V&A Waterfront, Superyacht Cape Town

R&M Boatbuilders at the V&A Waterfront

Upholding exacting standards

In the bustling V&A Waterfront of Cape Town lies R & M Boatbuilders, a small shipyard led by the renowned yachting legend, Manuel Mendes. Situated at East Quay, at the very heart of boating activity, this dedicated facility has become an indispensable cornerstone of the marine industry. As the local agents for Frigomar, a renowned Italian market leader in marine refrigeration, ice makers, and air conditioning systems, R & M Boatbuilders consistently uphold exacting standards. 

With a wealth of global experience, Manuel Mendes arrived in South Africa in 1980. The boatyard was established to undertake a ground-breaking endeavour: the construction of a remarkable boat capable of competing at the highest echelons of world racing, namely the America’s Cup Challenge. This audacious undertaking shattered prevailing notions regarding South Africa’s capabilities in this domain, given its limited resources and modest budget. It was at East Quay that the shipyard was established, with the primary objective of constructing the pioneering yacht, aptly named Shosholoza, and training the crew. Many years have passed since then, but Manuel remains committed to training and mentoring a new generation of artisans and boatbuilders. He is always ready with a word of encouragement and advice. 

Over time, R & M Boatbuilders has expanded its scope to encompass the lucrative superyacht market. The facility now offers comprehensive services, catering to vessels ranging from five meters to over 40 meters. Manuel has an extensive network in Cape Town and knows exactly who to talk to.  He and his team provide a comprehensive list of services. The world-renowned Southern Wind Shipyards complete their final commission phase at the R & M yard.

Manuel is a passionate advocate of the Waterfront and feels it needs to protect its authenticity as a vibrant working harbour. Having a working boatyard is a crucial part of that and he is planning to remain as a permanent fixture for years to come. 

If you plan on completing minor repairs and maintenance work while you are in Cape Town, don’t hesitate to contact Manuel. He will be able to track down the most obscure part, connect you to the right subcontractors and direct you to some of the best foodie spots in town!


R & M Boatbuilders

Mr. Manuel Mendes


+27 214186032

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