Category: Yacht Consultancy

What Should You Look For In A Yacht Project Manager?

Perhaps you read our previous blog about Yacht Project Managers, or maybe you already knew that you’d need one to support your project; now you´ve made the decision, how do you know what to look for in a PM (aka Client Project Manager)?

To start with, what you´re looking for is an experienced PM who can provide a plan from the outset that includes your goals, timescale and milestones, and who will keep your project on track and on budget. Always ask for references and talk to them about their track record.

Let’s revisit our main issues;

Firstly, time. An experienced PM wouldn´t take on a project unless he or she could fulfil the requirements, but always ask if any other commitments could impact your project timescale.

Secondly – and most importantly – experience. You need a PM with industry experience across multiple disciplines; a sailor, a surveyor or builder and a savvy businessman at a minimum. In addition, look out for project managers who have experience working with costings, working internationally and those with extensive contacts overseas (where your build, refit or repair is likely to take place).

It´s also of vital importance that your PM has good negotiating and communicative skills; The yard will most likely provide estimates or fixed quotations for the projected works, these will need to be fully understood, negotiations complete, and a timeline created and agreed upon by all parties prior to the work being awarded

Thirdly, money. Look for a PM with an extensive knowledge of the marine industry, yachts and issues associated with yacht or superyacht builds, refits or repairs, because he or she will be able to produce strong costings from the outset and help deliver on time and on budget.

Yachtwork has a team of three yacht project managers with an excess of 100-years of experience combined. We are happy to field your questions on any and all aspects of project management; head over to our Project Management page to read more and read about Jim Vintner, Jim Hirst and Ted Smith on the About page.

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5 Ways to Enjoy Your Next Cruise


If you ask anyone who owns a motor yacht and regularly cruises, they will always say that there is nothing like it. But the idea of taking your yacht out for a cruise can sometimes seem difficult when you factor in the planning, scheduling and finally being able to head out to open water. If this is you, we have created an informative and helpful list of some ways that you can enjoy your next cruise and get more out of it. Read along and keep these in mind the next time you start to feel overwhelmed at the thought of taking a cruise.

  1. Be flexible. When yachting, things do always go your way and if you plan for them not to, you might be pleasantly surprised when they do. Be flexible and you will soon find that you will begin to enjoy your cruises more and feel more relaxed after every trip.
  2. Be open-minded. When cruising, especially in areas that you are a foreigner to, you should always remain open minded. If you do, you will find that you will have a better experience and you may learn something new.
  3. Don’t try to adhere to strict schedules. Making a plan is a good idea, but sometimes you don’t get to stick to a schedule that you have created especially if that schedule is very strict. A loose itinerary will enable you to enjoy your cruise and give you time to make a few extra stops along the way.
  4. Enjoy the locals. This may seem obvious, but many people will take their yachts out for a cruise and will stick mainly to themselves. Meeting new people is a big part of cruising and something that shouldn’t be missed. Plus, the locals may know of some out of the way spots that you might want to see or they could alert you to some dangerous areas that you might want to avoid.
  5. Be confident in your abilities and your boat. We are not saying that you have to be a pro at this, but you should be confident in yourself and your vessel. Understanding the basics, knowing how to use the navigation system and knowing your abilities is important. This is how you become an experienced sailor and how you can enjoy your cruise even more.


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Alex Thompson Racing, Hugo Boss

Go Alex go, your team must be very proud, I know your sister is. Massive effort, may the wind stay on the Starboard side for the last four days, this may result in the closest finish to this race ever.

Good luck, well done, I can asure you the next four days, will be as sleepless for me, whilst following this epic tale.

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Marine Insurance Profesionals.

Are you a Claims Handler?

Are you an Underwriter?

Are you a Manager of the above?


We very much hope that you have read our previous posts, which gives evidence to the fact, that we have quite an understanding of the repair, refit and building of a boat. We also intended our posts to demonstrate that we have a deep understanding of the claims process.


Are you a Claims Handler?

