Watch: The dos and don'ts of refitting a superyacht

20 November 2020

Contemplating a refit but don't know where to start? Three experienced owners share their candid thoughts on the highs and lows of taking on a superyacht refit project and the lessons they learnt along the way. 

BOAT International editor-in-chief Stewart Campbell was joined for the session by Matt Voorhees, owner of 56 metre Broadwater, Sabina Nasser, owner of 43 metre Bina and Miene Gillion, owner of 30 metre Vespucci.

Voorhees has refitted three Feadships to date but his most recent project, the refit of his latest Broadwater, has to be the most ambitious yet. As well as totally redesigning the interior, the refit required a four-metre section added to the stern of the yacht to create a beach club.

Nasser personally oversaw the interior transformation of her yacht Bina during an eight-month refit at LMC in Florida, which saw the yacht's dark, cherry interior swapped out for bright, welcoming Hamptons-style decor.  

After buying the classic Vespucci, once owned by Carlo Riva, Gillion and her husband sent the boat to Monaco Marine for an 18-month refit that restored this famous yacht to near-original condition.  

The three owners shared advice on how to choose the right yacht for a refit project, how to select a shipyard and managing relationships and costs during a refit – not easily done, they all agreed. 

Gillion said: "If you want the best result, I believe you need a maximum of energy in the project as it reflects our soul and spirit which makes the boat more personal and comfortable. "You need 'to feel' the boat, the spirit, in our case of Carlo Riva mixed with our lifestyle. Details are very important and make the difference!" 

The trio were also pitched questions asked by the audience throughout the session, on topics such as installing the latest tech, refitting for charter and the role of a captain during a refit project.   You can watch the recording of the session here, and see other recordings from the series here.