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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