Malta offers great diving, deep harbors

Malta offers great diving, deep harbors



Malta is a southern European island country comprising an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 50 miles (80 km) south of Italy, 176 miles (284 km) east of Tunisia, and 207 miles (333 km) north of Libya. The country covers just over 122 square miles (316 square kilometers) and has a population of just under 450,000, making it one of the world’s most densely populated countries.

The capital is Valletta, which, at 0.8 square kilometers, is the smallest national capital in the European Union.

Malta’s location has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, and a succession of powers, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French and British. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004. In 2008, it became part of the Eurozone.

Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, and architectural and historical monuments, including three Unesco World Heritage Sites, and seven Megalithic temples, which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. If old churches are of interest, Malta has 365 of the most exquisite churches, one for each day of the year.

Malta has three large natural harbors on its main island:

  • The Grand Harbor at the eastern side of the capital city of Valletta, has been a harbor since Roman times. It has several extensive docks and wharves, a cruise liner terminal, as well as a number of marinas. Grand Harbor Marina accommodates the largest yachts. It also has a terminal that serves ferries that connect Malta to Pozzallo and Catania in Sicily.
  • Marsamxett Harbor on the western side of Valletta has a number of yacht marinas, Manoel Island Yacht Marina being the largest, able to accommodate yachts to 80m. It is centrally located in Gzira so chandlery shops, shopping malls, supermarkets and tourist services are all accessible within a short walking distance. In the vicinity, one also find numerous restaurants, bars and convenience shops.
  • Marsaxlokk Harbor (Malta Freeport) at Birżebbuġa on the southeastern side of Malta, is the island’s main cargo terminal. Malta Freeport is the 11th busiest container port in Europe and 46th busiest in the world.

There are also two manmade harbors that serve a passenger and car ferry service that connects Ċirkewwa Harbor on Malta and Mġarr Harbor on Gozo. There is a marina in Mgarr that accommodates smaller yachts to about 22m.

Depths are not an issue in and around Malta. Anchoring is difficult, though, as depths reach 40m and more just 4.5m from shore.

Malta is a huge dive destination for Europeans. There are many artificial reefs made by sunken ships and numerous cave dive sites. Although the waters are extremely clear, do not expect as much coral and sea life as one would see in the Caribbean. Many seaside resorts in crystal clear water-bays surround the islands.

The food generally has an Italian influence and in most places, one can order in Italian language, as it is the third unofficial language, after the official languages of Maltese and English.

Fishing is not one of the islands’ advantages, as we found out on our research. Most fresh fish is from multiple floating farms strategically placed around the islands. Beware of them as they are moved around and may cause navigation hazards.

There are plenty of other things to do and one should tour all three major Islands, as each has different things to offer.

Visitors total about 1.5 million a year, so traffic can be unpleasant. Local transportation, on the other hand, is organized and affordable.

Superyacht budgets and accounting

Delivering a complete financial administration package tailored to your superyacht’s needs.

Having invested a respectful amount of money in a yacht, now you face the challenge of looking after your investment ensuring that you do not only receive the maximum pleasure your asset can produce but enjoy being her owner and at the same time ensure that she will remain a valuable asset. The only way to achieve this is to ensure that your yacht is operated, maintained in the best possible way by the best possible people.

Running your asset, in an industry that is becoming ever more regulated and complex, requires devotion in order to achieve balanced budgets, minimize the liabilities and risks associated with the day-to-day operation. For this reason in order to relieve you of this burden we are offering a spectrum of yacht management services. Whether it is technical, operational, crew, or financial management or regulatory issues, our clients can reap the benefits of having customized and best in town yacht management services. Customization is our point of differentiation in the global yacht market.

We offer a wide range of yacht financial services to assist Owners and Captains with the management of their yacht. Total transparency means our owners have access to see the yacht’s accounts and bank accounts 24/7. Our services are designed to lighten the burden for Captains and Owners whilst maintaining the high standards required for the efficient running of a yacht with monthly/quarterly and annual accounting reports.