We would love the opportunity to sit down and talk to you, and discuss your requirements. I, Jim Vintner, have worked in many areas of the marine industry from a Captain and Engineer of Superyachts, to an Operations Manager of a prolific repair facility with the past four years as the Principal Surveyor and Director of Yachtnet Ltd TA as We have developed an excellent relationship with our clients and established a UK wide network of Surveyors, currently expanding into Europe, USA and Australasia, saving you time and travel costs, whilst continuing to give good concise reporting, with information backed up by the industry knowledge as mentioned earlier. Many Clients have reported an improved claims ratio, many have reported greater customer satisfaction and client retention. With all of the above points, and the fact that there is no cost in making contact, we will come to you for a meeting, why not make contact? After all, it is part of your role to make sure you are giving the best service on behalf of your underwriters.


Are you an Underwriter?

If you are, and have read the above, we very much hope that you may insist on a meeting of minds with the Claims Team, and will find the next part of interest: –

We have developed a system for Conditional Yacht Surveys, that will result in you having a numerical understanding of the risk you are exposed to. Current Surveys tend to be over-worded documents that tell you the weather on the day of the inspection, the designer of the yacht and who built it rather than the Risk you are exposing yourselves to, which is what we believe you require?

Maybe we should talk?

Are you a manager of the above?

I am hoping that the above gets to you, I feel we need not say too much.

Claims ratio down

Client retention up

Risk understood

If you feel the above to be relevant, please forward to anyone you feel may benefit, we are trying to expand our business by offering a service that adds value.

Jim Vintner                                       07712713740




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Following an accident

Causation, repair requirements, costings, project management.


So, you have been unfortunate enough to have an incident, be it your fault, the fault of another or extreme weather. Your next move is the most important, let your insurers know as soon as you can, they are  more qualified to deal with what is to happen next.


The Cause

The cause, although important, is not as important as you and your crew’s safety. The safety of the vessel following an incident, is also important to mitigate any further loss. The cause needs to be understood, and the insurers and their panel of surveyors, will clarify this.

People: Make the people safe and secure immediately.” Oh, well John would have been fine, but we spent so long cleaning up the boat, following the incident, by the time we got him to hospital, his internal bleeding had caused……”.


Repair Requirements

The repair requirements are always going to be varied, this will obviously be dependent upon the incident. As the owner, first aid of the vessel by qualified persons is imperative to mitigate increased repair costs. If you are the owner, act in a prudently uninsured manner.

Do not start the actual repair process, until all costings are understood and agreed with your insurers.

The yard, who you have used for years, may not be the most qualified, or the most competitive for the requirements.



Again, your insurers will have vast experience in appraising this aspect or they may instruct one of their surveyors to carry out this part on their behalf.

Insurers, make sure the surveyor you appoint is qualified to carry out the appraisal.


Project management

The insurers will generally not cover the cost of a project manager for the repair procedure, they use yards that have vast experience and do not require this, on most occasions. If you, as the owner, feel this to be a requirement, please talk with your insurers at your earliest convenience, rather than presenting them with an invoice for project management upon completion. You may be disappointed with the answer you may well receive.


  • Safety of you, your crew, your family.
  • Safety of the vessel.
  • Clearly laid out estimates for repair.
  • Clarification with your insurers.
  • No hidden surprises.
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Refitting A Yacht

Refitting Your Yacht


Refitting of a yacht is a requirement from time to time. It is like the refurbishment of our houses or our cherished cars, a necessary requirement that can be quite a stressful experience or one of great enjoyment and a sense of achievement.


We have, over the years, been involved in many refits and have experienced what we would consider satisfaction and disappointment from owners, and yards in equal measure.


The Owner.

Whilst it is important to understand, that the owner’s satisfaction is paramount in this process, there are factors that can, and do, detract from this.

Example: –

“I want a bow thruster” the Client has asked.

“OK, we recommend this model Sir”.

“Oh No” the Client has replied,” I have seen a much cheaper option online!”.

