On the Thursday morning of the Monaco Yacht Show, technical editor Tim Thomas shared a breakfast with representatives of the esteemed ICOMIA Refit Group yards to discuss the controversial topic of gate access fees for client-appointed contractors performing works within refit yards. 

As the group members explained, these fees are often misinterpreted by clients and their advisors as unnecessary levies. Here the group explains the rationale…

Rob Papworth, director, Compositeworks 

There’s a common misconception about ‘contribution to overheads’. You’d never walk into a restaurant and ask how much each constituent part of the meal cost. You’re paying for the whole dish and the service, but in a shipyard it’s common to want to know how much each item cost and only pay that margin. Actually, if it’s good, it should be okay and there shouldn’t be a need to go back to cost. What most shipyards are trying to offer is a good quality product at a fair price.

Toby Allies, sales and marketing director, Pendennis 

We all have strict policies and there are liabilities to having contractors on site. We need to know who sub-contractors are and that they will be wearing the correct safety clothing and equipment, as well as integrating effectively into our project team; it’s a lot more complicated than just adding a fee.

Mary Batchelor, commercial manager, MB92 

Ideally, we would like to receive a complete list of works to be carried out on the vessel and any contractors the client wishes to bring into the yard before final contract signing in order to properly plan the entire project and discuss the allocation of jobs between the yard and owner’s contractors. Done in a timely fashion, there is more room for negotiation regarding handling fees as both parties can reach a satisfactory agreement having had the time to review the project as a whole.

Alberto Amico, chairman, Amico & Co. 

If you have a good relationship with the owner, which is, luckily, most of the time, you can have a fair discussion about the set-up of the refit and you can strike a balance between your needs. A lot of owners focus on the costs as they appear and not on the technical aspects and the real efficiency of the refit in terms of quality, costs and time. In my opinion, it should be the other way round.



This article will be published in full in issue 175, the first edition of The ‘new’ Superyacht Report, published in January 2017. The magazine is available free for VIP subscribers. To apply please click here

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