With respect to the yacht we handle:

Preparation of annual budget forecast and presentation to yacht Owner for approval;

Payment of invoices and day-to-day expenses;

Maintenance and control of bank accounts;

Preparation of monthly/quarterly management accounts;

With respect to the yacht-owning company itself we look after:

Book-keeping and preparation of financial statements;

Preparation of annual draft balance sheets and approval, compliance and annual review of the corporate and accounting files;

Liaison with auditors when necessary;

Coordination of Corporate and Statutory matters and regulations.

VAT and Tax Info: Taxation relating to luxury yachts can be highly complex. Whether purchasing a new or used yacht, the tax status will be an important consideration. Where your yacht is to kept is likely to dictate the tax you will pay on the purchase price. Boats belonging to EU Citizens, or those that are EU flagged, must pay VAT. If your vessel is non-European flagged and you would like to keep it in EU waters, VAT may still apply, this is largely dictated by the length of time spent in European waters. There are various VAT deferral schemes and leasing structures that are available in this ever-changing environment, and so up-to-date guidance should always be sought when considering a purchase. It is fundamental that a yacht’s Captain can always present proof of the vessel’s VAT status if requested by local customs authorities.

Whatever your individual circumstances may be, ASSET V will offer sound and impartial advice for your luxury yacht.

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Running a yacht is not a part-time job: Yacht Management

Boats are inherently needy machines. Quality time on the water rarely comes without at least a moment of thought for their own care and needs.

Owning a yacht can take on characteristics of running an international business. For some, a competent corporate accountant and a talented captain may be able to manage the program, but for many, at least some level of professional shore-based yacht management can be a welcome relief.

Administration of a yacht, managing its safety, paying suppliers, managing crew and charter agents is a definite full-time job.The larger the yacht, the more likely it is for such services to be contracted out. This will allow the captain to focus on its safe and smooth operation.

Yacht management comes in many shapes and sizes depending on an owner’s individual requirements. Owners may decide to hire a small firm or individual expert to handle one element. such as regulatory compliance, and another for charter management.

A number of firms, large and small, offer the full lifecycle of management for every aspect of ownership, beginning with an owner’s decision to building a new yacht and ending with its sale.

Therefore yacht management services, need to be tailored to each owner’s specific needs and can include operations support, technical management, safety management, security management, crew administration, emergency response, insurance administration, the creation of offshore crew employment structure, financial management and technical consultancy.

Owners can choose a full or partial package and even take the yacht services à la carte. For owners the decision to register and operate commercially and offer the yacht for charter can add layers of regulations and expense, despite the rewards charter revenue may bring. A management company may, in the long run, be of value saving time, hassle, mistakes and unnecessary expense, especially for the first-time yacht owner.

Chartering is governed by a more complex set of regulations to safeguard crew, passengers and the environment than strictly private use.These regulations can pose significant liability on the owners of the yacht, the captain and crew. In the same way that owning the yacht via a corporate structure protects the beneficial owners in regards to liability protection and taxation issues, having a suitably qualified management company in place, with clearly defined roles and functions, supports the operation of the yacht and assists in ensuring that the yacht is ready for charter at the required times and locations.

So how exactly does a yacht management company work?

If a management company does not have on-staff expertise in a specific area, it often has relationships with specialists who do.

For regulatory compliance, for example, a company that specialises in ISM and ISPS (International Safety Management Code/International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) management and MLC (Maritime Labor Convention) compliance, would be needed.

So who’s coordinating all the details if not a management company?

Often captains serve as the lead management executive, hiring crew, keeping books and managing the technical aspects of the yacht. But an owner moving up in class may find the added layers of regulation and compliance strain the resources and time of his captain. Some owners then use accountants or managers within their businesses and software to coordinate those activities in conjunction with the captain.

Management fees

The cost of employing a management company can vary widely, depending on many factors including the yacht’s size and the level of services rendered. Companies may offer a fixed-fee charged quarterly, monthly, or annually, or can charge all disbursements and external charges at cost with fees being charged on time-spent.

There is no hard-and-fast rule.

The efficient and timely administration of a large and complex yacht operation involving taxation, financing, technical, crew, safety, security, complex corporate structuring, accounting/budgeting and suppliers etc, can undoubtedly when delivered by knowledgeable and well-resourced experts, save the owner and captain enormous amounts of time and expense.