Upon completion, the finding was that the bow thruster was under powered, therefore, over utilised, leading to eventual overheating and failure. Luckily, no fire.

The yard then changed the thruster for the one that they recommended in the first instance. It now works fine.

Bow thrusters do have similarities to ears.

You don’t have to use them, but generally it helps, and what is the point of having something if you do not use it!

Having a third party surveyor in the above circumstance, may well have removed the stress, eased the decision making process, and reduced the financial and time penalties.

We could harp on about this for many paragraphs, but feel the above alone, gives a firm example of how things can become stressful.


The Yard.

The yard, or yards, invariably are busy places, with many projects underway at the same time. Projects can become very convoluted and timelines stretched, budgets over run. Eventually the vessel approaches completion and the invoice arrives on the owner’s desk. The invoice is now 35% more than the owner was expecting, and a dispute ensues! The yard’s opinion is that certain jobs were fraught with problems, corrosion etc., and the over runs were unavoidable. The owner’s version is,” Why was I not told”. The yard operatives were requested to undertake works, keep time sheets, but were never told of the budget, or the exact specification, it happens, daily! This is eventually cleared up, generally leaving a bitter taste with one party, and the vessel is launched.




Sea Trials.


The vessel goes for sea trials, “where is the new navigation equipment”, askes the owner.

“What new navigation equipment”, says the yard hand.

“Well, when I visited the yacht in mid February, ish, I spoke with one of the electrician chaps, and we agreed it would be a good idea”.

This obviously never got to the office, and it never got done. I am sure the yard would have preferred to have done this, and had it gone through the correct channels, it would have been done.


A Surveyor.


In all of the above, a suitably qualified marine surveyor would have been invaluable. A comprehensive specification with all pricing signed off prior to a yard being awarded the project.

Any anomalies to work requirements, to be notified, and costs agreed, prior to the work being complete.

What was not mentioned above, was the fact, that many items may well have come in below budget, and these funds could have been used against any over runs, and more competitive pricing may have been obtained for many items prior to the refit commencing.


Surveyor, or no Surveyor?

Qualified to manage the above?

Contact Jim



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Building a Boat

Building a boat?


You lucky thing!!!


So, you are going to buy a new boat and it is one of the slightly or totally bespoke options available.

The question is – do you have a Project Manager/Surveyor to oversee this or not?

Unless of course, you are from a marine background and have all the relevant experience to undertake this without it taking over your life you will need to know the following: –





Timeline – knowing what is realistic and what is just plain ridiculous or unachievable.

Option list pricing –  with a lot of options having a price tag of more than 100K, do you understand enough about this to possibly save a few points on all of them.

Quality control – have you built a boat, with your own hands, have you overseen a team of boat builders, have you been involved in the repair of vessels when it has gone wrong, do you have industry connections within just about every part of the marine industry to check out if things you are told are correct?

We Do…….


Drop us a line.


Let’s get safety and operational quality designed in, rather than being an after thought.

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Conditional survey of yacht for insurance purposes.

Conditional survey of yacht for insurance purposes.

So, your insurer has made contact with you and requested that your vessel is subjected to a conditional survey; “Aaargh”, I hear you cry, more expense. Well, is that actually the case?

We carry out many of these surveys, and you would be quite surprised to see some of the results.  Recently, whilst doing a conditional survey, I entered into a conversation with the boat owner regarding the plans for the next few months cruising. The vessel, and the family who owned it, were crossing the Atlantic to spend a few months in the Caribbean. The vessel was a twenty-ish-year-old blue water cruising yacht that had already made this trip and returned in the last 5 years. “How old is the standing rigging”, I asked the owner? “As originally specified”, he replied. “But how old is it sir?”, I asked. “As I said, original” replied the owner! So, twenty some years old, it had crossed the Atlantic twice at 15 to 18 years old! “Sir, 1 X 19 wire has a life expectancy of 10 years when all safety factors are taken into consideration” I replied. He was not happy, but neither would his young family have been if they had been stranded mid-Atlantic, neither would he have been when the insurers declined his claim!


