All too often a yacht will start refit with a generic ‘wishlist’ from the owner, without a precise indication of the scope of the work. But if the specs are not detailed, the consequent yard quotation will just be an interpretation, which can lead to misunderstanding and, at worst, total and mutual dissatisfaction.
Managers should include a description of each job in the specs, accompanied by the various categories or departments: deck, interiors, painting and so on.
The specs should also be presented to all those involved in the project, which will assist a great deal in the planning phase,
especially if some of the material executors are contractors hired by the owner and therefore not directly under the yard’s
control.
Every project must be considered a ‘one-off’ project: every yacht has a different story, with its own captain and manager
and owner, each having a different attitude and approach regarding the refit process.
With each project being a ‘one-off’, refit yards have the opportunity to learn a multitude of lessons and, over time, all of that experience becomes the ‘technical heritage’ of the yard itself and ensures that no experiences or skills learned are lost, especially when the yard has in-house teams.
For example, the experience our team have gained over the last 37 years shows when it comes to choosing the materials, systems and products to be used.
Apart from the technical aspects, there are other factors that are key to a successful refit including communication, liaising well with the owner’s team, and regular progress updates. It is absolutely essential to be able to get a rapid response from the owner’s team, who are in direct contact with the owner, in order to avoid unnecessary downtime. Due to time  constraints, the daily presence of the owner’s technical supervisor is fundamental in assisting the yard with real-time decisions.
Communication is crucial: right from the concept stage, all the people involved must be informed of what is going on and always be on the same page. Every captain and manager has their own preferred means of communication, style of billing and so on.

The owner’s managers have to be part of the team and understand that their role is not to be theyard’s adversaries but the people in charge of helping to solve problems, together with yard personnel, and maintaining the good relationship  between the owner and the yard.

All of this advice results from 37 years of experience of working with captains and managers, who, with their constructive
criticism, have helped us to improve and refine the refit process for everyone. The owner’s team and the yard’s team must work as one, with one common objective: ensuring thecomplete satisfaction of the owner.