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Focus on Refits - Captains’ Favorite Yards

Oct 22nd 09
Staff report

To wrap up our two weeks of focusing on refits, we thought we’d ask captains about their favorite refit yards.


We polled captains from Monaco to Fort Lauderdale about which was their yard of choice and why. Each, of course, had a different recommendation. Some mentioned independent yards where you can use outside contractors like the old Boat Yard Palma or Lauderdale Marine Center; others prefer the in-house control and project management of a yard like Pendennis. But the reasons behind their choices were similar – all were based on trust, relationships and good service.


For instance, the captain of an 80-meter motor yacht chooses to go to International Technic Marine (ITM) in Marseille. “Because I trust the yard owner Jean-Christophe [Lenoir],” he says.


Capt. Carl Sputh of the 54-meter Benetti Starfire is adamant that no yard in the world compares to Rybovich in West Palm Beach. “It’s superior in every way,” says Capt. Sputh. “The project managers answer the phone day and night. Every week you know where you stand thanks to weekly meetings. There are no surprises.”


Capt. Mark Harrison, currently in command of the new 60-meter Lürssen Arkley, seconds Capt. Sputh’s sentiments about project management. He recommends Monaco Marine in La Ciotat and MB92 in Barcelona. “It comes down to good project management and I’ve had a good experience at both.”


Capt. John Willet of the 59-meter Capella C likes Amico in Genoa, which he describes as very professional, always staying on budget and on time.


“Personally, I like Rolly’s [in Fort Lauderdale],” says Capt. Bryce Simpson of the 112-foot Westport Kelly Sea, “because I have a long standing relationship with them and have been going there for fifteen years. The staff is always reliable.”


Interestingly, if you ask crew the same question you’re likely to get an entirely different response – maybe the same yards mentioned, but for completely different reasons. An engineer on a 50-meter motor yacht enthusiastically recommended Rybovich as well, but not for its spectacular responsiveness and communication. No, he remembered a particularly good night there after which the CEO was forced to write a memo to the crew, reminding them about proper decorum. “It was a bad party,” he recalls with a wistful smile.


Yes, crew are likely to be swayed by amenities, which seem to have reached a new level of sophistication and comfort at yards around the world. But captains are sticking with what, and who, they know.


“Whichever yard you feel most comfortable at is the one you should choose,” says Capt. Simpson.


Related Topics

Focus on Refits

    Ins and Outs of Yard Contracts

    10 Ways to Keep the Crew Happy During a Refit

    Potential Pitfalls to Avoid During a Refit

Tags: Essentials Refit 

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  • Good advice. Many first class yards around. Best is to find a good one and stick with the same yard for all work during your career. . When you are a repeat customer the shipyard knows you, knows the boat and you know the internal dynamics of the yard. One of the most frustrating events to occur during your career, and if your at it long enough its gonna happen, is.....a change in yard management, ownership. You have to go all the way back to ground zero then build your relationship over again. Just look at BYP now STP. As a regular trusted customer I could arrive unannounced and had the yard at my disposal. Half the time Id leave without making the final payment simply because of the mad spring rush. Different world now. No Cash, No Splash
    Posted by junior_1 23/10/2009 12:23:12

  • Find a good yard and stick with them. Good boats are plentiful but good owners are scarce. A great yard is even harder to find. I have been going to Derecketor (Gunnell) of Florida nearly every year since 1984 and find everything there to be excellence defined.
    Posted by Tedd Greenwald 23/10/2009 00:59:34

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