How has the refit market fared during the corona-crisis?

As the world superyacht fleet continues to grow year on year, so does the refit business. On a daily basis, SuperYacht Times monitors activity at the world’s superyacht refit yards and during 2019, over 1,200 refit yard visits by yachts over 30 metres were logged on SuperYacht Times iQ. Jubilee yacht in AmsterdamPhoto: SuperYacht Times / SuperYacht TimesDespite the coronavirus having the world firmly in its grip, superyachts still need maintenance: a reality which presented itself as a suitable topic of discussion for the 11th SuperYacht Times Webinar. Having witnessed first-hand how the refit market has been impacted by the global crisis, Captain Mike Rouse of Game Changer, Dean Smith, Director of Hampshire Marine, Amico & Co’s Chairman Alberto Amico and President/CEO of Lauderdale Marine Center, Doug West, shared their observations on what the refit market looks like from where they’re standing. With the panel sharing a consolidated view on the current state of the refit market, here are some key take-away points from the webinar.

• The activity of ship repair was regarded, in most countries, as an essential activity or as an activity to preserve the value of an asset and so, refit yards were allowed to stay open with health and safety protocols in place which were reported to have “worked correctly”.

• Shipyards may benefit from reviewing their business model in terms of having local or in-house contractors as those yards who were able to source work this way fared better during the lockdown imposed by the coronavirus outbreak.

• Typically the months of June, July and early-August are the slowest months for refit yards who run with occupancy levels of around 50%. However, this could potentially be higher this year as a result of the global crisis and travel restrictions.

Jubilee yacht in AmsterdamPhoto: SuperYacht Times / SuperYacht Times• Always refer to your agents who will be able to best advise on getting yachts to their destinations and the relevant travel requirements.

• Some health and safety protocols for shipyards could stay in place for some time. This means that there will be a "slowing down" in some activities and a limitation to the number of people working at one time.

• Yachts who have remained in the yard as a result of the coronavirus lockdown may have incurred additional time-related costs. Clients and the yard should be able to reach an agreement on how the cost implications can be shared.

Jubilee yacht in AmsterdamPhoto: SuperYacht Times / SuperYacht Times• The extra time spent in the yard has been advantageous, as the works have been conducted at a more manageable pace.

• As borders slowly open up, yachties are keen for information about what is possible in order to get back on board. There is also a heightened interest in off-the-beaten-track destinations so owners and their guests are able to avoid densely populated areas.

This article was extracted from the 11th SuperYacht Times Webinar. All past and future SuperYacht Times Webinars can be found in the programme here.