When planning a refit, there remains a powerful element of choice that rests with senior crew or management companies. With so many factors to consider in a competitive space, how do you decide on which shipyard you should be engaging for your yacht’s refit or repair period?
If ever there were proof of the old adage ‘Proper Preparation Prevents a Pretty Poor Performance’ then the tasks undertaken before arrival at a refit yard is it. In short get it right before you arrive, and the refit will have a much better chance of producing a successful outcome. There are of course some important priorities to get sorted first and these may be dictated by the owner, however, to propose a shipyard correctly, you must offer two or three on a short list and underline the pros and cons for each. But remember, price is not always the main reason to book your refit slot.
It might seem obvious, but the first action before booking a maintenance slot in a shipyard is references. You do complete due diligence before hiring crew, so you need to complete the same here if not more so. Do not believe a yard representative or website. Captains should check and check again with colleagues who have recent (not from two years ago) first hand experience of a yard. Ask about the good, the bad and the ugly, this forms the initial stages of your short list.
There is little point in preparing a refit wish list as long as your arm, if the pocket to pay for it is limited. Remember to keep funds in reserve, you know from experience, things will be uncovered that were not foreseen. Work with a yard that has a good reputation for cost control and understands that time is money.
It is often said that effective communication ensures that the information is provided in the right format, at the right time, to the right audience, and with the right impact. Effective communication is often the foundation of successful projects. Good communication can unite crew and shipyard staff in striving for strategy objectives and budget.
Yard time is probably not the most exciting nor it is very glamorous. But remember, the refit period is what makes the yacht’s reputation possible. Begin with a positive attitude, remember that it is a means to an end and it will end at some point!
With a strong history of over 25 years, Damen Yachting are the master yacht builder behind Amels superyachts, SeaXplorer expedition yachts, Yacht Support vessels and numerous major yacht refits. They offer refit services from the two shipyards in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. The renowned shipyard has first-class facilities and specialises in radical refits and conversions that few other yards have the expertise to offer. Damen Yachting works on many maintenance and refit projects throughout the year including at least two significant projects. The team is responsible for many highly technical refit projects that reflect the ethos and values of the shipyard itself. In addition, the fundamental changes made to a vessel’s engineering add value to the yacht, both monetarily and emotionally for the owner. With the increasing demand for new-build yachts exceeding the current availability, more owners are considering refitting a superyacht as an alternative to new-build construction. No matter your project scope and complexity, Damen have the in-house structural re-design and systems re-engineering capacity. Discuss your ideas with the highly experienced team for custom designs, modifications, extensions, additions such as helicopter platforms and pools as well as new innovations and technology. They will complete the work scope preparation with their in-house engineering team and interior specialists that are experienced in collaborating with architects and contractors.
PALUMBO SY REFIT
Established in 1967 in Naples, the cradle of Italian craftsmanship, Palumbo has kept on expanding, becoming a leading refit-repair network in the Mediterranean. With shipyards in Marseille, Malta, Savona, Naples, Messina, Rijeka and Ancona, as well as offces in Monaco and Antibes, Palumbo represents a true excellence in the industry. Commitment, innovation, environmental awareness, combined with an unrivalled quality – price ratio and maximum safety standards, customers can rely on the company for exacting execution of any kind of work in the finest tradition of engineering and ship-repair excellence. Palumbo SY Refit provides customers with a wide range of multitasking and time sensitive services, together with well stocked chandlers and fleet support for all brands within the network. With a wide range of high-quality, warranty- protected and cost-efective services in the finest tradition of engineering and ship-repair excellence, the experienced team aim not only at providing full-cycle assistance and services so that yachts can be maintained in peak condition, but also at improving them through technical and design enhancements and upgrades to maintain their resale value over time. Environmental sustainability is the focus of their approach through innovative solutions for the climate problem and they widely support the future perspective of making the sustainable transition a reality.
