In reality, with the current complexity of works or refits coupled with the time constraints to get any yacht back into the water, the question is more likely, what makes a good project team. A singular interface will make communications run smoothly, but the support this conduit receives is vital for a project to run smoothly.
Historically a project manager was someone who had been to sea, had some boatbuilding experience and some business background, experience in engineering and naval architecture was useful, but generally this part was left to the shipyard to provide. Consequently this role was often given to or taken up by the yacht captain, as if they didn’t have enough on their plate already.
To ensure a time successful reﬁt, decisions, negotiations and contactual arrangements should all be taken care of while the yacht is in use, under the auspices of a dedicated project manager, rather than an already busy captain. For ongoing protection it just makes more sense. At Hill Robinson, we ﬁrmly believe that, as contracts established at the beginning will dictate how the duration of the build will pan out, the project manager should be brought in at the very start of the project. The project manager will be the one who vets potential yards and suppliers to assess their capability and advise the owner on the potential price/risk ratio. Selecting the right yard for the work is probably the greatest of decisions made prior to the work commencing, for this will deﬁne the success of any project. Once it is started there is little chance of turning back.
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