BOAT International – Refit Guide: Top Tips For a Quick Superyacht Refit


Look at the basics

Whether buying a second-hand yacht or looking to refresh the interior of an existing one, few owners want to undergo a lengthy refit process. “Usually we’ll get an order in January, and the owners want to be back on the water by June, if not Easter,” says Francesca Muzio, of Italian design studio FM Architettura d’Interni. When speed is a priority, it’s always a challenge for designers and shipyards. “A refit is no less involved than a new-build project,” says yacht designer Sam Sorgiovanni. “You have to understand what’s there and how to work with it before you start on design solutions.” You also have to retain “the soul of the boat”, says Laura Pomponi, of Luxury Projects. You don’t want to strip everything out and be left with something unrecognisable. So how does one overhaul a yacht interior, within a limited timescale, without affecting the boat’s overall character? Read these seven rules to find out…

1. Look at the basics

“Never underestimate how much of an impact adding in new fabrics and loose furniture has on the feel of a boat,” says Charlie Baker of RWD. “When you board a yacht after a refresh, you realise how tough the impact of salt and sunlight really are.” When time is short, you’ll need soft furnishings and fabric options available at short notice, but, says Pomponi, “designers are often strategic in only showing these options to clients”. New artworks and decorative accessories are an easy addition too. “They’re an instantly impactful way to add a personal touch.”


Avoid major structural changes

If speed is your priority in a refit, avoid altering major structures such as steel bulkheads, which lead to engineers and possibly classification organisations and a lengthier process. If structural changes are compulsory, “planning is paramount”, says Baker. “On Ilona [pictured], which went through fairly major changes last year, the work in the yard was done quickly but the planning and preparation was done well in advance to minimise the time the boat was out of action.”

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