Optimising the refit experience with Amico & Co.
Amico & Co and Captain Alasdair Jones offer insight into how to improve the refit process…
A successful working relationship between a yacht and a refit shipyard is rooted in preparation and communication. In an ideal world, a yacht’s refit and maintenance schedule would be planned out for the yacht’s entire lifecycle. However, the realities of this are much more complex for several reasons, such as unexpected issues arising, crew turnover, and yachts carrying out work at different shipyards.
Daniele Di Giampaolo, the Technical and Sales director for Amico & Co, believes that having the most efficient work and maintenance schedule is achieved by ongoing relationships between the shipyard and its crew. “Planning is essential, but we are now seeing that it becomes an easier process when we create long-term relationships with our client and the crew.” Di Giampaolo adds that the refit works process can be optimised if the client sees the shipyard as an ongoing partner in the yacht’s lifecycle, rather than jumping between yards for different works.
As a result of a continuous relationship between the shipyard and the crew, both parties are acutely aware of each other’s needs. If the Amico & Co team has worked on a vessel over a number of years, they will have a complete picture of the yacht’s intricacies. Likewise, the crew will know what they can expect from the shipyard upon arrival. Captain Alasdair Jones, M/Y Savannah, has carried out work at the Amico & Co yard several times over the years and understands how important it is to have this relationship with a shipyard, as well as arranging for work to be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible. “If I know exactly where I want to go and what the work is then I will contact the yard immediately. This year I identified what work I needed for our May work period and I contacted Amico & Co around January, as I knew they had exactly the facility I needed and I didn’t want to lose the spot to another yacht.”
Captain Jones believes that scheduling a refit well in advance is also hugely beneficial for the yacht’s budget. Parts can be ordered ahead to make sure they are in stock and to get the best price, the contractors can be arranged to complete their work in the most efficient time possible, and the shipyard facilities will be ready to start the work as soon as the yacht arrives. “I think a well-crafted budget should span at least four or five years – five being the optimum to include surveys and major paint works,” Di Giampaolo adds. This can also be adjusted throughout the period to reflect the Owner’s (or charter clients’) use of the vessel, which impacts vital parts of the yacht such as generators and engines.
Ultimately, the main goal of both the captain and the shipyard is to ensure the best in the ownership experience. “If it can be planned so that we know where we are going and when it will happen then it certainly makes things more efficient – thus saving money, doing a better job and avoiding as many inconvenient interruptions [for the owner] during the season as possible,” remarks Captain Jones. “To be able to plan ahead with a set schedule means that you cannot just reserve a particular facility, but you can also have the parts, the contractors and all the crew ready to hit the ground running as soon as you tie your lines to the dock or float the hull out of the water.”
A comprehensive work schedule ensures an additional level of security for yacht owners who can anticipate the vessel’s needs and adjust their calendar accordingly. “From the client’s perspective, if you're aware that next year in June, your yacht will be going into the yard for some work for a month, this helps with planning to get the best out of your yacht – especially if it’s a charter yacht. Rather than all of a sudden something going wrong and the captain saying, ‘Oh no you can't go on your holiday next week’. It’s an extra level of planning but it pays off,” remarks Di Giampaolo.
As the old adage goes, preparation is the key to success. Amico & Co’s emphasis on developing and maintaining relationships with yachts and advising vessels on preparing an extensive refit works schedule will undoubtedly improve the process, as well as alleviate some of the pains associated with this element of yacht ownership.
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