With the suspension of works at so many shipyards over the past few months, and the slow recommencement taking place across Europe at the time of writing, SuperyachtNews speaks to Paul Bournas, director at Coating Consultants for Superyachts (CCS), to investigate what the impact of this pause might be on paint jobs that were halted amid works due to yard shutdowns.
“Projects will have to be finished, and this does not mean that the yachts will be leaving the yards unpainted, but some yards, due to the COVID-19 safety measurements, were forced to postpone work in the process. This has to be fully picked up again once the yard is back up-and-running,” begins Bournas.
Postponing work could well create a backlog of works that plays havoc with the conventional refit and maintenance schedule, which itself has the potential to impact the myriad sectors reliant on a full complement of yachts cruising the Med.
“The impact [of COVID-19] right now is mainly on the crew, as they are in quarantine, and for the owner who is not able to use his yacht due to travel restrictions. There is also a financial risk for surveying companies, as costs continue and less income is generated,” continues Bournas.
“There might be more pressure on the yards and painters, but no yard or painter will consciously take the risk of having to re-do the work and so damage their own reputation..." - Paul Bournas - Director - Coating Consultants for Superyachts (CCS)
When asked whether the applicators will be under pressure to complete these jobs quickly once the workplace is back up and running, Bournas informed SuperyachtNews that this may well be the case, but that realistic time frames must remain essential; “There might be more pressure on the yards and painters, but no yard or painter will consciously take the risk of having to re-do the work and so damage their own reputation. So, taking this into consideration, I do not believe there will be extra pressure as one person can only do as much as he can in a normal working day."
The objective expertise of paint surveyors could be additionally beneficial to shipyards at present, in order to make sure jobs are completed correctly and in accordance with deadlines. “At the end of the day, the yard has to deliver an agreed quality level. A paint surveyor is an expert in his field and can assist and protect the interests of the yard,” Bournas explains. “And they will help to achieve the highest quality level, so all parties involved will benefit from this expertise. The surveyor can also help to reach an even higher quality and, by doing so, increase the reputation of a yard, in some cases.”
Other than the suspension of works, Bournas believes that any longer period of shutdown for businesses and travel is likely to have a serious impact on the superyacht industry, suggesting that all suppliers would suffer, and owners may begin watching their budget more closely. The knock-on effect would be felt by the builders whose supply chains have broken, and refits would be postponed. “I must express my sympathy for the whole industry and hope we will all survive and get through this period with as little damage as possible,” he concludes.
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