25 September 2016

22 Aug 2014

Taylor-ing refits to your tastes


Taylor Lane Yacht & Ship (TLYS) has thrown its metaphorical hat into the South Florida refit circle as it enters its first full winter season offering superyacht refits for vessels up to 99m.

Positioned on the Dania Cut Canal, TLYS’s offering is similar to that of European hub STP Shipyard, offering a site complete with all necessary equipment for refits to be conducted by the yacht’s management team and locally sourced subcontractors. Taylor Lane is, so to speak, something of a blank canvas.

SuperyachtNews.com spoke exclusively to the yard’s recently appointed communications consultant, Cristian Schwarzwälder, who has been tasked with promoting its offering to the European fleet ahead of the autumn Milk Run. “The people come in and they rent their space. That’s it”, he explained. “If they want support Taylor Lane is there to help them but they won’t contract unless they’re asked to; it’s ‘rent your space’ and ‘do it yourself’.”

TLYS provides the infrastructure for refit projects to visiting yachts, which book in space and rent the spot for as long as they need it. The yacht can undergo work of any scale, including major refit jobs but all work is paid for, and the expertise sourced, by the yacht’s team. The Taylor Lane team is on hand to assist with the sourcing of this expertise, and the use of on-site equipment, but significantly, the yacht’s team carries the liability.

Insurance is a fundamental pillar of this business model and all subcontractors are required to present their terms of coverage to ensure that the on-site teams can absorb accidents or damage incurred. This again avoids the common dispute between yards and owners over who shoulders the liability during a project.

“There are some handling fees on the job”, Schwarzwälder explains, “and if you need a crane from us we’ll charge you for the use of the crane…but it’s nominal.” These costs are accrued in a ‘bolt-on’ fashion, in much the same way additional usage is incorporated into a monthly phone bill. Furthermore, the team can opt to manage on-site subcontractors, or choose for TLYS to manage elements of the project.

“The strong message here is ‘you can manage your own [project]’. We don’t pay their bills, you pay their bills.” The appeal of this is that the owner’s team has ultimate control over the bottom line price of the project, and in theory, this can circumvent disputes about mounting or unforeseen costs.

The site comprises two berths – one of 99m and one of 60m – and there is capacity to haul out vessels up to 1,000 tonnes. Everything else is ‘on demand’ and this skeletal arrangement saves a great deal on the number of retained personnel on-site, another way of reducing company overheads.

“The margins may not be as big”, Schwarzwälder concludes, “but the risk is also about 100 times less. Yes, we’ll provide you with the tools but we’re not going to change the engine for you!”

Long-term there are plans for other Florida sites, and possible sites in the Med, but for now the focus is to capitalise on the sold flow of refit traffic coming through South Florida.

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