The refit market for superyachts is thriving and it’s easy to see why. The fleet continues to grow and there are good opportunities on pre-owned yachts that the owner can refit and upgrade in a short time for a fair price. New buildings require more time and resources and necessarily have inflexible schedules. Owners who desire customised yachts that meet the highest safety and environmental standards are increasingly embracing the benefits of the refit solution.
Our specialised superyacht refit yard is seeing ever-greater demand, but the nature of the demand is changing. For larger yachts and bigger refit projects, most clients are now organised with qualified consultants and managers. As a result, the design and bidding process is better managed. Clients pay more attention to reliability, quality and technical capability – which should always be the key criteria for choosing a yard. A particular area in which clients are paying more and more attention is the environment. Owners recognise that meeting high environmental standards generally improves life on board. Plus, they like the idea of preserving our natural world and using its resources sustainably.
Our biggest challenge in the face of this increased demand will be maintaining the high standards that keep our clients coming back year after year. The yard has been working almost flat out at full capacity over the last three years. We have expanded our activities into large refits, so we are seeing an influx of mega yachts requiring ambitious refit projects. In my role, I spend a lot of time focusing on developing the skills of our employees so that we stay on the cutting edge of the refit business. I also coordinate projects to improve efficiency, supervise the projects and ensure quality control. I am constantly considering and installing new facilities so that our yard can accommodate all client requests, however technically demanding or unexpected.
The variety of vessels and clients is partly what makes refitting yachts so exciting. Motor yachts, sailing boats and traditional yachts all need the same close attention and care, and they must generally comply with similar standards and regulations. However, each yacht has a different character and different challenges, and each owner has their own passion. The focus may be on comfort, performance, appearance or tradition, or a combination of these. Take a classic yacht, always an interesting problem to solve. How do we improve comfort and ensure compliance with the latest standards while maintaining the traditional yacht’s soul? Fitting the pieces of the puzzle together and transforming an older yacht into the owner’s dream is our challenge.