Economic declines sometimes translate into an increase in business for refit yards. Owners decide to invest in their current yachts or buy a brokerage yacht and spruce that up instead of spending money on new builds. Combine this with currencies going farther in some countries than others, and you’ll find that some superyacht companies are keeping busy.
Such is the case with Azzura Marine. Since the Australian dollar has depreciated, the staff has seen an increase in refit and repair inquiries over the past several months, including a visit from the 35-meter (115-foot) expedition charter yacht Surprise. Of course, being near some impressive cruising grounds (it’s two hours north of Sydney) and having the capability to perform necessary work also factor into the decisions. Azzura Marine has the country’s largest Syncrolift, deep-water access, and the ability to accommodate megayachts to 120 meters LOA (394 feet).
For any owner or captain weighing his options, it would be wise to ask the yard for references from the 45-meter (148-foot) Ilonka, pictured above, which recently completed a 10-month stay–ahead of schedule. Structural modifications were made to her exterior, including the creation of a new set of stairs and the transformation of the helipad into a large entertainment area complete with canopy. The entire interior received new treatments such as carpeting and custom furnishings, the latter made by the yard; the galley also got new equipment, flooring, and sinks. Besides this, the engines were rebuilt, the air-conditioning components and ventilation system were replaced, and a new coat of paint went on. A total of 100 craftspeople worked on Ilonka–and they apparently did an excellent job, as the owner’s representative comments, “the result of the project has exceeded the owner’s expectations.”