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Best tips for successful yacht refit

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Advice for successful refits offered to yacht captains from industry professionals during the Refit International Exhibition and Conference in Fort Lauderdale in January:

“Know what your vessel really needs, pay more attention to your boat. It sounds fundamental, but the more you do, the more you minimize problems.” – Capt. Bill Wolfe, technical representative of superyachts, Pettit Paint

“It’s too late at the yard to decide you need engineering work. Don’t turn the boat over, stay involved. The captain and crew are the glue that pull it all together. Otherwise, polish your resume.” – Nick Boksa, president, Boksa Marine Design

“Spend more time planning before coming to the yard. Don’t say, ‘Go with this for now, we’ll deal with it later’ – that causes lots of problems. A refit doesn’t happen in a vacuum.” – Cliff DeFreitas, vice president, Jones Boat Yard

“Changes in schedules for haul times are a big problem. Shipyards need to treat captains with more respect and reinvest in how they manage their most valuable asset. There needs to be accountability.” – Capt. Eli Olive, S/Y Black Knight

“Don’t be afraid to plan ahead, you can do it today for $1,000 or $2,000 later. Sometimes they narrow the scope down so much they don’t see the larger picture. Be thinking of your next project and set yourself up for success in the future. I hate to see when they go through all that work and six months later wish they did it differently. You’ve got it torn apart anyway.” – Steve Davis, technical adviser, Quick USA

“Seek representation in the town where you’ll have the refit. Find a local base person to do the preemptive work. Have a realistic knowledge of lead times. From our perspective, that’s gold. That way we’ve got your parts on our shelf ready to go.” – Andrew Lynskey, owner, Datum RMS

“Understand the comparison of one product versus another and know the real value. It may not be the least expensive, but it may be better.” – Jose Chao, strategic product category manager, Taco Marine

“If you don’t know how to do a refit, don’t do it.” – Capt. Thomas Bruning, (just off a refit of a classic yacht)

“Allow an appropriate amount of time for workers to do all facets of their job, so we’re not working on top of one another. Start with your engine first.” – Todd Barnes, general manager, RPM Diesel

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up someplace else. I don’t know who said this, but it can be applied on many levels with refits.” – Capt. Keith Talasek

“People think they have done everything, but it’s never thought all the way through. The original list is good for a month, and then you make the real list.” – JB Turner, president, Front Street Shipyard

“Know who you’re working with. Know your sub-contractors, do your research, and ask for recommendations. Talk to the local guys where you will be doing your refit.” – Dale Worsnop, president, Sterling Marine Systems

“Use someone in new construction, they are experts. They have to be 100 percent top level and will give you the most experience.” – Troy Le, Luxury Yacht Refinishing

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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