LÜRSSEN YACHT REFIT
Refit has become a core business for Lürssen. The Lürssen group has unique facilities and a second to none potential to undertake multiple refits at a time, all in Northern Germany. “A refit is not just about necessary maintenance, it can also be a way to completely transform a yacht,” says Alberto Perrone, Refit Sales Director at Lürssen. “We enjoy the very complex rebuilds and refits, we like when owners come to us with problems to solve, we want to do the things that other yards steer clear of,” he says. During the last year more than a dozen yachts between 70 and well over 100 metres have used the Lürssen facilities for modifications and maintenance works. And with over 1800 qualified and experienced employees, Lürssen also has the manpower to tackle any project – be it a new build, a refit or a conversion. Lürssen has also invested in a think tank that dedicates itself to finding solutions to yacht building and maintenance problems before they even arise. This proactive stance also cuts down the time a yacht spends out of the water, which can be a big selling point to owners who like to spend as much time on board as possible. This, coupled with German engineering and timekeeping, gives many owners peace of mind when they take their yachts back to Lürssen. www.lurssen.com
The new outstanding yacht centre consists of two sites just 5 km apart. Between them, IMS 300 and IMS 700 offer everything superyacht owners and captains could wish for. The shipyard’s figures are impressive. It boasts a total area of 130,000m2 including 77,000m2 of quay, a 50,000m2 basin with round-the-clock security seven days a week, 20,000m2 of sheds with heights up to 15m, and 3000m2 of offices and workshops. It offers 25 floating berths (with up to 10m of draught), 100 moorings for 20m to 80m yachts and 75 dry berths including 35 in the sheds IMS Shipyard is currently made up of two separate sites; the International Marine Services (IMS300) and YSEC (Yacht Service Excellence Center / IMS 700), both owned by Nepteam Holding. For Class surveys you can take advantage of their personalised accompaniment and expertise. The team constant contact with all the certification bodies (Lloyd’s register, BV, ABS, DNV, Germanisher Lloyd’s, RINA, RINAV etc.), IMS Shipyard will help you with your requests and formalities and help reduce costs and time. As for crew life at the shipyard, it is a great place to work and relax, crews can enjoy a 500 m2 friendly yard and an array of activities. The crew quarter is equipped with modern amenities to make your teams feel comfortable from day one with lounge rooms, gyms, multimedia rooms, conference rooms, individual offices, terrace and barbecue just to name a few.
Located in Malta’s secure and convenient Grand Harbour, MMH excel in delivering exceptional refit, repair, and maintenance services. The highly skilled team guarantees dependable quality and advanced technical expertise. Whether you need routine maintenance or intricate refit and repair plans, MMH consistently meets the most stringent standards. Strategically situated near Malta’s airport, the unique hub setup offers a dedicated office, workshop, and warehousing space to specialised maritime subcontractors and supply chain providers. The MMH extensive facilities include two travel lifts capable of hoisting yachts of up to 300 tons and 700 tons, with a beam of 13 metres and a length of 60 metres. The site provides 1200 metres of berthing space and two 45 metre long piers, with basin widths of 9 and 14 metres. Additionally, MMH ofers 70,000 square metres of laydown area and 6,000 square metres of covered sheds, conveniently accessible via the travel lifts. MMH recognises the importance to its clients of complying with internationally recognised standards and will continue to place that compliance at the heart of its operations. MMH is accredited to the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System and OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health & Safety Management System. A commitment assured by the continuous monitoring and improvement of regularly DNV audited and certified management systems. www.mmh.com.mt
Balk Shipyard opened her doors in 1798, building wooden vessels on a small slipway in Elburg. Now seven generations of the Balk family tree later, the shipyard has evolved into a high-end shipyard for refits and rebuilds of superyachts. As of July 2023, Evan Kortmann took over the helm located in Urk, approx. one hour’s drive from Amsterdam. The facility has two refit halls with room for three yachts up to 65 metres and a construction hall, dedicated to aluminium. Next to that they have a syncrolift which enables them to haul out and launch yachts horizontally up to 1000 tons dead weight. The yachts can be moved from the lift to one of three outside tracks or to one of the designated and fully facilitated halls. Next to the facilities on the hard, Balk also have some mooring spaces within the protected borders of the premises. These mooring spaces are of course equipped with proper shore power and running water. Separate from the yard facilities, including office spaces for captain and/or crew, they have the availability of a crew house. The work and identity of Balk Shipyard rests entirely on the expertise of its skilled employees. Every rebuild and refit is customised to suit the wishes of each client. Working closely with naval architects, exterior designers, interior designers and subcontractors you have the opportunity to carefully craft your own fully customised yacht.
