In light of the Ballast Water Management Convention’s (BWMC) imminent onset, Solent Refit, the Southampton-based refit yard, has entered into a strategic partnership with Cathelco, a supplier of ballast water treatments systems for superyachts. Additionally, since being granted a 30-year lease for its facility, Solent Refit is actively seeking investment to develop the yard further.

The BWMC, once ratified, will require superyachts to install ballast water management systems in order to reduce the translocation of invasive species such as bacteria, microbes, small invertebrates, eggs, cysts and various larvae.

“As a yard we are a conduit for a number of other businesses and by attracting yachts we create work for the various companies,” starts Allan Foot, managing director of Solent Refit. “We’ve done a lot of work with Cathleco in the past and we are both able to benefit each other in a symbiotic partnership, especially in light of the BWMC. This partnership works for everybody and will allow us to effectively service our clients with a respected supplier.”

Solent Refit, which for nearly five years worked under governmental scrutiny, has now secured a 30-year lease from the government. The cautious optimism that often follows governmental inclusion has been replaced by an optimism tinged with readiness.

“We have changed a lot over the last couple of years and now we have a much more structured organisation. Although we have been involved with the government, we have been able to self-finance and the yard has done well to achieve what it has thus far,” continues Foot. “However, with the 30-year lease in place, we are now in a position to offer securities, which previously we couldn't, and welcome investment.”

The aim, Foot explains, is to receive an additional financial package that was previously untenable during Solent’s governmentally uncertain past. “We have a number of investors interested in taking the yard to its next stage. The yard now needs a lump sum injection to take us to that position sooner.”


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