This major refit was a collaboration between the yard, the yacht's owners and a host of sub-contractors. The scope of work included the completion of various systems within the vessel, a major interior refit that included substantial changes to the lay-out, and the addition of a new helicopter deck and crane that required major structural additions to the vessel. The stern of the vessel was also extended and an Opacmare Transformer swim step was installed in the aft platform.
The yard report that sea trials were uneventful and the vessel performed just as she was expected to. The high point of the process was the first use of the new helicopter deck. The vessel's owner is an accomplished helicopter pilot and he set his 2006 Enstrom 480B down on the deck for his first boat landing as though it was habit. The crewmembers were able to practice their retrieval, securing and safety processes and the event was flawless.
"The Big Blue project has been a long and rewarding process," said Galloway Selby, the yard's project manager. "The interface between yard personnel and the vessel's crew was at all times collaborative and the outcome of the project fulfills the owner's vision of a self sufficient explorer yacht capable of circumnavigation. We look forward to following her progress."
The yard have also reported that their refit of the classic Feadship 46m The Highlander, which is due to relaunch in November, is progressing well. Her hull extension has been completed and paint work is now underway. Refurbishment of the engine room, including the addition of Quantum zero-speed stabilizers, is also proceeding well and systems are starting to come on-line. The new interior, designed in its entirety by the owners while honoring some of the original concepts, will be striking.
Having not placed a new order since the launch of Cakewalk in 2010 it appears the yard has successfully carved itself a niche as a busy refit yard, and is proving a popular choice for yachts.
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