S/Y Miss Silver completes 10 month refit in New Zealand
The 36m sloop from Alloy Yachts and Dubois marks 25 years of operation with a return to the water in Tauranga…
S/Y Miss Silver has completed its refit at the Tauranga facilities of Super Yacht Coatings and Vessel Works, on New Zealand’s North Island. Built at Alloy Yachts as Sovereign, the refit coincides with 25 years on the water for the Dubois designed sloop. The full scope of works included a full interior and exterior refit after 10 months in the 50m painting shed at Superyacht Coatings.
Having spent much of its life in Europe, the new owners made the decision to bring Miss Silver home for the America’s Cup 2021. Many other large yachts that were planning the trip, unfortunately, had to postpone due to the pandemic. For those that came, refit offered a means of entry, and a successful large scale project such as Miss Silver has shown the value that the New Zealand refit infrastructure offers.
“At twenty-five years old, superyachts are due for a massive upgrade of all their systems, and it just seemed appropriate to take her back to the country where she was built,” says skipper Wayne Avery. “We knew the standard of New Zealand workmanship set a very high bar, and lots of people who used to work for Alloy are still involved in the marine industry here.”
Avery says undertaking the refit in Tauranga with Vessel Works was chosen because of the ease of access to facilities and trades, as well as a skilled and experienced workforce “The Super Yacht Coatings shed is world-class, and the painters there are world-class,” he says. “You can’t underestimate the number of man-hours involved in a project like this, and labour is twenty per cent cheaper in Tauranga than in Auckland. Plus, everything is so centralised, so tradespeople aren’t having to waste valuable work time travelling.”
As well as a full repaint inside and out, all the yacht’s secondary systems — including engineering, electrical, navigational, lighting and entertainment — were all upgraded and enhanced with the latest technology. “She’s now better than new because all the problems and bugbears that used to exist have been ironed out,” Avery says.
Super Yacht Coatings became involved in the project after meeting with Avery in mid-2020 and showing him their new shed, then nearing completion. "A big part of the attraction of Tauranga was that they could have this space as their own facility, and were able to almost exclusively use local contractors,” Super Yacht Coatings general manager Ben Steele concludes. “It’s what the Marine Precinct was designed to do — to increase and expand the marine industry in Tauranga — and this kind of project was ideal.”
The next step in New Zealand’s border reopening is now set, with sea and air borders effectively open for visitors and vessels from 1 August 2022. After a frustrating start to 2022 for the New Zealand marine industry, in which many stakeholders had felt that the lack of clarity had cost them future bookings, foreign yachts and crew will finally be able to cruise and conduct refit works.
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