Preparing a yacht for refit or sale requires the owner, captain and crew to think about protecting every part of the vessel and its contents. Putting a plan together in advance ensures the project will be carefully thought out, the right support team will be in place, and the project will go off without a hitch.
Things to consider: Will there be workers onboard? Who will supervise them? What valuables will remain onboard, and what types of possessions and items need to be removed? Who should move them and where will they be stored? What materials are needed?
As a rule, any high value or delicate items such as artwork, sculpture, furnishings, wine, crystal and silverware, clothing, spare parts, and sensitive instruments that may be susceptible to theft or damage due to harsh or fluctuating temperatures, dust and humidity levels should be properly packed and stored in a secure facility prior to vessel storage or renovations.
Items to be removed from the yacht for safe storage need to be prepared for transport and storage prior to removal. Proper packing is essential to mitigate the risks involved with transferring valuable or delicate property from the vessel to an onshore storage facility.
Art, sculpture and furniture should be wrapped in the appropriate materials to limit damage due to abrasion, off gassing and chemical reaction. China, silverware and crystal should be packed in double-wall cartons lined with proper cushioning materials to help against shock and vibration. Wine should be packed using wine shipping boxes lined with proper inserts and should be transported on climate controlled vehicles so it is not subject to temperature and humidity fluctuations as well as spillage due to shock and vibration. Wine connoisseurs also will appreciate special attention to the labels on vintage bottles. The orientation of the bottles both while in transport and storage is also important.
When planning, it’s always advisable to check applicable insurance policies and speak to an insurance adviser with regard to the policy’s requirements. Some key questions to ask include: Is the property covered while not on the vessel?
Are there particular requirements with regard to packing and transport of the insured’s property?
Are there any exclusions or gaps in coverage to consider?
Some service providers may be able to help by providing or arranging coverage where there may be gaps. It’s also important to research vendors that will provide storage services to ensure they meet the insurer’s requirements. Ideally, valuables will be stored in a climate controlled, high-security facility staffed with professionals who are experienced in the de-installation, packing, transport, storage and re-installation of valuables, such as art, sculpture, furnishings, and wine.
With all the planning that yacht captains and crew go through to conduct a refit, sometimes it can be a blessing to delegate the task of proper removal and storage of the owner’s valuable and cherished personal items. Make sure the chosen vendor operates as professionally as the yacht does.
Susan McGregor is president and general manager of RoboVault, a high-security, high-tech, climate-controlled, Cat 5 storage facility in Ft. Lauderdale (www.robovault.com). Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.