Next, I was looking around the engine.” I have just serviced the engine myself, I’ll start it for you”, the owner exclaimed, which he proceeded to do. “STOP THE ENGINE!” I shouted, which he then did. Why did I tell him to stop the engine?  The oil filter was cross threaded and engine oil was being forced out of the now defective seal, this would have resulted in catastrophic failure of his engine.


So far, we had saved the owner, and probably the insurers, quite a sum of money, for what could have been a dangerous situation for the family.


The vessel had quite a number of safety-related issues, the owner felt we were unfair until his wife became aware of the situation and insisted that all was dealt with prior to the family going sailing; she also called me and apologised.


The owner seemed more concerned with the fee than the results of the survey!



It would seem, that the standard practice of Brokers and Insurers, is to ask for a Conditional survey every 10 Years. We know that this is not a rule that is upheld, especially with long-standing clients who with modern systems, just get an automated renewal note, and pay the premium. We feel that more emphasis should be put upon this, as it would significantly reduce the risk to the underwriters and more importantly, the clients who are sailing these vessels. We all know that some people assimilate the insurance business to professional gambling, so Underwriters, take an understandable risk and be a professional rather than an amateur. I would also suggest that ten years may be fine for the first survey, but it would in our opinion, be advisable to have a survey carried out every five years following on from the first. I know change is hard, but almost weekly, we see visual evidence of the current system having shortcomings.


Here comes the sales bit:


We have a network of surveyors that operate nationwide. Put your clients in touch with our office, we will do the rest. We aim to significantly reduce your risk and the risk to your clients. Contact us at or


A simple email to all of your clients, asking them to confirm.

Age of vessel

Last survey date, with supporting evidence

Policy validity requirements


Next week, Building a boat


And the last line ….

Your Bottom Line!

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Marine Surveying Network

Our UK Network of experienced marine surveyors is now complete. We will have a marine surveyor close to your location. Our surveys are without doubt some of the most comprehensive in the industry.

Pre Purchase Survey of Yachts
Conditional marine survey for marine insurance
Damage survey of yachts
Pre-refit survey of yachts
Project management of yacht repair
Project management of yacht refit
Project management of yacht construction

All of our “Marine Surveying” is delivered in a timely and professional manner, we give definitive answers and impartial advice to.

Yacht owners
Yacht Brokers
Marine insurance companies
Marine finance companies
Yacht repair companies
Yacht construction companies

We have “Marine Surveyors” who cover the entire coast of the uk and are happy to travel worldwide.

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Consistency !

Yachtwork: Consistency !


Our surveyors are thoroughly vetted and trained to ensure their compliance with Yachtwork’s high standards.


Associate surveyors go through an induction process that begins with a telephone interview to assess their experience, qualifications, and telephone manner – client satisfaction is our priority! We follow-up where necessary and study evidence in the form of their previous work.


Our surveyors then complete our online training course, hosted on our virtual learning environment (VLE). This training goes through the mechanics of our reporting template, including our strict format, appearance and content guidelines. Surveyors are shown clearly what relevant information should be included, and what irrelevant information should not.


To pass this course, they will complete a fictitious report which must be complete, accurate, saved correctly – with the right document reference – and the file size reduced, before being emailed. This stage is to impress upon the importance of consistent client satisfaction to our surveyors.


Once their selection and training have been completed to a high standard, they are sent their contract and service-level agreement, as well as a non-disclosure agreement, to read, discuss, sign and return along with their CV.


These documents are forwarded to our insurers and the surveyor becomes a member of the Yachtwork Associate Surveyors Network. Their geographic location is added to our network and we update our clients accordingly.


All our associate surveyor reports are sent directly to Yachtwork head office for final proofreading, conversion and sending to our customers, alongside any associated files and the invoice. We believe this provides our clients with a faster response time, reduced travel costs and a standardised system.


With the Yachtwork Associate Surveyor Network and the Yachtwork survey reporting style, claims managers and their teams can digest, understand and conclude claims in a clear, quality-controlled and timely manner.

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