y Aurelia , 51m M/Y Legend, 78m M/Y Eminence, 88m S/Y Maltese Falcon, 37m S/Y Moonbird, 49m S/Y Kamaxitha, 29m S/Y Aphrodite A, 35m M/Y IBI (formerly Polycarpus), 30m S/Y Constance, 60m M/Y Jade, 82m M/Y Pacific and many others.

Finally, are you attending any upcoming boat shows? 

We have just been to the Palma Boat Show, and will be attending the Palma Super Yachts Cup in the summer, along with the other major show like Monaco this year.

For more information please visit Rubén Doñaque

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