Refitting M/Y Skat – the importance of preparation

The 71m Lürssen SKAT recently undertook an ambitious refit project, for which Hill Robinson’s project management was pivotal to its timely and successful completion.

By Hill Robinson
Hill Robinson
22 February 2024

SKAT recently spent 16 weeks in STP Shipyard Palma in Mallorca undertaking an ambitious refit project. Representing the third phase of a total refit that is being carried out in four stages, the project focused on refitting the Jacuzzi area on the sundeck. To ensure the refit ran smoothly and met the tight timeline, SKAT appointed Nacho Diaz, Technical Manager at Hill Robinson Spain, as project manager.

While Nacho has project managed many refits in STP since 2011, he admits this project represented one of the most ambitious he’s been involved with yet. “It was a major refit that needed to be achieved in a very short period of time,” he acknowledges. In the end, Nacho met the challenge and completed the project a mere 24 hours after the contract stipulated.

SKAT refit

The key to this success was proper preparation over a sufficient period before SKAT arrived in Palma. “I had three months before the project started to coordinate the contractors and create a detailed schedule that was followed precisely,” explains Nacho. He also worked with STP to organise two container offices and seven containers for each contractor coming from overseas to be set up next to SKAT’s berth, thereby improving efficiency throughout the project.

The refit saw the Jacuzzi replaced like for like, as well as its positioning and orientation altered to create a more minimalistic space. The worklist also encompassed refitting the wine room, pantries and guest bathrooms, as well as servicing the passerelle, side boarding ladders and swim platform.

SKAT refit

The Jacuzzi area on board SKAT before the refit (top picture) and after (bottom picture).

SKAT refit

As Captain Dale Stansfield reflects, Nacho’s experience and expertise was invaluable throughout the project; “We had multiple contractors working in very restricted areas, but there was good coordination between them thanks to Nacho. He has a very good relationship with STP and the local contractors, which was extremely helpful when we had any issues as he could contact someone straight away to find a solution. We were very lucky to have him.”

Having an independent project manager to oversee such a complex refit is critical in STP – an ‘open-house’ shipyard that allows yachts the flexibility to choose their preferred contractors. From years of being involved with superyacht refits in Palma, Nacho has garnered strong relationships with – and knowledge of – the local contractors and shipyards, which would be a valuable resource to any project in the region.

“We had multiple contractors working in very restricted areas, but there was good coordination between them thanks to Nacho. He has a very good relationship with STP and the local contractors, which was extremely helpful when we had any issues as he could contact someone straight away to find a solution. We were very lucky to have him.”

SKAT is now ready to be enjoyed by her owners again, complete with an upgraded Jacuzzi area on the sundeck that will offer a more versatile space to suit their needs. Hill Robinson’s team in Palma have overseen four other significant refit and maintenance periods this winter. With its office located just a stone’s throw from STP and Astilleros de Mallorca, Hill Robinson Spain provides project management for refit and maintenance projects of all sizes on the island and across Spain, as well as additional services such as administration, accounts and crew services.

Get in touch with our team in Spain here.