Tough times call for tough measures. Several shipyards have been expanding offerings due to the global recession. While Yachting Developments’ recent focus has included refits, most of its marketing has been on new builds. The New Zealand yard’s management team is making a concerted effort to change that. Yachting Developments is now promoting itself equally for refits, survey work, and interior outfitting as it is for new construction.
The change is a response to a lack of new-build contracts. Yachting Developments laid off some craftspeople early last year as a result of that, too. (On a side note, it’s not the only shipyard that did so. However, it is among the few publicly admitting it.) The management team began implementing leaner manufacturing processes around the same time. The latter effort has reportedly been paying off, particularly for refits and even some commercial and residential land-based projects. One such land project was the creation of a sail-shape sunlight reflector for a “green” office building in Auckland.
As stated above, megayacht refits are not new for Yachting Developments. The much-heralded refit of the famed J Class Endeavour (pictured) took place there in 2012. Now nearly 80 years old, Endeavour was at Yachting Developments for 18 months. More than 40 tons of material were removed and replaced aboard the steel-hulled yacht. (Yachting Developments is known for composite construction, though it can clearly tackle metal projects, too.) Furthermore, more than 100,000 man hours went into the refit. Earlier this year, the yard refitted Spirit, a Swan 90. The owner wanted to bolster options for both cruising and racing.
Yachting Developments’ property in Hobsonville, a suburban district of Auckland, can accommodate megayachts to 197 feet (60 meters). Shed space totals 69,965 square feet (6,500 square meters). It has another soon-to-open office in Auckland’s Westhaven marina, too. That addition will handle small projects as well as drop-offs.
“We want to send the message that we are very much open for business, and offer skilled superyacht-quality labor across all disciplines,” explains Ian Cook, managing director of Yachting Developments. “Our team is able to serve all areas of the marine sector, whether new build, refit, or interior work, and no job is too small or big.”