NCA Refit ofers exceptional infrastructure and services to superyachts. Thanks to constant and significant evolution, NCA Refit is one of the most prestigious shipyards in Europe. A skilled project management structure and designer team guarantee a very high level of planning and management of projects. NCA Refit operates in the yard of Marina di Carrara (120.000 sqm), in the yard of La Spezia (32.000 sqm) and in the yard of Viareggio (4.000 sqm) for a total of 156.000 square metres of operational area. The facilities include 200 metres private drydock (the biggest in the Mediterranean), a second 147 metres long dock, a floating dock for yachts of up to 3.300 tons, 1.320 sqm of subcontractors’ production workshop, two travel lifts of 260T and 820T, one keel pit and one syncro lift of 1000 T. an internal upholstery department, interior carpentry, steel workshop and on-site ship chandler are also present. The Crew Member Village is a space dedicated to captain and crews, an innovative structure with lodging and services for the entertainment and the free-time of captains and crew members allowing them to follow all the phases of production and refitting right next door. With an elegant restaurant and lounge bar, gym, spa and beauty centre. A 24/7 concierge service is dedicated to reservations and information regarding leisure activities, personal care services and places to visit when the crew have some well deserved down time.
With over 100 fine ships to their name, KM Yachtbuilders has established a strong reputation as a leading builder of outstanding explorer yachts. They stand for uncompromising craftsmanship and exceptional quality, which is why all the vessels are built in-house, from A to Z. As one of the few complete shipyards left in the world, the facility hold all boat-building disciplines under one roof. Each department its own expertise. Each expertise its very own specialists. Besides building new yachts, KM Yachtbuilders specialise in giving new life to yachts through refits, repair, maintenance, and finishing vessels of up to 100 feet. As they hold all the expertise in-house, from casco to carpentry, you can rely on a smooth and efcient process. With a single contact point backed up by an experienced team of 50+ professionals, attention is given to not only the quality of the work, but also the experience throughout. With a fleet of yachts operating in demanding sea areas, including the arctic, the utmost attention is given to quality and reliability, every step of the way. Dutch craftsmanship as you would expect. Why not visit their modern shipyard, located in the village of Makkum at the IJsselmeer, which can be easily reached by boat.
The ‘open shipyard’ of handling vessels up to 1.000tn and is a leading refit & repair facility thanks to its open shipyard management model, unique in the sector. Situated in the stunning setting of Palma de Mallorca, with 130.000m2 of technical area, the yard has the best professional team to serve vessels up to 120m length and 1.000 tonnes weight. Its open shipyard management model allows users to choose for themselves which companies they want to work with so they can keep a tighter control on the entire refit & repair process, with the convenience of having all services and trades on-site which naturally translates into savings in time and money. Since its inception 15 years ago, STP has grown to be one of the busiest superyacht refit hubs in the industry. From its origins, its capabilities have transformed exponentially. At STP Shipyard Palma they strive to reduce the impact of all the activities that take place at the facilities, seeking to minimise the risk of environmental pollution; a drainage network throughout the entire site, a collection network for oil- contaminated and black waters, settling tanks, anti-pollution barriers and waste collection and a sorting centre. STP also offers its workers regular training and activities to increase environmental awareness, plus emergency environmental drills are carried out in order to be prepared in the event of any emergency. STP has become a benchmark that has turned Mallorca into an internationally renowned hub for superyacht refit & repair.
MANOEL ISLAND YACHT YARD
Manoel Island Yacht Yard Ltd. (MIYY) is one of the oldest established yacht repair yards in the Mediterranean. The steady flow of demanding clientele has made this yard evolve and meet the clients’ specialised demands. Throughout the years MIYY has enjoyed respect for its commitment, reliability, and workmanship. All projects are undertaken with dedication and professionalism, which is now synonymous with MIYY. Its central Mediterranean location and ease of access by sea and air make Malta an ideal location for marine repair activity. The extensive range of skills and expertise can respond to requests as diverse as: engineering and electronic repairs and installations, gel coat and fibreglass repairs, undercover spray painting by a specialised painting team qualified and experienced in the market leading coating systems, teak decking and traditional joinery, propeller repairs and bow thruster installations, refrigeration and A/C repairs and installations. The facility has an area of 33,000 sqm manned by round the clock security personnel and CCTV security cameras, seven slipways capable of slipping vessels up to 50 metres LOA. 500 tons of total displacement and ample jetty capacity and berthing facilities for afloat work. Over 600 boats serviced annually with two marine travel hoists with a maximum lifting capacity of 50 and 75 tons. Dedicated project management ensuring undivided attention for every project.