Maximising this winter’s shipyard period
While yachts are busy cruising this summer, Hill Robinson can support captains and crew with planning upcoming maintenance works and shipyard periods.
At this time of year, most captains and crew are in the midst of a busy summer season cruising with owners or charter guests. This leaves little time to start coordinating maintenance or shipyard periods for the winter ahead, despite this pre-planning stage being key to the on-time and on-budget delivery of any project. Hill Robinson can, however, take this burden away from captains and crews and ensure the yacht’s downtime is maximised.
Based around the world, Hill Robinson’s network of technical specialists and project managers have access to all the key refit hubs and are available to support captains with the planning and coordination of upcoming works. No matter the scale of project – from routine maintenance to major refits – any yard period involving multiple works within a limited timeframe is a complex endeavour that would benefit from Hill Robinson’s technical or project management services. These services are not just available to Hill Robinson’s fleet of managed yachts, but to any yacht looking for additional support.
Hill Robinson’s network of technical specialists and project managers have access to all the key refit hubs and are available to support captains with the planning and coordination of upcoming works.
For minor maintenance works, the technical team can assist the captain and crew with organising berths, gathering shipyard quotes, contacting contractors, and presenting a budget with options and recommendations. For larger scale projects – encompassing everything from renewal surveys to major interior and exterior transformations, stern extensions, engineering upgrades and full paint jobs – a dedicated Hill Robinson project manager can add value at every stage.
In fact, the earlier the project manager is involved in a refit project, the better the outcome. During the pre-planning stage of a refit, Hill Robinson’s project managers can help clients cut through the confusion and identify the most appropriate shipyard for their project based on key variables. These findings can be presented in a shipyard comparison report so that clients can make informed decisions about where to carry out their refit.
The earlier the project manager is involved in a refit project, the better the outcome.
This includes documenting the refit work scope to a detailed level and aligning it with each shipyard’s capabilities. “If the work scope includes replacing the generators, for example, then that requires a certain level of in-house engineering capability,” explains Kevin Laverty, Director of Projects at Hill Robinson. “Or, if there’s underwater works to be done, the shipyard needs to have trustworthy drydocking infrastructure and management.”
When assessing a shipyard’s capabilities for a project, in addition to its infrastructure, the project manager will also evaluate the internal and external workforce. “For major refits, the shipyards might not have enough staff onsite to adequately support the project,” cautions Chris Wright, Senior Technical Manager at Hill Robinson. “It’s also important to look at the proximity of the shipyard to the contractors that are going to be supporting the project and making sure that travel costs are kept to a minimum where possible.”
As well as ensuring a large enough workforce, the project manager will also gauge their capacity. “We will ascertain what the shipyard’s workload is going to look like while our client’s yacht is there,” adds Chris. “Shipyards and contractors always want to say ‘yes’ to projects, but it’s important to have transparent and honest conversations to find out if they can actually deliver on what they are agreeing to.”
Price tends to be the deciding factor for many clients when choosing a shipyard for a refit. But when it comes to shipyard quotes, a project manager will look beyond the bottom line. “We focus on value for money,” advises Chris. “Industry practice for a lot of shipyards is to quote low, but without presenting the full scope of works required. This means they get the yacht into the yard, but the budget and duration can quickly escalate. At Hill Robinson, we will lock in the entire scope of work before the shipyard period starts and ensure the shipyard is quoting based off that.”
Each project will be supported by the global strength and technical depth of Hill Robinson. This includes a legal team for the preparation of contracts and reviewing terms and conditions, as well as a procurement department available 24/7 worldwide that can procure for everything from technical, deck, interior, and provisions, to refit, new build, and special projects. The procurement team work closely with the crew or project teams and take on the whole process of researching, sourcing, negotiating, ordering, and shipping each item to the yacht.
Each project will be supported by the global strength and technical depth of Hill Robinson.
“We act as the liaison between the crew and the suppliers,” explains Peter van Toor, Head of Procurement at Hill Robinson. “For each request, we research the different options on the market, present the quotations and handle the delivery to any cruising or refit destination around the world.” All quotes, orders and communication conducted on behalf of the client is fully transparent and auditable. The department works for an agreed fee, so there are no hidden costs.
Much of the success of any project rests on this crucial pre-planning stage. While many owners and captains are currently focused on enjoying a busy summer of cruising, now is the time to start making the necessary arrangements for the upcoming maintenance or shipyard period, so all works can be carried out successfully, on time and on budget.
Are you planning your yacht’s winter maintenance works or refit and need support or advice? Get in touch with our team of experts today: firstname.lastname@example.org / +377 9310 2929