15 of the best superyacht refit projects

Polar Star's modern makeover

Her new light brown hull finish was the most obvious change, but Polar Star's 2016 refit at MB92 was more than skin deep. The entire 1,495GT interior of this Lürssen superyacht was completely reimagined by FM Architettura d’Interni using a colour palette of delicate silver grey, with aquamarine and bronze accents. What's more, her swim platform was extended by 2.2 metres without losing the rugged charm of her Espen Øino exterior styling.

Photos: Stuart Pearce

Broadwater's charter-friendly refit

The owner of Broadwater was very clear in his intentions for this 50 metre yacht's Lauderdale Marine Center refit — it had to retain her Feadship pedigree while adding serious charter appeal. This was achieved in less than seven months, despite widespread changes including the removal of the sauna, the installation of a main-deck VIP cabin, al fresco dining area and an all-new interior by Adam Vorhees. "It was an all or nothing prospect," the owner adds. "It was impossible to start and stop once you got started, and I knew that from the beginning.”

Photos: Uneek

Falcon Lair’s fresh new look

Launched in 1983 as New Horizon L, the 67.21 metre Feadship yacht Falcon Lair completed a major overhaul at La Ciotat-based refit yard Compositeworks in 2015. The ten-month project saw her white exterior replaced with a new deep blue finish designed by British studio Olesinski Naval Architects. Her superstructure was completely remodelled forward of the radar mast, while her transom was extended by three metres. The result was a more modern look that still pays homage to the original design, and a Best Refit nomination for the 2016 World Superyacht Awards.

Luna’s multi-million euro refit

Superyacht refit projects can be pretty daunting at the best of times, but when the yacht involved is the 115 metre icon Luna, nothing but the best will do. For Luna's 2016 refit the owners spent the best part of €50 million repainting the deep blue hull, rotating the layout of the superyacht beach club, upgrading the gym and adding a new exterior seating area. Despite all these updates, the soul of the original Donald Starkey interiors were retained and the entire project was completed in less than 14 months.

Photo: Guillaume Plisson

A2’s modern transformation

When Pendennis began the refit of A2 in early 2011, this classic Feadship yacht was sporting an interior that was beginning to show its age. Over the next 18 months, the Falmouth-based yard completely transformed this 42.3 metre motor yacht, stripping her back to the bulkheads, lengthening the hull and modifying stern.

Nowhere is this more evident that in A2's master cabin (pictured above), which shed its honey woodwork and panelled mirrors for subtle earthy tones and an altogether more modern aesthetic.

Photos: Pendennis (left) and Paul Warchol (right)

Alumercia's award-winning 100 day refit

Alumercia underwent a radical makeover in a period of 100 days, starting in March 2014. The Heesen-built yacht was transformed from an expedition yacht into an attractively decorated Mediterranean family cruiser, with disco sound and light on three decks, in just over three months. The upper deck was extended by almost 30 square metres, providing more space on the flybridge and also more shade on the bridge deck, which received a new outdoor dining area. The big hatch on the bridge deck was removed, gaining space as a lounging and dining area. This made the profile of the vessel now look like a real tri-deck yacht. On the lower deck a car storage space and an inconvenient passarelle were removed to create a beach club. The refit on the 14-year-old Alumercia was undertaken by Borancili Marine and Istanbul's Tuzla shipyards.

The refit was so impressive that Alumercia tied for first place in the refit category at the World Superyacht Awards 2015.

Aquila's record-breaking refit

The 85.6 metre Derektor superyacht Aquila is not just the largest US built yacht, she is also the largest yacht to be refitted in the UK after completing a 12-month overhaul at Pendennis in August 2016, with Burgess Yachts providing yacht management on the project.

Aquila’s record-breaking refit included adding a new private deck measuring 60 square metres, while her social spaces were completely updated in a new design by Redman Whiteley Dixon. All in all, a grand total of 750 metres of internal spaces were upgraded. Mike Carr, joint managing director at Pendennis, said: “We believe that this project has set a new benchmark for large yacht refit programmes.”

Amore Mio II's super quick stunning refit

Amore Mio II, was the joint winner with Alumercia in the refit category at the 2015 World Superyacht Awards after completing a major refit in record time between January and May last year. The refit of Amore Mio II, formerly called Sea Jewel, was carried out by Italian interior design specialists FM- Architettura d’Interni. The 52.4-metre steel and aluminium yacht, which was originally delivered by the German shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen in 1997, was refitted in partnership with the CRN Shipyard, Ancona.

Changes included the complete rebuilding of the main deck: forward, there used to be two double cabins that have been transformed into one large space. The saloon was also completely remodelled with an extendable round table, accommodating up to 12 people, the yacht’s maximum number of guests. All the interiors have been updated, starting with refitting of insulation and air conditioning systems, up to the choice of furniture items and décor. This has significantly increased comfort on board in terms of acoustics and living spaces.

Iconic J Class yacht Endeavour brought back to life

No less than 10,000 man hours went into the extensive refit of the iconic J Class yacht Endeavour. The hard work paid off as Endeavour, which is currently for sale, won best refitted sailing yacht at the 2013 World Superyacht Awards. Launched in 1934 by Camper & Nicholsons for Sir Thomas Sopwith, the yacht was brought to Yachting Developments in Auckland, New Zealand for a major refit, which gave the 39.56 metre sailing yacht a new deck and rig, updated crew accommodations and upgrades to the owner and guest spaces. Dykstra Naval Architects was tasked with naval architecture on the refit, while John Barrett Associates consulted on exterior styling and interior design was by John Munford and Adam Lay Studio.

The refit and restoration of classic motor yacht Malahne

Launched by Camper & Nicholsons in 1937, 50.29 metre Malahne has received many refits in her life – in 1983, 2000, 2001 and 2015. The yacht has a storied history, including service during WWII. The first refit in the 1980s was a major conversion, but the most recent refit at Pendennis in 2015 was perhaps the most significant, with a brief to "make Malahne look as if she had been in continuous ownership since she was built”. The 30 month project saw Malahne restored to her original looks, but with modern conveniences, such as air-conditioning. Her art deco-inspired interiors were designed by Oliver Laws, who designed Claridges in London.

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