|Fit or Refit?|
Part 3: Communication and understanding by all involved are key.
By Capt. Patrick Sciacca — February 2003
In the end, the owner of that 102-footer did get the boat he wanted despite setbacks, and Robinson adds that the yacht is performing within five percent of what the owner had requested at the project's outset.
On the other side of the coin, a lack of engineering and planning on the part of the yard can also create a migraine. To avoid this, all parties must understand the goal of the project from day one. Communication and understanding by all involved are key, as is the case with any joint venture, large or small. And make no mistake--refitting a yacht is a joint venture, and that means shared risk.
Robinson concludes that for a refit to succeed, a few things must happen. He says that from the yard's view, "success is often dependent upon the presence of a confident, experienced, full-time owner's representative (build captain or project manager) who correctly recognizes his role not to be the shipyard's adversary, but the facilitator between the owner and shipyard." From the owner's view, Robinson suggests that appropriate management on the part of the yard should entail both an engineer and a separate project administrator.
These tips may appear to be common sense when you sit down and read them, but owning a yacht is an emotional decision, and creating the vessel of your dreams can clash with the realities of time and budget. Keeping this in mind, when you embark on a refit, make sure you do your research before you pick your shipyard, and then trust the yard to make your vision a reality once you've signed the contracts. That doesn't mean being hands-off, but stick to the plan you decided on at the start as close as you can. Your first instincts are often your best.
Palmer Johnson Savannah Phone: (912) 352-4956. www.palmerjohnson.com.
Rybovich Spencer Phone: (561) 844-1800. www.rybovich.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.