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Are you ready for a refit?


March 28, 2022
By Patrick Knowles

When considering whether or not it is time to refit your yacht, or purchase a yacht to refit, there is an extraordinary amount of research to be done, questions to ask and items to check off your list. This can become overwhelming for an owner, but with the right foundation and the proper team in place, you truly can have a stress free refit experience.

The first question to ask yourself is, “Why do I want to refit an existing vessel instead of building a new yacht?”.

For many people that answer is time and finances.

I will agree that the timing on a refit vs. a new build for a custom yacht can’t be beat. A new build can take years while a cosmetic refit can be done, with the right team and budget, in mere months. Budget wise however, only with the right team and a solid plan are refits less expensive than purchasing a new vessel.

Without guidance from an expert refit manager, a solid timeline and plan, and the flexibility to understand that anything unexpected can and often will happen during a refit, you could end up skyrocketing over your initial budget. We are often tapped by clients for this very reason. Our reputation in refits has been built on projects that come in on-time and on-budget.

The next question to ask is, “Is the refit cosmetic or mechanical?”

A cosmetic refit may include interior paint, a changeover on loose furnishings, window treatments, carpets, wallpaper or wall treatments, upholstery, bedding, art, accessories and the likes. 

A mechanical refit, often referred to as a “major refit” or a “gutting” of the yacht includes upgrades and repairs to mechanical and electrical systems, av systems, lighting, plumbing and fixtures, overheads, millwork, appliances, exterior paint, loose and built in furnishings and more. 

This is also the time that many other questions will come up. 

“What are you using the vessel for?”

“How old is the yacht?” 

“Are you updating technology?” 

“Do you want to consider eco-friendly components?” 

“Is it time for required or recommended maintenance?”

All yachts have required repairs and maintenance needed at certain times such as antifouling repainting every 1-2 years, hull repainting every 3 years, 5-year statutory surveys, HVAC system upgrades and more. 

The answers to these questions will help to determine your timeline, budget, and even shipyard preferences. 

Which brings us to the question of, “Which shipyard is best for the refit?”.

There are more than 300 refit shipyards in the world, but finding the right one, with the right team in place, the right space for your vessel, and the right availability of time, can be incredibly time consuming. Narrow down your search by asking the following: 

“What services does the shipyard offer?”

“Do they have the team on-site to meet my expectations?”

“Are they looking at my project as a one-time shipyard visit or a long-term partnership?”

“How hands-on (or hands-off) can I be or can my team be?”

“What projects have they recently completed”

“Are their prices competitive?”

Finally, keep in mind your budget. With the industry being a seller’s market right now, refits are becoming increasingly popular, but make sure that you are not overextending your budget or putting so much into the yacht that you cannot realize a profit in resale. 

Overall a refit can increase the aesthetics, the value and the longevity of your yacht, and it is never a bad time to consider bringing your vessel in. If you’re ready for a refit, we’re ready to discuss your project. Click our contact link here or email me at info@patrickknowlesdesigns.com and let’s discuss. You can also view our before & after refit gallery and more online at https://patrickknowlesdesigns.com/photos/.

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